Pre-Matriculation Work

Carleton accepts up to 36 credits toward the Carleton degree from the following:

  • College Board Advanced Placement,
  • Higher Level International Baccalaureate,
  • select British A-level Examinations with grades of B or higher
  • Approved pre-matriculation credits (credits earned in college-level courses taken before graduation from high school or before matriculation at a college or university).  

These credits may not be applied to distribution requirements. Additional information on transferring college-level work can be found in our Transfer of Credits Policy.

Beginning with the incoming class of 2026

Carleton accepts any combination of up to 18 pre- or post-matriculation credits toward the Carleton degree from the following: 

  • College Board Advanced Placement, 
  • Higher Level International Baccalaureate, 
  • select British A-level Examinations (GCE) with grades of B or higher, 
  • credits earned in college-level courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university, including courses taken as PSEO or College in the Schools. 

Prematriculation credits may not be applied to distribution requirements. Additional information on transferring college-level work can be found in our Transfer of Credits Policy.

Placement Testing Scores

Several departments on campus offer tests to determine student placement into appropriate level Carleton courses. Some placement examinations are administered via the Web during the summer prior to matriculation; others are offered during New Student Week.

Carleton language and math placement test scores indicate the course the student should register for (e.g., a 204 in Spanish means you should register for Spanish 204). A score of 205 in French, German, Latin, Russian or Spanish (or 206 in Arabic, Chinese or Japanese) means that the language requirement has been satisfied. SAT II scores of 690 and above for French or 650 or above for Spanish or 680 and above for German successfully fulfill the Language Requirement.

In the disciplines of foreign language and mathematics, Carleton requires placement exam results to determine transferability of credits earned at a prior college.

College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement

The following policies regarding CEEB Advanced Placement examination scores apply for the 2021-22 academic year:

ART AND ART HISTORY—Art History: Score of 5: 6 credits granted. Credits do not apply to the major. Studio Art (2D, 3D or Drawing): Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted (maximum twelve credits from Studio Art AP) Placement awarded beyond ARTS 110, but only after departmental review of the portfolio. Credits do not apply to the major.

BIOLOGY—Score of 5: 6 credits granted that count toward the biology major and placement is awarded into Biology 126; Biology 125 is not required for upper-level courses in biology. Score of 3 or 4: 6 credits granted, both introductory courses are required for upper-level courses in biology.

CHEMISTRY—Score of 3: Placement is awarded into Chemistry 123 or 128. Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted that count toward a chemistry major and placement is awarded into Chemistry 224 Principles of Chemistry II or CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I. Students receiving this AP credit cannot also get credit for Chemistry 123 or 128. The Chemistry Department strongly encourages students receiving AP credit to wait until their sophomore year to take Chemistry 233 (Organic Chemistry I).

CLASSICAL LANGUAGES—Greek: There is no Greek Advanced Placement Test, however,  placement and fulfillment of the Language Requirement may be awarded to new students with the appropriate knowledge of ancient Greek. Take the Greek placement exam during New Student Week. Latin Literature, Virgil: Score of 1-4: No credit granted. Placement determined after taking the on-line Latin exam. Score of 5: 6 credits granted and the Language Requirement fulfilled either by passing the departmental on-line Latin Placement Test or by placing into and successfully completing Latin 204 with a grade of C- or above.

COMPUTER SCIENCE—Computer Science A: Score of 4 or 5: exemption granted for Computer Science 111; 6 credits granted which count toward a computer science major (for Computer Science 111). Computer Science Principles: Score of 5: 6 credits granted

ECONOMICS—Only Economics Micro: Score of 5: 6 credits and exemption granted from Principles of Economics 111 course. Only Economics Macro: Score of 5: 6 credits and exemption granted from Principles of Economics 110 course. Both Economics Micro and Macro: Score of 5: 6 credits and exemption granted from Principles of Economics 110 and 111 courses.

ENGLISH—Language/Composition: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted. Literature/Composition: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted. Score of 5 in Literature/Composition: 6 credits granted for English major and exemption from "Foundations" requirement.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE—Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted.

FRENCH—Language: Score of 1, 2, 3: No credit or placement awarded. If the Language Requirement is to be fulfilled with the French language or placement in the French course sequence is desired, take the French Placement Test. Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course above Level 204; Language Requirement fulfilled.

GEOGRAPHY—No course credit offered.

GERMAN—Language: Score of 1, 2, 3: No credit or placement awarded. If the Language Requirement is to be fulfilled with the German language, or placement with the German course sequence is desired, take the German Placement Test. Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course for which the level 204 language class is a prerequisite; Language Requirement fulfilled.

HISTORY—The History department grants credit toward the major and towards Early Modern/Modern European and U.S. fields within the major for scores of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement examinations in United States and European history. The department does not give major credit for the AP World History examination at this time, although a 4 or 5 on the AP World History Examination may be used to fulfill the 210 credits needed for graduation. Note: the History department will count no more than 12 pre-matriculation credits total toward the major from approved exams (AP and/or IB), and majors are strongly encouraged to count no more than 6 such credits toward the major.

