AP & Other Pre-College Scores and Course Placement


  • An AP score of 4 or 5 (or equivalent IB or A-Level) earns automatic exemption from BIOL 0200.
  • If you have strong preparation in biology, you can earn exemption from BIOL 0200 by taking Brown's placement exam offered during Orientation. 
  • Even if you place out of BIOL 0200 you still must take at least two college-level biology courses with laboratory to fulfill the health professional school requirements.


  • CHEM 0330: place into this course with AP score of 4 or 5, OR by passing the Brown Chemistry department placement exam, OR by completing CHEM 0100.
  • CHEM 0100 is an entry level course for students with limited high school chemistry preparation. It does not include a lab and can only be used to fulfill the chemistry requirement by students with such limited background.
  • Brown's Chemistry Department does not accept AP chemistry scores for transcript notation.


  • AB Calculus 4 or 5: earns credit for MATH 0090
  • BC Calculus 4 or 5: earns credit for both MATH 0090 and MATH 0100
  • BC Calculus 3 earns credit for MATH 0090
  • If you have no AP scores in math, take the Math placement exam during Orientation. 
  • If you have AP credit for Math 0090 and/or MATH 0100, this may be accepted at health professional schools as one of the mathematics course requirements. However, not all schools will accept AP credit, so you need to research the requirements of the schools to which you plan to apply. In addition to a semester of calculus, most schools also expect a semester of statistics. 


  • Without AP scores, all non-Physics concentrators start with PHYS 0030.
  • With AP Physics - ONE of the following: 
    • 5 in Physics C (Mechanics),
    • 4 in Physics C (Mechanics) PLUS 5 in Physics C (Electricity and Magnetism) 
    • 5 in Physics B (taken before May 2015)
    • 5 in both Physics 1 and Physics 2 (taken May 2015 and later)
  • Students with these scores who then successfully complete PHYS 0040, 0060, 0070, 0470, 0500, or an appropriate 1000-level physics course may receive retroactive transcript credit for Physics 0030.
  • NOTE: While these are the requirements for earning AP credit, they are not necessarily required for placement in a Physics course.
  • Students considering skipping PHYS 0030, 0040, 0050, 0060, or 0070 should consult with the Physics Department's Placement Coordinator.



Students may have completed other pre-college advanced placement exams such as
A-Levels, or International Baccalaureate exams. Discuss these with our office and with Senior Associate Dean of the College for Diversity and Inclusion Maitrayee Bhattacharyya to ensure you make informed academic choices about your course work at Brown and your evolving plans for health professions schools. In general, medical schools don't receive many applications from students with IB scores but they tend to have clear policies about APs as noted above.

Our general advice for students with IB scores is similar to that for students with AP scores with a couple of exceptions: 

IB scores that place you out of:

  • Calculus (MATH 0090 or 0900 and 0100) - OK. You would still need to take one statistics course, like students with AP scores. 
  • BIOL 0200 - OK. You would still need to take the minimum 2 biology courses with lab, like students with AP scores. 
  • PHYS 0030 - OK. You would need to complete a higher physics course with lab to receive retroactive transcript notation, like students with AP scores. 
  • CHEM 0100 and 0330 - not recommended. You would have no college general chemistry with lab and would only complete 3 chemistry courses in total. Both of these would be problematic for applications to medical and other health professions schools. If you accept such IB credit you would need to take a more advanced general chemistry with lab course, such as CHEM 0500. 


Students who wish to have AP credit notations reflected on their academic record must seek these notations and ensure receipt of all required documentation well before they graduate. The official academic record of all graduating students is sealed upon Commencement to reflect what was in effect upon degree completion. No transcript notations of AP credit - or of any other credit - will be made post-Commencement.

Consult the Dean of the College website for all details about AP credit transcript notations.