AP Exam Credit at USC

Credit Summary

USC awards 4 semester units of elective credit for all AP examinations with a score of 4 or 5. Exams must be taken before matriculation at any two-year or four-year college. In addition to elective credit, select AP examinations with a score of 4 or 5 will satisfy a General Education requirement, foreign language requirement, or may be used on a case-by-case basis to waive select prerequisites and/or degree requirements. Please see below for more information.

Return to the general Exam Credit page for information on other types of exams.

 
 
 
 

Restrictions

  1. No credit is given for projected scores, partial scores or subscores, such as Calculus AB Subscore, Music: Aural Subscore, or Music: Nonaural Subscore.
  2. Four (4) semester units will be granted for a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Capstone Seminar exam, but no credit is given for the AP Capstone Research exam.
  3. AP scores do not earn USC course equivalence.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
 
 

GE Credit Breakdown

In addition to elective credit, select AP examinations will satisfy the following General Education requirements.

Students who started college in fall 2015 or later, or who will be first-time freshmen this year, should follow the NEW GE Program requirements.

GE-A: Arts

Art History

GE-D: Life Sciences

Biology

GE-E: Physical Sciences

Chemistry
Physics 1
Physics 2
Physics B
Physics (C- Electricity/Magnetism)
Physics (C- Mechanics)

GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning

Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Statistics

GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations

European History
U.S. History
World History

Students who started college prior to fall 2015 should follow the GE program in effect prior to fall 2015.

GE Category I: Western Cultures and Traditions

Art History
European History

GE Category III: Scientific Inquiry

Biology
Chemistry
Physics 1
Physics 2
Physics B
Physics (C- Mechanics)
Physics (C- Electricity/Magnetism)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Foreign Language

Scores of 4 or 5 on the following exams taken in spring 2007 or later will satisfy the third level foreign language requirement, but do not earn USC course equivalence. (Students wishing to take a fourth-level foreign language course must take a placement exam.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chinese Language and Culture

French Language

French Literature

German Language

Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture

Spanish Language

Spanish Literature

Waivers

Some departments may use AP scores of 4 or 5 to waive prerequisites or degree requirements as shown below. To get a prerequisite waiver (to register for a higher level class) with an AP score, contact the USC department that teaches the course. To get a degree requirement waived with an AP score, contact your major advisor.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AP ExamPrerequisite that can be waivedAfter prerequisite is waived...
BiologyEither BISC 120 or BISC 220; see undergrad advisor in Biological Sciences....see undergrad advisor in Biological Sciences.
ChemistryCHEM 105aL...take CHEM 105bL.
Economics (Micro)ECON 203...take certain upper-division ECON courses.
Economics (Macro)ECON 205...take certain upper-division ECON courses.
Mathematics (AB)
*NOT the AB subscore*
MATH 118 or 125...take MATH 126, MATH 127, MATH 208, MATH 218, or certain upper-division business courses.
Mathematics (BC)If your score is 4, MATH 118 or 125
If your score is 5, MATH 118, or 125 and MATH 126
...take higher-level calculus or business courses.
PsychologyPSYC 100...take certain upper-division PSYC courses; see 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 AP scores

Students must have their scores sent directly to USC from the College Board, not from their high school or in any other format. Contact the College Board for ordering instructions: 1-888-CALL-4AP. If spring official scores have been sent in June but do not appear on the student’s TCR by August, send an email to transfercredit@usc.edu.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advanced Placement FAQ​

Please contact College Board at (888) CALL-4-AP or go to www.collegeboard.com and have your scores sent to the University of Southern California (USC’s College Board code is: 4852). To avoid possible delays, please be sure that College Board includes your Social Security Number when sending your scores.

It depends.

You will receive your credit evaluation faster if you have your old scores sent to USC as soon as possible. However, College Board charges a fee for ordering old score reports.

College Board sends your scores from up to four years ago with your recent exam results for free (assuming you included USC on the list of institutions to receive your recent scores). If you don’t mind waiting until July, you can save some money.

Please review the information at the College Board’s AP website. If you used different formats for your name or did not include a social security number when registering for an exam, your score reports may need to be synchronized. Contact College Board at 1-888-225-5427 to have them locate and match your records.

Yes. However, you will need to submit a form to College Board and pay a fee to request an “Archived AP Score”. For more information, refer to the College Board’s website.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You will receive your credit evaluation faster if you have your old scores sent to USC as soon as possible. However, College Board charges a fee for ordering old score reports.

College Board sends all your old scores with your recent exam results for free (assuming you included USC on the list of institutions to receive your recent scores). So if you don’t mind waiting until July, you can save some money.

Please review the information at the College Board’s AP website. If you used different formats for your name, or did not include a social security number when registering for an exam, your score reports may need to be synchronized. Contact College Board at 1-888-225-5427 to have them locate and match your records.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If you did not include a social security number when registering for an exam, your score reports may need to be synchronized. Contact College Board at 1-888-225-5427 to have them locate and match your records.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If you used different formats for your name, your score reports may need to be synchronized. Contact College Board at 1-888-225-5427 to have them locate and match your records.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It is not recommended. Scores are transmitted electronically to USC on a regular basis. The speed of the regular level of service is satisfactory for almost every request.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Unfortunately, no. Only official score reports transmitted directly to USC from the College Board can be evaluated.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please send an email to transfercredit@usc.edu or call (213) 740-4628 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Pacific Time).

Please note that our office is closed on weekends and University Holidays.