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 course of study.
Sources of Advanced Placement Credit
Advanced placement credit may be earned from the following:
The requisite score from the Advanced Placement Examinations (AP exams) from the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) in Princeton, N.J. The requisite scores, which vary by subject, are determined by the relevant departments at Cornell and are listed below.
Acceptable performance on a Cornell department exam (offered only in some subjects, usually during orientation).
A regular course taught at an accredited college to college students and approved by the relevant department at Cornell. Some departments accept credit from virtually all accredited colleges; some do not.
Note: Cornell University does not accept credit for courses sponsored by colleges but taught in high schools to high school students, even if the college provides a transcript of such work. Students who have taken such courses may, however, earn credit by taking an appropriate examination as described in paragraph 1 or 2 above.
The appropriate department of instruction within the university sets the standards of achievement that must be met for advanced placement in its subject, recommends Advanced Placement credit for those who meet the standards, and determines whether students place out of certain Cornell courses. The final decision for awarding advanced placement credit at Cornell and applying it to degree requirements rests with each individual college (consult the relevant college sections of Courses of Study). Students need not accept advanced placement, although forfeiting the advantage of moving quickly into advanced courses affects one’s overall education. If they take the Cornell course they have placed out of, they relinquish the advanced placement credit.
Advanced placement examinations. Entering first-year students should request that all their scores from CEEB Advanced Placement Examinations received in high school, be sent from the College Board electronically (Cornell’s CEEB code is 2098).
Departmental advanced standing examinations. In certain subjects, students may also qualify for advanced placement or credit, or both on the basis of departmental examinations given on campus during Orientation Week. A schedule of these examinations appears in the orientation booklet mailed in late summer to entering students. The departments that award advanced placement and credit on the basis of departmental examinations are shown below. Students need to register for those examinations in the relevant department.
Transfer of credit. Entering first-year students who have completed college courses for which they want to receive credit toward their Cornell degree should contact the college for necessary paperwork and send transcripts and course syllabi to their college or school office.
CEEB’s AP Exams
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
Department of Near Eastern Studies determines credit and placement based on departmental examination.
The policies currently in effect for General Certificate of Education “A” Level Examinations, International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations, and the Cambridge Pre-University Examinations are summarized in the table below. Students may submit results of the French Baccalauréat or German Abitur for possible credit depending on the stream or specialization followed. Accepted students holding any other secondary school credentials are urged to sit for the Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board or for the departmental examinations offered during Orientation Week.
The table lists subjects and the marks for which credit will be awarded.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher-Level Examinations are awarded advanced standing and credit on receipt of the examination results from the I.B. Office.
French Baccalauréat Examination grades of 14/20 or higher are awarded advanced standing and/or credit according to the following chart. Students must present the original or a certified copy of their examination certificate to receive credit.
General Certificate of Education Advanced (“A”) Level Examination are awarded advanced standing and credit. Students must present the original or a certified copy of their examination certificate to receive credit.
credit and placement determined by taking the MATH 1120 placement exam during orientation.
A, B, or C
4 credits and placement out of Calculus I (MATH 1106 or MATH 1110). Students who take the A level exam in Singapore will receive an additional 4 credits and placement out of Calculus II (MATH 1120, MATH 1220, or MATH 1910). More credit may be obtained by passing a placement exam during Orientation. Engineering students only receive 4 credits and placement out of Math 1910.
Cambridge Pre-University Examinations are considered equivalent to A-level examinations and awarded advanced standing and credit. Students must present the original or a certified copy of their examination certificate to receive credit.
Freshmen may qualify for advanced placement and advanced standing credits in chemistry by satisfactory performance on the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination or an international examination, or by passing an advanced standing examination offered by the department. A score of 5 on the CEEB examination entitles a student to 4 credits. A student may earn 4 or 8 credits by suitable performance on the departmental examinations. See chemistry.cornell.edu/course-information for further information.
Students who receive a score of 5 on the A version exam of the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination in computer science, or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB exam will receive 4 advanced placement credits and may take CS 2110. These credits may be used to satisfy the requirement in computer programming for students in the College of Engineering.
Freshmen may also earn 4 credits by suitable performance on a departmental examination, given during fall Orientation Week. To take the departmental examination, students need only show up at the time and location indicated on the Orientation Week Schedule; advanced sign-up is not necessary.
