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Northwestern University

Credit Recognition for Students Entering 2021-22

Note: Information on credits for students entering between September 2021 and August 2022 is still subject to change.

AP and IB credits can be applied toward distribution requirements and part or all of the foreign language requirement. In some cases they can also substitute for particular courses. AP and IB credits generally count toward the 45 units of credit needed for a Weinberg degree, even if they are not being used for distribution requirements or major/minor requirements, but they do not count toward the Undergraduate Registration Requirement.

See below for important information about how these credits can be used.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credits

AP credit table for 2021-2022
Exam Score Course Credit Authorized Distribution Credit Authorized
(see note below)
Art History 5 1 unit (Art Hist 2XX) None
Studio Art 5 1 unit (Art 2XX) None
Biology 5 1 unit (Biol Sci 1XX) None
Chemistry 4 1 unit (Chem 1X0) 1 unit, Area I
5 3.68 units (Chem 1X0, 1X1, 1X2, and lab courses 11X, 12X) 1 unit, Area I
Chinese Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Chinese 1LN) None
5 2 units (Chinese 1LN) None
Computer Science A 4, 5 1 unit (Comp Sci 150) 1 unit, Area II
Computer Science Principles 4, 5 1 unit (Comp Sci 1XX) None
Economics—Macro 5 1 unit (Econ 201) 1 unit, Area III
Economics—Micro 5 1 unit (Econ 202) 1 unit, Area III
English (Language and Composition) 5 2 units (English 1LC) None
English (Literature and Composition) 5 2 units (English 1LT) None
Environmental Science 5 1 unit (Envr Sci 1XX) None
French Language and Culture 4 1 unit (French 1LN) None
5 2 units (French 2LN) None
Geography (Human) 5 1 unit (Geog 1XX) None
German Language and Culture 4 1 unit (German 1LN) None
5 2 units (German 2LN) None
Government and Politics (United States) 5 1 unit (Poli Sci 2XX) 1 unit, Area III
Government and Politics (Comparative) 5 1 unit (Poli Sci 2XX) 1 unit, Area III
History (European) 5 2 units (History 2EU) 1 unit, Area IV
History (United States) 5 2 units (History 2US) 1 unit, Area IV
History (World) 5 2 units (History 2WL) 1 unit, Area IV
Italian Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Italian 2LN) None
5 2 units (Italian 2LN) None
Japanese Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Japanese 1LN) None
5 2 units (Japanese 1LN) None
Latin 4 1 unit (Latin 2LN) None
5 2 units (Latin 2LN) None
Mathematics (Calculus) AB, or the AB subscore of Calculus BC, for exams taken in 2019 or prior year 4 1 unit (Math 220-1) 1 unit, Area II
5 2 units (Math 220-1,2) 1 unit, Area II
Mathematics (Calculus) BC, for exams taken in 2019 or prior year below 4 see Mathematics AB see Mathematics AB
4 2 units (Math 220-1,2) 1 unit, Area II
5 3 units (Math 220-1,2 & Math 226-0) 1 unit, Area II
Mathematics (Calculus) AB, for exams taken in 2020 4 1 unit (Math 220-1) 1 unit, Area II
5 2 units (Math 220-1,2) 1 unit, Area II
Mathematics (Calculus) BC, for exams taken in 2020 4 2 units (Math 220-1,2) 1 unit, Area II
5 3 units (Math 220-1,2 & Math 2XX) 1 unit, Area II
Music Theory 5 1 unit (Gen Mus 252) 1 unit, Area II
Physics 1 5 1.34 units (Physics 130-1 and lab course 13X-1) 1 unit, Area I
Physics 2 5 1.34 units (Physics 130-2 and lab course 13X-2) 1 unit, Area I
Physics C (Mechanics) 5 1.34 units (Physics 135-1 and lab course 136-1) 1 unit, Area I
Physics C (Electricity & Magnetism), for exams taken in 2019 or prior year 5 1.34 units (Physics 135-2 and lab course 136-2) 1 unit, Area I
Physics C (Electricity & Magnetism), for exams taken in 2020 5 1.34 units (Physics 1XX and 1XL) 1 unit, Area I
Psychology 5 1 unit (Psych 110) 1 unit, Area III
Spanish Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Spanish 2LN) None
5 2 units (Spanish 2LN) None
Spanish Literature and Culture 4 1 unit (Spanish 2LT) None
5 2 units (Spanish 2LT) None
Statistics, for exams taken in 2019 or prior year 4, 5 1 unit (Stat 202) 1 unit, Area II
Statistics, for exams taken in 2020 4 1 unit (Stat 1XX) 1 unit, Area II
5 1 unit (Stat 202) 1 unit, Area II

