Getting Credit and Placement

Entering college with credit you’ve already earned through AP can save you time and money—for example, you might be able to skip introductory courses or even graduate early.

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Keep in Mind

Nearly all colleges and universities award credit for the most popular AP courses.

Most colleges and universities have a written policy spelling out how they award credit and advanced placement. Learn more about how AP credit and advanced placement work, as well as how to send your AP Exam scores to colleges.

Send your scores to get the credit you earned.

More schools than ever before are accepting AP scores for credit or advanced placement. To get credit, you must request that College Board send your official score report to the college of your choice. They should notify you about any credit, advanced placement, and/or course exemptions you have earned.

You may need to follow up.

If you have questions about the status of your AP credit or placement, you must contact your college directly.

Credit and advanced placement are different things.

Both can save you time and money and you can earn either or both, depending on your college’s policies—but you should know what the terms mean.


First check with the admissions office at your new college to find out its AP credit policy and deadlines for receiving scores.

If your new college will grant credit for your AP scores, you should send your scores through our score reporting system. There’s no way to transfer credits directly from one college to another.

Sign in to view and send your scores.

Most U.S. colleges offer credit or advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP scores.

College Credit

Most colleges require that you earn a certain number of credits before you can graduate. Credits are a recognition of the academic work you’ve done—the classes you’ve taken and passed. You’ll usually need 120 credits to get a bachelor’s degree.

Many colleges offer credit for AP scores. Suppose you earn a 4 on your AP Biology Exam, and your college grants you 8 credits for that score. That means you walk into your college with 8 credits under your belt—before you even take your first class there.

Some students graduate from college early because of the credits they earn in high school through AP. This saves them money in tuition.

Advanced Placement

Many colleges recognize that your AP scores demonstrate that you already know the material in certain courses they offer. So they’ll let you skip those courses. These could be introductory courses required in your major, or core courses that the college requires all its students to take. Letting you skip these courses (so you can go right into advanced courses) is called granting you advanced placement.

Some students use the advanced placement earned through AP to free up space in their schedule so they can pursue a double major or take part in an internship or other special program.

Both Credit and Placement

In some cases, you’ll get both credit and advanced placement for a qualifying AP score. You’ll earn the credits and be able to skip a course.