AP/IB & Transfer Credit
Advanced Placement examinations
Students who score a 5 on the Biology Advanced Placement Examination will receive one AP credit after completion of one additional course with a laboratory in the Department of Biology. Usually students with a Biology AP score of 5 take either Biology 001 or 002 as their first course in the department. Please see Why should I take Biology 1 and/or Biology 2 if I have AP credit? (pdf) for advice on which course to take. In rare cases, it may be possible for students with AP scores of 5 to place directly into certain sophomore-level courses (numbered 010-050) with the instructor's permission. If both Biology 001 and 002 are taken, however, the AP credit is dropped from the transcript.
Students with a 4 or 3 on the Advanced Placement Examination receive neither credit nor advanced placement in biology.
International Baccalaureate and Advanced Level examinations
Students who receive a 6 or 7 on the Higher Level of Biology or the German Arbitur exams receive one credit in Biology after completion of one additional course with a laboratory in the Department of Biology. Students are advised to take either Bio 001 or 002, but may place directly into certain sophomore-level courses with the consent of the instructor. If both Biology 001 and 002 are taken, the IB credit is dropped from the transcript. Students with a 5 or lower on the same exam do not receive advanced placement or credit in Biology 001 and 002. There is no credit or placement for the Standard Level IB examination.
The French Baccalaureate Examination is equivalent to the first year of college. Students receive one credit in Biology after one additional Biology course with a laboratory is taken as described above, and advanced placement in some courses with the consent of the instructor.
Students who receive an A on the Advanced Level Examinations receive one credit in Biology after one additional Swarthmore Biology course with a laboratory is taken and may obtain advanced placement in certain courses with the instructor's permission as above. Students with a B on the same exam do not receive credit or advanced placement.
College courses taken during high school
Students occasionally take courses during their senior year in high school at local universities or colleges. If the college credit was recorded on the high school transcript and used for graduation from high school, it may not be used for credit at Swarthmore College. Otherwise, the Biology Department may award credit or placement in biology, depending on the content of the course and the nature of the laboratory. See the Academic Coordinator for information.