Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics


Math Placement at Loyola

Math placement at Loyola University Chicago (LUC) is 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.

For many undergraduate degrees it is only possible to graduate in four years if one starts in MATH 161.  For other undergraduate degrees one must begin in MATH 118 or higher to graduate in four years.  Please check your degree requirements so that you know in which math course you need to start in order to graduate in four years.

Math placement at LUC has two steps. You are initially placed into a course based on your ACT/SAT math subscore (see Step 1) or your AP Calculus AB or BC exam result (see FAQ "I took the AP Calculus exam" below). Students who wish to take a higher level math course than determined by the SAT/ACT placement may take the Math Placement Assessment (MPA). (See Step 2.)


Incoming first-year 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 academic year: See FAQ "When and where do I take the MPA" below. Or contact the Math Placement Coordinator, John Houlihan at jhouli1@luc.edu.

Please note: Only MPAs that are proctored are valid for placement. The un-proctored MPA is practice only and is not valid for placement.

ACT Math subscore

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

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

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

0–560: MATH 100

570–600: MATH 117

610–620: MATH 118

630–650: MATH 131

660–800: MATH 161

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


STEP 2:  Students may enroll in a higher level math course than determined in STEP 1 provided a sufficient score is obtained on a proctored MPA.

We encourage you to use the MPA and its Learning Modules to place into the highest course possible.  Proper placement will benefit your overall academic experience.

MPA score

0 - 44: MATH 100

45 - 59: MATH 117

60 - 74: MATH 118

75 - 100: MATH 131 or 161

If you do not know if you need one of these math courses or which math course you need to enroll in, review the web pages of your major or program, or consult with an academic advisor. Please contact The Hub with any further questions at (773)-508-7700.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students have the opportunity to take one unproctored (practice) 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 unproctored, 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 unproctored, practice MPA at anytime from anywhere in the world. 

To take the unproctored 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 or an approved proctored testing facility.  See the next FAQ.

You must take a proctored MPA in order to use the results to place you in a math class. You can take a proctored MPA at LUC or at a proctored testing site (for example, see http://www.ncta-testing.org/find-a-cctc-participant ) if it is approved by the Math Placement Coordinator.  The proctored MPA lasts 90 minutes. (If you need extra time, contact the Student Accessibility Center: Placement Tests to receive approval and to make arrangement. You are strongly encouraged to take the practice, unproctored test and to work on the Learning Modules before taking the proctored MPA.    You will need to bring a pencil/pen.  Blank paper will be provided at LUC.  The 90 minute proctored test will be offered on the following dates, times and LUC locations (CC -  Crown Center, IC - Information Commons, SULL- Sullivan Center, IES/BVM Bldg-6349 N. Kenmore):

  • Monday, April 29, 3 pm, IES 116. Bring a laptop.
  • Thursday, May 30, 7:15 am, SULL 253
  • Tuesday, June 4, 7:15 am, SULL 253
  • Monday, June 10, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Thursday, June 13, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Friday, June 14, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Monday, June 17, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Tuesday, June 18, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Thursday, June 20, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Friday, June 21, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Monday, July 1, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Tuesday, July 2, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Monday, July 8, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Thursday, July 11, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Friday, July 12, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Monday, July 15, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2 pm, IC, SULL 253
  • Wednesday, July 17, 7:15 am, SULL 253
  • Wednesday, August 7, 7:15 am, SULL 253
  • Tuesday, August 13, 7:15 am, CC103 and CC105
  • Thursday, August 15, 7:15 am, CC103 and CC105
  • Tuesday, August 20, 7:15 am, CC103 and CC105
  • Wednesday, August 21, 9 am, IC, 3rd floor
  • Thursday, August 22, 2 pm, IC, 3rd floor
  • Friday, August 23, 10 am, CC103

If you cannot make one of these dates and times, please contact the Math Placement Coordinator, John Houlihan, jhouli1@luc.edu to try to set up an alternative testing time.

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, for 6 months following your initial taking of the ALEKS practice assessment or until sometime in the first full week of March.

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, generally, in the first full week of March.  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 extended time accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities at least one week in advance of the scheduled MPA date. Additional information about utilizing accommodations for the MPA can be found here: http://luc.edu/sswd/mathplacementaccommodations/

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.

The MPA (math placement assessment) is for math placement.  It cannot be used to skip a class, pass a class, or get back on track. Once a student has started the math sequence of MATH 100-117-118, the only way to complete it is to pass the classes with the grade of a C- or  higher.