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credits

NOTE: The following list is not exhaustive. Northwestern grants credit for sufficiently high scores on most HL (Higher Level) IB exams. For more information, contact the Weinberg College Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising. Northwestern does not grant credit for any SL (Standard Level) IB exams.

IB credit table for 2021-2022
International Baccalaureate higher level examination Score Northwestern credit Distribution credit authorized
(see note below)
Biology 6, 7 1 unit (Biol Sci 1XX) None
Chemistry 5, 6 1 unit (Chem 1X0) 1 unit, Area I
7 3.68 units (Chem 1X0, 1X1, 1X2, and lab courses 11X, 12X) 1 unit, Area I
Computer Science 5,6,7 1 unit (Comp Sci 110) 1 unit, Area II
Economics 6, 7 2 units (Econ 201, 202) 1 unit, Area III
English 6, 7 2 units (English 1XX) None
Foreign Language (all languages) 6 1 unit of 1XX in the relevant language None
7 2 units of 1XX in the relevant language None
History (Americas) 6, 7 2 units (History 2AM) 1 unit, Area IV
History (European) 6, 7 2 units (History 2EU) 1 unit, Area IV
History (Asia and Oceania, or Africa and Middle East) 6,7 2 units (History 2XX) 1 unit, Area IV
Mathematics 6,7 1 unit (Math 220-1)* 1 unit, Area II
Further Mathematics 6,7 4 units (Math 220-1,2; MATH 226; STAT 210) 1 unit, Area II
Philosophy 7 1 unit (Phil 1XX) 1 unit, Area V
Physics 6, 7 2.68 units (Physics 130-1,2 and lab courses 13X-1,2) 1 unit, Area I
Psychology 6, 7 1 unit (Psych 110) 1 unit, Area III

*A student who earns a score of 6 or 7 on the IB Mathematics HL examination may be eligible for additional credit if their examination includes the Calculus Option (credit for MATH 220-2 and MATH 226-0) or the Statistics and Probability option (credit for STAT 210-0). To apply for additional credit, the student must have their high school IB Diploma Programme Coordinator submit a copy of the student's IB Registration Summary to the Office of the Registrar.

Note: If you have taken an exam not listed here (British A-Levels, for example) and wish to discuss earning credit, bring a copy of your score report to the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising, 1922 Sheridan Rd.

Using AP and IB credits

Distribution Requirements

You can satisfy up to two of the twelve distribution requirements through AP or IB credits. These credits must be in two different areas. The table above shows in which area (if any) a credit can count.

Foreign Language Requirement

Your AP credit can give you placement toward your foreign language requirement or complete it altogether. To find out where your score places you, consult the Council on Language Instruction brochure or contact the department. You can also consult our Foreign Language Proficiency Table for details on how the requirement can be satisfied. With the exception of Hindi and Urdu, IB credit alone cannot be used to complete the foreign language requirement; contact the relevant department for information on how to demonstrate proficiency or on which course to take next.

Course Equivalents 

If your score gives you credit for a specific course number (e.g., Econ 201), you are considered to have completed the equivalent of that course. If the table indicates you get credit for 1XX or 2XX, that means you have earned a generic 100- or 200-level credit in that department. In some cases, this credit can be used to place out of introductory-level courses. 

Graduation Requirements 

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 distribution 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 these credits do not count toward Northwestern's Undergraduate Registration Requirement (URR), which specifies how many quarters must be spent at Northwestern and how many units of credit must be earned through NU courses. No matter how many AP or IB credits you have on your transcript, you must still be registered at Northwestern for a minimum of 9 quarters and earn at least 32 units at the University. (Some students in special programs will have different requirements.)

Consult our information about AP/IB credits and the relevant departments for more information.

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