Admitted Science Freshmen

Welcome to the College of Sciences! Your journey at ODU has just begun!

Please use this page as a supplement to your Portal checklist for what you need to do as a newly admitted freshman in the College of Sciences.


College of Sciences students take different placement tests than most ODU students. As you have been admitted to the university and accepted your admissions offer, all placement assessod toments are understo fall under the ODU Honor Code and Code of Student Conduct (Section IX, part A).


Aleks Testing Process

Are you ready to be assessed? Most of your placement assessments can be taken from home or another environment of your choice.

1.) ALEKS-PPL Math Placement Test

At least one week before Monarch Orientation

ALEKS Testing Process

IMPORTANT: If you do not complete the ALEKS-PPL process, you will not be able to register for Math or Engineering courses during your orientation which may delay your graduation.

  • Register with ALEKS PPL. The link is provided in a letter from the rim Dean (sent upon confirmation). Only sign up for the "Incoming Engineering Freshmen, Fall 2022" ALEKS modules.
    • Take unproctored pre-Test.

      • Do NOT use a calculator. (ODU does not allow calculators in most math courses.)
      • Consequently, you will not be allowed a calculator to take the proctored exam (if a calculator is needed, ALEKS will provide one).
  • Begin learning modules and complete 20 hours of module work
    • Modules are customized off your Pre-Test and identify areas you need to work on.
      Placement tests

      Most of your placement tests are one attempt. ALEKS-PPL is different. Keep in mind that ALEKS-PPL has an unproctored pre-assessment, practice modules to help you improve, and a proctored post-assessment.
    • To get the most out of the learning modules, we recommend NOT using a calculator.
    • We recommend you work on the modules throughout the week and not cram the 20 hours in 2-3 days.
  • After completing 20 hours of module work, sign up for a proctored exam.
  • Take the proctored exam for ODU Math Placement via Zoom.
    • When taking the exam, you will be required to use your phone with the camera directed at your workspace to ensure you are not using a calculator.

Additional ALEKS Information:

  • The lower the score on the pre-test, the higher the number of study hours needed to prepare students for the math proctored exam. For example, two students who scored below 45 on the pre-test spent approximately 180 study hours during the summer and earned a 30-point gain in their proctored placement test. The improved score placed the 2-3 courses higher in the math sequence.
  • You will have the ability to take a second unproctored exam after 10 hours of module work to see how you are progressing. We encourage you to do this at some point before you take the proctored exam.
  • ALEKS Exemptions
    • If you are transferring Calculus, I credits from another 4-year university, or if you are transferring Calculus I and above courses in the math sequence, you do not need to take a math placement test, please be sure those credits are transferred and inform your academic advisor.
    • If you are transferring only Calculus I through Advance Placement/Dual Enrollment credits, you need to take the proctored exam. If you score 87 or over, you do not need to do 20 hours of module work.
    • If you are transferring Algebra or Pre-Calc I credits from another 4-year institution or through Advance Placement/Dual Enrollment we encourage you to complete 20 hours of the ALEKS PPL as it will prepare you for the rigor of the Math courses sequence and as a result you have the chance to place in higher courses in the Math sequence, saving time and money.
    • Optional: Following Test1 and the completion of a minimum of 20 hours of work on the learning modules, you have the option to take a second, unproctored test (Test2). This second test can inform you of your progress and preparation, but it comes with the requirement that you complete another minimum of 20 hours of work on your learning modules before taking the math proctored placement test. These 20 hours are in addition to the previous 20 hours of work that you have already completed.

2.) Chemistry Placement Test

At least two weeks before Monarch Orientation

The chemistry placement exam is delivered through Blackboard by ODU's chemistry department. This exam is timed and should be done to the best of your ability.

Instructions on how to access the Blackboard learning organization to take your chemistry placement exam can be found here.

3.) WSPT: Writing Placement Test

At least two weeks before Monarch Orientation

Freshmen students without AP, dual enrollment/transfer credit, or CLEP scores satisfying their ENGL110C (English Composition) requirement will need to take the Writing Sample Placement Test.

More information on the WSPT can be found here.

Science Themed Community

Study with students

Live, study, and learn with fellow students in the sciences.

Students who meet the qualifications for the Sciences Themed Community, who are seeking to be immersed in co-curricular activities connected to their career goals should apply for and could be invited to the living and learning community.

Check out the Sciences Themed Community

We also have the following Impact Learning Communities:

  • Premedical
  • Pre-Health
  • Psychology
  • Marine Biology

General freshman housing is available to all students. You can find more information about applying for housing here.

You should have had most of your academic records submitted through admissions, but it is good to double-check.

Academic Documents

  1. High School Transcripts?

    ODU needs in your official high school transcripts as soon as possible. Contact your high school guidance office for information on printing and sending official transcripts.

  2. SAT/ACT Scores?

    SAT and/or ACT scores are an important piece of information that helps ODU build your profile and history as a student. Follow directions from the College Board (for SAT) and the ACT website to make sure you've sent your scores to ODU.

  3. AP, IB, Transfer, or Dual Enrollment Credit?

    Credit earned in high school can help you get ahead in college. Make sure you have sent ODU any documentation of college credit you have earned for verification with our offices. Dual enrollment and transfer credits will require official transcripts from the credit-awarding institution.

    For more information on the assessment credits and scores honored by Old Dominion University, visit the admissions website.

CoS students approach Freshmen Monarch Orientation a little differently!

Monarch Orientation


1.) Make sure that you complete all the placement tests before your Monarch Orientation day

  • -Math placement: at least one week before Monarch Orientation
  • -Spatial Visualization: at least one week before Monarch Orientation
  • -Chemistry: at least two weeks before Monarch Orientation
  • -Writing: at least two weeks before Monarch Orientation

2.) Register for Monarch Orientation.

Head on over to the Monarch Orientation Office's website to learn more and register.


Woman at workstation

It's important to equip yourself with tech that is fully capable of supporting your studies as a College of Sciences student. The University student computing Technology Guidelines can help you determine what you'll need.

Additional Assistance

Looking for additional assistance? Stop by the Advising Center in MGB 236 for advising, help, and resources, or just to say hello!


Your freshman advisors will be at freshman Monarch Orientation to help you prepare for classes this fall. However, any urgent questions prior to Monarch Orientation can be answered by calling the Dean's office or by emailing your advisor.

You are welcome to visit the Advising Center in Mills Godwin Building (MGB) 236 to introduce yourself! We look forward to meeting you!

Want to visit us again?

First Fridays are still open for registration, check out the First Fridays Program page for more information.