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Advanced Placement Policies


In order to receive A.P. credit, a student must take a departmentally approved Hamilton course and pass with the minimum grade stipulated by the department.  Students must take one of the courses listed below as their first course in the department, unless otherwise designated. If a department does NOT state explicitly that they give credit, a student cannot get credit for the A.P. test in that field.

ART

General, Drawing and Art 2D Design: Students having obtained a 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of Art 104 or 160 with a minimum grade of a B in the course.

ART HISTORY

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of any 200-level Art History course with a minimum grade of B in the course.

BIOLOGY

For all classes up to and including the Class of 2021:
Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the Biology AP exam may receive 1 college credit after completion of either Biology 101, 102, or 115 with a minimum grade of B– or better. The credit is for exemption from one semester of introductory college-level biology and to allow students to proceed in our curriculum (AP credit may not be applied to the concentration requirements). Students will not receive a college AP credit if they choose to take both Biology 101 and 102.

Beginning with the Class of 2022:
Students having obtained a 5 on the Biology AP exam may receive 1 college credit after completion of Bio 100 with a minimum grade of B or better (AP credit may not be applied to the concentration requirements).

CHINESE

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 in AP Chinese Language and Culture will receive 1 credit upon completion of Chinese 140 or a higher level Chinese language course with a minimum grade of a B- in the course. Placement is based on the placement exam. The AP credit will be awarded after completion of 140, regardless of what level a student initially places into.

CHEMISTRY

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of Chemistry 125 or 190 as their first course in Chemistry with a minimum grade of C-.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Students are placed by the department on the basis of AP scores and a departmental placement exam. Normally, students without programming experience enroll in Computer Science 110 followed by Computer Science 111. The Computer Science department does not award credit for AP courses or exams.

ECONOMICS

This policy applies to students in class of 2021 and earlier:
The Department will allow entering students who have achieved a top score in the AP Microeconomics exam (score of 5) to place out of Econ 101: Issues in Microeconomics.  Students who  subsequently achieve a grade of B- or greater in Econ 275: Microeconomic Theory, will then also get Hamilton course credit for Econ 101 and can apply this toward the major or minor in Economics.

Similarly, a top score on the Macroeconomics AP permits a student to place out of Econ 102: Issues in Macroeconomics.  Students who  subsequently achieve a grade of B- or greater in Econ 285: Macroeconomic Theory, will then also get Hamilton course credit for Econ 102 and can apply this toward the major or minor in Economics.

Entering students who feel that they have a strong background in economics but have not achieved a qualifying score to pursue credit toward the major as specified above should talk to their advisors about whether it would be appropriate to skip an introductory course and enroll in an intermediate level course. However, a student who places out of Econ 101 or 102 without receiving credit toward the major cannot count this course as one of the 9 required for the major.

For students in the class of 2022:
The Department will allow entering students who have achieved a top score in the AP Microeconomics exam and Macroeconomics exam (score of 5) to place out of Econ 100:  Introduction to Economics.  Students who subsequently receive a grade of B- or greater in Econ 166:  Theory and Evidence will then also get Hamilton course credit for Econ 100 and can apply this toward the major or minor in Economics.

Entering students who feel that they have a strong background in economics but have not achieved a qualifying score to pursue credit toward the major as specified above should talk to their advisors about whether it would be appropriate to skip Econ 100 and enroll in Econ 166. However, a student who places out of Econ 100 without receiving credit toward the major cannot count this course as one of the 9 required for the major.

For the classes of 2023 and later:

Students can place out of ECON100: Introduction to Economics if:

  • They have earned a 5 on either the AP Microeconomics or AP Macroeconomic exam and at least a 4 on the other economics AP exam, or
  • They have earned an International Baccalaureate diploma with a score of 6 or 7 on high-level economics, or
  • They have earned an A on A-Level Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams.

Students who subsequently receive a grade of B- or greater in Econ 166: Theory and Evidence will then also get Hamilton course credit for Econ 100 and can apply this toward the major or minor in Economics.

Entering students who feel that they have a strong background in economics but have not achieved a qualifying score to pursue credit toward the major as specified above should talk to their advisors about whether it would be appropriate to skip Econ 100 and enroll in Econ 166. However, a student who places out of Econ 100 without receiving credit toward the major cannot count this course as one of the 9 required for the major.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Students who complete ENVST 210 with a B+ or higher can apply their Environmental Science AP towards college credit at Hamilton if they received a 4 or 5 on the AP exam. However, AP scores do not count towards completion of the Environmental Studies concentration. ENVST 210 is taken during the second semester of the student’s sophomore year.

French Literature & Language

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP French Language and Culture exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of 200-level French and Francophone Studies course with a minimum grade of a B in the course.

