AP, IB, and Other Transfer Credits Class of 2025

Is it worth using my transfer credits? How will they work toward my requirements at Rensselaer? How have other students done this in the past?

Many students take advantage of transferring college credit to Rensselaer. This is one of the first decisions you will make about your curriculum and your fall schedule.

So, where do you even begin?

You need to have a good understanding of what options you have, both with the college courses or exams you have taken, and the scores you have received. You also need to start thinking about how those credits will have a direct impact on your Fall 2021 schedule.

Exams and their Equivalency at Rensselaer

Click the button below to visit the RPI Admission's Website and learn what requirements your credits/exams may replace in your required curriculum.

Transfer Credit Limits

Is there a limit to how many credits you can transfer to Rensselaer?


  • You can apply up to 32 transfer credits total toward your degree at Rensselaer.
  • AP, IB and Cambridge: Up to 20 credits can be accepted across these exams specifically.
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (HASS): You can apply up to 8 transfer credits.
  • Science and Math: You can apply up to 8 transfer credits.

We suggest transferring everything possible at the start, even if it goes over the credit limit. Once your credits arrive, you can work with your Hub Advisor to decide which courses should be applied towards your degree. Using the equivalency information from the RPI Admissions' Website (above), you are able to see how transfer courses can be applied to your degree in many ways.

Let's get those credits to Rensselaer!

Confirmations and Deadlines

While much of what you plan to transfer to Rensselaer will be finalized during the summer before your first semester, you should know that these credits will have a direct impact on your first semester. It is a requirement that you finalize the transfer credit process before the start of your first semester.

Deadline: first day of classes, August 30th, 2021

  1. Ensure that Rensselaer's Registrar's Office has received all AP, IB and Cambridge Exams scores.
  2. Ensure that Rensselaer's Registrar's Office has received all required forms and the official transcript from any college courses you wish to transfer.

If the Registrar's Office has not received evidence that you have completed the prerequisites required for any advanced courses, you will be dropped from the class at the start of the Fall semester. This is done in your best interest, so please ensure you complete the process if you want to remain in any advanced courses.

To confirm that the Registrar's Office has received and processed your credits, you may check your Transcript in the Student Information System (SIS). You will see an option for this in your Student Menu after logging into SIS. Please, check here before reaching out to any office about your credits.

If you do not see the expected credits on your transcript, you may...

  1. Confirm that scores/transcript were sent to Rensselaer's Registrar's Office rather than our Admission's Office (which can occasionally happen).
  2. Resend your scores/transcript (more information in the next sections).
  3. As a last step, you may email newstudentreg@rpi.edu and write 'MISSING TRANSFER CREDITS' in your subject line.

Once you see the credits on your transcript, you are all set!

Sharing your Scores with Rensselaer

Visit each website (buttons below) to see the dates associated with your exams so you have an idea of when Rensselaer should receive scores. Put those dates on your personal calendar so you can check your transcript on SIS. You should allow one to two weeks for the scores to be sent to Rensselaer and processed by our Registrar's Office.

  • As of Fall 2020, Rensselaer requires a score of 5 on all AP exams.
  • Cambridge A-Level have stopped issuing paper transcripts during the pandemic, so students no longer have Cambridge transcripts sent to RPI.
  • In place of a transcript, please email newstudentreg@rpi.edu your Center Number, Candidate Number, Date of Birth, and Series (date of exam). In your subject line, please write: 'CAMBRIDGE.'

Questions or need to email supporting documents to Rensselaer's Registrar's Office? Email newstudentreg@rpi.edu, and write 'TRANSFER CREDITS' to your subject line.

College Credits

Some students also receive credits through other colleges during and after high school. Common names for programs that grant these credits are dual enrollment, taking courses at a college as a “non-degree seeking” student, Project Lead the Way, or SUPA.

If these courses were “above and beyond” what was required for you to graduate from high school, there is a good chance they can be accepted for use at Rensselaer!

Check out the video below to see how to get those credits to Rensselaer.

