Placement Information

The most current guidelines regarding placement and credit can be found in the academic packet for incoming students from the Dean's Office. See the Dean's Office website for new students, in particular the Math/Stat Placement page, and refer to your summer mailing.   There is additional information from our department here. Below is a summary of some of the information found in those other sources:

In evaluating work that first-year students have completed in mathematics before entering Swarthmore, the Department draws a distinction between advanced placement and credit. Placement allows students to skip material they have learned well already by starting at Swarthmore in more advanced courses. Credit confers placement as well but also is recorded on the student's Swarthmore transcript and counts towards the 32 credit needed for graduation.

First-year students seeking advanced placement and/or credit for mathematics and statistics taken previously (at a high school or a college) have several alternatives. They can receive

  • placement and credit through sufficient scores on the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examinations, as described below,


  • placement without credit in mathematics by taking the appropriate Swarthmore Placement Exam, as described under Placement Exams below,


  • credit by taking the final examination for the appropriate Swarthmore course. These exams must normally be taken during the student's first semester at Swarthmore, at the time when the final exam is given for the course. Students who wish to take these exams must arrange to do so with First-Year Student Math/Stat Placement Advisor.

For questions not answered in the materials discussed above, please contact:

First-Year Student Math/Stat Placement Advisor, Prof. Cheryl

Credit for AP and IB Exams

Credit for previous work will be given to entering students only during their first semester at Swarthmore. Students who are eligible for credit for a course because of AP or IB exams but who take the course anyway will not receive the exam based credit.

The Statistics AP Exam

  • Score: 4 or 5
    One credit for Stat 011.

The Math AB Exam

  • Score: 4
    One credit for Math 015.
  • Score: 5
    One credit for Math 015, one-half credit for the first half of Math 025, and placement into Math 026.

The Math BC Exam

This exam has two scores, one for the AB equivalent section and one for the BC exam as a whole. The possible credit earned by the AB score is as above. The possible credit earned by the score on the BC exam as a whole is given below. The credit actually earned is the better of the two possible credits.

  • BC Score: 4
    One credit for Math 015.
  • BC Score: 5
    Two credits for Math 015 and 025.

The Higher Level IB Exam

  • Score: 5
    One credit for Math 015.
  • Score: 6 or 7
    One credit for Math 015, one-half credit for the first half of Math 025, and placement into Math 026.