Advanced Placement Examinations

Advanced Placement exam scores are not eligible for course credit at Brown, but students may use certain AP scores to enroll in higher-level courses, to satisfy concentration requirements, or to advance their semester standing.

AP course equivalency policies are determined by academic departments. Some departments allow students to transcript AP scores for course equivalency, while others offer AP credit retroactively, upon successful completion of one of their advanced courses. Still other departments accept no AP credits whatsoever. Pertinent policies for each department are detailed in the PDF at the bottom of this page. 

Students who have three eligible AP exams on their transcript may choose to advance their standing by one semester. Such students must still complete 30 courses to graduate, but they are allowed to do so in 7 rather than 8 semesters. 

‘No AP credit’ policies are in effect for the AP subjects listed below:

  • Art History
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics: Macroeconomics or Microeconomics
  • English: Language and Composition or Literature and Composition
  • Environmental Science
  • Government and Politics: Comparative or U.S.
  • Human Geography
  • International Relations
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Music: Listening, Literature, and Theory
  • Political Science
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art Drawing and Studio General

Departmental AP Policies

Art History

No credit for students entering after 2011. For students who entered fall of 2011 or prior, a 4 or 5 on the Art History AP Exam earns AP credit for History of Art 0010, but does not count toward concentration credit.

Chemistry
No credit, but students with a score of 4 or 5 may enroll in Chemistry 0330 without taking the placement exam. Students with a score of 3 or lower should take the placement exam to determine appropriate course placement.

Computer Science
No credit, but CS does consider placement. Students are advised to attend the first class of either CSCI 0150 or 0170, where placement will be discussed.

Economics
No credit for students who matriculated fall 2012 and after. Students may place out of Economics 0110 if they have a) 4 or 5 in Macroeconomics and b) 4 or 5 in Microeconomics. Students with these scores cannot count placement credit toward concentration requirements.  

For students who entered Brown prior to fall 2012, a 4 or 5 in Macroeconomics plus 4 or 5 in Microeconomics earns AP credit for Economics 0110 and placement into Economics 1110. 

Environmental Science
No credit, but concentrators with a score of 5 may waive out of ENVS 0110 or ENVS 0490 with permission of a concentration advisor. Concentrators who waive out of ENVS 0110 or ENVS 0490 must still complete the same number of classes expected of all concentrators. The waiver does not reduce the total number of courses required for concentrations in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science, so students should take an additional intermediate or focus course in place of ENVS 0110 or ENVS 0490.

Policies for departments granting AP credit:

Listed below are AP policies for departments that give credit for AP exam scores. Since these policies are subject to change, students are advised to confirm AP credit policies with the appropriate department(s). Additional information may be found on department websites or by consulting the departmental AP advisor. The policies below apply to all incoming Brown undergraduates, including transfer students.

Note: You cannot register for a course for which you have AP credit, and once posted to your transcript AP credit will not be removed.

American History
5: earns credit for 1 unassigned history course upon the successful completion of any one 1000-level course in US history, including cross-listed courses, but excluding courses taken during study abroad.

For students entering 2009 or prior, a 5 earns 2 unassigned credits in History contingent upon the successful completion of any two 1000-level one-semester courses in the history department. Successful completion of one 1000-level course will earn one credit.

In no case, however, will AP credit count toward the concentration requirement in History.

Biology
4 or 5: earns credit for BIOL 0200.

European History
5: earns credit for 1 unassigned history course upon the successful completion of any one 1000-level course in European history, including cross-listed courses, but excluding courses taken during study abroad.

For students entering 2009 or prior, a 5 earns 2 unassigned credits in History contingent upon the successful completion of any two 1000-level one-semester courses in the history department. Successful completion of one 1000-level course will earn one credit.

In no case, however, will AP credit count toward the concentration requirements in History.

French Language and Literature
4: earns credit for French 0400 and placement into French 0500. 
5: earns credit for French 0500 only.

Placement into French 0600 (language), 0720 (first-year seminar), 0750 and 0760 (literature) should be confirmed during Orientation week, or during the first week of classes after consultation with the senior language coordinator or concentration advisor.

All incoming students with a score of 5 should consult a faculty member regarding appropriate placement.

German Language
4 or 5: earns credit for German 0400.

Italian Language and Culture
5: earns credit for ITAL 0400.
4: earns credit for ITAL 0300.

Latin Lyric or Epic Exams
4 or 5: The Department of Classics awards 1 unassigned credit in Latin for completion of one 1000-level course in Latin with at least the grade of B. Students with a 4 or 5 on both exams will not receive 2 credits upon completion of a single 1000-level course. Receipt of 2 unassigned credits in Latin requires completion of two 1000-level courses in Latin with grades of B or higher.

Mathematics
AB Calculus 4 or 5: earns credit for Math 0090.
BC Calculus 4 or 5: earns credit for both Math 0090 and Math 0100.
BC Calculus 3: earns credit for Math 0090.

Physics
5 in Physics C Mechanics exam:
or 4 in Physics C Mechanics exam PLUS 5 in Physics C Electricity and Magnetism exam:
or 5 in Physics B:

Students with these scores who then successfully complete either Physics 0040, 0060, 0160 (formerly 0080), 0470, 0500, or an appropriate 1000-level physics course may receive retroactive credit for Physics 0030. While these are the requirements for earning an AP credit, they are not necessarily required for placement in a Physics course when a student enters Brown.

Students considering skipping Physics 0030, 0050, or 0070 should consult with their first-year advisor or Prof. Jay Tang, the Physics Placement Coordinator.

Psychology
4 or 5: earns credit for CLPS0010. If placement is granted on the basis of an AP score, then another CLPS course must be substituted for concentration credit.

Spanish Language or Literature
4 or 5: may earn one unassigned credit in Spanish language upon successful completion of HISP 500, 600, or a 700-level course. See the Spanish Placement Guide.
1–3: No credit. Placement in Spanish courses at Brown depend on the results of the Brown Placement Test.

World History
5: earns credit for 1 unassigned history course upon the completion of any one 1000-level course in African, East Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or South Asian history, including cross-listed courses, but excluding courses taken during study abroad.

For students entering 2009 or prior, a 5 earns 2 unassigned credits in History contingent upon the successful completion of any two 1000-level one-semester courses in the history department. Successful completion of one 1000-level course will earn one credit.

In no case, however, will AP credit count toward concentration requirements in History.