First-Year

Advance Course Credit at PLU

PLU grants college-level credit to students who have taken and scored a certain level on AP, IB and Cambridge exams. Additionally, PLU will grant college-level credits to students who have completed Washington State Running Start or other college courses while in high school.

Advance Placement (AP)

  • Students who have completed advanced placement tests with appropriate scores receive credit.
  • Credit is awarded only for scores of 4 or 5, except for Calculus, which requires a score of 3 or higher, and physics (B or C), which requires a score of 5.
  • Credit is applied to specific General Education Requirements or elective credit depending on the test category.
  • Click here or refer to the bottom of the page to see credit awarded for each AP test.

If you have tested for an AP class that is not listed, the PLU Registrar’s Office will review the course individually.

Weighted GPA

PLU grants special status to IB, AP, Cambridge, Honors and Accelerated courses. PLU will weight grades in these courses when calculating an admission GPA in order to benefit those students who have challenged themselves and undertaken a rigorous high school curriculum.

International Baccalaureate Program (IB)

  • PLU awards 30 semester hours of credit for completion of the IB Diploma
  • These 30 credits satisfy specific General Education Requirements: Fine Arts, Literature, Philosophy (if higher level Philosophy is included in the IB Diploma), 2 Social Sciences, Natural Science/Computer Science/Mathematics, Science and Scientific Method, and Mathematical Reasoning.
  • IB diploma students are not obligated to the Freshman Experience Program requirements, but they must complete the University Writing Requirement as outlined in the University Catalog, as well as the Gen Eds not listed above.
  • Students who do not receive the full IB Diploma are granted 4 semester hours of credit for each higher-level examination with a grade of 4 or higher. Credit awarded in this manner will be matched to the appropriate Gen Ed Elements from the requirements listed above.

Cambridge International Examinations

  • A maximum of 30 semester hours may be granted for completion of Cambridge International Examinations.
  • Students must earn a passing grade (C or better) to earn credit.
  • No credit will be awarded for AS-Level or O-Level exams.

Running Start (Washington State)

In order to transfer Running Start credits to PLU:

  • Courses must be from an accredited Washington community college.
    • Typically, only 100-level or above courses will transfer credit.
  • Students must submit an official college transcript
  • Grades in Running Start courses must be a C- or higher.

If a student earns an Associate of Arts (AA) degree through Running Start, that student will be granted junior academic status and will be considered a first-year student with advanced standing*.

Other College-level Credit

  • Students who have completed other college courses while in high school may be awarded credit at PLU. The courses must be listed in the official college catalog, be a part of the regular college curriculum of a regionally accredited college or university, and post a grade of a C- or higher.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

  • Students are permitted, within limits, to obtain credit by examination in lieu of regular enrollment in a class.
  • No more than 30 hours may be counted toward graduation from the CLEP examination or any other examination.
  • For information on obtaining credit by examination, see the official PLU catalog.

*What is First-Year with Advanced Standing?

Academic standing at PLU will depend on the number of college-level credits transferred in (for example, a student with an AA through Running Start will be granted junior academic status), but any high school senior submitting college-level credit through any of the programs listed will be considered first-year with advanced standing.

Here’s the reason: As a first-year student with advanced standing, a student will then still be considered the higher-level freshmen academic scholarships, which are renewable for an additional three years. These students will also be considered freshman for financial aid purposes, granting eligibility for four years.

Pacific Lutheran University reserves the right to make decisions on an individual basis.

AP Course Policy Chart

AP SubjectAP Exam ScoreCourse EquivalentCreditCredit Awarded
Art History4 or 5None4Gen Ed
Studio Art4 or 5None4Gen Ed
Biology4 or 5BIOL 1114Gen Ed
Chemistry4 or 5None4Gen Ed [Credit is contingent upon completing a more advanced chemistry course.]
Computer Science A4 or 5CSCE 1444Gen Ed [If CSCE 270 is completed with a C or better]
Computer Science AB4 or 5CSCE 144 & 2708Gen Ed [If CSCE 238 is completed with a C or better]
Economics: Micro4 or 5None4Gen Ed
Economics: Macro4 or 5None4Gen Ed
Economics: Micro AND Macro4 or 5ECON 101 & 1028Gen Ed
English Literature4 or 5None4Elective
English Writing4 or 5None4Elective
Environmental Science with lab4 or 5ENVT 1044Gen Ed
Government and Politics: US4 or 5POLS 1514Gen Ed
Government/Politics Comp4 or 5None4Gen Ed
History, American4 or 5None4Elective
History, European4 or 5None4Elective
History, World4 or 5HIST 2154Gen Ed
Languages4 or 5None4[On completion (with a C or better) of the course into which they are placed by PLU's placement system, student may receive four advanced placement credits. AP credit is not awarded for 100-level courses.]
Mathematics AB3, 4 or 5MATH 1514Gen Ed
Mathematics BC3MATH 1514Gen Ed
Mathematics BC4 or 5MATH 151 & 1528Gen Ed
Music4 or 5MUSI 1014Gen Ed
Physics 15PHYS 1254Gen Ed
Physics 25PHYS 1264Gen Ed
Physics C: Mechanics5PHYS 1534Gen Ed
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism5PHYS 1544Gen Ed
Psychology4 or 5PSYC 1014Gen Ed
Statistics4 or 5STAT 2314Gen Ed [May not be used to fulfill the statistics requirement for degrees in psychology, sociology, social work or minors.]