Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Credit Recognition for Students Entering 2017-18

Note: Information on credits for students entering between September 2017 and August 2018 is subject to change until December 15, 2016.

AP and IB credits can be used to satisfy 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

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 1XX) None
Biology 5 1 unit (Biol Sci 1XX) None
Chemistry 3, 4 Courses being revised - information to be posted soon. TBD
5 Courses being revised - information to be posted soon. TBD
Chinese Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Chinese 1XX) None
5 2 units (Chinese 1XX) None
Computer Science A 4, 5 1 unit (EECS 110) 1 unit, Area II
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) 5 2 units (English 1LT) None
Environmental Science 5 1 unit (Envr Sci 1XX) None
French Language and Culture 4 1 unit (French 1XX) None
5 2 units (French 2XX) None
Geography (Human) 5 1 unit (Geog 1XX) None
German Language and Culture 4 1 unit (German 2XX) None
5 2 units (German 2XX) None
Government and Politics (American) 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 (U.S.) 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 2XX) None
5 2 units (Italian 2XX) None
Japanese Language and Culture 4 1 unit (Japanese 1XX) None
5 2 units (Japanese 1XX) None
Latin 4 1 unit (Latin 2XX) None
5 2 units (Latin 2XX) None
Mathematics (Calculus) AB, or the AB subscore of Calculus BC 4, 5 1 unit (Math 220) 1 unit, Area II
Mathematics (Calculus) BC below 4 see Mathematics AB see Mathematics AB
4, 5 2 units (Math 220, Math 224) 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 B (replaced by Physics 1 and Physics 2 in 2014-2015) 5 2.68 units (Physics 130-1,2 and lab courses 13X-1,2) 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) 5 1.34 units (Physics 135-2 and lab course 136-2) 1 unit, Area I
Psychology 4, 5 1 unit ( Psych 110) 1 unit, Area III
Spanish Language 4 1 unit (Spanish 2LN) None
5 2 units (Spanish 2LN) None
Spanish Literature 4 1 unit (Spanish 2LT) None
5 2 units (Spanish 2LT) None
Statistics 4, 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 (Subsidiary Level) IB exams.

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 Courses being revised - information to be posted soon TBD
7 Courses being revised - information to be posted soon TBD
Computer Science 5,6,7 1 unit (EECS 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 (American) 6, 7 2 units (History 2AM) 1 unit, Area IV
History (European) 6, 7 2 units (History 2EU) 1 unit, Area IV
Mathematics 5, 6 1 unit (Math 220) 1 unit, Area II
7 2 units (Math 220, Math 224) 1 unit, Area II
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

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.

Back to top