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Undergraduate Test Credit

Summary

Stanford undergraduates may submit scores for certain advanced-level secondary school exams to be awarded units toward their bachelor's degree. These test credits count, along with college transfer credit, toward the total allowed number of external units. Accepted exam boards and subject tests are specific to a student's matriculation year and re-evaluated annually by academic departments. Credit is calculated and awarded by the Office of the University Registrar, department of Degree Progress.

Policy Statement

Stanford University allows up to 45 units of external credit (90 units for transfer admits) toward graduation, consisting of college-level transfer credit and exam credit completed prior to high school graduation. The examination boards, scores, and unit awards available for potential external exam credit are predetermined by the university and academic departments. 

The faculty of a given department determine if any credit in their discipline, counting toward the 180-unit bachelor’s degree requirement, can be fulfilled via college-level external test credit taken during high school. Those Stanford departments electing to accept external test credit are bound by these university policies when creating test rules for a given academic year:

  1. Credit is generally granted for a CollegeBoard Advanced Placement (AP) score of 4 or 5, or equivalent scoring rubric on other (domestic or international) exams. No more than 10 quarter units may be given for performance in a single examination.

  2. It is at the discretion of departments whether or not to award credit by exam for scores of 3 on AP (or equivalent exam). No credit may be authorized for a score lower than AP 3 or equivalent.

  3. Departments will review their credit by exam awards annually; students will be granted credit by exam based on the policies effective during their matriculation year at Stanford.

Specific combinations of exams and scores are considered to be equivalent to certain Stanford courses, and enrolling in Stanford courses at an equivalent or lower level than awarded test credit is considered a duplication of work; in the event that an enrolled and graded course is found to duplicate awarded exam credit, the external units will be removed from the student’s transcript. Furthermore, students may only receive units for one external exam per subject.

Credit awards for external examinations are sometimes used as guidelines by academic departments in order to determine appropriate placement for continuing coursework in a given subject. However, credit by exam is not a guarantee that a student will be placed in the subsequent course within a subject. Course placement is administered entirely by the academic department, and all subjects except where noted require a separate placement diagnostic for continuation of coursework in that subject.

The charts below list all Stanford-approved instances of external exams, test scores, credit awards, and equivalent courses effective this Bulletin year.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

College Board®

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

CALCULUS AB**
(or AB Subscore)

5

6

MATH 19, 20

CALCULUS BC**

5

10

MATH 19, 20, 21

4

6

MATH 19, 20

CHEMISTRY

4

5

CHEM 31A

5

10

CHEM 31A, 31B, 31M

CHINESE
LANGUAGE & CULTURE *

5

10

CHINLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A. 2A

COMPUTER SCIENCE A

4,5

5

CS 101, 105, 106A

Placement: CS106B or 106AX

COMPUTER SCIENCE PRINCIPLES

4,5

5

CS 101, 105

Placement: CS106A

FRENCH LANGUAGE *

5

10

FRENLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

ITALIAN
LANGUAGE & CULTURE *

5

10

ITALLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

GERMAN LANGUAGE*

5

10

GERLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

JAPANESE
LANGUAGE & CULTURE *

5

10

JAPANLNG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

LATIN
(LITERATURE OR VERGIL) *

5

10

CLASSICS 1L, 2L, 3L

PHYSICS C - MECHANICS***

5

4

PHYSICS 21, 41

4

4

PHYSICS 21

PHYSICS C - ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM***

5

4

PHYSICS 23,  43

4

4

PHYSICS 23

PHYSICS 1 & 2***
(Both required for credit award)

9,10

8

PHYSICS 21, 23

8

4

PHYSICS 21

SPANISH (LANGUAGE)*

5

10

SPANLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

* Scores of 4 on AP language exams will be accepted in fulfillment of the foreign language requirement; however, units will not be awarded to the student transcript.

** Students are eligible for a credit award from only one AP Mathematics score:Calculus AB (or AB subscore as applicable), or Calculus BC. Students who submit passing scores for both exams will receive only the award for the highest level test.

