Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Course Placement

SLU's placement process ensures new students are in appropriate courses for their first semester at SLU.

  • All incoming freshman are required to complete the registration survey, which will be used to create their first semester schedule. 
  • All incoming students (freshman and transfer) are required to complete placement tests in math and English writing. 
  • Chemistry placement is required for majors that require General Chemistry and any student intending to attend medical, dental, physician assistant (PA), veterinary, pharmacy, or other professional health programs.
  • Placement tests for foreign language are encouraged for any student with a background in language, especially for students interested in study abroad or certain majors and minors that require language study. 

See individual sections below for details about each category.

If you have any questions, contact placement@slu.edu.

Deadline: May 15

Course registration cannot begin until the registration survey and placement tests are completed. Please complete all items as soon as possible.

  • Complete the registration survey and initial placement tests by May 15. 
  • Optional math and/or chemistry re-takes should be completed within two weeks of the initial test and at least one week prior to SLU 101. 
  • Students admitted after May 15 must complete these items within two weeks of their deposit. 

Academic Accommodations

Students who are currently eligible for academic accommodations should contact SLU's Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources at accessibility_disability@slu.edu regarding placement testing accommodations.

How to Access 

Image of Placement Test Tile

Once you pay your enrollment deposit, you will have access to the "Course Placement" tile in MySLU. Clicking this tile will take you to a page in Canvas that contains all placement items and instructions. 


Registration Survey

All incoming first-time freshmen must complete this survey. The University will create your first semester schedule based on your major, placement scores and information from this survey.  The registration survey will be available through Canvas in mid-February. 

  • Students attending the Madrid campus will receive an email once their schedule is complete.
  • Students attending the St. Louis campus must register for SLU 101 before their schedule is generated. Please contact your admission counselor if you have questions about signing up for SLU 101.
  • You will connect with an academic advisor during your scheduled SLU 101 program to confirm your schedule.
  • Most students are satisfied with their initial schedule. However, questions or concerns (such as changes to your major or significant time conflicts) can be addressed during SLU 101. 

English Writing Placement

All incoming students must meet English Writing placement criteria through a SLU placement test or appropriate college credit:

Placement Test
  • The English Writing placement test is designed for students who completed all four years of high school where English is the primary language of instruction. Take this short survey if you are unsure about which test to take.
  • Your score is important and impacts your first semester schedule and four-year plan. Please ensure you have sufficient time and limited distractions before taking the test. 
  • You have one hour to complete this test. Do not open it until you are ready to complete it.  
  • Tests are graded manually. Scores will not be available right away.
  • The SLU Writing Exam (SLUWE) is designed for students who completed high school in a language other than English.
College Credit: Freshman

Read below or take this short survey to determine if your college credit can be used for placement: 

SLU 1818 Credit: Students who have completed ENGL1500 or ENGL1900 through SLU’s 1818 Program do not need to take the English writing placement test, provided the course is completed by Jan. 1 with a passing grade and that grade is posted in Banner. Senior-year spring-semester courses cannot be included since grades will not be available before registration begins in late May. Initial placement and registration may be adjusted once grades are recorded. 2000-level literature courses cannot be used for placement. 

Non-SLU and AP/IB credit cannot substitute for the placement test. Placement test results are necessary for advising and registration, which often occur before these scores/transcripts are available. Once transcripts are received and evaluated, credit will be posted per University policy, and initial placement and registration may be adjusted. 

College Credit: Transfer Students

Students who have already completed a course equivalent to ENGL 1500 or ENGL 1900 at an accredited college or university in the United States (Determine Course Equivalencies) do not need to take the placement test. The course must be complete with a grade of  "C" or better and posted on an official transcript that has already been sent to SLU — it cannot be a current, in-progress course. 

Math Placement

All incoming students must meet math placement criteria through completion of the placement test or appropriate college credit:

Placement Test (ALEKS)
  • This test is administered through ALEKS.
  • Your score is important and impacts your first semester schedule and four-year plan. Please ensure you have sufficient time and limited distractions before taking the test. 
  • You have three hours to complete this test. Please do not open this test before you are ready to complete it. 
  • Your score will be available in ALEKS as soon as you complete the test.
  • You may take this test again if you want to improve your score. You must wait 48 hours and complete at least 3 hours of work in the learning modules before taking it again. 
  • Your score on the math placement test also impacts your starting level of chemistry (if your program requires it) at SLU. 
College Credit: Freshman

SLU 1818 credit: Students who have completed a math course through SLU’s 1818 Program do not need to take the placement test, provided the course is completed by Jan. 1. with a grade of C- or higher and posted in Banner. Senior-year spring-semester courses cannot be included since grades will not be available before registration begins in late May. Initial placement may be adjusted once grades are recorded.

Non-SLU and AP/IB credit cannot substitute for the placement test. Placement test results are necessary for advising and registration, which often occur before these scores/transcripts are available. Once transcripts are received and evaluated, credit will be posted per University policy, and initial placement may be adjusted. 

College Credit: Transfer Students

Transfer students who are pursuing a program that does not require a math course do not need to take the placement test if they will have transfer credit for a course that meets the Ways of Thinking: Quantitative Reasoning requirement in the University Undergraduate Core.

