Advanced Placement Credit
A student's undergraduate school (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Business, Architecture, Art) may place a limit on the total number of AP or other prematriculation credits allowed. Within those credit limits, it is possible to receive AP Credit for:
- Calculus I (Math 131)
- Calculus II (Math 132)
- Elementary Probability and Statistics (Math 2200)
Credit Based on AP Calculus Tests
|AP Test Version||Score||Interpretation|
|6 units credit for Math 131-132 (Calculus I and II). Recommended placement in Math 233 (Calculus III) or possibly Math 203 (Freshman Honors Mathematics I)|
|BC||4||Student is probably ready to enter Math 233 (Calculus III). No credit is awarded for AP Calculus Test scores less than 5. Completion of Math 233 at Wash U with a grade of C+ or better earns retroactive AP credit for Math 131 and 132. See "alternate route" note below this table.|
|BC||3||Student is possibly ready to enter Math 233 (Calculus III) but Math 132 (Calculus II) might be more suitable.|
|AB or AB subscore on BC exam||5||3 units credit for Math 131 (Calculus I). Recommended placement in Math 132 (Calculus II).|
|AB||4||Student is probably ready to enter Math 132 (Calculus II). No credit is awarded for AP Calculus Test scores less than 5. However, completion of Math 132 (at WashU) with a grade of C+ or better earns retroactive AP credit for Math 131. See "alternate route" note below this table.|
|AB||3||Student is possibly ready to enter Math 132 (Calculus II) but Math 131 (Calculus I) might be more suitable.|
Credit Based on AP Statistics Tests
Students with an AP Statistics score of 5 receive 3 units of credit for Math 2200 (Elementary Probability & Statistics). If these students wish to continue studying statistics they should consult with Blake Thornton about course selection. If they are also interested in studying mathematics (and not just taking another statistics course), then usually they should complete at least Calculus III (Math 233) before going on in statistics.
No credit is awarded for an AP Statistics score less than 5. Such students could consider Math 2200 (a course similar to the AP statistics syllabus) or first taking Calculus III (Math 233) followed by Math 3200 (Elementary to Intermediate Statistics with Data Analysis).
Alternative Route to AP Calculus Credit
Any student (with or without an AP score) can receive AP credit for:
- Math 131 (3 units) by completing Math 132 with a grade of C+ or better
- Math 131 and 132 (total: 6 units) by completing Math 233 with a grade of C+ or better
Math 131 and 132 are the only courses which can receive "retroactive AP credit," and this policy applies only when the more advanced course in the calculus sequence is taken at Washington University. Retroactive credits will appear in the "Other Credits" section of the student record by the end of the following semester.
Note: If a student takes Math 132 or 233, receives a grade less than C+, and then later retakes the course and earns a grade of C+ or better, retroactive AP credit will not be awarded for earlier courses in the calculus sequence.
International Baccalaureate and British A-Level Credit
International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit in Mathematics
IB score of 6-7 for Math (Level HL): 3 units of credit for Calculus I (Math 131)
If the student's IB HL program included the Series and Differential Equations optional component, then the student may be able to receive additional credits for Calculus II (Math 132) in one of two ways:
- We encourage such students to take Calculus III (Math 233). If Math 233 is completed at Washington University with a grade of C+ or better, the student will retroactively receive an additional 3 units of credits for Calculus II (Math 132).
- If such a student does not plan to continue into Calculus II, he or she can petition the department for a notation in the "Milestones" section of their permanent WashU record: "Calculus II waived on recommendation of the Mathematics Department." In this case, contact Blake Thornton. The petition process will involve verification with the high school that the "Series and Differential Equations" option was included in the student's HL program.
In all cases, these students should take the Mathematics Department Calculus Placement Exam if they plan to enroll in a calculus course at Washington University.
British A-Level Credit in Mathematics
Mathematics: Students receiving Advanced Level grades of A*, A or B will be awarded 3 units of credits for Math 131 automatically. An Advanced Level grade of C will receive 3 units credit for Math 131 after completion of Math 132 with a grade of C+ or better.
