External Exams

Credit units earned through the Advanced Placement Test (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or the International Baccalaureate Examination (IB).

Advanced Placement Test (AP)

The California Community College System, the CSU System, and the UC System all award credit for Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. San Mateo Community College District grants credit toward its Associate degrees and CSU GE and IGETC certification patterns to students who attain scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Board.

Students may earn a minimum of 3 semester units of credit for each AP exam satisfactorily passed. Access the Advanced Placement Equivalency Guide to identify how AP exam credit can be applied. See a counselor for specific information regarding AP exam placement and credit awarded. Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should consult a counselor or the individual university regarding its AP credit policy.

To receive credit, students must submit an official AP transcript to the Admissions & Records Office at their home institution. For information about obtaining a transcript, contact the College Board. Information is available on the web at http://www.collegeboard.com.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

San Mateo Community College District grants credit for successful completion of certain CLEP examinations to students who attain satisfactory scores. Access the CLEP Equivalency Guide to identify how CLEP credit can be applied.

Students may earn a minimum of 3 semester units of credit for each exam satisfactorily passed. See a counselor for specific information regarding CLEP placement and credit awarded. Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should consult a counselor or the individual university regarding its CLEP credit policy.

To receive credit, students must submit an official CLEP transcript to the Admissions & Records Office at their home institution. The University of California does not award units for CLEP. CLEP credits do not apply to IGETC requirements. For information about obtaining a transcript, contact the College Board. Information is available at www.collegeboard.com.

International Baccalaureate Examination (IB)

San Mateo Community College District may award International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination credit toward the Associate degree, or for CSU GE or IGETC transfer certification, to students who attain an appropriate score on Higher Level exams. Access the IB Equivalency Guide to identify how IB exam credit can be applied.

See a counselor for specific information regarding IB exam placement and credit awarded. Students intending to transfer to a four-year institution should consult a counselor or the individual university regarding its IB credit policy for major course work. To receive credit, students must submit an official IB transcript to the Admissions & Records Office at their home institution. For information about obtaining a transcript, contact the International Baccalaureate. Information is available at https://www.ibo.org/

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit Policy 2022-2023

The International Baccalaureate (IB) exam assesses student work and measures students’ academic, intercultural and basic skills.

Credit may be earned for the International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations with scores of 4 or higher.

A score of 5, 6, or 7 on Higher Level exams is required to grade credit for IGETC certification

You can send in your scores to be awarded academic credit.

  1. Request your official IB Score Reports to be sent from Admissions and Records Office at your SMCCCD college
  2. Upon receipt of your official IB scores, the Admissions and Records Office will determine course/unit equivalencies according to the SMCCCD IB Credit equivalency guide, and post coursework and units to your SMCCCD transcripts.
  3. Grades and Grade Points will not be assigned to IB Credit.

The following chart outlines the application of credit for International Baccalaureate (IB) towards each SMCCCD College’s Coursework, Associate Degree General Education (GE) requirements, California State University General Education (GE) Breadth Certification, and Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) Certification.

If your SMCCCD college does not offer a course similar in content to an IB exam, the college will award credit in the General Education area shown on the California Community College General Education IB List. If there is no General Education area that aligns the IB exam, the College may award elective credit.

Please note: 

  • An acceptable IB scores for IGETC equates to either 3 semester or 4 quarter units for certification purposes.
  • Students who have earned credit from an IB exam should not take a comparable college course because transfer credit will not be granted for both.
  • CSU units count toward eligibility for admission. The units may not apply towards Associate Degrees for Transfer (AD-T) or the baccalaureate degree. The units may not apply toward certification of the corresponding GE-Breadth area.
  • If you have any questions regarding Math and English placement or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit please contact your counselor.
  • If you plan to transfer to another institution, please be aware that every college/university has their own policies about Credit for Prior Learning.  What was accepted at SMCCCD may not be accepted at another institution. Please consult your intended transfer institution. 

All units listed are semester units.

SMCCCD IB Credit Equivalency Guide

IB Examination HL

SMCCCD Course Equivalent 

SMCCCD Associate Degree GE Area (3 semester units with a minimum score of 5, unless otherwise indicated)

CSU Credit Units (A minimum score of 5, unless otherwise indicated)

CSU GE Breadth Area (3 semester units with a minimum score of 5, unless otherwise indicated)

IGETC Area (3 semester units with a minimum score of 5)

UC Credit Units 

Biology 

BIOL 101, BIOL 110

Skyline & Cañada: B2

CSM: E5A

6

B2

5B 

5.3

Chemistry 

CHEM 192 (score: 5,6) CHEM 210 (score: 7)

Skyline & Cañada: B1

CSM: E5A

6

B1

5A

5.3

Economics

N/A

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

6

D

4

5.3

Geography 

GEOG 100 (Skyline and CSM Only)

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

6

D

4

5.3

History (any Region) 

N/A

Skyline & Cañada: C2 or D

CSM: E5B or E5C

6

C2 or D

3B or 4 

5.3

Language A Literature (Any Language)

N/A

Skyline & Cañada: C2 (Minimum Score of 4)

CSM: E5C (Minimum Score of 4)

6 (Minimum Score of 4)

C2 (Minimum Score of 4)

3B (1)

5.3

Language A Language and Literature (Any Language)

N/A

Skyline & Cañada: C2 (Minimum Score of 4)

CSM: E5C (Minimum Score of 4)

6 (Minimum Score of 4) 

C2 (Minimum Score of 4)

N/A

5.3

Language B (any language)  

SPAN 140

N/A

6 (Minimum Score 4)

N/A

6A

5.3

Mathematics

MATH 251

Skyline & Cañada: A3 (Minimum Score of 4) Meets Math Competency Requirement

CSM: C1 and E2C (Minimum Score of 4)

6

B4 (Minimum Score of 4)

2

5.3

Physics

PHYS 210, PHYS 220

Skyline & Cañada: B1

CSM: E5A

6

B1

5A

5.3

Psychology 

PSYC 100

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5C

3

D

4

5.3

Theatre

N/A

Skyline & Cañada: C1 (Minimum Score of 4)

CSM: E5C (Minimum Score of 4)

6

C1 (Minimum Score of 4)

3A

5.3

(1) Students earn IGETC area 3B and 6A if they pass IB Language A Literature or Language A Language and Literature with any language except English.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) 2022-2023

CLEP Exams are offered by the College Board to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in academic subjects through a national, standardized exam.