View Program Requirements

Determine Course Equivalencies

Students who are pursuing a program that requires a math course must meet math pre-requisites through testing or credit. Students who have already completed a math course at the college algebra level or higher at an accredited college or university  do not need to take the placement test. The transfer course must be less than a year old, completed with a grade of "C" or better and posted on an official transcript that has already been sent to SLU — it cannot be a current, in-progress course. 

If you are not sure whether your program requires a math course and you do not have transfer credit for a math course, you should take the placement test to ensure that you will be able to register for the courses that you need.

Chemistry Placement

Any student who must take CHEM 1110 General Chemistry is required to take the chemistry placement test.

  • This includes any student who plans to attend medical, PA, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, or other professional health program.
  • This includes students who plan to pursue any of the following majors or minors:  biology, chemistry, biochemistry, chemical biology, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geology, health sciences (pre-med or pre-PA track), medical sciences, medical laboratory sciences, meteorology, neuroscience, nutrition and dietetics, physics.
  • If you're unsure, take this short survey to determine if you should take this test.
Placement Test (ALEKS)
  • This test is administered through ALEKS.
  • Your score is important and impacts your first semester schedule and four-year plan. Please ensure you have sufficient time and limited distractions before taking the test.
  • You have one hour to complete this test. Do not open it until you are ready to complete it.
  • Your score will be available in ALEKS as soon as you complete the test.
  • You must earn a score of 60% or higher to enroll in General Chemistry.
  • You may re-take the test one more time after completing the Skill Building exercises in ALEKS. 
  • This test is timed.  You have 60 minutes to complete the test.  Please do not open it until you are ready to complete it.
  • In addition to passing the chemistry placement test, students must have mastered material in college algebra prior to taking General Chemistry and must have an ALEKS math placement of MATH 1400 Pre-Calculus or higher or have college credit for MATH 1200 College Algebra or higher.
College Credit: Freshman

SLU 1818 credit: Students who have completed CHEM 1110 & 1115 through SLU’s 1818 Program may use this coursework instead of the placement test, provided the course is completed by Jan. 1 with a passing grade and that grade is posted in Banner. Senior-year spring-semester courses cannot be used for placement since grades will not be available before registration begins in late May. Initial placement and registration may be adjusted once grades are recorded.

College Credit: Transfer Students

Students who have already completed a course equivalent to CHEM 1050 or CHEM 1110 at an accredited college or university in the United States (Determine Course Equivalencies) do not need to take the placement test. The course must be complete with a grade of "C" or better and posted on an official transcript that has already been sent to SLU — it cannot be a current, in-progress course. 

View Program Requirements 

Determine Course Equivalencies

Foreign Language Placement

Foreign language testing is encouraged for any student who has learned or studied another language, especially if students are interested in any of the programs below. Take this short survey to determine whether language testing is required.  Students beginning a new language do not need a placement test and should register for the entry level (1010) course.

In addition, many study abroad programs require a certain level of language proficiency.

SLUPE Language Placement Test
  • Languages available for testing: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish For Russian placement, email langadmin@slu.edu. For Greek placement, please email joan.harthasler@slu.edu.
  • Plan to spend 20-40 minutes to complete the test.
  • Scores are available immediately after completing the test.
  • If you need to retrieve your score later, visit slupe.org and click “Look up Score.” 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have dual credit/AP/IB credit?

Non-SLU and AP/IB credit cannot substitute for the placement test. Placement test results are necessary for advising and registration, which often occur before these scores/transcripts are available. Once transcripts are received and evaluated, credit will be posted per University policy, and initial placement and registration may be adjusted. 

If I test into a higher class, do I get credit for the classes I test out of?

No. Your placement test results are only used to determine which class you should take at SLU. There is no credit awarded.

What if I submitted ACT/ SAT scores as part of my application for admission?

ACT/SAT scores are not used to place students into courses. 

Is there a practice test?

No, there are no practice tests.

How long will the placement tests take to complete?

Plan to spend about an hour of uninterrupted time on each test. Visit each section above for details. 

I am currently eligible for academic accommodations and would like to request extended time for the placement tests. How do I request an accommodation? 

Email SLU Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources at accessibility_disability@slu.edu; they can assist you with the application for accommodations.

When do I receive the test results?

Math and chemistry test results will be available immediately. English tests must be graded manually and scores will be available within a few weeks. Grades will be posted in Canvas where you completed the test.

Can I take the placement test more than once?

The English test can only be taken once. The math test can be taken up to five times. The chemistry test can be taken twice. Students must complete work in the learning modules before re-taking the math or chemistry tests. Each student is allowed to take the language skills assessments two times per language but no more than once in one day. 

Is it free?

There is no fee associated with course placement.  However, you must have submitted your enrollment deposit to access the placement items.

What if I don't have access to a computer?

To complete placement assessments, you will need access to a computer with an internet connection for an extended period of time. Students who do not have personal computers can consider visiting a public library, high school computer lab or other location with reliable internet access. If none of these options are available, arrangements can be made upon your arrival to SLU 101.