Determining Which Placement Exams to Take

Below is more detail about the placement exam requirements based on your Academic Unit. Please note that each school/college sets its own requirements and ONSP cannot grant you an exception.

A general guide of how to interpret the chart:

Required = your school/college requires you to take the online placement exam. In the case of languages, if you do not have any experience in that language, you are not required to take that language placement exam. Requirement is only if you have prior experience and plan to continue to enroll in that language.

Not required = your school/college does not require you to take the online placement exam.

Encouraged = While not required, if you intend to continue to take coursework in that subject, you should take the exam.





Directed Self-Placement

for Writing




Literature, Science & Arts (LSA)




LSA-Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP)





More Information

The Math Placement is ENCOURAGED for LSA and CSP students who plan to take any Math courses at UM. Even if you have credit for Calculus I, the Math Placement provides information that the Math Department uses to further place students in the appropriate course at UM. 

The Directed Self-Placement for Writing (DSP) is REQUIRED for LSA and CSP students. Even if you have transfer credit, you must either take the First-Year DSP or Transfer DSP. To determine which DSP you should take, visit the Sweetland Center for Writing's website.

A language placement is REQUIRED for LSA and CSP students that have previous experience in a language that they will be continuing to enroll in. Even if you have transfer credit, you should take the language placement if you will be continuing coursework in that language. 

If you have no prior experience, or wish to start a new language to satisfy the LSA Language requirement, you do not need to take the placement and can enroll in the first level course of that language. 

Failure to take placement exams prior to your Academic Advising Date will cause a delay in course registration for that subject and impact the information your Academic Advisor has available to advise you.