AP and Transfer Credit

Advanced Placement and IB/GCE A-level Exams

Advanced placement (AP) credit is awarded when a student shows competence in a subject by doing well on the official AP exam.  Similarly, students who complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level examinations or the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE A level) exams may also be eligible to receive credit.

How to have your AP credit posted

Arrange for College Board to send your official score reports directly to Cornell University using code 2098. The Engineering Registrar will review your report and award the appropriate credit based on your scores. Credit will then be added to your official record and transcript. To confirm you have received your AP credit navigate to your Student Center account.

How to have your IB/GCE A-level exam credit posted

Submit your original IB or GCE-A level transcript to our office in 170 Rhodes Hall or by email. Our office will review your original transcript and award the appropriate credit based on your scores.

How to use Advanced Placement or Transfer Credit

Advanced placement (or transfer) credit enables students to begin their college studies at an advanced level. (Each student must judge their own ability to handle a demanding academic program.) The advisability of accepting credit depends on many personal factors, such as the extent of study skills, the activities students wish to engage in during their first year, and the thoroughness of their preparation. Whether to accept advanced placement—or take the corresponding course—is a decision for which the student, alone, is responsible.

Advanced placement or transfer credit can be used in at least three ways:

  • Enrolling immediately in a more advanced course in the same subject area, for example, second-term mathematics in the first term.
  • Substituting elective course work during the first year or subsequent year. However, students must meet the criteria for good academic standing.
  • Enrolling in fewer courses, using the credit to fulfill basic requirements. (To be in good standing, enrollment in at least 12 credits each semester is still required.)

Test credits not posted?

If you have satisfied the above steps but still do not see your test credits in Student Center, send us an email

Transfer Credit 

Transfer credit may be awarded for courses taken at another accredited institution prior to matriculation Cornell, during summer session, or while a student is on a leave of absence. Transfer courses must be equivalent in content, rigor, and level to courses offered by Cornell University. All transfer credit is reviewed and approved by the Engineering Advising Office

How to receive transfer credit and apply it toward your degree

Thoroughly review all Transfer Credit Application policies and procedures, and, if you have any questions contact Engineering Advising either by email (adv_engineering@cornell.edu) or by phone (607) 255-7414. 

  • Complete the Transfer Credit Application and submit the form to the Engineering Advising Office.
  • If attempting to transfer credit earned prior to matriculation at Cornell matriculation (i.e. in high school) your transfer credit application must be accompanied by a High School Guidance Counselor Certification Form (for further information please contact Engineering Advising either by email or by phone (607) 255-7414).
  • Once your transfer credit application has been reviewed and approved please send any applicable official transcripts directly to us from the external institution to the Engineering Registrar’s Office by email (strongly preferred).  If this is not possible then we ask that you order a copy to be mailed to: Engineering Registrar, 170 Rhodes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • The Engineering Registrar’s Office ensures all approved transfer credit is officially noted on your transcript.
  • To verify whether your credit has been posted navigate to the 'Test Credit' tab on your Student Center.

Transfer Credit for Transfer Students 

Transfer students entering as first-, second-, or third-year students may transfer up to 36 credits for each year spent in full-time study at another institution, provided that the courses are acceptable for meeting graduation requirements. No more than 72 total transfer credits (combination of those taken both before and after matriculation) may be used to meet graduation requirements. Transfer credits from institutions on the quarter system or trimester system are not directly comparable to semester credits. In general, the number of trimester credits or quarter credits will be reduced when converted to semester credits, and credit will not be given for more than 10 courses per year. Transfer credit awards for matriculating transfer students are evaluated and determined by the undergraduate Major representative in the student’s intended Major of study in engineering.

External transfer students are exempt from two PE courses and the university swim test.

Transfer Credit to Fulfill the Math Requirement

If transfer credit is awarded for any common curriculum math course (1910, 1920, 2930 or 2940, and/or the fourth, major-dependent, math course), and the total credits earned for these courses, including Cornell math credits, is less than 14, then additional math credits will be required to meet the minimum math credits required for the degree.

Transfer Credit for Incoming First-Year Students

Students who have taken a course or courses offered by an accredited college or university prior to their official start term at Cornell may wish to transfer the credits and apply them toward course requirements at Cornell.  During the summer months prior to arriving on campus, the Engineering Advising office will work directly with students who indicate that they have taken college-level courses at another institution. These students will be provided additional information by email.

To be eligible to receive transfer credit the following must apply:

  • The course was not used to fulfill high school graduation credit, was physically taken on a college campus, was taught by college faculty, and was attended by college students.  Please note: students who took courses during COVID from March 2020 through August 2021 will be allowed flexibility in counting courses that were taken entirely online as long as the courses meet all other transfer credit criteria.
  • Students must have received at least a grade of C (not C–) in the course, and the subject matter must be applicable to the Engineering curriculum at Cornell.
  • The Engineering Advising office must possess a signed statement (High School Guidance Counselor Certification Form) from the high school guidance office certifying the criteria of the first bullet above.
  • Students who want credit for cooperative courses taken in high school must seek AP credit, not transfer credit.
  • An official transcript must be received by the Engineering Registrar.
  • Transfer credit requests are recommended to be completed by the end of the first term at Cornell. Incomplete requests may delay future enrollment, affiliation with a major, and graduation.


  • Only courses deemed equivalent in scope and rigor to courses offered at Cornell will be considered for transfer credit.
  • Only courses that meet degree requirements for the undergraduate engineering program will be considered for transfer credit.
  • Transfer credit will only be awarded for courses offered by regionally accredited, degree-granting, postsecondary institutions. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are not eligible for transfer credit.
  • A grade of at least C (not C-) must have been earned in the course being transferred, and departments may stipulate a higher minimum grade.
  • A maximum of 18 transfer credits may count towards your engineering degree requirements after matriculation at Cornell. Any coursework taken while in high school, and/or before matriculation, is included in this 18-credit limit. (Credit for summer and winter session courses taken at Cornell and study abroad credits are not considered transfer credit, nor do they count toward the 18-credit maximum.)
  • Credits earned while participating in a pre-approved fall or spring semester study abroad program are not considered transfer credit and do not count towards transfer credit limits.
  • Transfer credit from another college or university will not be awarded for courses taken during a fall or spring semester in which a student is also enrolled at Cornell, or for courses with semester dates that overlap with Cornell’s fall or spring semesters. If a student is enrolled for a winter session at Cornell and also wants to pursue transfer credit from another college or university, they may transfer credit if they are enrolled in fewer than 6 credits at Cornell. If a student is enrolled for a summer session at Cornell and also wants to pursue transfer credit from another college or university, they may transfer credit if they are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits at Cornell.
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for cooperative courses taken while in high school, technical skills, or general knowledge acquired through personal experience, employment, or military training.
  • Transfer credit will only be awarded if/when the student has submitted a detailed course syllabus and a certified copy of the student’s official transcript from the host institution (photocopies are not acceptable). Students must also submit a completed Transfer Credit Form, available on the Engineering Registrar’s website.
  • Incoming first-year students submit a completed High School Guidance Counselor Certification Form, in addition to the Transfer Credit Form.
  • Credit in excess of that awarded by Cornell for the equivalent course is never granted, nor will Cornell award more than the number of credits completed at another institution. (Transfer credits from institutions on a trimester or quarter system are not directly comparable to semester credits, and will be reduced when converted to semester credits.)