Undergraduate Student Handbook
Johns Hopkins University


Sources of Credit

Freshman PoliciesAdvanced Placement ExamsInternational Baccalaureate Exams Foreign Certificate ExamsPlacement in CoursesJHU Pre-College ProgramDeferred AdmissionCourses at Other Colleges & UniversitiesStudy AbroadOnline Courses Transfer Student Policies

Students complete most of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree through courses taken at Johns Hopkins University while a matriculated student.

There are, however, a variety of other sources of college credit which may contribute towards a student’s degree completion. Credit is accepted for college-level work completed at another college. Credit is not awarded for college-level courses taken on a high school campus. Credit is granted for some Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-level courses (British and Singapore) and higher-level International Baccalaureate courses (IB). Foreign certificate programs like the French Baccalaureate and the German Abitur are considered on a case-by-case basis by the advising office in consultation with the faculty. Credit is not awarded through exams in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Scores on the SAT-II tests and departmental placement tests (such as the math or foreign language placement tests in use at Hopkins) are used for placement purposes only and do not receive academic credit.

This section includes the policies governing these other sources of credit, and is divided into the following categories:

I. For students admitted to JHU as freshmen (from high school/secondary school)

A. Sources of credit before matriculation as a degree candidate at JHU

1. Advanced Placement (AP) exams
2. International Baccalaureate
3. GCE A-level exams (British and Singapore)
4. other foreign certificates/exams
5. courses taken at other college and universities
6. JHU Pre-College Program

B. Sources of credit after matriculation as a degree candidate

II. For students admitted to JHU as transfer students from another college or university

A. Sources of credit before matriculation as a degree candidate at JHU
B. Sources of credit after matriculation as a degree candidate

I. Policies for Students Admitted to JHU as Freshmen

A. Sources of Credit Prior to Matriculation as a Degree Candidate

Credit for Advanced Placement Exams
To receive credit, Advanced Placement examinations must be taken prior to admission to the university.

If a student enters the university with credit for an advanced placement course and then takes an equivalent course at the university for credit, the advanced placement credits (and lab class waiver, if applicable) will be disallowed. The credits and grade for the Hopkins course will appear on the academic record. The advanced placement exam title remains on the record as well, but the credit value is converted to zero. This policy also applies to IB credit, GCE credit, and other foreign exams.

A.P. Exam =JHU Course Score Credit
Biology 020.151 & .152 *** 4 or 5 8


030.101 & .102 and
labs 030.105-106****
4 or 5 8
Environ. Science None 4 or 5 4

Computer Science A

Intro. Programming 5 3
Computer Science AB Intro Programming 4 or 5 3
Macro-economics* 180.101 4 or 5 3
Micro-economics** 180.102 4 or 5 3
French 210.101 & .102 4 or 5 6
German 090.101 & .102 4 or 5 6
Spanish 210.127 & .128 4 or 5 6
Calculus AB 110.106 & .108 4 or 5 4
Calculus BC 110.106 & .108 3 4

Calculus BC

110.106 & .107 or
110.108 & .109
4 or 5 8
Physics C
171.101*** 4 or 5 4
Physics C
and Magnetism
171.102*** 4 or 5 4


550.111 4 or 5 4

*Macroeconomics: Students who score a 4 or a 5 on the Macro AP exam are placed out of 180.101 Elements of Macroeconomics and receive University credit. (However, it does not count as one of the 10 courses required for the economics major.)

**Microeconomics: Students who score a 4 or a 5 on the Micro AP exam, AND who pass a diagnostic test administered by Professor Hamilton will place out of 180.102 and get university credit for it. (However, it does not count as one of the ten courses required for the economics major.) Interested students should make an appointment with Professor Hamilton.

***Students who are awarded credit for AP Biology or AP Physics are exempt from taking the corresponding lab courses (for Physics, 171.101-102 and for Biology, 020.153-154). The lab courses are waived but no credit is awarded. Effective fall 2009, students who have credit for AP Biology but take General Biology Lab 1 and/or General Biology Lab 2 will lose all eight credits of AP Biology credit.

****Effective fall 2010, students who have credit for AP Chemistry but take either lab semester without the lecture course, will lose 4 of their AP credits.

Note: Effective fall 2008, students completing 171.105-106 retain AP Physics credits.