As mentioned in the video, if you received credit from another college while you were a high school student, and these credits were not applied to your High School diploma, you will need to fill out the following form (button below) if you want to transfer these credits to Rensselaer. You will need a Guidance Counselor or Principal from your high school to sign the form to verify that those college credits were 'above and beyond' your High School graduation requirements.

Along with the filled out and signed form above, you will also need to send the following to our Registrar's Office (a total of three documents per course):

  • Official College Transcript with your final grade
  • Course Description for each course that you took

If you decide to take a college course during the gap (summer) between High School and your first semester of college, you only need to provide the Registrar's Office with the following (a total of two documents per course):

  1. Official College Transcript with final grade
  2. Course Description for each course that you took

You will not need to fill out or submit any forms. However, you will want to finalize transferring these credits before your first semester of college begins!

Questions or need to email supporting documents to Rensselaer's Registrar's Office? Email newstudentreg@rpi.edu, and add TRANSFER CREDITS to your subject line.

So - what should you register for?

By transferring credits, you give yourself the option to advance through your curriculum at a quicker pace. This can be a great option if you have considered adding to your existing requirements, such as declaring a minor.

Now, you might be asking yourself...

Should I move to the next course, or should I retake the course again at Rensselaer? What happens if I'm bored, or if the course is too hard?

The final step is to decide how you want to use the credits that you are able to bring with you. You might be unsure if you want to take the next course in the sequence during your first semester of college. However, our data shows that students who choose to use their transfer credits do very well!

Check this out; in a 5 year analysis...

  • Over 300 students with Calculus 1 credit proceeded to Calculus 2 and 75% received a B or higher.
  • Over 200 students with Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 credit proceeded to Multivariable Calculus and Matrix Algebra and 90% of them achieved a B- or higher.
  • Over 100 students with Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 credits proceeded to Introduction to Differential Equations, and 90% of those students received a B- or higher.
  • Over 100 students with Physics 1 credit proceeded to Physics 2, and 74% of them achieved a B- or higher.

Bottom line: If you felt confident with the material presented in the course, you may want to move forward in the sequence. From the data above, you can see that many students found success in taking the next course. However, if you found yourself a little overwhelmed with the content, it is perfectly fine to retake the course here at Rensselaer. There is nothing wrong with gaining a deeper understanding of the content by revisiting the material.

Important registration notes:

  • If you wish to register for Differential Equations (MATH 2400), please click the button below.
  • If you wish to register for any advanced course other than Calculus 2 (MATH 1020), Physics 2 (PHYS 1200), or Multivariable Calculus (MATH 2010), please click the button below.
  • Regardless of what Humanities credits you are transferring, you must take a HASS Inquiry (IHSS) course in your first semester of college.

Remember, if you do not finalize the transfer credit process by the start of your first semester, you will be dropped from any advanced courses that you register for!

How can the Add/Drop Period help?

And, what is the Add/Drop Period?

The Add/Drop Period will be the first two weeks of the semester. During this time, Registration reopens so you are able to make adjustments to your schedule with the support of your SoE Hub Advisor.

Regardless of what you register for, there will be time to adjust your schedule once the Fall semester begins. The Add/Drop Period at the start of the semester will allow you to switch out of one course and register for another. For example...

  1. If you earned credit for Calculus 1, but choose to retake Calculus 1 at Rensselaer this fall, only to discover that you are not being challenged enough in the course, you can switch into Calculus 2 during the Add/Drop Period.
  2. Or, if you have earned the credits for Physics 1, and choose to register for the next course in the sequence, Physics 2, only to discover that you want to retake Physics 1 at Rensselaer, you will be able to take a step backwards in the sequence during the Add/Drop period.

You will have to finalize your schedule before the Add/Drop Period ends, but there is plenty of time between now and then!

There will be many opportunities to speak with your Hub Advisor if you have any questions about transferring credits to Rensselaer. Never hesitate to reach out!

We are here to help.

The School of Engineering First-Year Advising Hub

3306 Ansell Lounge, Jonsson Engineering Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute