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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown College Updates History Credits Policy

The Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) announced an updated policy for accepting history credits from the Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and other international programs in a Nov. 13 email.

Currently, Georgetown students with qualifying scores on AP or IB exams need to take at least one HIST course numbered 1101 or above to fulfill their core history requirement. Upon implementation of the new policy, students who earned select AP or IB credits will now have increased opportunities to fulfill the CAS core history requirement, as they will be able to enroll for credit in previously unavailable introductory survey courses in those subject areas.

According to professor Amy Leonard, an associate professor of history and director of undergraduate studies at CAS, the change stems from an administrative belief in a distinction between Georgetown surveys of world and European history and those offered in AP and IB courses.

“The initial thought was that students shouldn’t take classes they had studied in some depth in High School, but we decided our World and Europe classes were different enough from AP/IB courses that it didn’t make sense to keep students from taking them,” Leonard wrote to The Hoya. “By restricting them we seemed to be saying they were not at the same level as our other surveys (Middle East, Latin America, etc), which wasn’t true.”

Offering 38 courses and corresponding examinations, the College Board Advanced Placement Program grades student exams on a scale from 1 to 5, whereas International Baccalaureate test-takers receive scores between 1 and 7.

Under the new policy, CAS students who earn a score of 4 on AP World or European History or a score of 6 on an IB Higher Level (HL) History exam — where course topics include History of Europe and History of the Americas —  may take any two history courses numbered 1101 or above to complete their core history requirement.

Georgetown College of Arts and Science changed the IB and AP history credit requirement to history classes at level 1101 or above.

CAS students with a score of 5 on AP World History or European History, or a score of 7 on an IB HL History exam — the highest possible marks — must only take one HIST course numbered 1101 or above to complete their requirement.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who received history credit for an equivalent international exam such as the British A-level, French Baccalauréat or German Abitur exams may also complete the core history requirement with any history course numbered 1101 or above.

Vaughn Slatoff (CAS ’26), an aspiring history major, said the new policy allows students to more freely explore their academic interests.

“When I came to Georgetown, I was pretty set on studying history, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone,” Slatoff wrote to The Hoya. “By providing students who succeeded on AP exams an opportunity to enjoy the same exploration process as those who didn’t, I think that the departmental body is going to reflect a higher portion of students who are truly interested in studying history.”

Fiona Li (CAS ’27), who achieved a score of 5 on the AP World History exam, said she is glad that she and her classmates can choose from a more diverse array of courses.

“I was a little stressed out about fulfilling the history core requirement because I initially wasn’t allowed to take some of the courses that I was interested in such as Europe I,” Li wrote to The Hoya. “I’m happy that these options are now back on the table.”

Previously, CAS instructed students with qualifying scores on AP and IB exams to avoid taking survey courses in global and European history offered by the history department. Such courses have included “Europe I” and “Europe II,” as well as classes with global scopes, such as “World II: Global Warming.”

CAS administrators still instruct students who met half of their requirements to avoid taking history courses numbered 1099, as these “History Focus” courses are aimed at providing students without AP or IB credit with the proper knowledge about the historical discipline within a set period. 

Leonard said the new policy will provide students with the advantage of taking a broader range of classes without forgoing previous credit. 

“The advantages are now there are more open seats available for students in our surveys (which can fill very quickly) and that students with an interest in World or Europe can get those subjects at a college level taught by top scholars in the field.”

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