First Year Placement

English Basic Skill Requirement Options

In accordance with NMSU policy, students in all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences must meet the Basic Academic Skills requirements in English. Students must complete, with a C – grade or better, ENGL 111G, ENGL 111H, or ENGL 111M prior to enrolling in upper division courses numbered 300 or higher. Students whose ACT or other test scores require them to take developmental English courses must complete those courses prior to enrolling in ENGL 111. Students may satisfy basic skills requirements in English by scoring 30 or higher on ACT English exams; however, these students must still take ENGL 111. If you are a multilingual student, please read the section below.

First Year Writing Placement

Students must earn credit for Rhetoric and Composition ENGL 111 by one of these options:

ENGL 111G (gen ed) or ENGL 111GH (honors) or ENGL 111M (multilingual writers). Students may satisfy English basic skills by passing ENGL 111G, ENGL 111H, or ENGL 111M with a grade of C- or higher.

Students are placed in their initial English class based on their English ACT or SAT score. 

  • An English ACT score of 16 or an SAT score of 430 or higher qualifies students for English 111G, Rhetoric and Composition
  • An English ACT score of 25 or an SAT score of 580 or higher qualifies students to take ENGL 111H, Rhetoric and Composition-Honors
  • Students with English ACT score lower than 16 or an SAT score lower than 430 must complete developmental English coursework prior to enrolling into ENGL 111G, Rhetoric and Composition.
  • Multilingual students who passed the TOEFL exam with an acceptable score will be placed into ENGL 111M.

Students who score 13 to 15 on the ACT English exam must pass one developmental English course (such as CCDE 110) before enrolling in ENGL 111. Students who score 12 or below on the ACT English exam must pass a developmental English course (such as CCDE 110) before enrolling in ENGL 111.

Students who wish to contest their placement can inquire about the possibility of writing an alternative placement essay by contacting the Writing Program Administrator, Lauren Rosenberg (laurenr@nmsu.edu).

Advanced Placement Credit

Students may receive advanced placement credit for ENGL 111G, ENGL 111H, or ENGL 111M by scoring 4 or 5 on the English Advanced Placement Exam.

CLEP Credit

Students may earn credit for ENGL 111G by taking the College Level Examination Program subject exam in freshman college composition with a score of 57 (top quartile) or higher. Official scores must be sent to NMSU if the test was taken elsewhere.

Transfer Students

Like all students at NMSU, transfer students must meet basic skills requirements in English by their second semester and before taking courses 300-level or above. Transfer students may enroll in upper division courses the first semester at NMSU without having met these requirements, but if these requirements are not met during the second semester, subsequent enrollment in upper division courses (300+) will be denied.

Students may receive credit for ENGL 111 by transferring 3 or more credits of college-level English composition with a grade of C- or above from accredited institutions. Students who earned credit for a college-level English composition course with a grade of C- or higher from a non-accredited institution, can write an alternative placement essay. Students who do not have available ACT or SAT scores, can write an alternative placement essay. The alternative placement essay is assigned by the Writing Program Administrator, Lauren Rosenberg. (laurenr@nmsu.edu).

Multilingual Students

Multilingual students who passed the TOEFL or IELTS exam with an acceptable score (see Office of International Student and Scholar Services) will take the English Language Placement Test, which will determine their placement into the appropriate course. Multilingual students must pass ENGL 111M with a grade of C- or above for their basic skills requirement in English.