Credit by examination policies are reviewed annually and are subject to change for the following academic year.
Examinations Administered in High School
SMU grants credit and placement for Advanced Placement examinations taken in high school according to the table below. Credit is awarded only for exams taken while in high school. AP test scores are evaluated and SMU course credit is assigned based on the articulation policies in effect for the term you matriculate to the University, regardless of when the test was taken.
You may not receive credit for an AP exam, an International Baccalaureate exam and a college course covering the same subject matter; i.e., the course equivalency is only awarded once. You may decline all or part of your test credit in favor of taking the equivalent credit at SMU; declining credit is an irrevocable declaration. Credit granted by SMU is not considered resident credit and does not count towards the 60 resident hours required for an SMU degree.
Students may satisfy up to three (3) Common Curriculum Breadths with Advanced Placement credits or other test credits and/or post-high school transfer work.
Note: In response to school closings due to the impact of COVID-19, the College Board AP Exams were administered online in May 2020. SMU recognizes both the need for these changes and the effort that students already made in these challenging courses. The university remains committed to granting academic credit to students for the successful completion of 2020 AP Exams.
Common Curriculum or Graduation Proficiency Component Satisfied
|Art||4 or 5||3 Hours|| ASDR 1300, ASPH 1300, or
ASPT 1300 (student’s choice)
|Art History||4 or 5||6 Hours||ARHS 1303, 1304||HC Breadth
|Biology||4 or 5||4 Hours||BIOL 1302/1102||ES Breadth
||4 Hours||CHEM 1303/1113||ES Breadth
|Computer Science A||4 or 5||3 Hours||CSE 1341||None
|Economics: Macro||4 or 5||3 Hours||ECO 1312||None
|Economics: Micro||4 or 5||3 Hours||ECO 1311 / PREX 4002||Quantitative Applications Proficiency
|English Lng/C or Lit/C||4 or 5||6 Hours||WRTR 10XX and 10YY
|Environmental Science||4 or 5||3 Hours||GEOL 1315||ES Breadth
|European History||4 or 5||6 Hours|| HIST 20XX
|| HIST 20YY
|Human Geography||4 or 5||3 Hours||HUM 10XX||None
|Language: Chinese||4 or 5||
Second Language Foundation
Score of 4: credit for 1401 and 1402, and placement in the 3rd term course.
Score of 5: credit for 1401 and 1402, and placement in the 4th term course; and, credit for 3rd term course upon successful completion of the 4th term course.
Score of 4 or 5: encouraged to take the departmental placement assessment as score on the departmental test may qualify a student for a higher placement and additional credit than the AP score.
Score of 3: encouraged to take the departmental placement exam for possible placement in either 2nd term or 3rd term course. If placed in the 2nd term course, upon successful completion student will receive credit for 1st term course. If placed in the 3rd term course, and upon successful completion student will receive credit for the 1st and 2nd term courses.
|Language: French||4 or 5|
|Language: German||4 or 5|
| Language: Italian
||4 or 5|
|Language: Japanese Language & Culture||4 or 5|
|Language: Latin||4 or 5|
|Language: Spanish||4 or 5|
|Math: Calculus AB||4 or 5||3 Hours||MATH 1337||Quantitative Reasoning Foundation
|Math: Calculus BC|| 3 if AB
subscore of 4
|3 Hours||MATH 1337||Quantitative Reasoning Foundation|
|Math: Calculus BC||4 or 5||6 Hours||MATH 1337, 1338||Quantitative Reasoning Foundation|
|Physics 1||4 or 5||3 Hours||SCI 10XX||With one lab PHYS 1105 = ES Breadth
|Physics 2||4 or 5||3 Hours||SCI 10YY||With one lab PHYS 1105 = ES Breadth
| Physics C (Mech)
||4 or 5||3 Hours
||PHYS 1303 or 1307
||With one lab PHYS 1105 = ES Breadth
|Physics C (E&M)
||4 or 5||3 Hours
||PHYS 1304 or 1308
||With one lab PHYS 1106 = ES Breadth
|Psychology||4 or 5||3 Hours||PSYC 1300||SBS Breadth
|Statistics||4 or 5||3 Hours||STAT 2331||Quantitative Reasoning Foundation
|U.S. Govt: American||4 or 5||3 Hours||PLSC 1320||SBS Breadth
|U.S. Govt: Comparative||4 or 5||3 Hours||PLSC 1340||SBS Breadth
|U.S. History||4 or 5||6 Hours||HIST 20XX, 20YY||None
|World History||4 or 5||3 Hours||HUM 10YY||None
● Physics does not award placement credit for labs.
● Duplicate credit is not allowed toward an SMU degree. If you enroll in classes that duplicate Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other test credit awards, you will lose these credits after the fifth day of the term. Once credit is revoked, it may not be awarded again. You must report any credit by exam no later than the end of your first term of enrollment.
College-Level Examination Program
SMU gives credit for CLEP subject examinations based on the specified minimum scores below:
|CLEP Exam||Score (out of 80)||Credits Awarded||Course Credited|
|American Literature||60||3 Hours||ENGL 20XX|
|English Literature||60||3 Hours||ENGL 20YY|
|Macro Economics||60||3 Hours||ECO 1312|
|Micro Economics||60||3 Hours||ECO 1311 / PREX 4002|
SMU Departmental Examinations
SMU also awards credit for departmental examinations offered in a variety of disciplines. Such SMU credit may not transfer automatically to other universities. Credit for examinations awarded by other institutions will not transfer to SMU. Credit awarded through SMU department exams, auditions and portfolio reviews is considered resident credit.
