Prerequisite Criteria for Math Placement

Entry-level Math Placement

All students must meet one of the following prerequisites before they may enroll in Math 20A, 10A, 4C, 3C, or 2 at UC San Diego: 

  • SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 650 or higher for Math 20A or Math 18
  • SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test score 600 or better for Math 10A or Math 4C
  • AP Calculus AB Exam score 3 for Math 20A or Math 18 
  • AP Calculus AB (or  BC for 2020) Exam score 2 for Math 10A or Math 4C
  • Qualifying placement on the UCSD Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE)

After taking the Math Placement Exam (MPE), UC San Diego may also consider the following requirements for enrollment:
  • SAT I* Math Exam score 600 or higher for Math 3C 
  • ACT* Math Exam score of 22 or higher for Math 3C 
  • ACT* Math Exam score of 25 or higher for Math 4C 

*Enrollment to a class using the SAT I or the ACT as a prerequisite is not automatic.  If you decide to take a math course  using the SAT or ACT Math as your qualifying prerequisite, then you will need to request a preauthorization using the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) at: https://academicaffairs.ucsd.edu/Modules/Students/PreAuth/.  Our office strongly recommends for students to take the MPE to see if they qualify for a calculus course. 


Equivalent Credit

Students with the following course credits will earn equivalent credit and will be able to enroll in the next level course in the sequence.

  • AP Calculus exam scores of 3 or higher
  • IB Math HL: Score of 5 or higher 
  • Course credit grade of C- or better in an approved calculus course from another college or university 
  • Foreign credit by exam for High Level Mathematics  (e.g., GCE); contact us for more information

Expiration for Placement
  • The scores for the ACT, SAT I, SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test are valid for math placement for 2 years.
  • AP Calculus AB (or BC for 2020) score of a "2" is valid for math placement for 2 years.
  • The Math Placement Exam (MPE) is valid for one year.  
  • AP Calculus scores of (3,4,5) and the IB HL 5 or higher do not expire for earning credit.