Validation and Advanced Placement

Validation and Advanced Placement

Validation and Advanced Course Enrollment


Advanced Placement test scores and previous high school or college academic records are reviewed by the academic departments to determine whether a cadet is eligible for validation of certain courses. Many academic departments use examinations and personal interviews, in addition to screening academic records, to assist in their evaluation. When the process is completed, a cadet may be offered the opportunity to validate a course. Once validated, the decision to take the course is entirely the cadets to make; cadets should keep in mind, however, that they may have to replace the validated course with another course. The significant aspects of validation are that it is voluntary, and that, while it excuses a cadet from taking a course, it does not reduce graduation course requirements. Validated courses will be reflected without credit hours on the transcript. However, the credit hour content of validated courses is recognized as contributing appropriate disciplinary content towards meeting programmatic rigor for accreditation purposes. 

(Redbook: Part 1 - The Academic Program (

Advance Placement (AP) Test Scores

The Advanced Placement (AP) test scores are used by academic departments as one piece of information to determine advanced placement or validation for new cadets. USMA also provides its own testing to determine placement in the standard course, the advanced course or validation of the course. Students who are considering attending USMA will list USMA (code: 2924) as an AP score recipient. If the cadet has been accepted at USMA and did not list USMA as a score recipient, he/she can request their AP transcripts be sent to USMA via the college board website Send AP Scores Online - AP Students – College Board. AP scores should be requested no later than the second week in July if the cadet is beginning school in the fall term. Scores can be sent electronically in standard delivery of 7-14 business days ($15/report) or rush delivery of 5-9 business days ($25/report).

Validation and Placement Determination

The final determination regarding course validation or placement varies by department but is generally based on a combination of factors including in-house testing.  Six different departments provide USMA placement testing/validation opportunities to New Cadets during the month of July.  Below is a sample of courses that can be validated and/or advanced placed.

AreaPossible Course Validations
(Plebe courses) 
Advanced Placement
(based on placement testing/validation)
ChemistryCH101 General Chemistry I
CH102 General Chemistry II
CH151 Advanced General Chemistry I
CH152 Advanced General Chemistry II
Information Technology/Cyber CY105 Intro to Computing and Information Technology CY155 Advanced Introduction to Computing & Information Technology
HistoryHI105 History of the United States 
HI108X Regional Studies in World History
HI155 Advanced History of the United States 
HI158X Advanced Regional Studies in World History
MathematicsMA104 Calculus I MA255 Advanced Multivariable Calculus
PhysicsPH201 Physics I
PH202 Physics II
PH251 Advanced Physics I
PH252 Advanced Physics II
Foreign LanguageTwo language courses are required. Sequence is determined by the Department of Foreign Languages and based on cadets’ ability and preferences.

Transfer Credit

USMA does not transfer prior credits from other institutions of higher education. Official transcripts with a grade of “B” or better from other colleges will be reviewed for validation of courses. Cadets who validate courses may choose to take additional electives or request consideration for the advanced course in the respective subject. The final decision for validation of courses is determined by the appropriate department.

Academic Affairs & Registrar Services 
Updated as of: 01 APR 2024