GERMAN

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of GERMAN 200W or another 200-level German course taught in German with a minimum grade of a B- in the course. Students must complete the 200-level course in their first year at Hamilton to receive the AP credit.

GOVERNMENT & WORLD POLITICS

United States: Students with a score of 5 on the AP exam may enter any 200-level American Politics course without taking the prerequisite. Upon completion of the 200-level course with a grade of B or better, the student will receive 1 credit for Government 116.

Comparative: Students with a score of 5 on the AP exam may enter any 200-level Comparative Politics course without taking the prerequisite. Upon completion of the 200-level course with a grade of B or better, the student will receive 1 credit for Government 112.

Alternatively, students may take 116 and/or 112 if they so choose, but they thereby forfeit the potential credit from their AP score; to be eligible for these courses, such students must contact the Registrar’s Office and request the removal of the AP scores from their records.

HISTORY

Students who receive a 4 or 5 on a European, American and/or World History AP examination will receive 1 credit toward general graduation requirements upon completion of a Writing Intensive 100-level History course with a minimum grade of C-. 200- and 300-level History courses do not meet this requirement. AP credits do not count toward the History concentration or minor. Students can only receive a total of one unit of credit for AP European, American, and World History.

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon successful completion of Anthropology 113 with a minimum grade of B- in the course.

ITALIAN

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the AP exam will receive 1 credit upon successful completion of ITAL 130 with a minimum grade of B- in the course. The AP credit will be awarded after completion of 130, regardless of what level a student initially places into.

JAPANESE

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 on the Japanese AP exam will receive one credit upon completion of Japanese 140 with a minimum grade of a B- in the course. The initial placement is based on a placement exam by the Japanese Program. Students may be placed into Japanese 130 and still receive AP credit upon completion of 140.

LATIN

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 in AP Latin will receive 1 credit upon completion of a 300-level Latin course with a minimum grade of B- in the course. Students having obtained a 3 will receive 1 credit upon completion of Latin 210 with a minimum grade of B- in the course.

LITERATURE & CREATIVE WRITING

Students earning a score of 4 or 5 on either or both of the AP examinations in Literature and/or Language may place directly into one of two 200-level courses in Literature (204W or 222W).

Students earning a score of 5 on the AP exam and who earn a minimum grade of B- in a 100-level or 200-level writing-intensive course in the Literature department during their first two years at Hamilton will receive 1 additional course credit. 

Students whose AP scores have allowed them to move directly into a 200-level literature course must take LIT 204 before they can enroll in CRWR 215.

Students can only receive a total of one unit of credit from either the AP English Language and Composition or AP English Literature and Composition. This credit will not count toward the concentration.

MATHEMATICS

Students are placed by the department on the basis of AP scores and a departmental placement exam. Students who complete Math 116 with a grade of C- or better without having taken Math 113, will receive credit for Math 113. This credit does not count toward the concentration or minor. Students who complete Math 216 with a grade of C- or better without having taken Math 116, will receive credit for Math 116. The Math Department does not award credit for AP Statistics, but students earning a score of 4 or 5 on this exam may place directly into Math 254.

MUSIC THEORY

Students who receive a 5 on the AP exam in Music Theory are placed into Music 211 and will receive 0.5 AP credit upon completion of the course with a B or better, in addition to the 0.5 course credit for Music 211. Students who receive a 4 on the AP exam in Music Theory should consult with the department about placement and credit.

PHYSICS

Physics 1 and Physics 2 (algebra based): Students with scores for AP 1 or 2 should consult with the department about placement but will not receive course credit.

Physics C (calculus based): Students having obtained a 5 in Mechanics and/or E&M should consult with the department about placement. Students with a 5 in both Mechanics and E&M can place into Physics 290. They will receive 2 credits upon successful completion of Physics 290, assuming that they have not completed any courses in an introductory sequence. Students having obtained a 5 in Mechanics, independent of their score in E&M, can place into Physics 195 or 205. They will receive 1 credit upon successful completion of Physics 195 or 205, assuming that they have not completed any of the first-semester courses of the introductory sequence.

In all cases, successful completion requires a minimum grade of B.

PSYCHOLOGY

Students having obtained a 5 on the AP Psychology exam will not receive course credit for Introductory Psychology but may elect any 200-level course for which Introductory Psychology is a prerequisite.

SPANISH LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE

Students having obtained a 4 or 5 in AP Spanish Literature or Language exam will receive 1 credit upon completion of a 200-level Hispanic Studies course with a minimum grade of a B- in the course. Placement is based on placement exam. Students may choose to begin with 140 with the consent of the department chair and still receive AP credit upon completion of a 200-level course. Students can only receive one credit for both AP Spanish Literature and Language.

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