Placement Testing for Entering Students

All entering freshmen, as well as transferring students, are required to demonstrate competence in basic skills of reading and mathematics. Foreign language placement testing is required for placement in to some French, German or Spanish classes. 

Mathematics: All entering students must take at least one mathematics placement test, the Basic Algebra Test. If students perform well in that test and hope to enroll in more advanced courses, they may also take the Calculus Readiness Test for higher placement.

The only students exempt from the mathematics placement test are those who transfer in college-level mathematics courses or those with appropriate scores on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.

Reading: The Academic Achievement Center administers a competency test in the basic skill of reading comprehension for entering freshmen with a SAT Critical Reading score less than 500 and an ACT reading score less than 21. Additionally, transfer students without a 100-level college English course (equivalent to TU ENGL 102) and less than 10 units will be required to test.  Students who need to test will be notified through email with instructions on how to register for the Reading Placement Test. Testing must be completed before their first term.

Towson University uses ACCUPLACER® which is a suite of computerized tests that determines knowledge in reading comprehension and various other areas. Students who place into REED 102, which is our reading enhancement course, must complete it by the second term of enrollment.

Exemptions from the reading test are listed below:

  • Critical Reading SAT I score of 500 or above
  • ACT-Reading score of 21 or above
  • Transferring 30 or more units (credits)
  • Non-native English speakers (ESL) who have completed TOEFL
  • Transfer students with 10 or more units and less than 30 units who transfer a 100-level college English course equivalent to ENGL102 with a "C" or better

Updates and exemptions regarding the Reading Placement Test will be reflected on the students “To Do List”.

For additional information, please visit

*The SAT and ACT scores must be officially submitted to Towson University’s Office of Admissions.

Foreign Languages:  Students wishing to enroll in French, German, or Spanish classes at the 100 or 200 level as well as in 301 who do not already have college credit for the language must take the online placement test administered by the Foreign Languages Department.  The link to the placement test can be found on the department website at