Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics


Math Placement at Loyola

Math placement at Loyola University Chicago (“LUC”) exists only for students enrolling in Precalculus I (MATH 117), Precalculus II (MATH 118), Applied Calculus (MATH 131) and Calculus (MATH 161).  Intermediate Algebra (MATH 100) begins the sequence and has no prerequisite.

Math placement at LUC has two steps.

STEP 1) Incoming freshman students: You are placed into a math course based on your math ACT/SAT subscore.   If this placement suits your academic needs, then nothing additional needs to be done.

Incoming transfer students: Refer to your Application Status Page to review whether you need to take Loyola's Math Placement Assessment.  

Currently enrolled students during the school year: Contact the Math Placement Coordinator, John Houlihan, jhouli1@luc.edu .


ACT Math subscore(1)

SAT I Math subscore (prior to 3/1/2016)(1)

SAT-R Math subscore (after 3/1/2016)(1)

0–23: MATH 100

24–25: MATH 117

26: MATH 118

27: MATH 131

28–36: MATH 161

0 - 589: MATH 100

590–639: MATH 117

640–659: MATH 118

660–679: MATH 131

680–800: MATH 161

0–609: MATH 100

610–659: MATH 117

660–689: MATH 118

690–709: MATH 131

710–800: MATH 161

SAT II, Math 1C(1) or
SAT Math Level 1 Subject Test(1)
SAT II, Math 2C(1) or
SAT Math Level 2 Subject Test(1)
200–534: MATH 100
535–634: MATH 117
635–800: MATH 118
200–534: MATH 100
535–634: MATH 118
635–800: MATH 161

(1) Placement by this method is used only if the ACT/SAT test was taken within two (2) years.

STEP 2) (Optional) Students needing to enroll in a higher level math course than determined in STEP 1 have the option of taking a proctored math placement assessment (“MPA”) at LUC.

MPA score(2)

0 - 44: MATH 100

45 - 59: MATH 117

60 - 74: MATH 118

75 - 100: MATH 131 or 161

(2) Placement by MPA score (ALEKS) expires one (1) year after the test date.


If you do not know if you need one of these math courses or which math course you need to enroll in, read through the webpages of your major or program or consult with an academic advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students have the opportunity to take one sample math placement assessment "(MPA"), the score of which is not used to place you in a class,  and four proctored MPAs, the scores of which are used to place you in a class.

Before coming to Loyola University Chicago ("LUC"), take the sample practice MPA.  It gives you practice taking the assessment and it generates Learning Modules unique to you, generating math topics you need to work on to improve the breadth and depth of your mathematical knowledge.  You can take this sample MPA at anytime from anywhere in the world. 

To take the sample MPA, log into the luc.edu/LOCUS.

  • Please enter your LUC UVID (username) and your password.
  • The UVID corresponds to the letters appearing before "@luc.edu" in your Loyola University Chicago email address.
  • After logging into LOCUS,

                   New Students Entering in the Fall: Look within the Next Stop portlet (example below).  You will see the link to the MPA - ALEKS - there.

  • All Eligible Students: Look in the Enterprise Menu (example below). Click on Academics.  You will see the link to ALEKS there.

To take the proctored MPA, the results of which are used to place you in a math class, you must come to LUC.  See the next FAQ.

For the Fall 2017 semester, the assessment tests end August 27, prior to the beginning of classes, even if the student has not used all four (4) proctored assessments.

To take the proctored MPA, the results of which are used to place you in a math class, you must come to LUC.  The proctored MPA lasts 90 minutes. (If you need extra time, contact SSWD at http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/.  These tests that have extra time will be during all Freshmen Orientation sessions and other additional dates at different locations and at different times.  You will need a pencil/pen.  Blank paper will be provided.  The 90 minute proctored test will be offered in Crown Center 105 on the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, April 8th, 1-2:30 pm, in CC 105

Other MPA test times: Bring a laptop, email jhouli1@luc.edu to confirm

  •  IES 116:
    Tuesday, April 11…………12:30pm-2pm
    Tuesday, April 18………..12:30pm-2pm
    Tuesday, April 25………..12:30pm-2pm
    Friday, April 28……………1pm-3pm
  • CH 217 (Cuneo Hall)
    Friday, April 21..........12:45 - 2:30 pm

For incoming first-years, students may register for the MPA through their Orientation registration. If students plan to take the MPA at another time (not during their Orientation), please register here https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For transfer students, register here https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For current students, register https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment or https://uao.luc.edu/portal/math-placement-assessment

For students who need accommodations, contact SSWD at http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/

For current students during the school year, contact the Math Placement Coordinator, John Houlihan, jhouli1@luc.edu.

The current MPA is ALEKS PPL ("ALEKS"), Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces, Placement Preparation and Learning. ALEKS is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system, which uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know.  ALEKS then provides the student individualized topics (Learning Modules) which the student can use to learn the material with which the student had difficulty.  When using the Learning Modules, ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

Please be aware that the Learning Modules will be available to you until, whichever is earlier, April 30 or for 6 months following your initial taking of the ALEKS practice assessment.

