Placement Information for Incoming Students--Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
Who should not take the Math Placement Exam:
- Students with a score of 3 of higher on the Calculus AP exam (AB or BC), or 4 or higher on the Higher or Standard Level Mathematics International Baccalaureate Exam.
- Students with a grade of C or better in a calculus course taken at a college or university.
Who should take the Math Placement Exam:
- All students except those listed above (regardless of whether or not you have taken calculus before).
At Occidental, Math is required for some but not all majors. Even if your planned major does not require any math courses, you should take the placement exam as soon as possible, before you forget too much, in case you change your major later on. See instructions at the bottom of this page for taking the Math Placement Exam.
Students who have taken the Calculus AP or IB exam:
- AB or BC score of 4 or higher, or IB HL score of 6 or higher:
You do not need to attend the Math Advising Session; when Oxy receives your exam score, the Registrar's Office will allow you to enroll in a math course according to the following table (but not any lower or higher courses, except with permission from the Math Department).
- AB score (or subscore) of 3:
You must attend the Math Advising Session during Orientation in order to be placed.
- BC score of 3:
You should refer to the above according to your AB subscore.
- Lower scores:
You should take the math placement exam.
Calculus AP or IB HL Exam Score
Math courses you may enroll in
BC 4 or 5;
150, 210, 212, or 214. (No need to attend the Math Advising Session.)
AB 4 or 5; or BC 1, 2, 3 with an AB subscore of 4 or 5
128. (No need to attend the Math Advising Session.)
AB 3, or AB subscore of 3;
Attend Math Advising Session during Orientation.
For Further Questions:
Please attend the Math Advising Session during Orientation.
In addition to calculus courses, Mathematics 150, 210, 212, 214, and Computer Science 211 may be taken by first-year students meeting the prerequisites. Please refer to the online course catalog for more information on these courses and their prerequisites.
Students with a score of 5 in Calculus BC earn 6 units of credit towards graduation, while students with a score of 4 in Calculus BC or 4 or 5 in Calculus AB earn 4 units. For a complete description of the College's policy on AP credit, please refer to the Advanced Placement and credit section in the College online course catalog.
Some majors have no math requirement. However, you may take calculus, as well as most other math courses (please see the online course catalog) toward satisfying core requirements. Note that Math 108 does not satisfy any core or major requirements; it serves only as a prerequisite for 109. Math 109 counts as a core requirement; it also counts for any major or minor that requires Calculus 1. To only satisfy a core requirement, however, you may choose from among several one-semester math courses (105, 146, etc.) instead of the one-year sequence 108-109.
Students who have taken courses beyond calculus must attend the Math Advising Session during orientation for advice on placement in an appropriate mathematics course.
Advanced placement is available to students with qualifying scores on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations in statistics. Students scoring 4 or 5 on the AP exam may receive a prerequisite waiver for courses that have Math 146 as a prerequisite. Math 146 and Math 150 are similar courses; we advise students who are interested in taking an introductory statistics course and who have a Calculus I background (either coursework or AP placement) to enroll in Math 150: Data Analysis rather than Math 146: Statistics.
Computer Science Placement
Advanced placement is available to students with qualifying scores on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations in computer science. Those scoring 4 or 5 on the A exam or 4 on the AB exam may enroll in Computer Science 211 without the Computer Science 161 prerequisite. Students scoring 5 on the AB exam do not have to take Computer Science 211.
The following are brief descriptions of Occidental's calculus courses. For a more detailed description of each individual course, please refer to the online course catalog.
Unified Precalculus and Calculus: Math 108-109
For students who have studied only three years of high school mathematics or who are unready for the pace of calculus (see below). This is a two-semester sequence that is equivalent to one semester of Calculus 1 (Math 110 or 114).
Calculus 1 & 2: Math 110 & 120
For students with no prior experience in calculus, but who have studied algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and a fourth year of high school mathematics (such as Mathematical Analysis, Elementary Functions, or pre-calculus).
Calculus 1 (Experienced): Math 114, followed by Calculus 2: Math 120
For students who have studied one or two semesters of calculus in high school but who did not take or pass the calculus AP exam. Students are not assumed to know any calculus. They are separated from students who've never seen any calculus, only for pedagogical reasons.
Calculus 2 (Advanced Placement): Math 128
Similar to Math 120, but for students who have passed the AP calculus exam version AB with a score of 4 or 5, or version BC with an AB sub-score of 4 or 5 (but not a BC score of 4 or 5).
Prior to taking the online placement exam, you must have activated your Oxy computer (Oxynet) account. If you haven't already, please go to http://my.oxy.edu with your assigned username and PIN, then change your PIN to your Oxynet password. If you have already changed your PIN to your Oxynet password, go to Step 2.
Go to https://moodle.oxy.edu/course/
Once you are on the "Enrolment Options" page, scroll to the very bottom and click the "Enrol me" button. (You can do this prior to actually taking the test.)
When you are ready, take the test. Please follow all instructions and remember that you must take the test in one uninterrupted session. If you have problems logging into Moodle, please contact the ITS helpdesk at email@example.com or (323) 259-2880.
After taking the placement exam, you may contact the Advising Center for advising at (323) 259-1341. You can also make an appointment to talk to an adviser if you would like to do so.
- Phone: (323) 259-2822
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: Fowler, 3rd Fl