Placement Guide and Retro Credits for Foreign Language

Placement Guide and Retro Credits for Foreign Language

Testing Requirements: If students have not met testing or course requirements, they should not enroll for English or math courses.

New Freshmen

New Freshmen are required to submit ACT/SAT scores for admission. Their math and English sub-scores will be used for placement in math and English courses. If students have submitted more than one set of scores, placement will be based on the highest sub-score among all scores received.  Appeals for placement should be directed to the Math and/or English departments.
Additional testing in math may be required (i.e. Arithmetic Skills test).

International students should take the UW Math Placement test. They are not required to take English placement tests. If English is not their first language, they should enroll in English 161 for International Students, a course which will fulfill their English 101 requirement (followed by English 162.)
Non-Traditional Age Students: Students 21 or older who do not have ACT/SAT scores or transfer courses should go to Schedule a Test to schedule a UW Placement test.  There is a $25 fee for each test.
Re-entry Students may have old test formats that need to be interpreted. They should contact the math and English departments for correct placement or permission to take a UW Placement test.  There is a $25 fee for each test.
Students placed in Math 152 may be eligible to take a UW Math Placement test since the ACT/SAT sub-score does not allow a student to test out of this class.  These students must contact the Chair of the Math department for permission to take the test.  There is a $25 fee for this test.

transfer students

Transfer students are not required to submit ACT/SAT scores; their placement into math and English is based on one of the following:
Primary: Coursework from a transfer institution
Secondary: ACT/SAT scores if submitted
UW Placement Tests (if neither of the above are available)-there is a $25 fee for each test.


ACT/SAT Math Sub-score

UW-Whitewater Placement

≤ 14 (SAT 200-340)

Math 40 (may take Arithmetic Skills* Test)

Math 15-18 (SAT 350-450)

Math 41

Math 19-23 (SAT 460-550)

Math 140** or 141

Math 24 and higher (SAT 560+)

Waived from Math 141***

* If taking the Arithmetic Skills Test (please go to Schedule a Test-Departmental Exams)

** Math 140 should only be taken by students who are absolutely certain that they will not be taking higher math, or any courses requiring Math 141 in their curriculum

**If waived from Math 141, students may take Math 143 or Math 152. Students wishing to begin with calculus must meet with the Chair of the math department.

ACT/SAT English Sub-score

UW-Whitewater Placement

≤ 16 (SAT 200-420)

English 90

17-29 (SAT 430-670)

English 101

≥ 30 (SAT 680 +)

English 102 or 105*



English 24 and higher and Honors Eligibility

May take English 105.*

 *English 105 is an Honors course that will cover both English 101 and 102.

foreign language

Students with no previous university level foreign language course work who wish to continue with a language studied in high school, must take the appropriate Foreign Language Placement Exam listed below (for languages not listed below, please contact the Languages and Literature department for assistance). Exam scores indicate appropriate course placement. Native speakers should speak with the Foreign Language Coordinator instead of taking this exam. Students who wish to take a different course than their placement indicates should speak with the Foreign Language Coordinator.




Beginning French

French 141


Beginning French

French 142


Intermediate French

French 251


Intermediate French

French 252

726 and Above

Advanced French

French 321



Beginning German

German 141


Beginning German

German 142


Intermediate German

German 251


Intermediate German

German 252

564 and Above

Advanced German

German 321



Beginning Spanish

Spanish 141


Beginning Spanish

Spanish 142


Intermediate Spanish

Spanish 251


Intermediate Spanish

Spanish 252

601 and Above

Advanced Spanish

Spanish 321

Retroactive Credits in Foreign Language

To earn retroactive credits, students must earn a grade of B or better in a language course numbered 142 or above. They are then eligible for the retro credits for the courses below the course completed. (For example, a student who completes Spanish 251 with an A is eligible to earn 4 credits for Spanish 141 and 4 credits for Spanish 142, earning 8 retro credits). The course that is completed will count for Gen Ed humanities. The retro credits are used for credits toward graduation and will not count toward general education requirements. Retro credits may, however, count in some college, major, or requirements.

Only UW-System courses are eligible for retroactive credits. For courses taken at a non-UW System institution, only retroactive credits that are posted on an official transcript will transfer as credit to UWW.

Students who earn credit through AP exam, must complete a subsequent course at UWW (with a B or better) to be awarded retroactive credits.

Students who are eligible for retroactive credits should fill out the request form at


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