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Running Start, AP, IB, & CIH Credits

If you are entering the UW with college credits, you were admitted through the freshman admission process, and in most ways you are freshmen, but in credits you may be sophomores or juniors. You may be wondering how these credits work with the UW's academic satisfactory progress regulations, which specify how and when you are required to declare a major and complete your undergraduate degree.

Declaring a major

Students admitted through a freshmen application are expected to declare a major by the time they have completed five academic quarters (not including summer quarters) and earned 105 credits. Thus, no matter how many credits you enter with, you will have five quarters at UW before you need to declare a major, even if your credit total exceeds 105 credits. You may declare a major sooner if you are ready.

Graduation

Since Autumn 2012, all students who entered as freshmen (i.e., used the freshman application regardless of advanced credit standing) are allowed to spend up to 12 academic quarters to graduate and complete their degree, regardless of how many total credits they have earned and even if they go beyond the normal credit limit of 210. You may graduate sooner depending on your major and course choices.

Calculating your GPA

Running Start, AP, & IB courses are not calculated as UW-attempted credits and will not have an impact on your UW GPA. However, credits obtained through the College in the High School program are considered to have been obtained as a UW course, and will count in your UW-attempted credits total.

Satisfactory Progress

Students who have completed 105 or more credits and 5 or more quarters, but have not declared a major, will receive a registration hold and will not be allowed to register for the next quarter until they meet with an adviser to file paperwork that documents their major exploration plans.

Once you declare a major, you may need to create a graduation plan. At around 135 credits some departments may require a graduation plan from students in their major, which is a listing of all the courses you plan to take until you graduate. This work is done in collaboration with department advisers, as general advisers don't have specific information about the departmental requirements you need to create a plan. 

Transferring your credits

To look up how your transfer courses, AP credits, or IB credits are evaluated, you can consult the various equivalency guides in use by the UW (see below). If you see 1xx and 2xx listed, that means that the course transferred, but there is no exact UW equivalent. If you have additional questions regarding transfer credits, please contact an academic adviser.

For transfer courses, check the UW Equivalency Guide for Washington Community and Technical Colleges. For AP and IB, check the AP tables and IB tables. UW Admissions maintains information for U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents with A-Level exams and for international students with A-level exams.

If your courses transfer as XX, they will not automatically count for major pre-requisite courses. Some majors will allow XX courses to count; others won't. 

Repeating courses

If you have AP, IB, Running Start, or other courses being transferred to the UW, make sure that you know how those courses are evaluated by the University so that you do not repeat a course by mistake. Generally, you can receive academic credit only once regardless of how many times a course is taken. You can review your unofficial UW transcript (available on MyUW) to see how your courses were evaluated. You can also consult the Equivalency Guide to see how courses taken at Washington State community colleges transfer to the UW.

Keep in mind, however, that sometimes there are good reasons for repeating a course. Pre-medical students, for example, generally repeat AP science courses, since most medical schools do not count AP science courses in their admissions process. When in doubt, ask a UW adviser or a representative of the medical school to which you are applying.

Pre-health/Pre-med

There are 141 accredited allopathic (MD) and 30 accredited osteopathic (DO) institutions  in the United States and each has a separate set of policies regarding the use of AP credits towards pre-requisites.  Many do not accept AP/IB credits for core pre-requisites.  Also, most US medical schools will not accept international coursework for pre-requisites (A-levels).  This is why we highly recommend if you have earned AP/IB or A-level credit for any core pre-med science coursework (Chemistry, Biology, Physics) that you consider one of the following options:  

  1. Take the courses again at UW
  2. Take the Honors section of that coursework.
  3. Take advanced coursework in the subject you have advanced credits for.

For Orientation day

During your Advising & Orientation session you will learn about the Degree Audit Record (DARS) system (available via MyUW) that will allow you to explore how your RS, AP, IB, CIH, or A-level credits can fit into your intended degree.

Having access to your AP scores and/or your community college transcript will be helpful when you are in the registration lab, so bring a copy with you to campus if you can.

Reminders

  • Running Start students: send your updated official transcript with your Spring and/or Summer grades to the UW Admissions Office.
  • Students with AP credits: contact the AP College Board to have your AP scores sent to the UW Admissions office.  If you did not have a social security number when you took your AP exams, you will need to contact UW Admissions directly so they can attach your scores to your UW record.