Mathematics General Course Information

The primary goal of mathematics placement is to guide students towards courses that enhance their success in post-secondary mathematics. The process is by no means infallible. Students may be placed into courses in which they may not succeed due to their mathematical background, attitude towards mathematics and extracurricular activities. Other students may be placed below their capabilities. Throughout the placement process, the student should reflect on their personal background and assess which courses they are capable of pursuing.

Please read below for answers to frequently asked questions about placement. For additional information on mathematics placement, please see the Academic Catalog.

Who will need mathematics placement?
Primarily two groups of students entering a SD Regental University will be affected by the placement process: Those students who have not met the general education requirement for mathematics (typically College Algebra); or Those students who wish to enroll in Calculus and wish to challenge the pre-requisite course work (students who bring a strong mathematical history from high school).

What are the instruments used for placement?
A student will be placed via the ACT math sub-score (if the score is less then 5 years old from initial enrollment date), or via the COMPASS exam, which is administered at BHSU. The COMPASS exam is administered on a computer and takes approximately 20 minutes. Students who need to take the COMPASS exam should contact BHSU.

What are the ACT math sub-score cut-offs?
0 - 19 Pre-College Algebra
20 - 24 College Algebra
25 & up Placement into Trig and/or Calculus via COMPASS

Who should take the COMPASS?
Primarily three groups of students will need to take the COMPASS:
Those students who do not have an ACT subscore which is less than five years old from date of enrollment; or Those students who have some additional exposure to algebra and pre-calculus topics and who believe their ACT score does not reflect their knowledge of the subject may challenge their placement via ACT by taking the COMPASS; or those students with an ACT score of 25 or higher.

Where do I take the COMPASS?
At Black Hills State University the COMPASS has been administered through the Office of Academic Support. Please contact the Office of Academic Support at 1(605) 642-6259 to make an appointment. For more information or questions, please e-mail Daluss.Siewert@bhsu.edu. If you are challenging your placement, you may be requested to provide additional information in regard to your mathematical background.

All course descriptions linked to below come from the BHSU 2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog. For helpful information and suggestions for selecting courses, please visit the Advising Help page.

Pre-General Education Courses

For information on university policies concerning completion of these courses, see the Academic Catalog.

General Education Classes

Any of these courses may be used to satisfy the general education mathematics requirement. To see a schedule of when the calculus and statistics classes below will be offered, please see the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Course Rotations document.

Other Mathematics Classes

To see a schedule of when the classes below (except for Math 341/342) will be offered, please see the Mathematics and Mathematics Education Course Rotations document.

A schedule of which mathematics courses (numbered 123 or higher) are offered every semester, as well as recommended schedules for completion for mathematics and mathematics education majors.

Help for planning introductory mathematics classes

Help for planning later mathematics classes

  • Long-term course rotation and suggested schedule
    Not every mathematics course is offered every semester. In order to help you complete your coursework without delays, this document lists the offered courses by semester and contains a schedule for when courses should be completed by mathematics and mathematics education majors.

The following pages provide information on useful resources for mathematics students at BHSU. Click on a link to learn more.

  • Math Assistance Center
    Located in Jonas 154, the Math Assistance Center is available to help math students in courses at all levels. Visit the MAC's webpage for current hours and other information.
  • CAAP/Rising Juniors Exam mathematics review information
    As explained in the academic catalog, all schools in the South Dakota Regental System require students to complete the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) exam at or near the end of their second year of college. The Math Assistance Center and Mathematics Program provide students with review materials and occasional review sessions for the mathematics portion of the exam.
  • Student assistance programs on campus
    Student Support Services can provide math help for eligible students, and the Center for Academic Success provides general academic support for all students. Visit their webpages for more information.
  • MyMathLab
    The online course content system used in several BHSU math courses.