Expand the section navigation mobile menu
A woman works at a computer in a computer lab

Course Placement & Testing

Incoming students may need to complete a placement process to determine their first course in writing, mathematics and modern language/American Sign Language.  Read below to determine if you need to complete a placement process.  If so, these should be completed before your orientation.

* The University reserves the right to change placement criteria at any time.

Placement into Writing

For writing placement, most students will complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire. Students are exempt from this process if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • SAT Writing or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 620 or higher
  • ACT English score of 28 or above
  • AP English and Language Composition score of 3 or higher
  • International Baccalaureate Extended Essay (IBEE) test grade of B or higher
  • Course from another institution deemed equivalent to WRT 1050 or WRT 1060

If you don’t meet one of the criteria above, please complete the Writing Placement Questionnaire at least a week before your orientation, if possible.

Important note: students can only take the Writing Placement Questionnaire once.

Placement into Mathematics
  • If your intended major is math/science, health sciences, education, business or engineering, you are strongly encouraged to submit SAT/ACT scores or complete the math placement exam.
  • View the placement chart to determine your math placement based on your SAT/ACT score and/or math placement exam score.  If you are unsatisfied with your math placement, you have the option to re/attempt OU’s math placement exam up to five times to try to place at a higher level.

Visit the Department of Mathematics and Statistics website for directions on completing the mathematics placement assessment. If possible, please complete the placement assessment at least a week before your orientation. 

Important note: students can take the math placement test up to five times. 

Placement into Modern Language or American Sign Language

Oakland University has a language requirement for all students as a part of the general education curriculum. Students who have taken a college-level language class at an accredited institution have satisfied this requirement. Read below about placement testing for modern languages or American Sign Language.

Modern Languages

Students needing the language placement exam are those who have no previous college coursework in a language, but who have prior high school coursework in Chinese, French, German or Spanish and who intend to satisfy the language requirement by continuing in this language.

Students with no previous high school or college-level language experience do not need this test.

French, German, Chinese, or Spanish
If you took French, German, Chinese or Spanish in high school and wish to continue in that language at Oakland, take the online placement exam prior to orientation, using the password grizzlies1. Remember to bring a copy of your results with you to orientation.

Japanese or Arabic
If you took Japanese or Arabic, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at (248) 370-2060 or visit O'Dowd Hall, Room 372.

American Sign Language (ASL)

Students with no formal training in ASL, do not use ASL in daily life, or have one year of high school ASL, do not need to schedule a placement interview and can enroll into COM 1500 – Introduction to American Sign Language. Students interested in placement into COM 1501 and higher are required to schedule a placement interview.

To schedule an appointment for assessment, email the Communication Program and ASL Coordinator, Dr. Robert Sidelinger, at sideling@oakland.edu with the following information:

  • If you have had two or more years in high school (no college or university ASL courses), submit your transcripts and relevant course syllabi (if appropriate).
  • If you have an extensive ASL background and use ASL in daily life but have not taken any formal courses, please provide details in your email about your background and experience with ASL.
The placement interview has been carefully calibrated specifically to align with the courses and the instruction offered at Oakland University. For more information, visit the   Department of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations website.

All new students are placed into a mathematics class based on their  SAT or ACT math subscore or by completing the mathematics placement assessment (ALEKS PPL). Please review the chart below to determine your math placement.

Math Subscore ALEKS PPL Placement Score OU Math Placement

SAT: 0-480

ACT: 0-17

[0, 29]

(or successful completion of
test 'E' on legacy math placement test)

MTH 0661** (Elementary
Algebra)

OR

MTH 1118 (Mathematical
Sciences in the Modern World)

SAT: 490-530

ACT: 18-21

[30, 45]

(or successful completion of
test 'I' on legacy math placement test)
MTH 0662** (Intermediate
Algebra)

OR

Any course listed above

SAT: 540-650

ACT: 22-27

[46, 60]

(or successful completion of
test 'R' on legacy math placement test)

MTH 1221 (Linear Programming, Elementary Functions)

OR

MTH 1331 (College Algebra)
Recommended for ACT 22-23
and SAT 540-560
Recommended if MTH 0662
grade is less than "B"

OR

MTH 1441 (Precalculus)
Recommended for ACT 24- 27
and SAT 570-650


OR

MTE 2110 (Numerical Structures)

OR

STA 2220 (Intro to Statistical
Concepts and Reasoning)

OR

Any course listed above

SAT: 660-800

ACT: 28 or
above

[61, 75]

(or successful completion of
test 'R' on legacy math placement test +
override to take MTH 1332)



MTH 1222 (Calculus for Social Sciences)

OR

MTH 1332 (Trigonometry)

OR

Any course listed above

SAT: 660-800

ACT: 28 or
above

[76, 100]

(or successful completion of
test 'C' on legacy math placement test)


MTH 1554 (Calculus I)

OR

STA 2221 (Intro to Statistical
Methods)

OR

STA 2222 (Statistical Methods
for Biology)

OR

Any course listed above

** No more than 16 credits in courses numbered 0050-0099 may count toward graduation requirements.

To fulfill Oakland University’s general education writing foundations requirement, students must complete WRT 1060 (Composition II) or its equivalent with a C or higher.

The Writing Placement Questionnaire is the primary way OU places students into writing.  We also accept other placement options, including test scores and transfer credits if needed. We place students into the highest writing course allowed following the placement criteria below.

WRT Course Primary Placement Option for Incoming Students Additional Placement Options for Select Populations
WRT 1020 (Basic Writing) Writing Placement Questionnaire result of WRT 1020
  • Students completing ESL:  Grade lower than A- in ESL 0079
  • 200-400 SAT Writing or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score
  • 1-15 ACT English subscore
WRT 1050 (Composition I) Writing Placement Questionnaire result of WRT 1050
  • Students completing ESL:  Grade of A- or higher in ESL 0079
  • Transfer students:  18 or more transfer credits
  • 410-610 SAT Writing or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score
  • 16-27 ACT English subscore
WRT 1060 (Composition II)
  • Writing Placement Questionnaire result of WRT 1060 and high school GPA 3.75 or higher
  • Writing Placement Questionnaire result of WRT 1060 and successful completion of Placement Essay Exam if high school GPA is below 3.75
  • Score of 3 on AP English Language and Composition exam
  • 620-800 SAT Writing or Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score
  • 28-36 ACT English subscore

Writing Foundation Satisfied*

  • Score of 4 or 5 on AP English Language and Composition exam
  • Test grade of B on International Baccalaureate Extended Essay (IBEE)
 

*Students receive four credits that satisfy the general education writing foundation requirement, equivalent to WRT 1060.

First Year Advising Center

North Foundation Hall, Room 101
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3227
FYAC@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Orientation & New Student Programs
North Foundation Hall, Room 101
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(248) 370-GOLD
gold@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

First Year Advising Center

North Foundation Hall, Room 101
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3227


Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Orientation & New Student Programs
North Foundation Hall, Room 101
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(248) 370-GOLD
gold@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.