Additional Information on External Exams

Although AP credit for a subject is not considered “the same” as a specific college course, below find a list of some college courses that will invalidate AP credit because the content in the AP course and the content in the college course overlap.  If the student takes the course the student will not receive AP credit.  Also note, many universities will not accept AP credit for major course requirements. Please read notes #1 through #10 below.

AP Art History (meets IGETC Area 3A or CSU GE Area C1) –  ART 101,   

AP Biology (meets IGETC Area 5B & 5C and  CSU GE Area B2 & B3) – BIOL 110,   

AP Chemistry (meets IGETC Area 5A & 5C and  CSU GE Area B1 & B3)  – CHEM 210,   

AP Chinese (meets IGETC Area 3B and  CSU GE Area C2) – CHIN 111-134,   

AP Macroeconomics (meets IGETC Area 4 and  CSU GE Area D)  – ECON 100,  

AP Microeconomics (meets IGETC Area 4 and  CSU GE Area D) – ECON 102,    

AP English Language and Composition  (meets IGETC Area 1A and  CSU GE Area A2) – ENGL 100 or 105,    

AP Literature and Composition (meets IGETC Area 1A OR 3B and CSU GE Areas A2 and C2) – ENGL 100 or 105 and ENGL 110,   

AP Psychology (meets IGETC Area 4 and CSU GE Area D) – PSYC 100,   

AP Statistics (meets IGETC Area 2A and CSU GE Area B4) – MATH 200,  

AP Spanish (Meets IGETC 3B and 6A and CSU GE Area C2) – SPAN 110 and 120.

  1. Issues around credit for external exams are complex. Where there is common use for general education areas as noted above, the use of external exams to meet major requirements is complex and specific to the receiving transfer institution. It is up to the student to thoroughly research this information.
  2. The chart does not provide information about if or how external exam results apply to major course requirements. Applying AP, IB, or CLEP credit to meet major requirements is determined by each transfer institution. 
  3. At Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College, each instructional division determines IF OR HOW AP, IB, and/or CLEP credit is applied to associate degree major or certificate requirements. Talk to a counselor for assistance.
  4. Students earning an AP score of 3, 4, or 5 in the physical and biological science examinations meet IGETC Area 5 and the IGETC laboratory activity, Area 5C, requirements. AP exams in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics B allow California community colleges to apply 4 semester units to IGETC area certification to cover both the science lecture and science lab unit requirements for IGETC Area 5. However, for Environmental Science, Physics C: Mechanics, and Physics C: Electricity/magnetism, only 3 semester or 4 quarter units are applied to IGETC area 5A and 5C certification which means that students who complete these AP exams are required to complete a 4 semester or 5 quarter unit course to satisfy the minimum required units for IGETC Area 5.
  5. Actual AP transfer credit awarded for AP exams for admission is determined by the CSU and UC. The UC Policy for AP credit can be found online.
  6. The CSU has a system-wide policy for AP and other exams for awarding transfer credit for admission. The CSU policy for AP can be found on the CSU website.
  7. Actual IB transfer credit awarded for IB exams for admission is determined by the CSU and UC. The UC Policy for IB credit can be found on the UC website.
  8. The CSU has a system-wide policy for IB exams for awarding transfer credit for admission. The CSU policy for IB can be found on the CSU website.
  9. External exam policies for UC and CSU are subject to periodic modifications.
  10. External exam credit CANNOT be applied to IGETC Area 1B and CSU GE Area A3 (Critical Thinking areas of GE).