College-level 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.

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.

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.

These policies have been set by the Pacific Lutheran University Office of the Registrar and respective academic departments. PLU reserves the right to make college-level credit decisions on an individual basis.

  • Students who have completed advanced placement tests with appropriate scores receive credit.
  • Credit is awarded only for scores of 3, 4 or 5.
  • Credit is applied to specific General Education Requirements or elective credit depending on the test category and score.
  • See the AP Course Policy chart here or scroll down 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.

  • PLU awards 32 semester hours of credit for completion of the IB Diploma
  • These 32 credits satisfy specific General Education Requirements, including Creative Expression, Engaging the Natural World, Examining Self & Society, Exploring Values & Worldviews, Interpreting Text, and Quantitative Reasoning. See the full credit breakdown on this IB Diploma chart.
  • For individual IB exams (without the IB diploma), students can receive PLU credit for Higher Level Exam scores of 4 or higher. See the IB Higher Level Exams chart here or scroll down to see the credit awarded for each Higher Level IB exam.

In order to transfer Running Start credits to PLU:

  • Courses must be from an accredited Washington community college.
    • 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 AA-DTA or AS-T degree through Running Start, that student will be granted junior class standing and will be considered a first-year student with advanced standing*.

For further information, please visit our webpage for Running Start students.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

AP Course Policy Chart

AP SubjectAP Exam ScorePLU CoursePLU CreditsCredit Awarded
Art History3, 4 or 5ARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
Studio Art3, 4 or 5ARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
Biology3, 4 or 5BIOL 1114Gen Ed (Natural World)
Calculus AB3, 4 or 5MATH 1514Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Calculus BC3MATH 1514Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Calculus BC4 or 5MATH 151 & 1528Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Chemistry3, 4 or 5CHEM 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Chinese Language & Culture3, 4 or 5CHIN 102TR4Elective
Computer Science A3CSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Computer Science A4 or 5CSCI 1444Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Computer Science Principles3, 4 or 5CSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
English Language & Composition3, 4 or 5WRIT 100TR4Elective
English Literature & Composition3, 4 or 5ENGL 100TR4Gen Ed (Interpreting Text)
Environmental Science with lab3, 4 or 5ENVT 1044Gen Ed (Natural World)
French Language & Culture3, 4 or 5FREN 102TR4Elective
German Language & Culture3, 4 or 5GERM 100TR4Elective
Government & Politics: United States3, 4 or 5POLS 1514Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Government & Politics: Comparative3, 4 or 5POLS 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
History: United States3, 4 or 5HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
History: European3, 4 or 5HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
History: World3, 4 or 5HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Human Geography3, 4 or 5SSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Italian Language & Culture3, 4 or 5LANG 100TR4Elective
Japanese Language & Culture3, 4 or 5LANG 100TR4Elective
Latin3, 4 or 5LATN 100TR4Elective
Macroeconomics3, 4 or 5ECON 102TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Microeconomics3, 4 or 5ECON 101TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Music Theory3, 4 or 5MUSI 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
Physics 13PHYS 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics 14 or 5PHYS 1254Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics 23PHYS 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics 24 or 5PHYS 1264Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism3 or 4PHYS 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism5PHYS 1544Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics C: Mechanics3PHYS 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Physics C: Mechanics4 or 5PHYS 1534Gen Ed (Natural World)
Precalculus3MATH 1154Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Precalculus4 or 5MATH 1404Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Psychology3, 4 or 5PSYC 1014Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Research3, 4 or 5GENR 100TR4Elective
Seminar3, 4 or 5GENR 100TR4Elective
Spanish Language & Culture3, 4 or 5HISP102TR4Elective
Spanish Literature3, 4 or 5HISP 100TR4Gen Ed (Interpreting Text)
Statistics3, 4 or 5STAT 231TR4Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)

IB Diploma Chart

If you complete an IB Diploma, you’ll receive the following 32 PLU semester hours of credit.

PLU CoursePLU CreditsCredit Awarded
ARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
ENGL 100TR4Gen Ed (Interpretive Text)
MATH 100TR4Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning) [MATH 151 or MATH 152 awarded if Math Higher Level Exam completed]
NSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
PHIL 100TR4Gen Ed (Exploring Values & Worldviews)
SSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society) [PSYC 101 awarded if Psychology Higher Level Exam completed]
GENR 100TR8Electives

IB Higher Level Exams Chart

PLU credit is awarded for scores of 4 or above on IB Higher Level IB Exams only.

Higher Level IB ExamPLU CoursePLU CreditsCredit Awarded
Analysis & ApproachesMATH 1514Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
Applications & InterpretationMATH 151 & 1524-8Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning) [MATH 151 only awarded if not already awarded from Analysis & Approaches Exam]
BiologyBIOL 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Business ManagementBUSA 100TR4Elective
ChemistryCHEM 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
Classical LanguagesLANG 100TR4Elective
Computer ScienceCSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Quantitative Reasoning)
DanceDANC 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
Design TechnologyNSCI 100TR4Elective
Digital SocietySSCI 100TR4Elective
EconomicsECON 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
FilmCOMA 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
GeographySSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Global PoliticsPOLS 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
HistoryHIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Language A: Language & LiteratureENGL 100TR4Gen Ed (Interpretive Text)
Language A: LiteratureENGL 100TR4Gen Ed (Interpretive Text)
Language BLANG100TR4Elective
MusicMUSI 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
PhilosophyPHIL 100TR4Gen Ed (Exploring Values & Worldviews)
PhysicsPHYS 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural World)
PsychologyPSYC 1014Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Social & Cultural AnthropologyANTH 100TR4Gen Ed (Examining Self & Society)
Sports, Exercise & Health ScienceFTWL 1004Gen Ed (Fitness & Wellness)[A second activity course is required to complete the full Fitness & Wellness requirement]
TheatreTHEA 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)
Visual ArtsARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Creative Expression)