If you receive a score of at least 50 on a CLEP exam, you can send in your scores to be awarded academic credit.

  1. Request your official CLEP scores to be sent from “My CLEP Account” on the College Board website to the Admissions and Records Office at your SMCCCD college
  2. Upon receipt of your official CLEP scores, the Admissions and Records Office will determine course/unit equivalencies according to the SMCCCD CLEP Credit equivalency guide, and post coursework and units to your SMCCCD transcripts.
  3. Grades and Grade Points will not be assigned to CLEP Credit.

The following chart outlines the application of credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) towards each SMCCCD College’s Coursework, Associate Degree General Education (GE) requirements, California State University General Education (GE) Breadth Certification.

If your SMCCCD college does not offer a course similar in content to an CLEP exam, the college will award credit in the General Education area shown on the California Community College General Education CLEP List. If there is no General Education area that aligns the IB exam, the College may award elective credit.

Please note: 

  • CSU units count toward eligibility for admission. The units may not apply toward Associate Degrees for Transfer (AD-T) or the baccalaureate degree. The units may not apply toward certification of the corresponding GE-Breadth area.
  • If a student passes more than one CLEP test in the same language other than English, then only one examination may be applied to the baccalaureate. For each test in a language other than English, then only one examination may be applied to the baccalaureate. For each test in a language other than English, a passing score of 0 is considered "Level I" and earns six units of baccalaureate credit; the higher score listed for each test is considered "Level II" and earns additional units of credit and placement in Area C2 of GE Breadth, as noted. 
  • If you have any questions regarding Math and English placement or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit please contact your counselor.
  • If you plan to transfer to another institution, please be aware that every college/university has their own policies about Credit for Prior Learning.  What was accepted at SMCCCD may not be accepted at another institution. Please consult your intended transfer institution. 

All units listed are semester units.

SMCCCD CLEP Credit Equivalency Guide

Subject Exam

SMCCCD Course Equivalent

Passing Score 

SMCCCD Associate Degree GE Area (3 Semester Units)

CSU Credit Units 

CSU GE Breadth Area

CSU GE Breadth Units

American Government

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

3

D

3

American Literature

LIT 202

50

Skyline & Cañada: C2

CSM: E2C or E5C

3

C2

3

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: C2

CSM: E2C or E5C

3

C2

3

Biology

BIOL 101, BIOL 110

50

Skyline & Cañada: B2

CSM: E5A

3

B2

3

Calculus

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: A3 Meets Math Competency

CSM: C1 and E2C

3

B4

3

Chemistry

CSU GE Area B1 (score: 50 - 65)

CHEM 192 (score: 66 or higher)

50

Skyline & Cañada: B1

CSM: E5A

3

B1

3

College Algebra

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: A3 Meets Math Competency

CSM: C1 and E2C

3

B4

3

College Algebra – Trigonometry

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: A3 Meets Math Competency

CSM: C1 and E2C

3

B4

3

College Composition

ENGL 100

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

College Composition-Modular

N/A

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

College Mathematics

N/A

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

English Composition (no essay)

N/A

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

English Composition (with essay)

ENGL 100

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

Financial Accounting

N/A

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

French Level I 

N/A

50

N/A

6

N/A

0

French Level II 

N/A

59

Skyline & Cañada: C2

CSM: E5C

9

C2

3

Freshman College Composition

ENGL 100

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

German Level I 

N/A

50

N/A

6

N/A

0

German Level II

N/A

60

Skyline & Cañada: C2

CSM: E5C

9

C2

3

History, United States I

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: D Meets US History Specific Area

CSM: E5B

3

D and US 1

3

History, United States II

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: D Meets US History Specific Area

CSM: E5B

3

D and US 1

3

Human Growth and Development

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: E

CSM: E5B

3

E

3

Humanities

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: C2

CSM: E5C

3

C2

3

Information System and Computer Applications

N/A

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Introduction to Educational Psychology

N/A

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Introductory Business Law

BUS 201

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Introductory Psychology

PSYC 100

50

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

3

D

3

Introductory Sociology

SOCI 100 (Skyline Only)

50

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

3

D

3

Natural Sciences

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: B1 or B2

CSM: E5A

3

B1 or B2

3

Pre-Calculus

N/A

50

Skyline & Cañada: A3 Meets Math Competency

CSM: C1 and E2C

3

B4

3

Principles of Accounting

N/A

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Principles of Management

N/A

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Principles of Marketing

BUS 180

50

N/A

3

N/A

0

Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 100

50

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

3

D

3

Principles of Microeconomics

ECON 102

50

Skyline & Cañada: D

CSM: E5B

3

D

3

Social Sciences and History

N/A

50

N/A

0

N/A

0

Spanish Level I 

N/A

50

N/A

6

N/A

0

Spanish Level II 

N/A

63

N/A

9

C2 

3

Western Civilization I

N/A

50

N/A

3

C2 or D

3

Western Civilization II

N/A

50

N/A

3

D

3