Do All Colleges Give Credit for AP Tests?

While the policies of US colleges vary greatly with respect to awarding graduation credit for AP tests taken in high school, the fact is that most do give credit for tests on which students have earned high scores, usually 4s and 5s (on a scale of 1-5). There are two notable exceptions. They are: Dartmouth and Brown. Neither Dartmouth nor Brown awards graduation credits based on the results of AP classes or AP tests. In some cases, they will allow students to bypass certain core requirements if they have earned high AP test scores, however even this policy varies from department to department. As for the other six Ivy League colleges and most colleges across the country, students can earn graduation credits for AP exams on which they have scored 4s or 5s. In fact, two colleges we surveyed take it one step further, allowing students who have taken enough AP exams and received enough high scores to earn a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in four years. Schools offering four-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees include Cornell and Harvard.

Below is a table containing the AP credit policies of 20 US colleges, including all eight colleges of the Ivy League.

2017 AP Credit Policies of Twenty US Colleges
College Name Graduation Credits?/

AP Test Score Required:

Elimination of Required Course?/ AP Test Score Required: Early Graduation or Masters Details
Brown No Department level decision. Required scores also varies by department. No Some departments allow automatic transcript notation of AP credit(s) on the sole basis of qualifying AP test scores, while others allow AP credit(s) retroactively, upon successful completion of one of their advanced courses. Still other departments have policies that grant no AP credits whatsoever.
Columbia Yes Yes. 16 point maximum. 4 or 5 (varies by subject) No In the required pure science areas, the number of advanced placement academic credits awarded to students of engineering and applied science varies from the levels awarded for liberal arts programs, notably in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science. The benefit of advanced placement is acceleration through certain First Year–Sophomore Program requirements and thus the opportunity of taking specialized courses earlier.
Cornell Yes/4 or 5 (varies by subject) Yes. Students may test out of specific entry-level courses Yes Advanced placement credit is college credit that students earn before they matriculate as freshmen and that may count toward the degree and/or degree requirements as specified by the individual college at Cornell. Its primary purpose is to exempt students from introductory courses and to place them in advanced courses. Its value is that it allows students to include more advanced courses in their studies.
Dartmouth No Yes No Dartmouth grants credit on entrance for AP and IB examinations, as well as offers exemptions and placement in some subject areas. Credit on entrance appears on the Dartmouth transcript and does not count towards the 35 credits required to graduate.
Harvard Yes/5 No Yes. A four year Master’s program is available through the Advanced Standing Program Credit towards graduation is granted for Advanced Placement exams only if a student activates Advanced Standing. Incoming students who have taken AP exams need a total of 32 credits to be eligible for Advanced Standing. Credits are earned by scoring 5 on a minimum of four AP exams. Harvard confers 4 or 8 credits for each eligible AP exam depending on whether the exam covers one semester or one full year’s worth of material.
UPenn Yes/4 or 5 (varies by department) Yes Early graduation available. No four year Master’s program The University of Pennsylvania may award credit or advanced course standing to students who have taken Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other internationally-recognized examinations. Scores warranting University credit vary by department.
Princeton Yes/4 or 5 (varies by subject) Yes Early graduation available. No four year Master’s program AP uses: 1. to enter upper-level courses;2. to fulfill the foreign language requirement; 3. to become eligible for graduation in three years or with three and one-half years of study (advanced standing); 4.  to fulfill B.S.E. general requirements in math, physics, and chemistry.
Yale Yes/4 or 5 (varies by subject) Yes Early graduation available. No four year Master’s program An acceleration credit, the equivalent of one course credit, may be used to complete the bachelor’s degree in fewer than eight terms. Acceleration credits can be awarded on the basis of AP test scores.
MIT Yes/5 Yes Early graduation available. No four year Master’s program MIT grants credit for a score of 5 on some College Board AP exams. It does not grant credit for secondary school courses teaching AP curricula, or partial credit for lower scores. If you take an AP exam more than once, only your higher score will be counted. Matriculated students whose AP scores do not earn credit may attempt Advanced Standing Exams in Math and Science areas. Policies on credit for AP scores are reviewed for each entering class and may change by the time you apply to MIT.
Bates Yes/4 or 5. Score of 3 in a two-semester class can earn one course credit. Yes No A student who achieves a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement examination given by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) may be granted two course credits, or one course credit in the case of Advanced Placement courses covering the equivalent of one semester of college work. A student achieving a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of two semesters of college work may be granted one course credit, upon approval of the chair of the appropriate department. No credit is granted for a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of one semester of college work.
UC Berkeley Yes/3 or higher Yes Early graduation available. No four year Master’s program Elective units awarded may be applied to UC graduation requirements for specific subjects and/or for general education/breadth requirements, as determined by each campus. Although the College Board reports all AP tests results to us, students should be aware AP test scores lower than 3 will not adversely affect their chances for admission. Units granted for AP tests are not counted toward the maximum number of credits required for formal declaration of a major or the maximum number of units a student may accumulate prior to graduation. Students who enter UC with AP credit do not have to declare a major earlier than other students, nor are they required to graduate earlier.