Exemption, Advanced Placement, and Credit by Examination

In all cases, the final decision as to exemption or advanced placement, with or without credit, rests with the Cornell departments concerned and the Dean of the College.

Exemption without credit from a prerequisite for any course listed in this Catalogue may be granted by the instructor.

Exemption without credit from one or more of the general education requirements for the B.A. or B.Mus. degree is granted by some departments for superior achievement on certain examinations. (See Bachelor of Arts, Paragraph 6.)

Cornell accepts the following examinations. The exemption, placement, or credit involved must be requested by the end of the student's eighth Block at Cornell.

  1. Cornell College accepts scores of 3 or higher from most of the College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations. The exemption and/or credit awarded for various exams and scores can be found at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/registrar/gb-resources-student/AP-credit.
  2. The Oxford and Cambridge A-Level Examinations or their equivalents. One or two course credits, depending upon whether the exemption is for one or two courses, are granted for scores of 3 or higher.
  3. The International Baccalaureate. Two course credits are granted for each score of 5 or above on a Higher Level examination, and one course credit for each score of 5 or above on a Standard Level examination, for a maximum of nine course credits. The exemption and/or credit awarded for various exams and scores can be found at: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/registrar/gb-resources-student/ib-exam-score-equivalency.
  4. Examinations prepared and administered by Cornell departments at their option are an additional means of earning credit or exemption, subject to the following conditions:
    1. Exemption or credit by examination may be given only for courses listed in this Catalogue.
    2. Credit by examination may not be given for any independent study, internship, group or individual project, tutorial, seminar, special topic, or research course.
    3. A student who audits a Cornell course or who is tutored by a Cornell faculty member is not eligible to receive credit by examination for such work. A Cornell independent study course (see Courses 290/390 and b. above) is the appropriate vehicle for such work.
    4. Credit by examination is an option offered to students who have mastered Cornell's course material through study by themselves, in high school or elsewhere (but not for a course for which the student also receives transfer credit), or through some life experience.
    5. Students desiring credit by examination must first receive permission from the department concerned. A student may receive credit by examination for a maximum of seven courses (no more than two such credits may be in any one department). The examinations must be completed by the end of the student's eighth Block at Cornell.
    6. Credit will not be granted twice for passing two relatively similar topics. Students who believe that the two are significantly different should consult the department chair for permission to receive credit for both. If granted, the chair(s) must notify the Registrar in writing.

Credit by examination granted by another institution will not automatically transfer to Cornell; but where the examination is one that is used by Cornell, credit will be given if the student's performance meets Cornell's standards.

A student who receives credit for a course by examination and repeats that course at Cornell will have the examination credit subtracted. Also, students are not eligible to receive credit by examination for a lower-level course after they have completed or begun a course for which the other is a prerequisite.