MATHEMATICS and STATISTICS—Calculus AB: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted which count toward the Math major (for Mathematics 111) after successful completion of Mathematics 120 with a grade of C- or better.  Calculus BC: Score of 4 or 5: 12 credits granted which count toward the Math major (for Mathematics 111 and 120) after successful completion of Mathematics 211 with grade of C- or better. Statistics: Score of 4 or 5: placement into Statistics 230 (formerly Mathematics 245); 6 credits granted after successful completion of Statistics 230 (formerly Mathematics 245) with a grade of C- or better.

MUSIC—Theory: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted. This does not grant students automatic exemption from Music 103 (Musicianship Lab I) and/or Music 110 (Theory I); exemption in these courses is determined by departmental placement exam. Credits earned via the AP exam do not count for elective credit in the major or minor.

PHYSICS 1: Score of 3, 4, or 5: 3 credits granted. Physics 1 and 2: Score of 3, 4, or 5 on both exams: 6 credits granted. Score of 3 suggested placement into Physics 131 (five weeks course) or Physics 143 or Physics 145 (ten week courses). Score of 4 or 5 suggested placement into Physics 144 (10 week course) with appropriate math preparation. Physics C Mechanics OR Physics C Electricity & Magnetism: Score of 3, 4, or 5: 3 credits granted. Physics C Mechanics AND Physics C Electricity & Magnetism: Score of 3, 4 or 5 on both exams: 6 credits granted. Score of 4 or 5 suggested placement into Physics 144 (10 week course). Placement into higher courses possible, but will be determined individually upon consultation with the department. No more than 6 total credits can be granted for AP Physics exams.

POLITICAL SCIENCEAmerican Government Score of 5: 6 credits granted which fulfill the Political Science 122 requirement for a major in the Department of Political Science. Comparative Government Score of 5: 6 credits granted which fulfill the Political Science 120 requirement for a major in the Department of Political Science.

PSYCHOLOGY—Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits and exemption from Psychology 110 granted after successful completion (C- or better) of any 200 or 300 level Psychology course.

SPANISH—Language: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course above Level 204; Language Requirement fulfilled. Literature: Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted and placement awarded into any course above Level 204; Language Requirement fulfilled.

International Baccalaureate

Carleton’s policy for the 2021-22 academic year on awarding credit for International Baccalaureate Higher level examinations is as follows:

ART—Studio Art (Drawing and General): Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted. Placement awarded beyond ARTS 110, but only after departmental review of the portfolio. Credits do not apply to the major.

BIOLOGY— Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted that count toward the biology major and placement is awarded into Biology 126, Biology 125 is not required for upper-level courses in biology. Score of 4 or 5: 6 credits granted, both introductory courses are required for upper-level courses in biology.

CHEMISTRY—Score of 4: Placement is awarded into Chemistry 123 or 128. Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits are granted that count toward the chemistry major and placement is awarded into Chemistry 224 Principles of Chemistry II or CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I. Students receiving this IB credit cannot also get credit for Chemistry 123 or 128. The Chemistry Department strongly encourages students receiving IB credit to wait until their sophomore year to take Chemistry 233 (Organic Chemistry I).

CHINESE—Score of 5, 6 or 7: 6 credits granted if student successfully fulfills the language requirement through the Carleton Chinese placement exam.

ECONOMICS—Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits and exemption granted from Economics 110 and 111.

ENGLISH—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted. Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted for English major and exemption from "Foundations" requirement.

FRENCH—Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course for which the level 204 language class is a prerequisite; Language Requirement fulfilled.

GERMAN— Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course for which the level 204 language class is a prerequisite; Language Requirement fulfilled.

HISTORY—Score of 5, 6 or 7 in any test, 6 credits granted, which may be applied toward a major field and/or total major credits with approval by the History Department Chair. Note: the History department will count no more than 12 pre-matriculation credits total toward the major from approved exams (AP and/or IB), and majors are strongly encouraged to count no more than 6 such credits toward the major.

JAPANESE—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted if student successfully fulfills the language requirement through the Carleton Japanese placement exam.

LATIN—No course credit offered. Placement subject to Carleton Placement Exam.

MATHEMATICS—Score of 5, 6, or 7: credits are granted when a student successfully completes the course into which placement was awarded with a grade of C- or better. See the Department Chair for placement.

MUSIC—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted. This does not grant students automatic exemption from Music 103 (Musicianship Lab I) and/or Music 110 (Theory I); exemption in these courses is determined by departmental placement exam. Credits earned via the IB exam do not count for elective credit in the major or minor.

PHILOSOPHY—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted.

PHYSICS—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted. Placement into courses will be determined individually upon consultation with the Department.

PSYCHOLOGY—Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits and exemption from Psychology 110 granted after successful completion (C- or better) of any 200 or 300 level Psychology course.

RUSSIAN—Score of 5, 6, or 7: 6 credits granted if student successfully fulfills the language requirement through the Russian placement exam.

SPANISH‑Score of 6 or 7: 6 credits granted; placement awarded into any course for which the level 204 language class is a prerequisite; language requirement fulfilled.

A-Level Examinations

Carleton will grant credit for selected high-level (HL) A-Level (Cambridge) Examinations with grades of B or higher. A laminated score card must be presented to the Registrar's Office for credit to be awarded; the Office will make a copy of your card and return the card to you.