Students who need to take ALEKS will have the opportunity to take one (1) practice, sample assessment test and four (4) proctored assessment tests along with six (6) months of access to individualized learning modules to learn (or relearn) material to improve their score, all of which must be completed within the twelve month period beginning May 1 and ending April 30,.  Your best proctored ALEKS score will indicate the course you are eligible to take. However, you may enroll in a lower level math course after talking with your advisor.

Math Placement Assessment
0 - 44: MATH 100 (Intermediate Algebra)
45 - 59: MATH 117 (Precalculus I)
60 - 74: MATH 118 (Precalculus II)
75 - 100: MATH 131 (Applied Calculus) or MATH 161 (Calculus)

Placement by this method expires one (1) year after the test date.

LUC pays for the first MPA which includes one (1) practice assessment, four (4) proctored assessments and a six month access to your individualized learning module.  Your proctored MPA score(s) is(are) valid only for one year prior to enrollment in a math course.  If you do not enroll in a math class within one (1) year of your highest proctored assessment, you will have to pay $25 online in order to receive a second bundle composed of one (1) practice assessment, four (4) proctored assessments and a six-month learning module.  Again, the proctored assessment score would be valid for one year.

The MPA assesses eleven major math topics.

1. Whole Numbers, Fractions, and Decimals

2. Percents, Proportions, and Geometry

3. Signed Numbers, Linear Equations and Inequalities

4. Lines and Systems of Linear Equations

5. Relations and Functions

6. Integer Exponents and Factoring

7. Quadratic and Polynomial Functions

8. Rational Expressions and Functions

9. Radicals and Rational Exponents

10. Exponentials and Logarithms

11. Trigonometry

 See a complete detailed list here.

Only students whose ACT/SAT math scores have not placed them into the math course they want or need (see http://luc.edu/math/placement/ ) and who have a link to ALEKS in LOCUS need to take the MPA.  If your ACT score was 28 or above, do not take the MPA.  If your SAT score was 680 or above, do not take the MPA.

Students with majors listed here need to take math courses.  Generally, Chemistry and pre-health majors need to start in MATH 118, Precalculus II.  Students majoring in Physics, Engineering, and/or Math & Statistics need to start in MATH 161, Calculus I.

It is also strongly recommended that all transfer students who have appropriate transfer credit take the assessment if they will need additional math courses at LUC. If the score on the assessment indicates a lack of preparedness for the course, the student should apply themselves to mastering the topics in the ALEKS Learning Module and take the reassessments until they have the appropriate score.

New students should contact Undergraduate Admissions prior to May 1. After May 1, you may contact the HUB to confirm that your new major requires math placement assessment test, and request access to the assessment.

  • E-mail: placementtest@luc.edu
  • By phone: 773.508.7700
  • In person: Sullivan Center for Student Services, 6339 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660.

If you are registering prior to the date when the AP results are known, and your ACT and/or SAT math subscores do not place you into the math course you need/want (see luc.edu/math/placement), you should take the MPA. Click here to see the AP scores that qualify for credit.

No. Loyola's math placement is specifically designed to place students into a Loyola University Chicago math course, or appropriate course requiring math pre-requisites.

Possibly. Some courses require certain levels of math before you can take them. To find the prerequisites for a course, use the class search or course catalog features in LOCUS (if you don’t have a login, you can sign in as a guest) and look at the course descriptions.

Contact an academic advisor.  Your advisor will be listed in LOCUS on your Student Center. 

Incoming first year students should contact First and Second Year Advising.

Transfer, junior, or senior students should contact their College or School advisors. 

Online: http://www.luc.edu/advising/schools.shtml

The proctored MPA must be completed within 90 minutes. For those who need more time, you have to contact SSWD, http://www.luc.edu/sswd/applyforaccommodations/

Precalculus and calculus courses (MATH 117: Precalculus I, 118: Precalculus II, 131: Applied Calculus, and 161: Calculus) at Loyola University Chicago (“LUC”) are rigorous and professors expect that students placed in the course are capable of meeting the demands of the material. Since students are admitted with a wide variety of strengths and backgrounds in mathematics and from a wide variety of high schools, these expectations may differ from students’ experiences in high school math courses.  Furthermore, students might be unaware that they may struggle in collegiate math courses.

Therefore, to better ensure student success in these math courses, LUC places students in these math courses based on standardized tests and/or transfer credit(s).

Incoming first-years: LUC places students in classes based initially on students’ recent ACT and/or SAT math scores and/or transfer credits.

Transfer Students: LUC places students in classes based upon academic advisors evaluation of transfer credits.

Current Students: See the math placement coordinator. 

If any student is dissatisfied with their initial placement, the student can take one sample math placement assessment ("MPA") and up to four proctored math placement assessments at LUC.