About Advanced Placement

In May of each year, the College Board administers Advanced Placement tests in calculus at two different levels:

  1. The Calculus AB Advanced Placement Examination covers the topics of differential and integral Calculus.
  2. The Calculus BC Advanced Placement Examination includes the topics of the AB Advanced Placement Examination as well as additional material on infinite series.

Only results from these two exams affect whether a student may or may not be exempted from The University Core Curriculum requirement in mathematics, and what, if any, mathematics corequisites may be omitted in a student's major program. In particular, note that results achieved in the Statistics AP Placement Examination have no impact with regards to mathematics requirements.

AP credit in math at Boston College

We consider a student to have Advanced Placement ("AP") credit in mathematics if he or she has received a score of four of higher on either the Calculus AB or Calculus BC Placement examination.

Earning AP credit from the Calculus AB exam can be roughly equated to successfully completing our Calculus courses MATH1100 Calculus I and MATH1101 Calculus II. Earning AP credit from the Calculus BC exam compares very closely with successful completion of our Calculus courses M1ATH102 Calculus I (math and science majors) and MATH1103 Calculus II (math and science majors).

Using AP credit in math at Boston College

It's important to understand that AP credit at Boston College serves a variety of different functions.

  1. In all schools and colleges, AP credit exempts the student from The University Core Curriculum requirement in Mathematics.
  2. In the Carroll School of Management (CSOM), AP credit exempts the student from the CSOM Calculus requirement.
  3. In many programs or majors (e.g., chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and psychology), AP credit may exempt the student from having to meet mathematics core requisites specified by the program or major.
  4. In some majors or programs (e.g., Biology-BS and the Pre-medical program), AP credit is used primarily to properly place the student in a required calculus course, allowing the student a wider range of options in how he or she may complete a mathematics corequisite in the program.

The pages of this website that specify mathematics requirements according to a student's school or college and then by major or program define as precisely as possible how AP credit can be used in each of those majors or programs.

AP credit in math is not course credit

Note that AP credit is not considered as course credit. That is, each student is required to complete 38 or more courses for graduation, depending upon their school or college. AP credit does not reduce the number of courses needed to graduate.

In short, AP credit allows a student to be properly placed into courses when mathematics is an essential component of his or her program or major, often bypassing corequisite mathematics courses, and almost always giving students more options in completing requirements in their majors and programs.

Recording AP credit in mathematics

Students must ask that their scores be transmitted by the College Board to Boston College. Once scores are received by Boston College, appropriate designations are made on the student's transcript - MATH1011 and MATH1012 AP designations are made on the student's transcript when qualifying scores are received.

It is the responsibility of every incoming student to make sure that results of their AP examinations are correctly transmitted to Boston College. Please contact the College Board and/or Boston College Admissions if your examination scores are not properly transmitted. All questions regarding the recording of AP credit in math must be resolved by Boston College Admissions.