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 California State University, Fullerton



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Placement Exams

In many subjects of study at CSUF, there are multiple classes in which you may begin your studies depending upon your previous experience and studies. The University has developed placement examinations that may be used to determine the best starting point for you. It is essential that you be placed in the right course! Starting out too low where you will not learn anything new is a waste of time. Starting out too high can be frustrating and stressful.

For the Computer Science undergraduate student, there are two important placement exams: the Computer Science Placement Examination, and the Mathematics Qualifying Examination.

Computer Science Placement Exams

Our curriculum begins with a three course sequence, CPSC 120, 121, 131, covering concepts of programming and data structures. You may have gained knowledge of these topics in a variety of ways. We want to position you properly in this sequence.

There are several ways to establish your proper placement:

1. You may have transferred in courses you have taken elsewhere.
2. You may have submitted Advanced Placement scores on one of the AP tests for Computer Science.
3.You may establish your knowledge of subject matter i one or more of these courses by taking a challenge exam.  Consult the department for current deadlines.
4.You may take the Computer Science Placement Examination to waive one or more of these courses. Consult the on-line Registration Guide for exam dates.

If you take the placement exam and receive a waiver in one or more of these courses, you will have to take additional elective course work to satisfy the 124 unit graduation requirement.  For additional information, please contact the Computer Science Department Office (CS-522, 657-278-3700,

Advanced Placement Examination Scores

If you earned the following AP scores, unit and course credit will be applied as follows:

AP Exam Title Score Units Credit

Computer Science A
3 or 4 3 CPSC 120
5 6 CPSC 120 and 121


Mathematics Qualifying Examination (MQE)

Before enrolling in Math 150A, you must either have recently passed Math 125 (Pre-calculus), or an equivalent course at another institution, or take the Mathematics Qualifying Exam. Additional information on this exam is available in the online registration guide, and from the Fullerton Testing Center, University Hall 229, and (657) 278-3838.