AP and Transfer Credit

Advanced Placement

If you have taken an AP physics test in high school and submitted the results to Washington University Admissions, your placement in physics will be made according to the current Physics Department AP Policy.

We place each student in the course best suited to his or her ability and previous record. Please contact Dr. Mairin Hynes for questions regarding course placement.

Transfer Credits

Credit for calculus-based introductory physics courses taken at other universities may transfer to Washington University and satisfy course and major requirements for Physics 197/198. Please note:  If you already have credit for Physics 197 or 198 on your WashU transcript, you may not also earn credit for that course from another institution. Students interested in obtaining transfer credit for other physics courses should contact Dr. Mairin Hynes.

Taking Introductory Physics Courses at Another Institution

You may satisfy introductory calculus-based physics (Phys 197/Phys 198) requirements at Washington University by taking comparable physics courses at another institution. To do so you must:

  1. Identify a school that teaches an introductory calculus-based physics course sequence with a lab (preferably a two semester sequence).
  2. Obtain syllabi that includes the name of the school and a detailed list of topics covered, description of the labs, textbook name and author.
  3. Complete the Non-WUSTL Course Credit Approval form.
  4. Email the completed form and the associated syllabi to Dr. Hynes. All requests can be done via email; please DO NOT bring the forms to her office. In addition to the above, provide all of the following information:
    • Your name, major, and email address
    • The course number(s) of the Washington University course(s) [Phys 197, Phys 198, or both] that you wish to take elsewhere
    • If possible, include a web address that provides detailed information about the courses you wish to take

After reviewing the material, Dr. Hynes will contact you to let you know whether or not the course is comparable to one offered at Washington University. If the course is appropriate, Dr. Hynes will email you approval, which you should then print out, attach to the Non-WUSTL Course Credit Approval form, and deliver to the A&S College Office in Cupples II, Room 104.

If you submit your material by April 1, you should receive a response within two weeks of your email. If you submit your request after April 1, you should expect longer delays and may not receive a response until after Commencement. May is a very busy month due to final exams, determination of final grades, and Commencement. Also, please note that if you do not electronically submit your request directly to Dr. Hynes, your approval may be further delayed.

Once you've completed the course, you must send an official transcript to the College Office (Campus Box 1117) to certify that you have successfully completed the course. The course equivalence will appear on your WU transcript, but the grade will not. The grade will not be used in your WU GPA calculation.

You should obtain confirmation of course equivalence from the Physics department prior to enrolling in a course at another institution. Approval may be granted after you have already taken the course, but there is no guarantee that you will receive the transfer credit unless you have the courses approved ahead of time.

If you have questions about receiving transfer credit for introductory physics taken at another institution, email Dr. Hynes.