Incoming Students

transfer credit and prepare for mathematics at WashU

Advanced Placement Credit

Accepted Courses

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

BC

5

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 qualified to enter Math 233 (Calculus III).  No credit is awarded for AP Calculus Test scores less than 5.  However, completion of Math 233 (at W.U.) with a grade of C+ or better earns retroactive AP credit for Math 131-132. See "alternate route" note below this table.
BC 3 Student is possibly qualified 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 qualified 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 qualified 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 Edward Spitznagel 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 any AP score, or no AP score at all) 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 UniversityRetroactive 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, 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 III, he or she can petition the department for a notation in the "Milestones" section of their permanent WashU record:  "Calculus III 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 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 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 versions of the calculus placement exam, testing your readiness for Calculus I, Calculus II, or Calculus III. You can choose which of the exams to take, and you may take more than one of the exams. To take the calculus placement exam:

  • Go to Blackboard and login with your WUSTL Key.
  • Look under My Courses for “Math Placement Test.”
  • Choose which test to take: Readiness for Calc I, Calc II, or Calc III. You may decide at any time to take a different exam by coming back to this page.
  • Allow yourself 2 hours of time to work without interruption on the exam.
  • After you take the exam, the score will immediately be found in Blackboard. The next day, our advice based on this score will be available under "Placement" when you sign on to WebSTAC.

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.
  • If you are a student with special needs and need or want more time on the placement exam, we encourage you to take the exam as usual. Our experience is that even students qualified for extended time are able to finish the placement exam in the amount of time given. If, after taking the online placement exam, you feel your results do not accurately reflect your calculus knowledge and ability, please contact the Disability Resource Center. We will work with you as needed to make sure you receive an appropriate calculus placement.
  • The recommendation from the placement exam is only advisory. The final decision about course selection can be made between you and 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.

Those who have received an AP Calculus score of 4 or 5 do not need to take the exam, although you may do so if you wish.

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. You should be able to take it as soon as you are assigned a WashU ID Number and set up your WUSTL Key.

Transfer Students

Transferring Credit

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.

Mathematics Credits

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.