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Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement refers to high school courses/exams taken prior to matriculation.

Stanford grants credit for Physics courses/examinations in the following high school programs:

  • College Board Advanced Placement (AP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • GCE A-level
  • French Baccalaureate
  • German Abitur examinations

Credit is granted by the Registrar, not the Physics Department.  

For more information, see the Registrar's Advanced Placement website

Physics Department Advanced Placement charts

Both AP Physics B and AP Physics 1/2 receive credit for Physics 21/22, 23/24, while AP Physics C receives credit for 41/42 (mechanics) and/or 43/44 (Electricity and Magnetism). Other international exams that are not covered in the above tables are evaluated on a case-by-base basis.  In general, international exams that do not require calculus receive credit for Physics 21/22 and 23/24, but not 41/42 or 43/44.   However, if you have taken a Math examination that includes mechanics with calculus, you may request the Physics Department grant you equivalence for Physics 41.  

To request Physics 41 equivalence for international examinations, you must provide

  1. your Stanford transcript showing the units granted by the Stanford Registrar;
  2. unofficial transcript from your international examination indicating the course and score;
  3. the examination syllabus, or the URL for the syllabus.

Email this information to Elva Carbajal, Student Services Officer in the Physics Department.  You will be notified by email either of a decision, or if an in-person meeting is required.

Placement diagnostic for Physics 40/60 series

If, based on your Advanced Placement status, you wish to decide whether to take the Physics 40 or 60 series, you should take the Physics Placement Diagnostic, which will provide you with guidance on which sequence would be best for you. This is given each year during New Student Orientation, prior to the beginning of Autumn quarter.  The results are advisory only.  

Prior Year AP Charts

for students matriculating in the following years: 

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit refers to courses taken at other colleges and universities after matriculation at Stanford.  Receiving transfer credit is a two-step process.

Step One

The Registrar is responsible for granting credit (units) for transfer courses.  They evaluate these courses and decide the number of credit units to grant. For information and/or to begin this process, visit the Registrar's Transfer Credit website, or go to Student Services at Tresidder Union. 

Step Two

Once the units appear on the student's transcript, the Physics Department then evaluates the transfer course for equivalence to Stanford's physics courses, and determines placement into further physics courses. To begin this evaluation, you must provide
  • your Stanford transcript showing the units granted by the Stanford Registrar;
  • transcript from the other college/university indicating the course and grade;
  • syllabus from the course, or a URL to the syllabus.
Once you have this information, make an appointment with Rick Pam in the Physics Department for the evaluation. 

Transfer credit pre-approval

The Registrar also offers mechanism for obtaining pre-approval of courses that will be taken at other institutions;  this is most common for summer school courses.  See the Registrar's Transfer Credit Procedures page.