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Northwestern University

AP and IB Exams

In late summer, Northwestern posts AP and IB credit to the academic records of entering students. You may view your AP and IB credit by accessing your academic records using CAESAR. For more information on the credit process, including how to submit your scores, see the Registrar's test credit webpage.

Credit transfer rules

Credits earned through AP and IB testing count in different ways toward different requirements. 

Foundational disciplines

Consult the AP/IB credit table to see what credit is granted for different scores on these tests and whether that credit can be applied toward your Weinberg foundational discipline requirements. You can satisfy up to two of the twelve foundational requirements through AP or IB credits, and these credits must be in two different areas.

You may have credits eligible to count towards more than two different foundational areas and can indicate which two credits you prefer to apply using a form found on the Degree Progress Report in CAESAR. Updated instructions will be posted in Fall 2023.  For current students following distribution requirements:

Total credits/quarters needed for graduation

AP and IB credits generally count toward the 45 units of credit needed for a Weinberg degree, even if they are not being counted toward general education requirements, requirements for majors or minors, etc. There is no cap on the number of credits a student may earn via AP and IB tests, but there are a few stipulations:

English credits

AP credit in English will not exempt students who matriculated Spring 2023 or earlier from any part of your  First-Year SeminarsDistribution Requirements, or Writing Proficiency Requirement. Likewise for students starting in after Spring 2023, AP credit in English will not exempt you from any part of your College Seminar, Foundational Discipline, or Written and Spoken Expression requirements.

Placement in language and other sequences

Credits earned through AP and IB can provide you with placement in various course sequences, but you may in addition need to take a placement exam in order to verify where you should start. You will need to consult the placement information on the department or program website to find out whether you need a placement exam.

AP credit in a language other than English can be used to demonstrate Language Proficiency in some cases, or for placement in a course beyond the beginning level. Consult the language proficiency chart for specifics. In some cases, even if you have an AP score you may still need a placement exam. Information about language placement is generally available on the department or program website, Purple Prep, and through the Council on Language Instruction.


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