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Enter a US College or University Already With Academic Credit

Study in the US: Guide for International Students in USA

US College Credits AP Tests Exams International Students

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As an international student, you may want to look into these possible ways to get ahead with your studies and start school at a US college or university already with academic / college credit:

Advanced Placement Exams, AP Exams, AP Tests

As an international student, you may be interested in taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams / tests. The Advanced Placement Program gives you the chance to do college-level work in your high school. Scoring well on these AP exams / tests allows you to enter a US college in an advanced status, with college credit before you even start school, which can shorten your studies by a year or perhaps even two. Although these AP exams / tests may be harder to find outside the USA, you may be able to take them with American students at an international high school in your home country. For more information, see the Advanced Placement Program.

Acceleration Credits

As an international student, you may also be eligible for acceleration credits at a US college or university. A credit is a unit of academic work, and you need a certain amount of credits to graduate. US colleges often recognize that if you have graduated from a high school overseas, you may already have a more advanced education than many US high school graduates. You should ask the US college you are applying to if it will provide you with college credit in advance (acceleration credits) for high school classes you have taken in your country of origin.

Transferring College Credits

Even between US colleges, it is an unhappy fact that many students experience problems with their new school not recognizing academic work done at their previous college or university -- problems transferring college credits. You can imagine the difficulties international students have transferring academic credits from a university in their own country to a US college. If you would like to transfer college credits, you should speak with an admissions officer at the US college or university to which you are applying as soon as possible.

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