Biology Department photograph montage

Obtaining major credit for your high school AP exam in Biology (or other subjects)

Students may receive credit towards the lower division requirements for the major with the appropriate scores on Advanced Placement Exams. It is up to the discretion of the Chair of the Department whether the AP exam credit will be accepted for the major (this applies to all lower division requirements for the major). For the Department of Biology, an AP exam score of 4 or 5 in general will be accepted towards the Biology Major requirement. Advanced Placement Exam Credit appears on the Advanced Standing Evaluation, or ASE form. The University demonstrates acceptance of the AP exam for credit by listing it on this form. Although the University may provide unit credit for a score of 3 on the AP exams, Departments often require a higher score for the units to be applied to the major.

These equivalencies apply only for the Department of Biology.  Students from other Departments must contact their Department advisors for their Department-specific policy on AP exam credit.

AP exam (score 4 or 5)
Biology Biol 230, 5 units
Calculus AB or BC Math 226, 4 units
Chem 115, 5 units
Computer Science A CSC 210, 3 units
Physics AP-C Mechanics Phys 111 or 220, 3 units (need to take lab)


See the University policy on AP exam credit here:

To obtain approval of AP credits for use toward the Biology Major:

Student must meet with his/her Biology Major Advisor bringing:

  • SF State unofficial transcript, Degree Progress Report, and Transfer Credit Report (the Transfer Credit Report indicates the University has accepted the AP scores for transfer credit)
  • Department of Biology Equivalency form (include AP score on Equivalency Form as the "GRADE")
  • copy of AP exam score report (minimum score of 4 accepted, unless otherwise stated in table above)

After the Advisor signs the form, the student takes the form to the Department of Biology (HH534) and leaves the form in the office for final approval (Chair approval – the student DOES NOT MEET WITH THE CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT).

After the equivalency form is approved by the Department office, the student picks up the approved form and KEEPS the form

  • to show to instructors to confirm completion of Biol 230
  • to submit with the graduation application

As of Fall 2009, an unlimited number of courses used to meet General Education Segment I and II requirements may be used to fulfill major requirements. This new policy may also be applied to AP exam credit.

Back to Undergraduate Advising for Biology Students