For students who start at Carleton as first-term, first year students

Prematriculation Credits (AP or IB and PSEO Credits)

New students often bring along college-level credits to be applied to their Carleton academic record, such as Advanced Placement exam credit or Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) credit. These are credits you earned before becoming a degree-seeking college student. Here we’ll break down how those credits are sent to Carleton and how they work for you. The most up-to-date policies about prematriculation work at Carleton can be found in our Academic Catalog

Typically, any credits you earned prior to matriculating at Carleton (called prematriculation work) are used only as general credit, bringing you closer to the 210 credits required to graduate. None of these credits can be used toward Carleton’s Liberal Arts requirements — we want you to take those courses here — but occasionally they can be used toward a major or minor. There is more information about that in each section below. 

Your credits will show up on the Hub usually in late July, and sometimes in early August. If you don’t see your credits before then, don’t worry — transcripts come at all speeds from many directions, and AP and IB scores come to Carleton in several batches throughout the summer. All of these scores require our office to add them to your record — it doesn’t happen automatically — and they can take time to be processed. If it’s early August and you need these credits in order to be able to register for a class in fall, please reach out to our office to let us know you aren’t yet seeing your credits on the Hub. If you don’t need the credits in order to register for a class in fall, we would appreciate your willingness to wait to reach out until at least New Student Week so we can make sure students who need the credits now get to the front of the queue. 

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

When you signed up to take AP or IB exams, you likely put in Carleton’s ID code to ask that your scores were automatically sent to us. If that’s the case, we’ll be receiving your exam scores directly from CollegeBoard or IBSO and getting those scores added to your record without you needing to do anything extra. 

If you didn’t put Carleton’s ID code into your list of destinations, you’ll need to reach out to CollegeBoard or ISBO and ask them to send your scores to us. We can only accept scores sent to us directly from the testing board, and you’re the only one who can request that your records be sent to us, so make sure to do this step as soon as your final exam scores are released. 

There is detailed information in the College’s Academic Catalog that lays out the scores needed for each exam — the minimum threshold can vary by exam — as well as whether we grant credits for the exam and how such an exam may count toward a major or minor requirement. There is nothing you need to do (other than make sure you’ve sent us your scores) to get the credits to work for you in the way they’re outlined in the Catalog. We will do that for you as part of our process to award you the credits. 

PSEO, Dual Enrollment, or College in the Schools Credits

If you earned college credits while you were in high school by attending college-level courses, please know that your high school transcript is not sufficient for us to award college credits. You will need to work with the accredited college or university that awarded your credits to make sure that an official transcript, meaning one that is sent to us directly from the institution, is sent to us. This means that any document you uploaded during the application process cannot be used to award credits, because it is not considered official, but any sealed, unopened paper transcripts sent directly to Admissions from you or from the institution, or any official electronic transcript sent directly to Admissions from the institution, is official and can be used to award credit. 

If you would like any of these courses to count toward major or minor requirements, or to count as a prerequisite for another class, you’ll need to ask. But who you ask, and when, can vary. 

If you want a course to count as a prerequisite for another class, you should email the instructor of the class you’re hoping to take and describe the course you took elsewhere to ask if they would consider you able to take their class. If the instructor agrees, they should email the Registrar’s Office to ask that you be given a prerequisite waiver to be able to register for their course. Please note that having a prerequisite waived is for one class in one term only, so you should not consider that single waiver as blanket future permission to register for additional courses. You should do this ahead of your registration priority time for the term, but should not ask until advising days have begun.

If you want a course to be considered equivalent to a course at Carleton (for example, if you took CLASS 101 at your local community college, and you’d like take a lot of courses that might require CLASS 101 as a prerequisite, or to count toward your major or minor) you should reach out to the chair of the department. Which chair you reach out to might depend on what you’re hoping for, but, as a general guideline you should reach out to the chair of the department where the course should be equivalent. 

Transfer Credits (Courses taken once you are a degree-seeking student)

Students may be transferring courses to Carleton for a variety of reasons. You may have been approved by the Academic Standing Committee to take a course elsewhere over the summer to transfer back to Carleton, or you might be transferring to Carleton from another institution. If you are a transfer student, there is a lot of detailed information for you on our Transfer Student Page, so please visit that page if you haven’t already, because you’ll find a lot of good information that’s specifically geared towards you there. If you’re a student on a non-Carleton Off Campus Study program, you’ll find that information on the OCS page. For students who want to transfer a course to Carleton after becoming a Carleton student, read on.

First, be sure you’ve been given permission from the Academic Standing Committee to transfer a course back to Carleton. If you don’t know how to do this, start by talking to your adviser before reaching out to the Registrar. Here are the steps to take after you’ve been approved to transfer a course back to Carleton:

  • Work with the Registrar to be sure that the institution you’ve selected is eligible for transfer.
    • A standard course is valued at 6 Carleton credits and is the equivalent of 3.334 semester hours or 5 quarter hours. This means that 3 semester credit courses transfer to Carleton as 5 Carleton credits, and a 4 semester credit course will transfer to Carleton at 6 credits.
  • Work with the Registrar to select courses, ensuring that:
    • The course fits into the Liberal Arts context
    • The course isn’t something you could otherwise take at Carleton
    • The course isn’t something you have already passed
  • Receive official approval from the Registrar to register for your course
    • Note that if you think this course could be suitable for your major or minor, you should work with your adviser and department chair now to discuss this possibility. Remember that non-Carleton courses cannot be used to complete our Liberal Arts requirements.
  • Register at the other institution, take the course, and pass it with a C- or higher (remember: if you take the course pass/fail, and their passing grade includes grades in the D-range, you’ll need to have a letter from the institution certifying that you would have received a C- or higher!) 
  • Arrange for an official transcript to be sent directly from that school’s Registrar’s Office to Carleton’s Registrar’s Office
  • Watch the Hub for your credits to show up on your record