Students who begin their college careers at New Paltz are assigned a placement level for composition, mathematics and foreign language based on their preparation in high school and exam scores.

Composition Placement

First year students are placed into an English Composition course based on work completed in high school and exam scores. The placement determines which section of composition is appropriate for them:

Mathematics Placement

Entering students are given a Math Placement Level (MPL) based on their high school record (if freshmen) or college record (if transfers). All courses in the GEIII Math category require a minimum MPL of 3. Students who are assigned an MPL lower than 3 may:

  • Consult with the Math Placement Specialist at orientation to see if the level can be raised based on work completed after acceptance, or
  • Take a course at New Paltz to raise the level, or
  • Take a Math placement exam. Math placement exams are given by the Mathematics Department at the beginning of each semester.

Foreign Language Placement

Students are placed into the appropriate level of a foreign language course based on their prior experience in that language, through either high school instruction or AP, IB or college courses.

Students may begin a new language to meet the Foreign Language Requirement at New Paltz. Students without prior experience in a language begin in the Elementary 1 (101) level of that language and must complete Elementary 1 and Elementary 2 to complete the GE requirement.

The Foreign Language Requirement is met for students who previously earned college credit for Elementary 1 and Elementary 2, Elementary 2 and Intermediate 1, or Intermediate 1 or higher, if they have their official college transcripts or AP or IB exam scores sent to the Office of Admissions by the mid-point of their first semester at New Paltz. (Note: Students who have college credit for Elementary 1 must continue on to Elementary 2; students who have college credit for Elementary 2 must continue on to Intermediate 1.)