AP/IB Credits at Wellesley

Using AP (and other) Credits

Did you know you can use AP (and some other high school) credits at Wellesley?

Many students come to Wellesley having taken Advanced Placement courses in high school, having pursued an International Baccalaureate program in their secondary school, having been tested for advanced work by other means (depending on their country of origin), or having taken college courses while finishing up high school. This work is important to consider in two ways: for PLACEMENT and for CREDIT.

Placement Issues

You may be ready for more advanced work as you begin your time at Wellesley if you have taken college-level work already or have taken Advanced Placement or other advanced work in high school. Scores of 5 on AP exams and grades of 5, 6, and 7 on the IB higher level exams may let you move directly into upper-level courses. If you have taken such courses, or taken other courses in college while you were finishing high school, and enjoyed those studies and want to continue, be sure to examine the full range of available course offerings to select possibilities that are right for you.

There are some direct equivalencies between AP subjects and some specific Wellesley courses, and these are listed online. If you did this kind of advanced work in high school you should consider whether or not to take the equivalent course at Wellesley: Some students take the Wellesley equivalent in order to ensure that they have good knowledge and skills for moving on in that field. That is fine, but please note that a student can't also receive credit for the AP work if she takes the Wellesley course in that area. Other students will feel that they have a good foundation from their AP work, and will be ready to start at a higher level. Talk with your faculty members during Orientation about whether your previous course work qualifies you to start at a more advanced level.

If you have scores of 5 on a language AP, and you want to go on in that language at Wellesley, you should still take the placement exam for that language. The Chemistry Department offers specific advice about taking the chemistry placement exam, if you have a score of 5 on the Chemistry AP. For advice about taking the Physics exemption/placement exams if you have a score of 5 on the Physics APs, see the Physics Department's FAQ. All students should take the Math Placement Test regardless of their AP scores.

Credit Issues

Wellesley credit may be available for some of your advanced work in high school. Scores of 5 on most AP exams will earn one unit of Wellesley credit. A score of 4 or 5 on the MATH BC exam will earn 2 units of credit, and a score of 4 or 5 on the MATH AB exam will earn one unit of credit. Scores of 5, 6, or 7 on higher level IB exams also earn one unit of Wellesley credit (IB Economics earns 2 units of credit). You can have up to four units of credit counted toward your degree from AP or similar credits (or from courses taken at college before coming to Wellesley that are not part of your high school program). Credits from these scores will not count toward Wellesley's distribution requirements. However, a score of 5 on an exam in a language other than English will satisfy Wellesley's foreign language requirement, and a score a 5 of the Statistics exam will satisfy the QR overlay requirement. although you still must independently satisfy the basic skills requirement by passing our QR assessment during Orientation.

To get AP credit added to your record, have the College Board report your scores to Wellesley's registrar's office. No credit for AP courses will be added to a student's record until after the successful completion of one year of study at Wellesley, but you can have the scores sent in advance of that.

There are more details about AP issues on the registrar's website.