Course placement

VCU determines your entry-level math, chemistry and foreign language courses based on your academic background. You’ll discuss placement with your academic advisor during your orientation advising session.

Math placement test

The math placement test determines the highest-level math course you can initially register for. First-year students are required to complete the test online before registering for an orientation session. Transfer students are strongly urged to complete the test online before attending orientation. If you don’t have a test score or AP/IB/dual enrollment recorded on your VCU transcript, you will not be able to register for a math course during orientation.

You can take the online math placement test only once. If you start the online test and are unable to complete it, you can take a different proctored online test on campus.

Take the test without any help. Receiving a score that doesn’t accurately reflect your math level could place you in a course where your success would be limited.

You’ll receive your test score and class placement immediately after completion.

Chemistry placement

All students majoring in science, engineering and most pre-health programs are required to complete general chemistry (CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101). Your chemistry placement is determined by your SAT math score (if submitted), high school GPA and previous chemistry background.

You must bring your final high school chemistry grade with you to New Student Orientation. VCU will have access to your SAT math score and high school GPA during your advising appointment at NSO.

You may also take the ALEKS chemistry assessment in order to place into CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101. This option is recommended if you place into CHEM 100. Results from previous semesters show that students who complete ALEKS are more likely to successfully complete CHEM 101.  

Foreign language placement

Some majors require foreign language credits. Your foreign language placement is determined by high school coursework, the strength of your high school foreign language program and your motivation level.

Write down any foreign language courses you completed in high school or at another college and bring them with you to orientation. If you want an exemption from a foreign language requirement, you can take the optional foreign language placement test.

AP, IB or dual enrollment credit

If you took AP or IB classes and you attend orientation before your scores are available, your advisor will ask for an estimate of your scores. If your estimate is incorrect, your classes will be adjusted once scores are available. Generally, VCU requires scores of 3 or higher to receive AP credit, and a score of 4 to 6 to receive IB credit.

You can also earn credit through dual enrollment. If VCU does not have the final transcripts from the community college by the time you attend orientation, you’ll need to inform your academic advisor about the classes you completed and the grades you earned.

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