Mathematics (Further): Students receiving Advanced Level grades of A*, A or B will be awarded 6 units of credit for Math 131 and Math 132 automatically. An Advanced Level grade of C will receive 6 units credit for Math 131 and Math 132 after successful completion of Math 233 with a grade of C+ or better (or 3 units credit form Math 131 upon completion of Math 132 with a grade of C+ or better).
Calculus Placement Exam
Exam Link & Instructions
There are three math placement modules that can be found inside of Canvas. You can choose which of the exams to take, and you may take more than one of the exams. To take the calculus placement exams:
- Go to Canvas and login with your WUSTL Key.
- Look under My Courses for “Math Placement Test.”
Follow the instructions there.
- Allow yourself about 2 hours of time to work without interruption on the exam.
- After you take the exam, the score will immediately be found in Canvas.
About the Placement Exam
- No course credit is given for doing well on the exam.
- We recommend that you do not spend a lot of time studying. The exam is designed to be taken during the summer after a student has been away from school for several weeks, and we try to take that into account when interpreting the scores.
- If you take an exam and get a low score, then you have the option to retake the exam for the preceding course.
- The recommendation from the placement exam is only advisory. However, if you plan to enroll in a different course than recommended, you should first consult with your advisor.
Who needs to take the Placement Exam?
The exam is for incoming students in any school (Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, Architecture, Art) who are planning to take Calculus I, II, or III.
When should I take the exam?
You should take the placement exam before you confer with your advisor--whether that's in person or online--about registration. Once you have your WashU ID Number and set up your WUSTL Key, you should be able to take the placement exam.
First-Year Honors Mathematics Sequence
This one-year sequence Honors Mathematics I-II (Math 203-204) is designed for first year students with a strong background in calculus technique. It aims to give students a rigorous understanding of single and multivariable calculus and basic linear algebra, together with their theoretical underpinnings. Along the way, students will be introduced to the language and methods of modern mathematics, with a strong emphasis on proofs.
The prerequisite for enrollment is a score of 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam, a score of 7 on the IB HL Mathematics or Further Mathematics exams, or an A on the UK A-Level Further Mathematics exam, or the permission of the instructor.
Please note: Many students who have been very successful in high school calculus (including many who earned a "5" on the BC exam) will still find the regular Calculus III course (Math 233) a better fit for them. Math 203-204 is a more theoretical treatment and of more interest to students who enjoy mathematics and logical reasoning for their own sake. A student who begins with the standard Calculus III course will still be able to complete a strong major in mathematics if desired.
In the first semester, the course will use a classic and challenging textbook (Apostol, Calculus, vol 1); it will start at the beginning of calculus and do a careful treatment of topics, taking advantage of the fact that students already know how to do the standard Calculus I & II calculations. Although students go "back to the beginning," those who complete both Math 203-204 will have covered the material through Calculus III in a rigorous way. They will also have covered a significant part of introductory linear algebra and have developed some ability in reading and writing proofs. On the recommendation of the instructor, students who do well should be able to replace one or two intermediate courses usually taken by math majors with more advanced courses. They will be in a position for a stronger math major and will not have fallen behind: in fact, they may be a course or two more advanced than others by the end of the freshman year. You can see a list of the topics Math 203 will cover in the WUSTL Course Listings online.
Your undergraduate school at Washington University (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Business, Art, or Architecture) will arrange that credits for any appropriate mathematics courses taken elsewhere get transferred and entered on your Washington University record. To do this, your undergraduate office needs an official transcript from your previous school.
When transferring mathematics credits, the mathematics department is usually consulted to see which courses here are equivalent to courses you've already taken. This is especially true for any "upper level" courses beyond calculus and differential equations. Your courses might temporarily be transferred simply as "math electives" until we can make an evaluation of the courses. It will help use to evaluate your math background if you bring along some information about previous math courses, for example:
- a course syllabus
- the name of the textbook you used and its author(s)
- the text book itself or a photocopy of the table of contents
- a URL to the location where your previous school posts a description or syllabus for the course
The more information you can provide, the better job we can do in getting you the correct credits and placing you into the right courses here.