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Information on Advanced Placement and Advanced Standing

Academic Year 2014-15 - Provisional for the Class of 2018

The advanced placement policy at Princeton is designed to give recognition to college-level work prior to matriculation and to allow you to pursue your studies at a level appropriate to your preparation. If you have been granted sufficient advanced placement units in the appropriate number of subject areas (see AP Credit Reference Table), you may be eligible for advanced standing, which will permit you to graduate in either three years or with three and one-half years of study.

Below is some general information concerning advanced placement and advanced standing at Princeton. The director of studies in your residential college and the Academic Guide can provide further guidance in exploring the options available to you.

I. Earning Advanced Placement

Individual departments award advanced placement on one or more of the following bases:

1. official score reports from Advanced Placement Examinations, SAT Reasoning Tests and SAT Subject Tests, the International Baccalaureate (higher level), and British A-level examinations (see table for minimum scores accepted);

2. results of placement tests offered by departments at Princeton. Placement tests are offered in foreign languages, physics, and chemistry during orientation. (The mathematics department has its own placement procedures.)

You are not eligible for AP credit for college courses taken prior to matriculation unless you take an approved standardized examination or a placement test offered by Princeton in the subject.

At the beginning of the fall term, you will receive a report of all the AP units that you were granted at matriculation. Please review this report carefully and immediately inform your director of studies if our records are not accurate. In the middle of the term, you will receive a second report, which will reflect scores that have been received during the intervening weeks.

II. Uses of Advanced Placement

You can use advanced placement in the following ways:

1. to enter upper-level courses;

2. to fulfill the foreign language requirement;

3. to become eligible for graduation in three years or with three and one-half years of study (advanced standing);

4.  to fulfill B.S.E. general requirements in math, physics, and chemistry.

Please note that you CANNOT use advanced placement:

1. to fulfill the writing requirement;

2. to make up course deficiencies;

3. to reduce your course load in a given term;

4. to fulfill the distribution requirements.

III. Counting Advanced Placement Units for Advanced Standing

When adding up your AP units, please remember the following points:

1. Each AP unit replaces one Princeton course.

2. The maximum number of AP units per subject is two.

3. All advanced placement awarded at matriculation is recorded on your transcript. You forfeit the use of your AP for advanced standing if you take courses deemed equivalent to or below ones for which advanced placement was granted. In the case of foreign language, if you were awarded two units of advanced placement credit at matriculation, you forfeit both units if you enroll in any 100-level course in the language for which AP was granted.

IV. AP Units and Subjects Required for Advanced Standing

1. Requirements for graduation in three years (by becoming a sophomore in the spring of the first year or a junior in the fall of the second year):

A.B. candidates need eight advanced placement units (equivalent to eight Princeton courses) distributed in at least three of the following subject areas in which AP is granted: foreign languages, historical analysis, literature and the arts, quantitative reasoning, science and technology, and social analysis.

A.B. candidates need a minimum of 23 courses to graduate, of which a maximum of two may be taken away from Princeton with prior approval.

B.S.E. candidates need eight advanced placement units, among them two in physics, two in mathematics, and one in chemistry. B.S.E. candidates need a minimum of 28 courses to graduate, of which a maximum of three may be taken away from Princeton with prior approval.

2. Requirements for graduation with three and one-half years of study (by taking off one term of the sophomore year):

A.B. candidates need four advanced placement units in at least two subject areas. A.B. candidates need a minimum of 27 courses to graduate, of which a maximum of two may be taken away from Princeton with prior approval.

B.S.E. candidates need four advanced placement units, including two in physics, one in mathematics, and one in chemistry. B.S.E. candidates need a minimum of 32 courses to graduate, of which a maximum of three may be taken away from Princeton with prior approval.

V. Eligibility for Advanced Standing

1. Eligibility to graduate in three years. In addition to presenting the appropriate number of advanced placement units in the required subject areas, you are required to:

a. have fulfilled all prerequisites for a major;

b. propose a plan of study in a major, approved by the appropriate departmental representative;

c. indicate how you will fulfill all remaining University requirements; and

d. have earned a B average (with no grade lower than a C) prior to the start of junior year.

The Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing, which formally grants advanced standing, may also rescind it if, in its judgment, you have not made satisfactory progress toward the degree.

2. Eligibility to graduate with three and one-half years of study. In addition to presenting the appropriate number of advanced placement units in the required subject areas, you are required to:

a. have a B- average (with no grade lower than a C) prior to your leave;

b. indicate your choice of major and how you will fulfill the prerequisites for it.

VI. Notification of Eligibility and Application Procedures

You will be notified by your director of studies of your eligibility for a year or a term of advanced standing in November, after a review of your midterm grades.

For a year of advanced standing you must submit an application by the beginning of the first day of the spring term of the freshman year. You should be choosing courses for the spring term with a three-year degree in mind.

If you plan to take the fall term of sophomore year on advanced standing, you should meet with your director of studies by April 1 to discuss your plans. If you plan to take the spring term of the sophomore year on advanced standing, you should meet with your director of studies by December 1 to discuss your plans.

During your term away, you will officially be on a leave of absence. Before leaving campus, you must see your residential college dean to arrange for the leave.

VII. Reverting from Advanced Standing

If you decide to take a year of advanced standing and then decide to stay the full four years, you may revert and join your original class anytime prior to the start of your senior year. If you do not change your concentration, your junior independent work will count. If you are on financial aid, you will still be eligible for a full four years of aid.