For High School Students

To better help your college bound students, the Mathematics and Statistics Department has created this document with information about the requirements regarding the mathematics classes students will be taking their first year at UNM. We look forward to a much closer relationship with all the high schools around the state. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Entry Level Courses and Core Curriculum

Our course numbering is as follows:

IS Math 100 - Elementary Algebra * Stat 145 - Introduction to Statistics
Math 120 - Intermediate Algebra Math 150 - Pre-Calculus
Math 121 - College Algebra Math 162 - Calculus I
Math 123 - Trigonometry Math 163 - Calculus II
Math 129 - Survey of Mathematics Math 180 - Elements of Calculus I

*This course is offered through Introductory Studies in the University College.
Please contact University College 277-9302.

All undergraduate students must complete a Core Curriculum for a bachelor's degree at UNM. The mathematics requirement for the Core Curriculum is one course chosen from Math 121,129, 150, 162, 163, 180, 215 or Stat 145.

Be advised that some colleges and schools at UNM require at least two mathematics courses for their programs.

A large percentage of freshmen admitted to UNM are placed by their ACT/SAT scores in IS Math100 and Math 120. Notice that these courses do not satisfy the mathematics requirement for any program at UNM. Please emphasize to your students that, if placed in those courses, they will spend one or two semesters taking classes that will not count towards their degree. This should motivate them to take algebra and additional math courses while still in high school!

Core Course flowchart





This flow chart represents the sequences available for taking the math core classes.

Placement Scores

The following ACT & SAT placement scores were instituted in 2003.  Latest (rather than highest) ACT/SAT scores will be used.

NOTE: The Department of Mathematics and Statistics does not offer any departmental placement tests.

Course     ACT   SAT
IS Math 100: Math & Intro Algebra  11-18 220-440
Math 120: Intermediate Algebra 19-21 450-500
Math 121: College Algebra 22-24 510-560
Math 123: Trigonometry 25-27 570-630
Math 129: Survey of Mathematics 22-24 510-560
Math 150: Pre-Calculus  25-27 570-630
Math 162: Calculus * 28+ 640+
Math 180: Elements of Calculus 26+  600+
Stat 145: Introduction to Statistics 22-24 510-560
 * Students must take Trigonometry or the Trigonometry compass exam. Score of ACT 32 or SAT 700 will waive Math 123 or Trigonometry Compass.

Note that to take a core math class, students must have at least a 22 on their ACT (or 510 on SAT).

More information can be found on our Placement & Sequencing Page.

Mathematics Classes in High School

We strongly recommend that high school students take math classes their junior and senior year. It has been documented that students who take a math class right before starting college are more likely to succeed not only in their math classes but overall at the university.

If you think it would be useful for one of our faculty to come over to your school and talk to your junior class about math placement at UNM, we would be happy to arrange it. Please talk to one of our contact people to set up a time to visit your school.

Placement Exam

Students new to UNM can challenge their math placement within two weeks of the beginning of the semester by taking the COMPASS exam administered by testing services. Please note that, since placement is based on most recent scores, a student may actually be placed lower by the COMPASS exam than by the ACT/SAT. For more information call Testing Services at 277 5345. Students are only allowed to take the compass exam one time.