Academic Affairs

Placement at Appropriate Course Levels

Although individual faculty advisors bear primary responsibility for checking the appropriateness of the course selections and placement levels for individual first-year students, transfer students, and readmitted former students, DUSs are often involved in the process of setting appropriate placement levels within their departments. Appeals for a change in level of placement, or questions about appropriate placement levels in marginal cases, are usually directed to the DUS.

1. Advanced placement scores

The individual academic departments, in consultation with the University Registrar, regularly review their policies on the awarding of credit and advanced placement related to the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Examination Board. Mark Taylor, (684-9032) maintains AP records and works with departmental officers on matters concerning AP placement and credit. Trinity College policy permits, but does not require, individual academic departments to award advanced placement and/or course credit for students who received a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations; one department has been permitted to allow such placement or credit for a score of 3. The score of 4 or 5 is the basis for consideration for credit and/or placement in advanced courses in art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, French, German, history, Latin, mathematics, music, physics, political science, psychology, Spanish and statistics. The Department of Mathematics considers a score of 3 for placement beyond the introductory course. Students with these scores normally receive both advanced placement and credit for specific Duke introductory work, as determined by the department concerned; departments may require that a validating examination at Duke be passed with a satisfactory grade. Area of Knowledge distribution requirements and Inquiry/Competency requirements may not be satisfied by means of courses for which AP credit is awarded at Duke. Advanced Placement scores are usually reported to Duke in mid-summer.

2. College Board achievement scores

Several academic departments have established placement criteria that are based upon College Board (CB) Achievement Test scores, submitted by applicants as part of their admissions credentials. Particularly in the foreign languages and in mathematics, scores are used in conjunction with records of previous preparation to determine the level of each student’s initial Duke course placement. The Achievement Test score levels and placements currently established by the academic departments appear in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Departments may be asked to review course placement requests after each registration period and during the summer and fall registration periods for entering first-year students and transfer students.

NB: The University writing requirement cannot be met by Achievement Test scores or by Advanced Placement Courses. It may be fulfilled only by passing Writing 101, at Duke or, for transfer students, by transfer of an equivalent course or writing requirement from another college or university. Writing 101 does not transfer for first-year students. Transfer students may meet the requirement by taking the course at Duke or by having fulfilled a comparable requirement at the institution formerly attended.