Academic Credit

Definition of Mills Semester Course Credit 

A typical academic course at Mills is offered for 3 or 4 semester course credits. These courses usually meet for 150 minutes per week for 14 weeks, and require a minimum of nine hours of outside work per week. 

Advanced Academic Standing on Entrance

Advanced Placement (AP)

The College participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Any student who has taken college-level work at an official secondary school may take AP examinations and submit the test results for consideration to the dean of undergraduate admission. A maximum of 24 semester credits of combined AP, international baccalaureate, and high school-credited college course credits will be accepted toward the Mills bachelor’s degree. Advanced Placement courses may replace introductory major course requirements at the discretion of the major advisor. Advanced Placement courses may replace one introductory minor course requirement at the discretion of the minor advisor.

Students who need to request AP scores should contact the College Board or visit

Advanced Placement credit is awarded as follows:

Subject AP Score Credit
Art History 4, 5 3
Art (Studio) 4, 5 3
Biology 5 4
4 3
Chemistry 5 4
4 3
Computer Science
A 4, 5 3
AB 4, 5 3
Macro/Micro 4, 5 3
Language & Composition (does not satisfy English 001) 4, 5 3
Literature & Composition (does not satisfy English 001) 4, 5 3
Environmental Science 4, 5 3
Foreign Languages
French 5 6
4 3
Spanish 5 6
4 3
Government & Politics
American 4, 5 3
Comparative 4, 5 3
American 5 6
4 3
European 5 6
4 3
World History 5 6
4 3
Calculus AB or AB sub-score of BC 4, 5 3
Calculus BC 4, 5 6
Statistics 4, 5 3
Listening and Literature 4, 5 3
Theory 4, 5 3
B 5 4
4 3
C 4, 5 3
Psychology 4, 5 3

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Mills College awards credit for the higher level (HL) of the IB. Up to 3 course credits are granted for a score of 5 and 6 course credits for scores of 6 and 7. The student must have taken the examination and must submit official documentation to qualify for credit.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program is administered by the College Board. It was designed to test the knowledge of resuming or reentry students to award credit for “life learning.” Thus, Mills accepts CLEP credit only for resuming students.

Mills does not award credit for the general examinations, but only for the subject examinations with departmental approval, and uses the American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines for awarding credit. A maximum of 12 credits through CLEP examinations will be applied toward the Mills bachelor’s degree. CLEP examinations taken while a student is at Mills will not be accepted for college credit.

Credit by Examination

A regularly enrolled Mills student who is prepared, subsequent to graduation from high school, in the subject matter of a course listed in this catalog may petition the Academic Standing Committee (ASC) to take a special examination covering that material without having attended the Mills course. Certain restrictions apply to courses for which students can attain credit by examination.

Courses for which credit by examination is NOT permitted include:

  • any course that the student has previously audited;
  • courses for which AP credit has been granted;
  • courses from which the student is exempted on the basis of a placement examination;
  • courses that can be repeated for credit; and
  • laboratory, fieldwork, or skills courses (e.g., workshops, foreign language, and creative writing) in which participation and skill improvement are primary objectives, as opposed to the acquisition of a specified and measurable body of knowledge.

In addition, petitions for credit by examination must have the approval of the academic advisor, the instructor who regularly teaches the course and who will administer the examination, the department concerned, and the ASC. The examination fee is $300 for each semester course credit for all students. The total number of semester course credits earned in any semester, either in class or by examination, may not exceed 15 credits without the approval of the ASC. A maximum of 9 credits earned by examination may be included among the courses required for the degree.

Placement Exams

Go to the Office of the Provost’s information page on placement exams.