Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Value of AP Credit

jakelocker4prezjakelocker4prez Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
edited May 2011 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
I am an oos who will be attending Cal Poly and majoring in Electrical Engineering. My major requires 193 credits but I have knocked it down to about 160 with my AP credit. I am a little confused on what Cal Poly means by free electives? Do they count for anything towards my degree or are they just there for the sake of being there? Also is 160 credits in 4 years doable or should I be looking at a 5th year or an additional quarter?
Post edited by jakelocker4prez on

Replies to: Value of AP Credit

  • ralph4ralph4 Registered User Posts: 393 Member
    Cal Poly grants 9 credits for each AP test passed, however, for engineers only 4 of the 9 credits count toward your degree plan (flow chart).

    Example: A passing score on AP Calc AB will get you 4 credits applied toward cal poly's Engineering Calculus 1 (Math 141?) and 5 credits that count as "free electives". Since engineers get no "free electives" on their flowchart, the 5 credits are just extra credits that don't help you complete your degree requirements.

    A free elective is a free choice of any course taught a Cal Poly.
  • vballmomvballmom Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    Also is 160 credits in 4 years doable or should I be looking at a 5th year or an additional quarter?

    Yes, that's definitely doable, at an average of 14 credits/quarter. Most students take 16 credits, and even 18 or 19 is possible if you're willing to work hard. Just try to take all your major courses in the quarter indicated on the flow chart.
  • jakelocker4prezjakelocker4prez Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    Thank you for the responses, it clears up a lot of confusion. It kind of sucks that I already received a lot of free electives and they won't count for anything :/
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Keep in mind that the EE department likes to do it's classes in sequence. If you keep up with the sequence, you are pretty much guaranteed a spot. So, specifically for EE, vballmom is correct about the flowchart. (although, I contend that 16 "real" units is an extremely heavy load in most engineering classes. 18-19 is suicide unless you are weighted towards fluff). If you miss a class in the sequence (ie, it conflicts or you fail it), you will be delayed anywhere between one quarter and a whole year. At least they do offer a section of certain key classes out of sequence, but it's harder to get into and whatnot.

    Your chances of completing in 4 years depend on just what AP credits you get. It's possible to skip half of GE area A by way of AP classes, and the right AP Calc test will get your foot in the door for major classes far earlier than if you came in with nothing If you have both of these and you don't fail anything, 4 plus a quarter would be my seat-of-the-pants estimate. Of course, 6 months ago I estimated that I would graduate at the end of this quarter and now that appears to be roughly impossible, so take such estimations with a grain of salt.

    Personally, I would consider free electives a MAJOR blessing for most cases. It might adversely effect changes of major, but it also allows you to flaunt the downright idiotic 4 unit rule. You get to say "Of course this class counts towards graduation because I need n units of free electives". There's lots of useful things you can do with that, provided that you don't waste them on something like bowling. Pick up a minor or two. Go off and take the IME 14X series of classes, or tractor driving or equine management. Or, play in two preforming ensembles for your entire academic career.
  • ocslodadocslodad Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    Although free electives are just extra units for engineers is true. They do have some value, many GE courses require you to have junior standing or even senior standing before you can enroll. My son came in with 63 AP credits and by the spring quarter of his first year he had junior standing and has taken a few courses that required that. This quarter he has a class that requires senior standing.
  • jakelocker4prezjakelocker4prez Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    So I just added all my AP Credit and community college credit up and it's around 80ish credit. After my freshman quarter, will I be considered a junior? Also, I have my calculus series completed through my local community college. Would any recommend taking the calculus classes again or would I just be wasting my time?
  • bjornredtailbjornredtail Registered User Posts: 142 Junior Member
    Unless you are trying to improve your GPA and you think you can do better on the second time around, I see no real reason to re-take the calc series.

    Other Academic Credit - Office of the Registrar - Cal Poly
    According to that link, you are a Junior at 90 units. So, with a normalish load, after a single quarter you will have junior standing. Which lets you take stuff like the WPE and certain upper division classes.

    On that note, consider taking the WPE somewhat early, depending on your writing abilities. Doing so prevents any surprises at graduation and may save you a class. It isn't critical to get it out of the way that early (you are an incoming freshman, not a transfer, right?), but it certainly is nice.
  • Mariner116Mariner116 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    My daughter is a pre-vet major. Even though she had take a lot of AP math and science courses she elected to take them again in college. In general, we read a lot of advice that you should not rely on AP classes that are requirements for your major. As a science major she decided to retake the AP classes and she feels that was a good decision. There was a lot of additional content beyond the AP courses that she would have missed.

    As a result, she really only benefited through AP classes that satisfied GE requirements. And on that front, it seemed several did not quite fit Cal Poly's GE system.

    One more thing for JakeLocker4Prez, contrats on the #8 pick in the draft. Go DAWGS!
This discussion has been closed.