Undergraduate Contacts

Student Services Specialist

Director Undergraduate Studies

choosingphysics [at] stanford.edu (Pre-Major Advising)

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)
  • GCE A-level, International Baccalaureate (IB), French Baccalaureate, and Irish Leaving

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

Depending on the score, both AP Physics B and AP Physics 1/2 receive credit for Physics 21 and possibly 23, while AP Physics C may receive credit for 41 (mechanics) and/or 43 (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 and possibly, 23, but not 41 or 43.   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 choosingphysics [at] stanford.edu (subject: Transfer%20Credit%20Evaluation) (choosingphysics[at]stanford[dot]edu).  You will be notified by email either of a decision, or if an in-person meeting is required.

Placement diagnostic for Physics 40 series / Physics 61, 71, 81

You must take the Physics Placement Diagnostic  if you intend to enroll in PHYS 40 or PHYS 41 or PHYS 45 or PHYS 61 AND you have never taken an entry-level Physics course at Stanford, i.e., you have not taken at least one of PHYS 21, 23, 25, 41, 41A/E, 43, 45, 61, 63, 65.  The Physics Placement Diagnostic will provide you with guidance on which sequence would be best for you. The recommendations 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 Dr. choosingphysics [at] stanford.edu (subject: Transfer%20Credit%20Evaluation) (Chaya Nanavati) 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.