There are many advantages of opting for and clearing the AP Physics 1 exam can be advantageous to your academics and college applications. Completing the AP Physics 1 course and scoring good scores on the exam might get your college credits or placement even before starting college.
With this guide, you will learn about the AP Physics 1 credit policy, how many colleges in the US offer credits for AP Physics 1, and the credit policies of the top 20 colleges in the US.
AP Physics 1 credit and placement
Credits and placements are granted by colleges for passing an AP course with the required score. Colleges have their own policies to grant these credits and placements and differ from college to college.
In order to be eligible for this benefit merely taking an AP course and passing the AP exam is not enough. To be eligible for the AP credit and placement benefit students need to score the required score specified by the college and it varies from college to college.
So, before knowing about the credit policies of the top 20 colleges, let’s first understand the difference between credits and placement.
Typically, to graduate from college, students require a credit of 120. These credits are granted over a period of 4 years by taking classes and passing exams, submitting projects, taking summer courses, etc.
The advantage of taking an AP course and passing the AP exam is that you will get some credits from the college before starting out college. For example, you scored 4 in your AP Physic 1 class and the college gives you 8 credits for that so you enter college with 8 credits under your belt even before starting classes.
Instead of credits, some colleges grant students the option of skipping some classes for scoring the required score in AP classes. These classes can be introductory classes of your major or core classes required by your college. This is called advanced placement.
Does colleges offer credits for AP Physics 1?
Yes, of course! Colleges do offer credits for AP Physics 1. But it is important to keep in mind that AP Physics 1 does not cover the same depth of material as a college-level Physics course which is why many highly selective colleges do not offer credits for AP Physics 1. So, read about the credit policy of the college to which you want to apply.
|Acceptable AP scores||No.of colleges|
|Total no.of colleges offering AP credits for AP Physics 1||1579|
|No.of colleges accepting 5 AP scores||31|
|No.of colleges accepting 4 or more AP scores||412|
|No.of colleges accepting 3 or more AP scores||1136|
Source: College Board
As you can see from the above table, only 1579 colleges offer credits for AP Physics 1 which when compared to other AP courses like AP Biology and Chemistry is lower. Out of these colleges, 31 accepts only 5 AP score, 412 colleges accept 4 or more score, 1136 accepts 3 or more score, and no college accepts an AP score of 2 and 1.
AP Physics 1 credit policy of top 20 colleges
|College||Minimum score required||Minimum credit offered||AP credit policy link||Additional notes|
|5||2||Princeton AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|0||0||MIT AP Physics 1 credit policy||No AP credits are granted by MIT for the AP Physics 1 exam.|
|5||0||Harvard AP Physics 1 credit policy||No AP credits are granted by Harvard for the AP Physics 1 exam.|
|4||8||Stanford AP Physics 1 credit policy|
New Haven, CT
|0||Yale AP Physics 1 credit policy||No AP credits are granted by Yale University for the AP Physics 1 exam.|
|University of Chicago|
|0||University of Chicago AP Physics 1 credit policy||No AP credits are granted by the University of Chicago for the AP Physics 1 exam.|
|Johns Hopkins University|
|0||0||John Hopkins AP Physics 1 credit policy||No AP credits are granted by John Hopkins for the AP Physics 1 exam.|
|University of Pennsylvania||5|
Physics 0101 (1.5 c.u.)
|University of Pennsylvania AP Physics 1 credit policy||UPenn offers advanced placement for AP Physics 1.|
|California Institute of Technology||0||0||Caltech AP Physics 1 credit policy||Caltech doesn’t grant credit for AP exams.|
|0||0||Duke AP Physics 1 credit policy||Duke University doesn’t grant credit for AP Physics 1.|
|5||1.34||Northwestern AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|0||0||Dartmouth AP Physics 1 credit policy||Dartmouth doesn’t grant credit for the AP Biology exams.|
|5||Physics 0030||Brown University AP Physics 1 credit policy||AP credit for Physics 0030|
|5||4||Vanderbilt University AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|4||3||Rice University AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|Washington University in St. Louis|
Saint Louis, MO
|5||3||Washington University in St. Louis AP Physics1 credit policy|
|5||4||Cornell AP Physics 1 credit policy|
New York, NY
|4||6||Columbia AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|University of Notre Dame|
Notre Dame, IN
|5||3||University of Notre Dame AP Physics 1 credit policy|
|University of California, Berkley|
|3||5.3||University of California, Berkley AP Physics 1 credit policy|
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Does a 3 on an AP Physics 1 exam give you college credit?
There are a total of 1136 colleges in the US that offers college credit for AP Physics 1 for a score of 3.
Is a 2 on AP Physics 1 bad?
Yes, because no college offer credit in AP Physics 1 for a score of 2.
Does UCLA accept AP Physics 1 credits?
Yes, UCLA awards a credit of 8 to students who secure an AP score of 3 or more.
Does Harvard accept AP Physics 1?
No, Harvard doesn’t offer credits for AP Physics 1.
What is AP Physics 1 equivalent to?
AP Physics 1 is equivalent to a first-semester college course in Algebra-based Physics.