If your native language is English, you are required to take a language placement examination. Scores on these examinations determine your world language competency so that you are placed in classes appropriate to your level of achievement and degree program. You may not enroll in a course below the level of your placement. When you successfully complete the course with a grade of C or above, you will retroactively earn up to 16 term hours of University credit for the preceding courses in the beginning and intermediate levels of the language sequence. You must enroll in the world language courses for a letter grade (not pass/fail) for the course to serve as a basis for granting retroactive credit. Language courses taken at other institutions cannot be used as a basis for granting retroactive credit. Although you may earn retroactive credit in more than one language, the maximum aggregate credit involving more than one language allowed to count toward graduation is 16 term hours.
The Physics Department offers placement exams for PHYS 1303 and 1304. The placement exam, which must be taken in the first term that you enroll at SMU, is based on the final exam in the PHYS 1303 and 1304 courses.The Physics Department does not allow test credit for labs (e.g., PHYS 1105, 1106, 4211). The essential element of the lab is the hands-on experience; therefore, substitutes are not accepted.
Math credit exams are offered for the courses listed below and must be taken prior to initial enrollment. Calculators are not permitted on these exams, except for MATH 1307. If you are interested in credit exams for courses beyond this level, contact the Mathematics Department.
MATH 1307 Introduction to Mathematical Sciences (3 credits)MATH 1309 Introduction to Calculus for Business/Social Sciences (3 credits)(suggested preparation = one full year of high school calculus)MATH 1337 Calculus I (3 credits)(suggested preparation = one full year of high school calculus)MATH 1338 Calculus II (3 credits)
The Computer Science and Engineering Department offers a credit exam for CSE 1341 Principles of Computer Science I that must be taken prior to initial enrollment.
All entering music undergraduate students (except transfer students from 4-year NASM schools) are required to take entrance examinations in written music theory and musicianship before classes begin. The date and time of these exams are listed in the “Orientation Schedule” published by the Division of Music each year and emailed to you. You are advised to make appropriate end-of-summer plans to be present and on time for these exams. You must be available for the entire testing period, and these exams cannot be made up once the semester begins. Since the exams are used for course section placement, you are required to take the exams whether or not you are seeking credit by examination.
All music degrees require coursework in Class Piano. If you are a prospective music major with no formal piano study, you should enroll directly in Class Piano during your first semester. Prospective music majors with any amount of formal piano study must be tested individually for placement into the appropriate Class Piano course. Scheduling information for these tests is provided in the “Orientation Schedule” published by the Division of Music each year and emailed to students.
International Certificate Programs
SMU grants credit for the successful completion of the international certificate programs listed below. Credit granted by SMU is not considered resident credit and does not count towards the 60 resident hours required for an SMU degree. In certain cases, departmental examinations may be required as a part of the evaluation process.
The International Baccalaureate
Six to eight credits are awarded for scores of 5, 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate higher level exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Credit is not awarded for standard-level exams.
IB HL Examination
# of Credits
Common Curriculum or Graduation Proficiency Component Satisfied
Biology 5, 6 or 7 4 Hours BIOL 1302/1102 ES Breadth Chemistry 7 4 Hours CHEM 1303/1113 ES Breadth Economics 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours ECO 1311 / PREX 4002, ECO 1312 Quantitative Applications Proficiency Film 5, 6 or 7
3 Hours FILM 10XX Geography 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HUM 10XX, HUM 10YY None History:
Africa 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HIST 10XX, 10YY None Americas 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HIST 10XX, 10YY
None Asia and Oceania 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HIST 10XX, 10YY
None Europe, Islamic World 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HIST 20XX, 20YY
Europe, Middle East 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours HIST 10XX, 10YY
English A Literature 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours WRTR 10XX, 10YY None
All other languages 5, 6 or 7 8 Hours 1401, 1402 Second Language Foundation Language B 5, 6 or 7 8 Hours 1401, 1402 Second Language Foundation English B
5, 6 or 7 6 Hours LANG 10XX, 10YY None Mathematics 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours MATH 1337, STAT 2331 Quantitative Reasoning Foundation Physics 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours PHYS 1303, 1304 With both labs PHYS 1105 and 1106 = ES Breadth Psychology 5, 6 or 7 6 Hours PSYC 1300, 10XX SBS Breadth
*Students are awarded credit only for Higher-Level IB Exams. Standard-Level IB Exams are NOT awarded credit. Students are awarded a maximum of 32 IB credits.
The General Certificate of Education A-Level (United Kingdom)
Six to eight credits are awarded for grades of A and B on A-level exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Credits are not awarded for a grade of C, or for 0-level and AS-level exams. Credit awards for the Art and Design A, High-Level exam are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by SMU's Art Department.
The Baccalaureate (France)
Six to eight credits are awarded for scores of 11 or above, with a maximum award of 32 credits.
The Abitur (Germany)
Six to eight credits are awarded for scores of 7 or above on each of the written exams in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits. Credits are not awarded for oral exams.
The Italian Maturita (Italy)
For the Maturita Tecnica, Classica, Scientifica, and/or Linguistica, credits are awarded for scores of 6 or above in transferable subjects, with a maximum award of 32 credits.
- The Language A exam is typically taken in the native language of the student
- Language B is a second, third or fourth language studied by the student.
- For “all other languages” under Language A and for Language B, the course prefix will match the world language completed.
- Physics does not award IB credit for labs.
- If you enroll in courses at SMU for which IB credit has previously been awarded, your IB credit will be rescinded, and the grade in the course counts toward your SMU GPA. You are responsible for knowing and reporting your IB scores to SMU to prevent duplicate enrollment.