Academic Policies & Procedures for Undergraduates

Credit: AP and IPC and PMC

Trinity College recognizes three types of college-level work you may have completed prior to matriculation at Duke (this includes courses taken during high school, or in the summer after graduation from high school, or during any gap year before beginning classes at Duke):

The three types of pre-college course work are regarded as equivalent.  All AP/IPC/PMC credits we award you will be added to your Duke transcript and all can be used for placement into higher-level course work and/or to satisfy major and minor requirements to the extent allowed by individual departments.   Additionally, two AP/IPC/PMC credits will count toward 34 course credits needed to graduate.  You do not need to choose.  The Registrar's Office will automatically drop the number of credits you need to graduate to 33 (with 1 AP/IPC/PMC credit) or to 32 (with 2 AP/IPC/PMC credits). 

Additional AP/IPC/PMC credits may be used as acceleration credits if you wish to graduate early. Students who graduate in 7 consecutive fall/spring semesters may count the 2 usual AP/IPC/PMC credits and 2 additional AP/IPC/PMC credits (for a total of four credits) toward the 34 credits.  Students who graduate in 6 consecutive fall/spring semesters may apply the 2 usual AP/IPC/PMC credits and 6 additional AP/IPC/PMC credits (for a total of eight credits) toward the 34 credits needed to graduate.  You may not use acceleration credit to compensate for time taken away from study at Duke, e.g., through a leave of absence or dismissal or withdrawal.  For more information, see Graduating Early

AP/IPC/PMC credits are not given Area of Knowledge or Mode of Inquiry codes and may not be used to fulfill curriculum requirements or continuation requirements.

You may enroll in a course that you have been given AP/IPC/PMC credit for, although this is often not a good idea.  Duke courses are not always easy retakes or a review, and they can go into much more focus and depth than you are expecting.  Further,  if you complete a course for which we've given you credit, the AP/IPC/PMC credit will remain on your academic record but it can not count toward the 34 credits needed to graduate.

On a practical side, we note that any AP, IPC or PMC information that you provided to Duke Admissions was not kept.  You need to submit all information for AP/IPC/PMC credit directly to the Office of the University Registrar at Duke.  You should do this as you matriculate to Duke, or during your first year at Duke.  Having these credits can help you, your advisor, dean and others best advise you on Duke courses and opportunities.   And if you apply for jobs, internships, leadership roles, programs or other opportunities where you might provide a Duke record, the presence of AP, IPC or PMC credit indicates your motivation to take on challenging work while in high school, your ability to take rigorous classes, and your strong foundation in that academic subject.  These credits can be posted after your first year, but our expectation is that you will do so as you enter Duke.

One last note:  AP/IPC/PMC credit is different from postmatriculation transfer credit, which is work that you complete at another college or university after beginning at Duke.  More information and details on that type of transfer credit can be found under Transfer Credit.

Advanced Placement Credit (AP)

Duke recognizes the Advanced Placement program of the College Board, and grants credit for some advanced courses with scores of 4 or 5 on the AP examination.  There is a table of how Duke awards credit for AP scores in each subject area.  For example, a score of 5 in French Language will give you credit for French 204, and French 204 will appear on your Duke transcript.

                        Table of AP Scores and Duke Credit by Department    

All of your AP credits that Duke recognizes will appear on your Duke transcript.  If you have eight AP credits, all eight will appear.    AP credit may be useful in several ways:

  • AP credit in chemistry, computer science, economics, environmental science, math, physics, psychology, and foreign languages can place you out of introductory courses and may fulfill requirements for a major in those areas.  AP credit in biology indicates strength in biology, but does not place you out of the introductory biology courses (Biology 201L, 202L) and does not count toward the major.
  • AP credit in political science, English, art history and similar areas that do not place you out of introductory courses may still be useful in documenting your interest and foundation if you would like to study or work in these areas while at Duke or in the summer.
  • AP credit in biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, psychology and statistics are useful for premed/prehealth students, as these may fulfill requirements of medical, dental, veterinarian, and other health professions schools.  For more information, see the Prehealth website.

Students sometimes ask which AP exams they should choose to take, since AP exams can be expensive and time-consuming.  The general advice might be to take as many as you can in areas that you might want to study here.   Minimally, it is advantageous to take at least two, so that you have the 2 credits that will apply toward the 34 credits needed to graduate.

