Need Help in Selecting Your First Math Course?
Follow These Steps...
Selecting Your Math Course | Prerequisites for Math Courses | CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Information | MAPE - Math Placement Exam | Questions?
You Will Need a Copy of the Cal Poly Catalog
The catalog contains important information regarding testing, prerequisites and requirements. You can find the catalog online at the Cal Poly Office of the Registrar’s official catalog website or you may order a hardcopy by phone at (800) 367-0771 or online at the University Store.
- Read the information on the ELM (Entry Level Math) requirement and the MAPE (Math Placement) test
There are exemptions for both the ELM and MAPE tests. Please read the information carefully to find out if you are exempt. Also review course descriptions for all introductory mathematics courses. (In hardcopy form, course descriptions are found at the back of the catalog.)
If you still have questions concerning the ELM Requirement after reading the information in the catalog, please call:
Clint Hahlbeck, ELM/MAPE Coordinator, at (805) 756-2268 or
Kara Eversman, Administrative Coordinator, at (805) 756-1203
- Read the curriculum for your major - especially the mathematics course requirements
You should now know what mathematics courses you need to take at Cal Poly.
Study the Information Below on Math Class Prerequisites Along with the Catalog
This information will not be a perfect fit for all students but it should be a good first approximation. We at Cal Poly cannot measure factors such as maturity, ability to concentrate, and willingness to work hard (a minimum of two hours of study for each hour in class).
Ask Questions Now - We Are Here to Help!
We are happy to answer your questions. Please call the Mathematics Department, (805) 756-2206, or the ELM/MAPE line, (805) 756-2268.
Prerequisites for Math Courses
- If you are not exempt, you MUST take the ELM exam prior to enrollment in any courses at Cal Poly.
- If you are not exempt from the ELM exam and received an ELM score below 50 you must take:
- Math 100, followed by Math 104 if your score was below 41;
- Math 104 if your score was between 41 and 49
In order to enroll in the courses below, you must either be exempt from the ELM Exam or have satisfied the ELM requirement.
- Most Liberal Arts Majors and majors which do not specify a certain math course may take Math 112 or Math 116 followed by Math 117. (Many of these majors also have a statistics course as a degree requirement.)
- Majors That Require Precalculus Algebra
- Math 116 plus Math 117 OR Math 118*
*You are eligible for Math 118 only if your SAT Math score is 550 or above, if your ACT Math score is 23 or above, if your ELM score is 65 or above, or if you have passed the Cal Poly MAPE. Math 116 followed by Math 117 is equivalent to Math 118, but presents the material at a slower pace.
- Math 116 plus Math 117 OR Math 118*
- Majors That Require Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry
- Math 116 plus Math 117 plus Math 119 OR Math 118 plus Math 119
See (4) above for the prerequisites for precalculus algebra
- Math 116 plus Math 117 plus Math 119 OR Math 118 plus Math 119
- Majors Requiring Calculus
- Math 141
You are eligible for Math 141 if your SAT Math score was 600 or above and/or your ACT Math score was 26 or above. You should also have earned A's and B's in Precalculus and Trigonometry in high school. NOTE: Students who are eligible for Math 116 or Math 118 may test into Math 141 with a passing score on the MAPE. - Math 161 or 221
You are eligible for these courses if your SAT Math score was 600 or above and/or your ACT Math score was 26 or above, and you earned A’s and B’s in Precalculus in high school. NOTE: Students eligible for Math 116 or Math 118 may test into Math 161 or Math 221 with a passing score on the MAPE. - Math 142, 162 or 182
You are eligible for these courses if you received A’s and B’s in your high school AP Calculus class and earned a 3, 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement AB exam OR if you have credit from another college or university (transcript required for documentation) for a first quarter/semester calculus course (through Fundamental Theorem of Calculus) with grade of C- or higher. AP CALCULUS NOTE: It is the Math Department's recommendation that students with a score of 3 on the AP (AB) test consider beginning in Math 141 to be certain foundation material is strong before continuing in the calculus sequence. - Math 143
You are eligible for Math 143 if you received A’s and B’s in your AP Calculus class and earned a 3, 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement BC exam. AP CALCULUS NOTE: It is the Math Department's recommendation that students with a score of 3 on the AP (BC) test consider beginning in Math 142 to be certain foundation material is strong before continuing in the calculus sequence.
- Math 141
CSU Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Information
All CSU students are required to take the ELM exam or provide documentation of an exemption, prior to enrolling in any courses. Be sure to check the list of exemptions and check for information on ELM testing and deadlines.
MAPE - Math Placement Exam
The Cal Poly Math Placement Exam (MAPE) provides valuable placement advice for students who are selecting a math course at the level of Math 118, 119, 141, 161, or 221. Not all students need to take the MAPE - please read over the exemptions. The MAPE is offered weekdays throughout the year. It is free, and you do not need to pre-register. However, we encourage you to call (805) 756-2206 for an appointment if you are coming from out of town.
Questions?
Please contact Clint Hahlbeck, ELM/MAPE Coordinator at (805-756-2268), or Kara Eversman, Administrative Coordinator at (805-756-1203).