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Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Advanced Placement


CONTENTS       The College Board Advanced Placement Program
Submitting scores
Placement and/or credit
Total credits allowed
Transfer students
    Counting transferred AP credit toward requirements
    The current transfer policy is retroactive
Department policies
FCAS Guidelines on AP, IB, and Satisfactory Progress

The College Board Advanced Placement Program

    The College Board's Advanced Placement Program gives students the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school. A participating high school offers one or more CB Advanced Placement courses in topics such as calculus, English composition, European history, and French. Students who complete a course may pay a fee and take the Advanced Placement examination. Students' scores in these exams, which range from a high of AP-5 to a low of AP-1, are sent to the colleges or universities to which they are applying for admission.

Further information about the College Board Advanced Placement program is available at their website.

  
  

Submitting scores

    The Admissions Office accepts AP scores sent directly from the College Board. If the student didn't list UW as a recipient college when taking the exam, the student can ask to have scores sent to the UW at the College Board website.

UW locates a student's scores using the student's social security number. If the student didn't provide a SSN when taking the exam, the UW probably has the score but the student or an adviser needs to notify the Office of Admissions that the score is there.

  
  

Placement and/or credit

    The relevant UW department determines whether the student will receive:
  • Advanced placement (i.e., exemption from courses) but no credit, or
  • Advanced placement and credit, or
  • Credit only.

In some cases the student must consult directly with the departmental adviser to receive credit and/or advanced placement. In other cases (i.e., when specific courses are shown in the list below) the student will automatically receive credit and need not see the departmental adviser.

  
  

Total credits allowed

    AP credit awards are recorded on a student's UW transcript as extension credit. A maximum of 90 extension credits may count toward a bachelor's degree. See Residence Credit Requirement for more information about extension credit.
  
  

Transfer students

    Before autumn 1999, AP credit was awarded according to the policy at UW, regardless of the amount of credit awarded elsewhere.

The UW now accepts credit awarded by another college for College Board AP scores of 3 or higher, even if the UW would not have granted credit for the score. All such credit transfers as UW 999, 998, etc. In addition to an official transcript showing the credit awarded by the other college, the student must submit an official copy of the AP score. (A record of the score on a transcript from the other college is not sufficient.)

Such credit is transferred only if it is in excess of the credit that the UW awards for the student's AP score. For example, a student with an AP score of 4 in European History would be awarded 5 credits for HIST 113 by the UW. If the student's previous college awarded 10 credits, the student would be allowed 5 credits of UW 999 plus 5 credits of HIST 113 awarded by the UW.

This policy applies only to students who receive the AP credit from another college before the student ever attends the UW. It does not apply, for example, to a student who (1) attends the UW, then (2) transfers to another college which grants the student additional credit for his/her AP scores, then (3) returns to the UW. Such a student would not be awarded the additional AP credit.

Counting transferred AP credit toward requirements

AP UW 999 credit awarded for a score on the English language or English literature exam counts only as elective credit; it does not count toward the English composition requirement, the additional writing requirement, or Areas of Knowledge.

AP UW 999 credit in calculus cannot be used for placement into a UW math course, but can count toward the Q/SR and/or Natural World requirements.

AP UW 999 credit in a foreign language does not by itself satisfy the Arts and Sciences foreign language requirement, and may not be used for placement into a UW foreign language course. The credit can otherwise be treated as if it is at the level of the third quarter of the language; that is, the credit can count toward VLPA unless it is the same language that the student is using to satisfy the Arts and Sciences foreign language requirement.

UW 999 credit in other subjects may be counted toward the appropriate Area of Knowledge, as determined by an adviser.

In all cases, a DARS exception will be necessary if the 999 credit is to count toward a requirement.

The current transfer policy is retroactive.

The Admissions Office will accept additional credit granted for AP scores for students who entered the UW before autumn 1999 if the situation is brought to their attention. If the student has not already done so, s/he must provide an official transcript showing the credit awarded by the other college, and an official copy of the AP score.
  
  

Department policies

    For the current policies of various Arts and Sciences departments regarding exemption from courses and awarding of Advanced Placement credit, see AP Credit Policies.

Previous award policies

UW's current AP awards may be more generous than earlier awards in the same subject. When this is the case, the student is allowed the current award regardless of what the award was when the student took the AP exam or when the student was admitted to the UW. If a student doesn't have the current award posted contact the Office of Admissions. EXCEPTION: English AP awards are an exception. The English awards have changed several times in the past 20 years, and students with old scores are NOT allowed to claim the current award. Consult the table below for English AP awards.

ENGLISH

ExaminationAP scoreCourse(s) and creditsCounts towardComments

Students admitted summer 2008 or later

English language & composition4 or 5ENGL 190 (5 credits)VLPANOTE: ENGL 190 & 191 are not in the UW curriculum. These numbers were created only for English AP credit.
English literature & composition4 or 5ENGL 191 (5 credits)VLPA

Students admitted summer 2003 through spring 2008

English language4 or 5ENGL 109 (5 credits)VLPA 
English literature4 or 5ENGL 109 (5 credits)VLPA
Both tests4 or 5ENGL 109 (10 credits)VLPANOTE: There is no ENGL 109 in the UW curriculum. This number was created only for English AP credit.

Students admitted summer 1999 though spring 2003

English language4 or 5ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition 
English literature4 or 5ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition
Both tests4 or 5ENGL 111, 131 (10 credits)English composition

Students admitted autumn 1986 through spring 1999

English language3, 4, 5ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition 
English literature3, 4, 5ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition
Both tests3, 4, 5ENGL 111, 131 (10 credits)English composition

Students admitted spring 1985-summer 1986

Language and composition5ENGL 111, 131 (or 181) (10 credits)English composition 
4ENGL 111, 171 (8 credits)English composition
3ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition
Composition and literature5ENGL 111, 131 (or 181) (10 credits)English composition
4ENGL 111, 171 (8 credits)English composition
3ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition

Students admitted before spring 1985

Language and composition5ENGL 111, 131 (or 181) (10 credits)English composition 
4ENGL 111, 171 (8 credits)English composition
3ENGL 111 (5 credits)English composition
Composition and literature5ENGL 111, 131 (or 181) (10 credits)English composition
4ENGL 111, 171 (8 credits)English composition
3ENGL 171 (3 credits)English composition

  
  

FCAS Guideslines on AP, IB, and Satisfactory Progress

   

In May 2011, the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS) adopted new guidelines for how AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits should impact satisfactory progress decisions (e.g., granting pre-major extensions, admitting to majors, and approving graduation plans that extend beyond the 210-credit limit). Those guidelines are available on the FCAS website (pdf).