Placement and Prerequisites

Placement is a process of assessing your knowledge and abilities to ensure you are successful in Shoreline classes. Assessment can include reviewing your past course work (transcripts) or previous assessment test scores, taking a placement exam, or even evaluating skills gained through your work history. Many classes require your assessment level be on file before you can register for them.

What are prerequisites?

If a course has "prerequisites," then you need to meet certain requirements to register for that course. You can meet prerequisites by completing courses either here or at Shoreline, or through placement. For a limited set of classes, you will not be able to register until you have met prerequisites. Note that prerequisites need not be completed at Shoreline; courses completed at another college may also be accepted.

Where do I start?

There are many ways to identify your appropriate placement into Shoreline courses. Bring proof of all the relevant option/s below and meet with an advisor. Your advisor will use your placement results to determine the best courses for your next quarter. Please contact an advisor to get started.

If you have credits from a Washington State Community or Technical College, you can use course equivalencies* for placement and to meet prerequisites.

If you went to another college, you can use your transcript* for placement and to meet prerequisites.

* For math placement, courses need to have been successfully completed within the last two years.

If you have evidence of placement from any Washington State Community or Technical College from the last two years, you can be placed into the equivalent course at Shoreline. Contact or the relevant department or more information.

Scores on your Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests may be used to fulfill prerequisites or as college credit towards your degree.

Shoreline can accept SAT or ACT scores as placement into college-level English and/or math.

If you took the GED within the last two years, you can use your scores for placement.

You have several options for demonstrating English Proficiency. Note that the Directed Self-Placement for English is currently not available for international students.

There are several options for math placement (see information on this page) including ALEKS for math.

You can also receive placement and/or credit for other subjects based on Advanced Placement (AP) scores.

To be eligible for Running Start, you need placement into English 101, using either:

Running Start applicants are not eligible to determine placement using Directed Self-Placement. Contact the Running Start office in Room 5229 or at

If you took a Smarter Balanced Assessment, you may be able to use the scores to determine readiness for English and Math.

If you are attending or graduated from a high school in the last five years, you may be able to use your high school transcripts to determine placement in math and/or English.

If you’re interested in taking English as a Second Language (ESL) classes or getting your high school diploma or GED, contact Transitional Studies for placement options by emailing or by calling (206) 705-8725.

Please Note: If you are an International Student or on an F-1, J-1 visa, please see the placement options for International Students or contact International Education.

The Directed Self-Placement (DSP) assessment for English can be completed from any location at any time.

The ALEKS assessment for Math is available online. Check out the ALEKS Math Placement page for more information.

There are many other options for placement if you have evidence of your abilities. Contact the relevant department or an advisor for more information.

Not placed into the right math class? Want to brush-up on arithmetic, pre-algebra, and/or algebra topics you have forgotten? Then the two-credit MATH 7 course might just be the class for you.

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Advising Services

FOSS (5000) Building, Room 5229
(206) 546-4559
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