Advance Course Credit at PLU

PLU gives entering students advance course credit for Advance Placement (AP) courses, the Washington State Running Start Program, the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and other college-level credit.

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.
  • Please refer below to see credit awarded for each test.

Special Coursework and GPA

PLU gives AP courses, honors courses, and accelerated courses special status when calculating the admissions grade point average. Each course successfully completed in these categories is weighted and may positively impact the admissions GPA.

AP Subject
AP Exam Score
Course Equivalent
Credit 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 5ECON 1014Gen Ed
Economics: Macro4 or 5ECON 1024Gen 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
Environmental Science without lab4 or 5None4Gen 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 5None4See below [****,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 B5PHYS 1254Gen Ed[*****,Upon successful completion of PHYS 126]
Physics C5PHYS 1534Gen Ed [******,Upon successful completion of PHYS 154]
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.]

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

Running Start
  • Accepted students who have completed courses under the Washington State Running Start Program are awarded transfer credit. Such courses must be described in the catalog of an accredited Washington State Community College, must be posted on an official transcript and post a grade of a C- or higher.
  • Running Start students entering the university the fall after receiving their HS diploma are considered “freshmen with advanced standing.” This allows them to receive college credit before entry to PLU, while maintaining access to financial aid and scholarships available only to freshmen.
  • Associate of Arts (AA) degrees earned through Running Start are evaluated the same as any AA degree from Washington State Community Colleges. Although students are considered “freshmen with advanced standing” for admissions and financial aid purposes, they are granted junior academic status.
  • Students entering with a direct transfer AA have fulfilled all General Education Requirements, with the exception of one religious studies course and one Perspectives on Diversity course. Running Start students must still satisfy entrance requirements in mathematics and foreign language, and the College of Arts & Sciences requirement if pursuing a BA or BS.
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.
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.
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.

Pacific Lutheran University reserves the right to make decisions on an individual basis. These policies are accurate at the time of printing.