Credits Awarded for Higher Level International
Baccalaureate Courses
Subject =JHU Course Score Credit
Biology 020.151 & .152 Labs 020.153 & .154 waived with no credit 6 or 7 8
Chemistry 030.101 & .102 and labs 030.105 & .106 6 or 7 8
Economics 180.101 (Macroeconomics) 6 or 7 3
French (B or A2 level) 210.101-102 6 or 7 6
German (B or A2 level) 090.101-102 6 or 7 6
Spanish (B or A2 level) 210.111-112 6 or 7 6
Math Calculus I 110.106/108
6 or 7 4
Further Math
Calculus I 110.106/108 

5 4
Further Math Calculus I 110.106/108 and Calculus II 110.017/109 6 or 7 8

171.101 Lab 173.111 waived with no credit



Physics 171.101 & .102 Labs 173.111-112 waived with no credit 7 8

Foreign Certificate Exams
Credit is awarded for grades of A or B on the British and Singapore General Certificate of Education A-Level courses in the same subject areas included on the Advanced Placement exams and International Baccalaureate courses listed above. A grade of A in Physics on the GCE is awarded 8 credits. A grade of B is awarded 4 credits. AS (or H1) and O levels are not accepted. Foreign certificate programs like the French Baccalaureate, Cambridge Pre-U, and the German Abitur are considered on a case-by-case basis. On the French Bacc, scores above 14 are typically required, but a high score does not guarantee we will award credit.

Placement in Courses
Undergraduates with prior knowledge of a foreign language or college mathematics are placed into the appropriate level of foreign language courses and mathematics courses based on their scores on one or more of the following:

  • Advanced Placement tests, I.B and G.C.E. examinations
  • Departmental examinations or evaluations

Scores on the SAT-II tests and departmental placement tests are used for placement purposes only and do not receive academic credit.

Most department placement examinations for foreign language and mathematics are given to entering students online in June. Upperclass students who have not taken a placement examination should consult the language department or Mathematics Department about placement before registering for a language or mathematics course.

All students who receive a grade of C- or better in Calculus II will receive a waiver for Calculus I if they were placed into the Calculus II course as a result of a high placement test score.

No academic credit is awarded when a course is waived.

JHU Pre-College Summer Program
Pre-college students who take JHU Summer School courses prior to matriculation receive credit for courses with grades of C or better, but the grades are not included in the undergraduate record. Because the pre-college courses are taken at JHU, there is no limit on the total number of JHU credits that may be transferred to the undergraduate record. Students must request that these courses be transferred to their academic record by contacting Academic Advising or Engineering Advising.

Deferred Admission
Students who have been accepted to the university may defer admission for up to two years with approval from the director of undergraduate admissions. Freshmen who have deferred admission begin their studies in the fall semester. The purpose of a deferral is to allow students to take time off in order to travel, work, or experience another culture. Deferrals are not granted for the purpose of studying at another institution. Students who wish to pursue academic studies during the deferment period may do so; however, the credits earned during the deferment period will not be applied toward the university’s degree requirements.

Transferring Credits for College Courses Taken at Other Colleges or Universities
Students who enter the university from high school may transfer up to 12 credits from approved courses taken at other institutions, whether taken before or after matriculation. The grades earned in these courses do not appear on the Hopkins record and therefore do not contribute to the Hopkins grade point average. The 12-credit limit on transfer credits does not include credit from Hopkins summer courses, Advanced Placement examinations, British General Certificate of Education courses, International Baccalaureate courses, or foreign certificate courses.

Students who have completed coursework at a college or university prior to entering Hopkins must complete a “College Course Information Form” and have the form approved by the high school guidance counselor. The form, along with an official college transcript and course description, should be submitted to the student’s advising office.

To be eligible for transfer credit, an approved course must be taken for a grade at an approved college and completed with a grade of C or better. Ungraded or pass/fail courses taken prior to matriculation, if approved, may receive credit if the host school states in writing that the mark represents a grade of C or better. Credit for approved courses taken at a community college will be transferred only if taken prior to matriculation at Johns Hopkins. Credit for courses earned at a school using the quarter system will be converted to a comparable number of semester credits. One credit in a quarter system is equivalent to 2/3 of a credit earned in a semester system.

