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Exemption, Advanced Placement, and
Credit by Examination
In all cases, the final decision as to exemption or advanced placement,
with or without credit, rests with the Cornell departments concerned and
the Dean of the College.
Exemption without credit from a prerequisite for any course listed in
this Catalogue may be granted by the instructor.
Exemption without credit from one or more of the general education
requirements for the B.A. or B.Mus. degree is granted by some
departments for superior achievement on certain examinations. (See
Bachelor of Arts, Paragraph
Cornell accepts the following examinations. The exemption, placement, or
credit involved must be requested by the end of the student's ninth term
- All College Entrance Examination Board's
Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations except those in Studio Art, Art
History, and Music Listening and Literature. For a score of 4 or 5 the
student will receive course credit and exemption and advanced placement
(except that in foreign languages a score of 5 is required for credit);
for a score of 3, only exemption and/or advanced placement (except in
English Language, English Literature, and Statistics, in which a score
of 3 grants neither exemption nor credit). A complete list is available
from the Registrar.
- CLEP subject examinations in the following disciplines only (the
minimum passing score and other criteria for granting exemption or
credit are given in parentheses): American Government (55); either
American Literature or English Literature, but not both (50 and
departmental pass on essay); General Chemistry (60 and departmental pass
on problems); Introductory Economics (48); Geology (49 and departmental
pass on problems); and General Psychology (45 for exemption, 55 for
exemption with credit). Please note that Cornell does not grant
exemption, advanced placement, or credit for any of the CLEP general
- The Oxford and Cambridge A-Level Examinations or their
equivalents. One or two course credits, depending upon whether the
exemption is for one or two courses, are granted for scores of E or
- The International Baccalaureate. Two course credits are granted
for each score of 5 or above on a Higher Level examination, and one
course credit for each score of 5 or above on a Standard Level
examination, for a maximum of nine course credits.
- Examinations prepared and administered
by Cornell departments at their option are an additional means of
earning credit or exemption, subject to the following conditions:
- Exemption or credit by examination may be given
only for courses listed in this Catalogue.
- Credit by examination may not be given for any independent study,
internship, group or individual project, tutorial, seminar, special
topic, or research course.
- A student who audits a Cornell course or who is tutored by a
Cornell faculty member is not eligible to receive credit by examination
for such work. A Cornell independent study course (see
Courses 290/390and b. above) is the appropriate
vehicle for such work.
- Credit by examination is an option offered to students who have
mastered Cornell's course material through study by themselves, in high
school or elsewhere (but not for a course for which the student also
receives transfer credit), or through some life experience.
- Students desiring credit by examination must first receive
permission from the department concerned. A student may receive credit
by examination for a maximum of seven courses (no more than two such
credits may be in any one department). The examinations must be
completed by the end of the student's ninth term at Cornell.
- Credit will not be granted twice for passing two relatively
similar topics. Students who believe that the two are significantly
different should consult the department chair for permission to receive
credit for both. If granted, the chair(s) must notify the Registrar in
Credit by examination granted by another institution will not
automatically transfer to Cornell; but where the examination is one that
is used by Cornell, credit will be given if the student's performance
meets Cornell's standards.
A student who receives credit for a course by examination and repeats
that course at Cornell will have the examination credit subtracted.
Also, students are not eligible to receive credit by examination for a
lower-level course after they have completed or begun a course for which
the other is a prerequisite.
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