Duke does not recognize any AP exams that are taken after a student begins at Duke; Duke also does not recognize equivalent exams granting degree credit (CLEP, locally administered placement tests, etc.).

To receive credit for your AP exams, the College Board needs to send your scores directly to the Office of the Registrar at Duke.    Duke's four digit code is 5156.  The various ways of having scores sent are described here.  

International Placement Credit (IPC)

Duke also recognizes various international standardized examinations and grants a limited amount of elective credit for students whose performance in these examinations meets certain standards established by Duke University.  These credits can be awarded only in those subject areas for which there is an AP exam offered domestically.  Credits awarded for international placement exams are counted as electives in the same way as AP credits are awarded.  Scores of all examinations should be sent to the Office of the University Registrar.   Only original documents are accepted, not copies.   See the table below to determine if you will be eligible for international placement credit based on your scores on the individual exams:

Examination Score
1.  International Baccalaureate 6 or 7 on the higher level
2. British, Hong Kong or Singapore A-level (GCE) A or B
3. Cambridge Pre-U M3 or higher
4. Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE) 1 or 2
5. French Baccalauréat 14 or higher
6. Swiss Maturité 4 or 5
7. German Abitur 10 or higher
8. All India/Delhi Senior School Certificate Exam (Class 12) 84 or higher
9. Indian School Certificate Exam (12th year) 84 or higher
10. International Advanced Level (IAL) Exam A or B
11. Higher Secondary Certificate Exam  (india,12th year) 84 or higher
12. Israeli Matriculation Certificate (5 units only) 75 or higher

* Note about Physics: Students who have earned one of the qualifying scores on an international placement examination in physics are given PHY141  credit. Students with higher scores than the minimum may be eligible to obtain credit also for PHY142 upon recommendation of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) for Physics.

Pre-Matriculation Credit (PMC)

If you have taken courses at another college or university prior to matriculation at Duke, you may request credit for these courses, with some restrictions.   Credit is approved only if the courses:

  • were taken on the college campus;
  • were taken in competition with degree candidates of that college;
  • were taught by a regular member of the college faculty;
  • were part of the regular curriculum of the college;
  • were taken after commencement of your junior year of high school;
  • were not taken on a study abroad program completed prior to matriculation at Duke--restriction does not apply to transfer students if such credit was granted at the former institution;
  • yielded a grade of B- or better;
  • were not pre-calculus or English composition courses; and
  • were not used to meet high school diploma requirements.

All 9 of these criteria must be met. In order to verify these criteria, you must take the following steps:

  1. Arrange to have an official transcript of the college course work sent directly from the college to the Duke Registrar's Office;
  2. Provide the Registrar's Office with a course description or syllabus for each coure you've taken;
  3. Send a confirmation form to the college of record, which will confirm that the first four bulleted criteria above have been met;
  4. Send a confirmation form to your high school, which will confirm that the last two bulleted criteria have been met.

Upon receipt of this information, the Duke Registrar's Office will confirm the remaining bulleted criteria above, consult with relevant directors of undergraduate studies and then if approriate, will award PMC credit comparable to the credit awarded for a score of 4 or 5 on an AP exam.   

Note: International students who take University courses in their home country prior to matriculation at Duke are eligible to receive PMC credit. Award of such credit is subject to the same policies and limitations that apply to domestic PMC credit.

Pre-Matriculation Credits Earned at Duke

Courses taken in the Duke Pre-College Program prior to graduation from high school may be added to a Duke transcript at the request of the student, subject to the following limitations:

  • If a student requests that that Duke PMC courses be posted, all courses must be posted;
  • As PMC courses, they are subject to the restriction that only two AP/IPC/PMC credits may count toward the 34 credits needed to graduate;
  • Grades earned in Duke PMC courses will be factored into the student's overall Duke undergraduate GPA;
  • Duke PMC courses taken can be used to fulfill curriculum requirements, including general education requirements and requirements of  majors minors and certificate programs.
  • Duke PMC courses may not be repeated at Duke for credit.

Transfer Students

If you have transferred to Duke from another college or university as a rising sophomore or junior, then policies for AP, IP and PMC courses apply for any pre-college work that you completed before enrolling at your previous university.  However, questions regarding post-matriculation transfer credit should be directed to your academic dean  

See also:
    •    Credit:  AP Credit by Department
    •    Credit Limitations and Restrictions
    •    Graduating Early
    •    Transfer Credit