The Mathematics Department offers a variety of courses suitable for students with advanced placement credit. For guidance in selecting an appropriate course, including how to factor advanced placement or transfer credit into that decision, please consult First Steps in Math. New students will also have an opportunity to speak with a math advisor one-on-one at the Arts & Sciences Open House during fall orientation.
The calculus courses MATH 1110, MATH 1120, and MATH 1910 cover substantially the same topics as calculus courses given in many high schools, and it is best to avoid repeating material that has already been covered at an appropriate level. Secondary-school students who have had the equivalent of at least one semester of calculus should, if possible, take a placement test during their senior year.
The Department of Mathematics offers an optional placement examination during orientation week that covers the material of the AP Calculus program. (No advance registration necessary.) The department exam should be taken by (1.) students who have had at least a semester of calculus but did not take a CEEB, GCE, or IB Exam; (2.) students who believe that their placement is incorrect; (3.) students who feel that their grasp of the material is uncertain.
Engineering students will take the engineering calculus sequence, which assumes one semester of calculus experience before entering Cornell. Engineering students receive no AP credit for Calculus I and may receive 4 AP credits for Calculus II, which they will forfeit if they take MATH 1910, the first course in the engineering calculus sequence. A placement exam specifically for engineering students will be announced during the academic briefings.
Modern Foreign Languages
Students who have studied a language for two or more years and want to continue study in that language at Cornell must present the results of a placement test. See “Placement Tests and Advanced Placement Credit” under “Foreign Language Requirements” in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this catalog. Students whose SAT II or AP scores are two years old or more, or who have had a year of formal study or substantial informal study since they last took a placement test should take the Cornell placement test again during orientation week if they plan to continue course work.
Advanced standing credit may be earned as follows:
Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the language Advanced Placement Examination of the CEEB earn 3 credits and are eligible to take the Cornell Advanced Standing Examination (CASE).
Students who achieve a minimum score of 65 on the Cornell language placement test given during orientation week are eligible to take the CASE. Outstanding performance on this examination can result in a maximum of 3 credits.
For formal language work done after high school at an accredited college, credit is considered by the relevant department on submission of a syllabus and transcript. Note that credit transfer and placement are the result of different processes. Students wishing to enroll in a language course at Cornell are required to take the placement test.
Native speakers of languages other than English may, if an examination by the appropriate department is available, be granted a maximum of 3 credits in a foreign language.
Information about times and places of placement tests is available in the orientation booklet. For more information, see “Foreign Language Requirement” on the Graduation Requirements page in the College of Arts and Sciences, or contact:
Arabic, Munther Younes, 409 White Hall
Chinese (Mandarin), Erin Kotmel, 350 Rockefeller Hall (placement test available at collt.lrc.cornell.edu)
Advanced placement and credit are awarded on the basis of the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination in physics (Physics I, Physics II or Physics C), certain international examinations, or the departmental examination (offered during orientation week; appointment required). For information about the departmental examination, see physics.cornell.edu/advanced-standing.
Physics I—Students earning a score of 5 may receive 4 credits for PHYS 1101. Those earning in addition a score of 5 in Calculus BC may choose to take 4 credits for PHYS 2207.
Physics II—Students earning a score of 5 may receive 4 credits for PHYS 1102. Those earning in addition a score of 5 in Calculus BC may choose to take 4 credits for PHYS 2208.
Physics C—Mechanics: Students earning a score of 5 may receive 4 credits for PHYS 1112 or PHYS 2207.
Physics C—Electricity and Magnetism: Students earning a score of 5 may receive 4 credits for PHYS 2213.
Students will not receive credit for an advanced placement course if they receive credit for a Cornell course with similar content. Students may receive credit for only one of the courses in each group:
Students planning to major in physics or applied and engineering physics are strongly recommended to forfeit all AP credit and take PHYS 1116. Students should not take PHYS 2217 without first taking PHYS 1116.
Advanced placement into a next-in-sequence course depends on the completion of the appropriate mathematics prerequisites before enrolling. To qualify for advanced placement credit, it is not necessary to continue the study of physics.
General information and advice may be obtained from the director of undergraduate studies, 115 Clark Hall, or from the Department of Physics, 109 Clark Hall.