Looking for generous AP/IB credit counting for gen ed

My son is at Alabama and they are very generous with credits and those credits count for a lot of gen ed classes. He had 100% of his gen ed done with high school AP/IB classes and then did the CLEP for chemistry.

My daughter has many of the same high school classes he did and we are looking for other schools that have generous credits that count for gen eds so that she can have more room in her 4-year schedule. She intends to go for engineering which doesn’t have a lot of room typically, so opening up by covering gen ed is a key thing.

We are finding colleges who give a fair amount of credit, but their gen eds are in so many categories that the AP/IB are only filling 1-3 credits. Or she can get credit for English 101, but they want engineers to take technical writing.

She’d have them covered at Alabama as well, but that’s near the bottom of her list right now.


Usually the college websites and/or online course catalogues have this information. If this is a factor for your D she should check each college she is interested in applying to.

Yes, of course. She and I have checked about 25 so far. It’s a bit time consuming having to dig up and understand all the gen ed requirements. Some schools are easy and some require a lot of effort.

I’m hoping someone else has a suggestion based on personal experience.

FSU was generous. Georgia Tech not so much.

Edit. GT isn’t terrible at accepting AP or dual enrollment. They actually have some great credit transfer tools. They just don’t take 3’s for AP.

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I think it depends on the major and classes they are bringing in.

. My son went to Bama with 36 or so and still took 4 years due to course sequencing. He just graduated with a ton of credits is all.

My daughter came in with 30 or so - but given the types of classes they were - many earned the same credit/waiver so she only got 9 (College of Charleston) even thought they’d accept all 30.

So an AP English and Seminar, for example, might be duplicative.

It’s a school by school thing.

If she has a list of top schools, just take a look at each.

I’d assume the lesser competitive enrollment schools might be more generous.

I know my daughter’s bf will graduate a year early from Denver - he’s a business major.

Good luck.

I just remembered an interesting “feature” of credit transfer my son had at GT. I think he had a 3 on one of the Lit AP’s. No credit from GT.

However, he took a few classes at our local CC. They accepted a 3 and gave him credit. It showed on his transcript as Lit 101 and when he sent to GT he got got credit for Lit. Not advocating that route. Just thought it was interesting.


It also seems unusual, since it seems like normal policy is to accept transfer credit directly from the school or test (AP/IB/etc.) that it originally came from, rather than what some other school transferred it in as.

That is what GaTech does. We almost missed it. DD had 3 on AP Gov in 9th grade (whole magnet class failed it due to some new teacher…) She did DE. We did not report it to CC. Someone on GaTech forum mentioned that if CC takes AP credit with 3 and assignes an equivalent class on the transcript and student transfer CC credits to GaTech, Tech will take it. Dd reported Ap to CC, got equivalent credit ,and had Government credit at GaTech :rofl:

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Partially or fully duplicative ones for subject credit at colleges may include:

  • Calculus BC is a superset of calculus AB, although a higher AB score or subscore may give more credit than a lower BC score.
  • English language and literature.
  • Physics 1 and C mechanics.
  • Physics 2 and C E&M.
  • AP and IB tests in the same subject.
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Oregon State is generous, but remember that they are on a quarter system so the hours are not as much as you would think.

When I calculated it for my IB daughter, she would get something like 46 credits at Oregon State which would make are a Sophomore, and is akin to 33 hours.

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We calculated this for all the schools my son was looking at (engineering major), and found that it was also important to look at the 4-year plan for the major at each school. Even with ABET accredited engineering majors, schools can vary quite a bit in how many credits are required for a given major. We ended up calculating a “flexibility score” for each school, based on the percentage of completely free units in a 4-year plan for my son’s major, assuming a conservative average of 15 units per term.

After applying expected AP credits, we found that flexibility scores for comparable schools in the same major varied much more than expected. The least flexible schools had little to no free units. The most flexible options had more than 30% free units over 4 years… plenty of room for additional electives, study abroad, etc. This was due to a combination of more generous AP policies, lighter gen ed requirements, and fewer units required in the engineering major itself.

For my son’s specific circumstances, the most flexible schools on his list turned out to be UW (Seattle), and UCB. But this could vary a lot depending on what majors you are looking at. Most of the schools on his list were in the west, I don’t know as much about schools in eastern and southern states.

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Purdue is very generous with AP credits.

This is a multifaceted question that’s going to depend on a lot that we don’t know: her intended major, her test results, her goals (getting through undergrad faster or paying less for college), and others.

I agree with the person who said that she should make her list, then narrow or prioritize the list using AP credit.

At least when we were looking a few years ago, Lawrence was very generous with IB credits.

I like the flexibility score! That is what we are looking for. Engineering is pretty restrictive, so anything that can be crossed off by AP/IB is a bonus.

Yes for sure on the major, etc. My son started with 53 credits at Bama and could have planned to finish in 3.5 years. My daughter would come in with similar, depending on her IB results next year.

But what Alabama has is a long list of things that count for the Humanities/FineArts/Literature credits. Other schools have those 3 categories separated and they require 3 credits in each. My son came in with 11 foreign language that counted for all of the HU/FA/L credits, plus the depth requirement. In many places we are looking, foreign language doesn’t count for any gen ed at all. Likewise, having AP World and IB History - all history for Bama, and they counted for all the required History/Social credits, instead of needing to take 3 separate classes. Most other schools give credits for those, but they are in one category out of 9.

She’s intending to start as mechanical engineering. She has 4s in AP Lang and World. She took 1 IB SL test this year and will take 4HL and 1 more SL next year, so many scores are unknown right now. Her goal is to get an engineering degree and continue classes in Chinese, Spanish, and take some art.

We’ve done it with schools already on her list and eliminated some because of how few credits will count and help her out. If she stays instate with a good scholarship, she could do a 5th year. If she’s out of state with a 4-year scholarship and no flexibility, it is much harder to do another year.

UT Austin is generous with AP and DE credits, has no limits, and their GE requirements seem relatively light. If the CC you took DE classes at will allow it, converting your AP credits through them is advantageous for many schools. However, read the fine print, some CC require you to complete an AA or other degree in order to transfer AP credits out.

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So I have a spreadsheet with about 20 schools listed and their 4-year mechanical engineering plan entered. We go through all the requirements, gen ed requirements, and her potential credits and highlight which classes she’d have covered by high school credits. There is a lot of variation.

Does she have any dual enrollment or strictly AP/IB?

Pitt was generous with DE, but their AP/DE/IB credit policies vary from major to major.

Another thing you might check on in these searches would be things like language requirements. My daughters are both at state schools (different states, different majors). One school required “4th semester proficiency” in a language. They were required to take a placement test and go from there. The other state school waived their requirement as long as they had sufficient grades in at least 3 years of high school language. My older daughter spent 2 semesters taking a language and my younger daughter didn’t have to take any, though they had taken the same high school courses.

With her interest in spanish and Chinese, this issue may not be as relevant, but she may be be able to get to the classes she wants in these departments in some schools vs others.