Credit Certification

Physics and Astronomy does not offer placement exams.

AP Credit

Advanced Standing: AP High School course and AP Exam

A score of 5 on the appropriate AP Exam leads to credit for the following introductory physics courses at Penn.

Exam Score Credit Awarded
AP “B” 5 PHYS 101 + 102 (3CU)
AP “1”* 5 PHYS 101 (1.5CU)
AP “2”* 5 PHYS 102 (1.5CU)
AP “C” Mechanics 5 PHYS 150 (1.5CU)
AP “C” Electromagnetism 5 PHYS 151 (1.5CU)

Please note that if you receive credit for an introductory Physics course at Penn, the AP Credit for that course or a similar one is lost.

*Note that as of Fall 2014, the algebra-based AP Physics course will change. Physics B will no longer be offered, and will be replace by Physics 1 and Physics 2. Penn will award course credit for a score of 5 on the appropriate AP exam as listed above.

Foreign Coursework

Advanced Standing: Foreign Equivalent of an AP Course and AP Exam

A sufficiently high score on the foreign equivalent of an AP Exam leads to credit for the following introductory physics courses at Penn.

You will receive credit for the appropriate course(s) automatically based on your Exam score, as detailed in the table below.

Exam Score Credit
“A-levels” A PHYS 150 + 151
“A-levels” B PHYS 101 + 102
“A-levels” C No credit given.
Intl. Bacc. (SL)   No credit given.
Intl. Bacc. (HL) 6 or 7 PHYS 150 + 102
CEGEP Superior No credit given.
French Bacc. >12, Coeff > 4 No credit given.
German Arbitur >10 No credit given.

Note: No credit is awarded for “AS-level” courses. Other foreign exams may be eligible for credit – please consult with the Undergraduate Chair.

Please note that if you receive credit for an introductory Physics course at Penn, the AP Credit for that course or a similar one is lost.

Credit Away

“Credit away” is awarded for courses that you take at another College or University while you are enrolled as a student at Penn. The most common example is a course taken during a semester abroad or during the summer.

The Physics and Astronomy Credit Away policy is aligned with the rules of the College for Credit Away. You should submit your request for Credit Away through the XCAT system before taking the course, including all available course information (ideally a detailed syllabus). A minimum grade of C is required for a course to be eligible for Credit Away in Physics or Astronomy. The Undergraduate Chair of the Department will determine whether the University you propose is suitable for Credit Away. As a rule, we are looking for strong institutions with national reputations and competitive enrollment policies. Branch campuses and regional universities are typically not appropriate. XCAT requests for Physics and Astronomy usually take about 1 month to process, so please plan ahead to avoid taking a course that turns out not to be eligible for Credit Away.