*** Students are eligible for a credit award from only one AP Physics score: Physics 1 & 2, or Physics C (one or both tests). Students who submit passing scores for Physics 1 & 2 and Physics C will have the higher-level credit posted regardless of unit quantity. Students who wish to have their Physics 1 & 2 credit posted instead should contact Degree Progress in the Office of the Registrar.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam Credit

International Baccalaureate Organization

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

CHEMISTRY

5 ≤

10

CHEM 31A & 31B

COMPUTER SCIENCE

5 ≤

5

CS 101, 105, 106A

Placement: CS106B or 106AX

CHINESE (A OR B)1

5 ≤

10

CHINLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

CLASSICAL GREEK (HL)

5 ≤

10

CLASSICS 1L, 2L, 3L

FRENCH (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

FRENLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

GERMAN (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

GERLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

JAPANESE (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

JAPANLNG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

KOREAN (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

KORLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

LATIN (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

CLASSICS 1L, 2L, 3L

MATHEMATICS: ANALYSIS & APPROACHES

6 ≤

6

MATH 19, 20

PHYSICS

6 ≤

8

PHYSICS 21, 23

5

4

PHYSICS 21

PORTUGUESE (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

PORTLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

RUSSIAN (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

SLAVLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

SPANISH (A OR B)*

5 ≤

10

SPANLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

* A score of 5 or higher on this test fulfills the Language Requirement.

A-Levels (Advanced Levels)/British GCE (General Certificate of Education)

OFQUAL.gov.uk

NOTE: This chart applies to British A-Levels, as well as exams in other countries offered by  Oxford/Cambridge or equivalent boards (countries include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cameroon, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Seychelles, Pakistan - please contact the Office of the Registrar to confirm guidelines for other GCEs not listed here)

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

CHEMISTRY

A-D

10

CHEM 31A & 31B

COMPUTING

A-D

5

CS 101, CS 105, 106A

Placement: CS106B/106X

ARABIC

A, B

10

ARABLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

CHINESE

A, B

10

CHINLANG1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

FRENCH

A, B

10

FRENLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

GERMAN

A, B

10

GERLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

HINDI

A, B

10

SPECLANG 152A, 152B, 152C

ITALIAN

A, B

10

ITALLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

JAPANESE

A, B

10

JAPANLNG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

LATIN

A, B

10

CLASSICS 1L, 2L, 3L

MATHEMATICS

A, B

6

MATH 19, 20

FURTHER MATH

A only

6

MATH 19, 20

PHYSICS

A, B

8

PHYSICS 21, 23

PORTUGUESE

A, B

10

PORTLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

SPANISH

A, B

10

SPANLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

TAMIL

A, B

10

SPECLANG 162A, 162B, 162C

URDU

A, B

10

SPECLANG 218A, 218B, 218C

State A-Levels (Advanced Levels) - H2 (higher) levels only

Individual Nations’ Ministries of Education

NOTE: This chart applies to state-administered A-levels, which may but will not necessarily match Cambridge syllabi. (Countries include Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritius - please contact the Office of the Registrar to confirm guidelines for other non-British-standard A-levels not listed here)

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

CHEMISTRY

A, B

10

CHEM 31A & 31B

COMPUTING

A

5

CS 101, 105, 106A

Placement: CS106B or 106AX

FRENCH

A, B

10

FRENLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

GERMAN

A, B

10

GERLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

JAPANESE

A, B

10

JAPANLNG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

MATHEMATICS

A

10

MATH 19, 20, 21

B

6

MATH 19, 20

PHYSICS

A, B

8

PHYSICS 21, 23

Caribbean Advanced Placement Exam (CAPE)

Caribbean Examinations Council

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

CHEMISTRY
Units 1 & 2

1-3

10

CHEM 31A & 31B

MATHEMATICS

1

10

MATH 19, 20, 21

PHYSICS (Unit 1)

1-3

4

PHYSICS 21

PHYSICS (Unit 2)

1-3

4

PHYSICS 23

National Examinations in World Languages (NEWL)

American Councils for International Education (Endorsed by College Board)

A score of 4 or 5 on this test fulfills the Language Requirement. A score of 5 is required to receive 10 quarter units of credit.

SUBJECT

SCORE

QUARTER UNITS

DUPLICATING COURSES

ARABIC

5

10

ARABLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

KOREAN

5

10

KORLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

PORTUGUESE

5

10

PORTLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

RUSSIAN

5

10

SLAVLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A

Contact Information

Degree Progress, Office of the University Registrar