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Departments need to clarify AP credit acceptance policies

Advanced Placement credits. I'm sure many students here brought them along when they enrolled at Seton Hall. I did too, or at least I tried to anyway.

To make a very long and time consuming (both literally and metaphorically) story short, I transferred here in 2009 from Quinnipiac University, which gave me a full six credits for my score of a 4 out of 5 on the AP Biology exam I took my senior year in high school. Those six credits exempted me from having to take any natural sciences courses during my undergraduate career there, which obviously made me happy considering I did not choose a science-based major for a reason. When I transferred to Seton Hall, I followed the same process – I had my AP score sent to the Registrar as I was told I may receive credit for the score just as I did at Quinnipiac. Last spring, I was advised by someone within the Biology department that my four would only earn me three science credits here, so I would have to take another three-credit class in order to satisfy my science requirements. I also would have to get the score placed on my transcript because it had not been credited yet. Though I was not happy, I enrolled in a science class for my final semester of college, and after a two year runaround, which included Registrar visits and emails, I received an email saying it had been placed on my transcript.

Yeah, it was placed on my transcript alright. With six science credits rather than the three I was originally told I would be getting. And where did my senior year spring semester science class go? To the "Electives" section of my degree audit. Electives, as in I "elected" to take it.

I definitely did not.

This is not about the fact that I had to take a science class. I will admit I have learned a lot in the class I am taking that I would not have learned otherwise.

However, if I had known I did not have to take the class, would I have taken it? Absolutely not. I would have rather taken something else or had an easier last semester of my undergraduate career. Don't mistake me for lazy though, I have been on the Dean's List throughout college while juggling many other commitments.

I was given some bad advice, plain and simple, and on top of that, it took much longer than it should have to put a simple score onto my transcript which I sent way back in 2009. I do commend the Registrar for working with me, but I believe the system needs to move faster.

And the bad advice I received? It's too late for me to do anything now, but things should get straightened out for future inquiries. It could mess up someone's degree requirements, and I know I, personally, would not be happy with that.

Jessica Sutcliffe is a senior journalism major from Cedar Knolls, NJ. She can be reached at

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