A-level Exam Credit at USC

Credit: USC awards 8 semester units of elective credit for A-level exams, along with H2 exams in Singapore, with a score of B or better. (Exams taken before spring 2011 with a score of C also earn credit.)


  1. No credit is given for subjects not taught at USC.
  2. No credit is given for O-level and AS-level exams from any country or H1 exams from Singapore.
  3. H3 exams from Singapore may earn credit if the student files an articulation petition supported by a detailed course syllabus including course meeting times, required textbooks, and a description of academic work related to the exam.
  4. A-Level scores do not earn course equivalence.
  5. Students may not receive credit for both an AP exam (or IB or other international exam) and a college course taken before high school graduation covering the same subject matter, nor for an AP and IB exam covering the same subject matter.
  6. Students may receive a combined maximum of 32 elective units for college courses taken before high school graduation and/or examinations (e.g., AP, IB, or other international exams) taken before matriculation at a two-year or four-year college.

General Education: The General Education credit shown here is based on a review of GCE A-level syllabi offered by Cambridge International Examinations. A-level exams reported by other examining boards in similar subjects are likely to earn the same credit, but USC reserves the right to grant different General Education credit or none if the learning objectives of the exam differ significantly from the Cambridge syllabus. More exams may be added to this list in the future as they are reviewed.

*** Effective Fall 2015, USC is introducing a new set of General Education Program Requirements. These requirements will apply to students who will be graduating high school in Spring or Summer 2015 and whose first full-time term (excluding Summer) at any college or university will be Fall 2015. These students should review the information below for “First Year Students.” Students who started at any college or university before Summer 2015 will follow the GE Program in effect prior to Fall 2015. These students should review the information below for "Transfer Students."

GE credit for Incoming First Year Students
Students graduating high school in Spring or Summer 2015, following the new GE Program Requirements.

GE-A: Arts

Art & Design

GE-D: Life Sciences

Marine Science

GE-E: Physical Sciences


GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning

Further Mathematics

GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era


GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations

Classical Studies
Islamic Studies

GE credit for Incoming Transfer Students
Students who started college Prior to Fall 2015, following the GE program in effect prior to Fall 2015.

GE Category I: Western Cultures and Traditions

Classical Studies

GE Category III: Scientific Inquiry

Marine Science

Waivers: Some departments may use A-level results to waive prerequisites or degree requirements as shown below. To get a pre-requisite waiver (to register for a higher level class) with an A-Level score, contact the USC department that teaches the course. To get a degree requirement waived with an A-Level score, contact your major advisor.

A-Level Exam Prerequisite that can be waived After prerequisite is waived...
Biology No waiver or substitution recommended N/A
Chemistry CHEM 105aL
Interested in Medical School? See the important note below!
Contact the chemistry department for appropriate placement into the organic chemistry sequence, if needed.
Further Mathematics No waiver or substitution recommended N/A
Mathematics MATH 125 ...take MATH 126, MATH 127, MATH 208, MATH 218, or take certain upper-division business courses.
Psychology PSYC 100 ...take certain upper-division PSYC courses; see advisor.
Physics PHYS 135aL and PHYS 135bL ...see major advisor.
An Important Note to Students Interested in Medical School

Even though exam scores may place students into a higher level biology or chemistry course, many medical schools do not accept exam credit in lieu of college-level course credit to fulfill admissions requirements. Students interested in medical school should consider carefully whether it is in their best interest to enroll in foundational science courses notwithstanding AP credit in these areas. If you are a potential pre-med, please discuss this issue with an advisor in the Pre-Health Professions Program.

Reporting A-Level scores: Students should have their scores sent directly to USC as soon as practical after results are available. Order an official statement of results, not a replacement certificate, to be sent directly from the examining board to the following address:

Transfer Credit Services
USC Academic Records and Registrar
3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG200
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0912

No credit can be given for provisional scores, photocopied certificates, or for official statements of results delivered by hand or from the student’s school, even with the school’s seal and an officer’s signature, or printed from the internet.