An incoming student may receive credit toward graduation for work completed before enrollment at Reed. Most transfer credit is granted through performance on the College Board's Advanced Placement exams, through successful completion of course work at accredited colleges and universities, or through internationally recognized academic programs, such as the International Baccalaureate, Abitur, or GCE A-levels.
Credit at Reed is based on a unit system. One Reed unit is the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours from another institution.
Students who have attended college full time should consult the admission office's transfer guide for a more detailed description of transferring to Reed.
- Approval of AP credit varies from department to department; however, all those granting credit require scores of 4 or 5.
- Credit for AP tests will apply toward the 30 units of academic credit needed for graduation, but cannot be
used to meet any other Reed College requirement.
- Students are generally awarded one unit of credit for
each AP exam.
- No student may receive more than a total credit of eight units by means of AP or other exams.
Computer Science, A/AB
Government & Politics, United States/Comparative
History, United States/European/World
Mathematics, Calculus AB/BC
Physics, B (non-calculus)/C (calculus)
Biology/Environmental Science: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 and 5 on the biology and environmental science exams. There is no advanced placement, however, because the department believes that all biology students should be exposed to the instructors, concepts, and methods in Reed's first-year, team-taught course.
Chemistry: For scores of 4 and 5, one unit of credit is granted. Students who wish to pursue chemistry at Reed normally enroll in Chemistry 101/102, but this can lead to AP credit being rescinded. For more information, visit the Chemistry Department academic pages.
Economics, Micro/Macro: One-half unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 and 5 for either or both of the economics exams. Advanced placement, however, is not granted on the basis of the AP exam, but is determined instead by a placement exam administered by the department before registration in the fall semester.
English, Language/Literature: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on the literature exam. No credit is granted for the language exam. Generally, first-year students are not eligible to take a 200-level English course, and 300-level courses are closed to first-year students, regardless of AP credit.
French, Language/Literature: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on either or both French exams. Course placement is based on an exam administered by the department before registration in the fall.
German, Language: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5. Placement is determined in consultation with faculty members and through an exam administered by the department before registration in the fall.
Government & Politics, United States/Comparative : One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on either or both of the government and politics exams. This credit may not be used for group, divisional, or departmental requirements but may serve to satisfy prerequisites. Petitions must be received by the department by the end of the sophomore year. Read more information on prerequisites.
History, United States/European/World: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on any of the history exams. Advanced placement is not relevant, as the history program is not sequentially arranged and the department does not offer courses on the AP model. First-year students may enroll in upper-division (300-level) history courses only by the consent of the instructor. A student may not receive more than two units of AP history credit.
Latin, Vergil/Literature: One unit of credit may be granted for either of the tests, but not for both. A student may not receive credit both for the AP test and for the corresponding course at Reed. Placement is determined by an exam administered by the department before registration in the fall semester.
Mathematics, Calculus AB/BC: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on either, but not both, of the mathematics exams. A student may not receive credit for both the AP test and Math 111. Placement is determined in consultation with faculty members. Reed does not grant credit for the Calculus AB Subgrade.
Physics, B (non-calculus)/C (calculus): Credit is not granted for the Physics B exam. For scores of 4 or 5 on the Physics C exam (Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism), one unit of credit is granted for either or both; however, no advanced placement is offered. All students who wish to pursue physics at Reed are expected to enroll in Physics 100.
Psychology: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5. There is no advanced placement, however, as previous work in psychology may not be substituted for the introductory or core courses at Reed.
Spanish, Language/Literature: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on either or both Spanish tests. Placement is determined by an exam administered by the department before registration in the fall; results of the AP and achievement tests, when available, are also considered.
Statistics: One unit of credit is granted for scores of 4 or 5 on the statistics exam. A student may not receive credit for both the AP test and Math 141.
Return to Current Department Policies
The registrar's office evaluates all college-level courses taken at other institutions in terms of their applicability toward a liberal arts and sciences degree at Reed College. In general, students may receive credit for college courses they have completed that meet all of the following conditions:
- The course was not used to meet high school graduation requirements. If the course appears on the high school transcript, please attach proof that the course was not required for graduation.
- The course was taken on a college campus. Transfer credit is not granted for college courses taken on high school campuses, even if the instructor is a college professor, and even if the course qualifies for transfer credit at other colleges or universities.
- The course covered work at a level equal to or greater than introductory-level courses at Reed. For instance, math courses below the calculus level do not transfer, nor do English composition courses.
- The course was not vocational, technical, or experiential in nature.
- The student must receive at least a C- in the course.
Two units of credit are granted for each Higher Level (HL) International Baccalaureate exam passed with a grade of 5 or higher. No credit is granted for standard level (SL) work. Credit for IB exams will apply toward the 30 units of academic credit needed for graduation, but cannot be used to meet any other Reed College requirement.
Students who have successfully completed internationally recognized programs that typically surpass the standard American high school curriculum (such as the Abitur and the GCE A-levels) may be eligible for Reed College credit.
Given the variety of curricula and quality of work completed within these programs, a student's academic standing will be determined individually.
The student applies to Reed as a regular first-year student. Upon matriculation, the student provides full curriculum information to the registrar's office for reference in academic advising. A final credit evaluation is made by the end of the student's first semester at Reed. Depending upon the student's progress at Reed and the extent of work completed beyond the high school curriculum, the college may grant up to one full year's credit.
Reed does not grant credit on the basis of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or other programs of credit by exam where the exam does not reflect completion of specific course work.
The college does not grant academic credit for experiential learning programs.
At the beginning of each academic year, some departments (including music, economics, and languages) administer placement exams. These exams assist the departments in placing students at the most appropriate level based on proficiency in the subject.
Students do not receive academic units for placing out of a course.