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Placement Information

math class

You must have a math/stat placement result to take any mathematics or statistics course during your time at Swarthmore. We have three exams that help us determine which math/stat course you should take first:  the Math/Stat Readiness Exam, the Calculus Placement Exam, and the Statistics Placement Exam. These exams can be found on Moodle: log into your Moodle account and search for placement exam or readiness exam. Below details which exam(s) you should take.

  • All incoming first-year students, regardless of whether they plan to take math/stat at Swarthmore, should take the Math/Stat Readiness Exam.

  • Already taken some calculus (but do not have Calculus AP/IB credit)? In addition to taking the Math/Stat Readiness Exam
  • Already taken some calculus and have AP/IB credit?  We strongly recommend, but do not require, that you take the Calculus Placement Exam as outlined above to find your most appropriate placement. 
  • Interested in Linear Algebra with Theory (Math 028)? In addition to the above, take Section IV of the Calculus Placement Exam.
  • Already learned some statistics? In addition to the above, take the Statistics Placement Exam for possible placement out of Stat 011.

Already taken linear algebra, multivariable calculus, or other math/stat courses? In addition to the above, contact the placement advisor at about further placement.

Placement results will be available on mySwarthmore by Orientation Week. Note that you will only be able to register for the courses listed in your mySwarthmore portal. Your scores on our placement tests are merely a starting point in a conversation to help determine the best first course for you.  We encourage you to contact the placement advisor if you want to register for a course not listed. There is additional information from our department here.   Questions? Contact the department math/stat placement advisor at


Credit and placement is awarded as described below. Students who are eligible for credit for a course because of an AP/IB exam but who take the course anyway will forfeit the exam-based credit. We recommend that students with AP or IB credit also take the Calculus Placement Exam to get the most appropriate placement.




This exam has two scores, an AB subscore and a score for the BC exam as a whole. The possible credit earned by the AB subscore is as above. The possible credit earned by the score on the BC exam as a whole is given below. Should the credit earned by the two scores differ, students will be awarded the better of the two possibilities.

  • BC Score: 4 or 5
    Two credits for Math 015 and 025 and placement into Math 027.


The International Baccalaureate Higher Level math curriculum does not exactly correspond to the first year calculus sequence offered at Swarthmore College.  The credit and placement listed below may work well for many students, but we strongly urge incoming students to take the Readiness Exam and the Calculus Placement Exam in order to determine more accurately the correct math course for them.