Can I get Credit for AP, IB, or Transfer Courses?

Students often approach advisors to find out whether they can get credit for work done prior to matriculation. This includes advanced placement exams, international baccalaureate programs, and coursework completed at previous institutions. While advisors can help students explore this topic, it is ultimately the Registrar’s Office that decides whether to award AP, IB, and Transfer credit.

We offer some general guidelines here, but please check the Registrar's pages below for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Registrar Resources

Advanced Placement - Overview
Advanced Placement - Credit and Course Placement Chart
International Baccalaureate Credit and Placement Chart
General Certification of Education "A" Levels, French Baccalaureate, and German Abitur
Transfer Credit Overview

General Guidelines for AP Credit

  • Stanford awards credit for certain AP exams, but not all of them. Check the AP Credit Chart to see whether you can get credit for your AP exam, and what score you need in order to get credit.
  • For certain AP language exams, a score of 4 will fulfill your Undergraduate Language Requirement, but will not award you any units of credit. A score of 5 will both fulfill the language requirement and earn you 10 units of credit. See the AP Credit Chart above for more details.
  • If you take a Stanford class that duplicates the same material as an AP exam, you will earn units for the Stanford class but lose some or all of your AP units in that subject. Be sure to check the list of duplicating courses on the AP Credit Chart.
  • To request AP credit, contact the College Board to have your scores sent to Stanford. For incoming frosh, if your scores do not appear on your transcript by late September, submit a Service Now Ticket to alert the Registrar of your issue.
  • Check out the Registrar's Advanced Placement - Overview page for more information about AP exam credit, including important updates on how the College Board delivers scores and how this might affect you.

General Guidelines for IB Credit

  • Stanford awards credit only for certain higher level (HL) IB exams with a score of 5 or higher. Check the IB Credit Chart to see whether you can get credit for your IB exam.
  • A score of 5 or higher on the accepted IB language exams will also fulfill your Undergraduate Language Requirement.
  • If you take a Stanford class that duplicates the same material as your IB exam, you will earn units for the Stanford class but lose some or all of your IB units in that subject. Be sure to check the list of duplicating courses on the IB Credit Chart.
  • To request IB credit, contact the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to request that your IB scores be sent to Stanford.

General Guidelines for International Advanced Placement Exams

  • Stanford awards credit for certain international advanced placement exams such as the Caribbean Advanced Placement Exam (CAPE), the General Certification of Education 'A' Levels, the German Abitur, the French Baccalaureate, the National Pan-Hellenic Exam, and the Singapore A Levels.
  • Only exams in certain subjects may receive credit. See the International Advanced Placement Exam Chart to see whether you can get credit for your exam.
  • If you take a Stanford class that duplicates the same material as your international advanced placement exam, you will earn units for the Stanford class but lose some or all of your international advanced placement exam units in that subject.
  • To request international advanced placement exam credit, bring your original exam certificate to the Student Services Center, 2nd Floor, Tresidder Union.

General Guidelines for Transfer Credit

  • In general, you may receive transfer credit for outside courses that have a substantial content overlap with a matching Stanford course.
  • You will need to fill out a transfer credit request eForm, identify a matching Stanford course, and include a course description or a course syllabus from the outside institution. You will also need to provide Stanford with an official college transcript from the outside institution.
  • If you would like to receive credit for college-level coursework that appears on your high school transcript, you must have a high school official (e.g., guidance counselor, registrar, principal, etc.) email transfercredit@lists.stanford.edu to identify these courses and confirm that they were not used towards any of your high school graduation requirements.
  • Receiving transfer credit for a course does not guarantee that it can be used to fulfill your major requirements. Be sure to check in with your major department to see what their policy is on transfer credit and major requirements.
  • Check out these Registrar pages below for more detailed information about the transfer credit process and instructions on how to submit a transfer credit request.
Transfer Credit Overview
Transfer Credit Policies
Transfer Credit Procedures
Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Considerations

Keep in mind that you are only allowed to count a maximum of 45 units of AP, IB, and Transfer Credit towards the 180 units you need for graduation. (If you are a transfer student, your AP, IB, and Transfer Credit maximum is 90 units.) If you have more than the maximum number of AP, IB, and Transfer Credit units to report, consult with your Academic Advisor about how best to proceed, especially if you are trying to use some of these transfer units to fulfill major requirements.

If you are trying to use AP, IB, or Transfer Credit to fulfill a major requirement, getting the Registrar to approve your transfer units is a necessary first step, but it's not enough! In most cases you will also have to request your department's permission to use these transfer units to fulfill your major requirements. This may involve a separate petition process with its own paperwork-- check in with your department for details.

Got Questions?

The Registrar's Office assists students through the Student Services Center, which is on the second floor of Tresidder Union. If you have questions about AP, IB, or transfer credit, you may visit the Student Services Center in person, or file a Service Now ticket to reach them electronically.

See Also