The number of transfer credits awarded is determined by the student’s academic advising office. Students must provide an official transcript, a course description, and the college course information form to be completed jointly with the high school guidance counselor. The approval of the appropriate director of undergraduate studies is necessary to use a transfer course for a major or minor requirement.

A maximum of 6 credits may be granted for courses which are in curriculum areas not covered by the programs of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.

Some students enter the university from high school with additional college course work beyond the 12 credits that may be transferred. If these additional courses are equivalent to AP subjects that the university accepts for credit, and if the courses are needed to complete requirements for a major or are prerequisites for higher level courses that the student will take at JHU, then students may request that the department waive the comparable courses at JHU. To obtain a waiver, students must contact their academic advising office.

B. Sources of Credit After Matriculation as a Degree Candidate
Students who enter the university from high school may transfer up to 12 credits from approved courses taken at other institutions, whether taken before or after matriculation.

Registering for Summer Courses at Other Colleges and Universities
Courses must be completed at a four-year college or university. In order to take a course during the summer at another accredited school, the approval of the faculty advisor and the academic advising office of the student’s school is required. A form for this purpose is available in the Registrar’s Office and the advising offices. The student must complete the form and take the form and a course description to the appropriate individuals for their approval signatures. A course taken to fulfill a requirement for a major/minor must also be approved by the major/minor department. In addition, all students taking general physics, economics, German, or a romance language elsewhere in the summer must have the approval of the appropriate department, whether the course is a requirement or an elective. Courses must be taken for a grade.

In order to transfer credit for previously approved summer work done elsewhere, students must arrange for an official transcript to be sent to the Homewood Registrar’s Office. A grade of C or better is required. The course title and the number of credits, but not the letter grade, are reported on the Hopkins academic record. If the summer work has not been previously approved, students may request review of the course by sending the transcript to the student’s academic advising office along with a course description.

Study Abroad
See “Study Abroad” under “Academic and Professional Opportunities,” p. 33.

Courses at Colleges and Universities in the Baltimore Cooperative Program
See “Registering for Courses at Cooperative Schools,” p. 11. The cooperative program does not operate during the summer session; courses taken at cooperative institutions during the summer are considered transfer credit and are subject to the same rules and limits as courses from other colleges and universities.

Policy on Online Courses
Students are not permitted to take online courses at other institutions while taking courses during the fall and spring semesters at JHU. Online courses taken from another institution during the summer or Intersession will be accepted for transfer credit if within the 12-credit limit and with prior approval from the student’s advising office.

II. Policies for Students Admitted to JHU as Transfer Students

A. Credits Earned before Matriculation as Degree Candidate at JHU
Transfer students who completed Advanced Placement or other exams during high school are subject to the same policies as students admitted directly from high school.

The policies described in “Transferring Credits for College Courses Taken at Other Colleges or Universities” in the preceding section also apply to transfer students, except for manner in which the transfer-credit limit is defined.

At the time of matriculation, transfer students into the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences may bring in up to 60 transfer credits towards a degree requiring 120 credits. Students earning degrees requiring more than 120 credits in both KSAS and WSE may bring in more than 60 credits.

Maryland Institute College of Art Transfer Students
Maryland Institute College of Art students who transfer to Johns Hopkins may receive full credit for up to eight fine arts courses in their major program. In addition they may receive credit for any non-fine arts courses and normal academic courses. After matriculating at Johns Hopkins, MICA students may continue to take one additional fine arts course per semester at the Institute for credit and a grade.

Peabody Conservatory Transfer Students
Students who transfer from the Peabody Conservatory will be granted full credit for performance courses in their major instrument. For performance courses in other instruments, only one credit per semester will be awarded.

B. Sources of Credit after Matriculation as a Degree Candidate
All transfer students must complete at least four semesters in residence as a full-time student at JHU. Transfer students must be in residence for at least two of their final four semesters, including the final semester prior to graduation.

At least 60 of the total degree credits must be earned while a full-time student at Johns Hopkins. All transfer students may transfer up to an additional 12 credits after matriculation in accordance to the policies established for students who matriculated at JHU as a freshman. Regardless of the number of total transfer credits, all transfer students must complete 60 credits at Hopkins and at least 4 full-time semesters.