Prior to entering Columbia, students may have taken Advanced Placement examinations through the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) in a number of technical and nontechnical areas. Students may be assigned to an advanced-level course in mathematics, chemistry, or physics. A maximum of 16 points may be applied. Students may be assigned to an advanced level course in mathematics or physics based on their AP scores.

In the required pure science areas, the number of advanced placement academic credits awarded to students of engineering and applied science varies from the levels awarded for liberal arts programs, notably in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science. The benefit of advanced placement is acceleration through certain First Year–Sophomore Program requirements and thus the opportunity of taking specialized courses earlier.

Each year the school reviews the CEEB advanced placement curriculum and makes determinations as to appropriate placements, credit, and/or exemption.

Advanced Placement Credit Chart**

In order to receive AP credit, students must be in possession of appropriate transcripts or scores.

Subject AP Score Advanced Placement Credit Requirements or Status
Art history 5 3 No exemption from HUMA UN1121
Biology 5 3 No exemption
Chemistry 4 or 5
4 or 5
3
6
Requires completion of CHEM UN1604 with grade of C or better
Requires completion of CHEM UN3045-UN3046 with grade of C or better
Computer science A or AB 4 or 5 3 Exemption from COMS W1004
English
   Language and composition
   Literature and composition

5
5

3
3

No exemption
No exemption
Economics
   Micro and macro

5 and 4

4*

Exemption from ECON UN1105
(Test must be in both with a score of 5 in one and at least 4 in the other)
French
   Language
   Literature

4 or 5
4 or 5

3
3
 
German
   Language

4 or 5

3*
 
Government and politics
   United States
   Comparative

5
5

4
4

Exemption from POLS UN1201.

Exemption from POLS UN1501.

History
   European
   United States

5
5

3
3
 
Italian language 4 or 5 3  
Latin literature 5 3  
Mathematics
  
  
   Calculus AB
   Calculus BC
   Calculus BC
4 or 5
4
5
3
3
6


 
Physics
   C-E&M
   C-MECH
   Physics B

4 or 5
4 or 5
4 or 5

3
3
3

Requires beginning with PHYS UN2801 and earning grade of C or better
Requires beginning with PHYS UN2801 and earning grade of C or better
No exemption
Spanish
   Language
   Literature

4 or 5
4 or 5

3
3
 
* AP credits may be applied toward minor requirements depending on the specific rules of the minor. When the rules of the minor allow AP credit to fulfill a requirement, then only one course for a minor may be replaced by advanced placement credit.
** Columbia Engineering Students with a 4 or 5 on Calculus AB or a 4 on Calculus BC must begin with MATH UN1102 (Caculus II). If a Columbia Engineering student with these scores goes directly into APMA E2000 (Multivariable Calculus), he or she will have to go back and complete MATH UN1102 (Calculus II). Students with A-level or IB calculus credit must start with MATH UN1102 (Calculus II).