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 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.

  • 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 complete 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.

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 History4 or 5ARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Art, Music, Theatre)
Studio Art4 or 5ARTD 100TR4Gen Ed (Art, Music, Theatre)
Biology4 or 5BIOL 1114Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Calculus AB3, 4 or 5MATH 1514Gen Ed (Math Reasoning or Natural Science)
Calculus BC3MATH 1514Gen Ed (Math Reasoning or Natural Science)
Calculus BC4 or 5MATH 151 & 1528Gen Ed (Math Reasoning or Natural Science)
Chemistry4 or 5CHEM 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural Science) [Speak with PLU's chemistry department chair for possible CHEM 115 credit]
Computer Science A4 or 5CSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural Science) [CSCI 144 if CSCI 270 is completed with a C or better]
Computer Science Principles3, 4 or 5CSCI 100TR4Gen Ed (Natural Science)
English Language & Composition4 or 5GENR 100TR4Elective
English Literature & Composition4 or 5ENGL 100TR4Gen Ed (Literature)
Environmental Science with lab4 or 5ENVT 1044Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Government & Politics: United States4 or 5POLS 1514Gen Ed (Social Science)
Government & Politics: Comparative4 or 5POLS 100TR4Gen Ed (Social Science)
History: United States4 or 5HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Social Science)
History: European4 or 5HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Social Science)
History: World4HIST 100TR4Gen Ed (Social Science)
History: World5HIST 2154Gen Ed (Social Science)
Human Geography4 or 5GENR 100TR4Gen Ed (Social Science)
Languages & Cultures4 or 5LANG 100TR4Elective
Macroeconomics4 or 5ECON 1024Gen Ed (Social Science)
Microeconomics4 or 5ECON 1014Gen Ed (Social Science)
Music Theory4 or 5MUSI 100TR4Gen Ed (Art, Music, Theatre)
Physics 15PHYS 1254Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Physics 25PHYS 1264Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism5PHYS 1544Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Physics C: Mechanics5PHYS 1534Gen Ed (Natural Science or Scientific Method)
Psychology4 or 5PSYC 1014Gen Ed (Social Science)
Research4 or 5GENR 100TR4Elective
Seminar4 or 5GENR 100TR4Elective
Statistics4 or 5STAT 2314Gen Ed (Math Reasoning) [May not be used to fulfill the statistics requirement for degrees in psychology, sociology, social work or minors.]