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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. 

Distribution requirements

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 distribution requirements. You can satisfy up to two of the twelve distribution 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 distribution areas and can indicate which two credits you prefer to apply using a form found on the Degree Progress Report in CAESAR:

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

Language credits

AP credit in a language other than English can be used to demonstrate Language Proficiency in some languages, or for placement in a course beyond the beginning level. Consult the language proficiency chart for the scores required to demonstrate proficiency. If you score below the determined level, you will receive information during the summer letting you know what course you should start with, or you might need to take a placement exam. Information is also generally available from the individual language departments at Northwestern and through the Wildcat Welcome webpage, which is posted each summer. You can also find information on language placement through the website for the Council on Language Instruction.

AP exams and NU placement exams

If you took an AP or IB exam and wish during New Student Week to take a Northwestern placement exam in the same field, you are free to do so. If you perform well enough on the placement exam, you can earn placement and, in some cases, credit that you were not able to earn through the AP or IB Program.

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