Transfer Credits

If a student has transfer credit for a prerequisite course, he/she may schedule a course regardless of ALEKS score.  Students with GEN transfer credits for courses that may meet pre-requisite skills should have the credits evaluated by the Mathematics Department; contact the Undergraduate Math office.

An adviser should help students with transfer credit determine whether that course left them adequately prepared for the intended course. If the course was completed long ago, students should consider taking the ALEKS placement. If the course was Calculus AB, and the student needs math beyond MATH 140, use Math Advising notes for additional guidance.

Example Advising Situation

Student Question: “I am a Spring transfer to the College of Engineering, and I had some questions about the math placement test.  I received a 73 which does not qualify me for calculus.  I received a 5 on the AP Calculus AB test and feel prepared for Math 141. I think the placement test has not reflected my math experience accurately, as the test only included materials up to pre-calculus which I have not practiced for a few years.  I feel that a remedial course is not necessary for me, and that I would prefer to review past materials independently. I was wondering if it is necessary that I retake the ALEKS assessment, as the highest placement is only Math 140.”

Adviser Answer: “Although you have transfer credit for MATH 140, and could therefore go directly to MATH 141, the ALEKS score suggests you've gotten rusty on your skills, and have lost enough ground to leave you not quite ready for MATH 140. If you go directly into MATH 141 with your current skill set, you will likely find yourself out of practice and needing to do extra work to make up for that. The calculus courses at Penn State require similar knowledge as the AP tests, but there is different emphasis on some skill sets. The ALEKS assessment was geared specifically to test readiness for what you will need to be able to do in Penn State courses. I strongly encourage you to use the ALEKS learning modules to the greatest extent possible, especially if you intend to use your transfer credit for MATH 140 to go directly to MATH 141. Since success in Engineering depends so heavily on strong fundamental math skills- including those you might not have used recently- it's absolutely in your best interest to start courses with the strongest preparation possible.”