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NDSU English Placement Procedures


In accordance with North Dakota University System Policy 402.1.2 and Procedure 402.1.2, the following criteria are used to determine placement of students who have been offered admission to NDSU into entry-level English courses.

  • All students, whether from the United States, Canada or abroad, have the option to take the COMPASS English exam to determine placement or to attempt to place into a higher level English course.

English Placement for U.S. Students, Canadian Students, and U.S. Permanent Residents

The table below lists exam scores and corresponding course placement:

English ACT Sub-test ScoreWriting SATCOMPASS English Test ScoreCourse Placement
13 or lower350 or lower0-40ASC 087: College Writing Prep (NDSCS collaborative)
14-17360-42041-76ENGL 110 with ENGL 100:
College Composition I/Corequisite Writing Lab
18 or higher43077-100ENGL 120: College Composition II

English Placement for International Students

The table below lists ACT and SAT exam scores and corresponding course placement:

Exam TypeLANG 109: Language Use in Writing for ESL IIENGL 112 with ENGL 100:
ESL College Composition I
ENGL 122: ESL College Composition II
ACT English sub-test13 or lower14-1718 or higher
SAT Writing350 or lower360-420430


The table below lists placement exams for International students and corresponding course placement:

Exam TypeLANG 109: Language Use in Writing for ESL IIENGL 112 with ENGL 100:
ESL College Composition I
IELTS (Overall)5.5 or lower6.0 or higher
TOEFL (Composite)70 or lower71 or higher
Pearson (Overall)49 or lower50 or higher
ELS CenterELS 109 or lowerELS 112 Certificate/Completion

Students with College Transfer Coursework or Credit by Examination Placement

Students with prior college coursework, Advanced Placement (AP) or other credit-by-examination (CLEP, IB, DSST) will follow NDSU’s Credit by Examination guidelines for placement into mathematics and English coursework


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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-6200 / Fax: (701) 231-8297
Campus address: Memorial Union 176
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administrative Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5290 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager:Bison Connection

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:54:47 AM