What you should know about AP and IB credit

Blog Header: AP and IB Credit

Ensuring that you receive transfer credit for all college-level work you’ve completed is both a time- and money-saving move. Unfortunately, some applicants miss out by forgetting to submit their Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) results during the application process.

Learn how to avoid this pitfall as we explain what AP and IB courses are and how you can receive the credit you may have already earned by submitting test scores.

Advanced Placement (AP)

The content of AP courses is standardized across the world, and the experience typically finishes with an exam in May. It is possible to take the AP exam without taking the corresponding course.

Will my AP credit be accepted?

Colleges and universities usually award transfer credit based on the AP exam score (not the classroom grade) since it is a standardized result. At CSU, we generally award credit for AP exam scores of 3, 4, and 5 (on a 5-point scale). In some cases, the higher your exam score, the more transferable credit you may be awarded. To find out how your AP results will be accepted by CSU, visit the AP Equivalencies page on the CSU Registrar’s website.

What do I need to do?

When you register to take the AP exam, you can list one college/university to receive your scores for free. If you want to send your test scores to us after the exam, request that an official score report be sent to us via the testing agency, College Board. Our school code is 4075.

Though scores are sent to us year round, we most commonly receive scores in July after the May testing window. We award credit for AP scores only after a student has been admitted. Most students entering in the fall receive their AP credit evaluation in August.

For further details, visit the CSU Registrar’s Office website.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a nonprofit educational foundation that offers globally focused college prep and college-level courses taken in high school. These courses can be turned into college credit by taking a standardized exam at the end of the corresponding course. There are nearly 4,000 IB schools in close to 150 countries, including the United States.

Will my IB credit be accepted?

IB credit is accepted at CSU for courses at the standard and higher levels. You must have an exam result of 4 or higher (on a 7-point scale) to receive credit, and in some cases, the higher your result, the more credit you will be awarded.

What do I need to do?

Students can request their IB results be sent to up to six colleges/universities for free if they make the request before their IB diploma has been awarded. Most students send us their results when they apply for freshman or transfer admission to CSU.

After you complete the application, request to have your official IB transcript sent to CSU via the International Baccalaureate website. Allow 2-3 weeks for the transcript to arrive at CSU. We’ll review only official results sent directly from IB (not estimated results or scores reflected on a school transcript).

For further details, visit the CSU Registrar’s Office website.

What else to keep in mind

As you work through the process of submitting your AP/IB test scores, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • AP/IB credit isn’t only for freshman applicants. Transfer students are also encouraged to submit their test results.
  • AP/IB credit is recognized from the beginning of your CSU career, and it will appear on your CSU transcript from your first semester on.
  • Not sure if AP/IB credit will make a difference? At CSU, it can be a game changer. AP/IB credit can function as more than electives; it can be used to satisfy core curriculum or major requirements as well.

AP/IB course credit can be a simple and straightforward process. As you’re following the directions we’ve outlined above, never hesitate to reach out to your school counselor or your CSU admissions counselor for help. They can provide further directions or give insight into which AP/IB courses may be best for you.

Jill Baylis

Jill was a staff member in the Office of Admissions until 2019 when she moved to Denver. As a first-generation college student, she focused on simplifying the college admissions process and helping future Rams find community on campus.