Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Academics
books

USNA Course Validation Policy

There are many opportunities for midshipmen to earn validation credit for USNA courses. While the majority of validation occurs during plebe summer, midshipmen may validate upper level courses at other times. To be considered for validation of a course, a midshipman must have one or more of the following:

  • equivalent college level experience elsewhere,
  • high AP or IB test scores as indicated below, and/or
  • good performance on one or more validation test(s).

In general, validation for a particular course is determined by the academic department in which the course is offered. Midshipmen who wish to validate courses for which opportunities are not provided during plebe summer may visit the relevant department to make appropriate arrangements nearly anytime after plebe summer.

A summary of our validation policies for the class of 2023 is shown in the table below. Additional information about validation can be seen on the Course Validation Information page

School of Engineering and Weapons
Department Validation via
AP or IB scores
Validation
testing opportunities
during plebe summer
Validation
requirements
for upper
level courses
Aerospace Engineering No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Electrical & Computer Engineering No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Mechanical Engineering No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Weapons & Systems Engineering No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
School of Mathematics and Science
Department Validation via
AP or IB scores
Validation
testing opportunities
during plebe summer
Validation
requirements
for upper
level courses
Chemistry

 

For Class of 2025 and earlier: Biology AP=5 or IB=7 validates Biology 1.

For Class of 2026 and beyond: Biology 1 can no longer be validated by AP or IB score

Tests administered for Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 2. Interview, test.
Computer Science No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Mathematics (Validation by AP Score or USNA Exam only) Calculus "AB" or "AB subscore" AP>=4 validates Calc 1.
Calculus "BC" AP>=4 validates Calc 1 and Calc 2. 
Statistics AP>=4 validates SM219.
Tests administered for Calculus 1, Calculus 2 and Calculus 3. Interview, test.
Oceanography No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Physics Tests administered for Physics 1 and Physics 2. Interview, test.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Department Validation via
AP or IB scores
Validation
testing opportunities
during plebe summer
Validation
requirements
for upper
level courses
Economics Micro AP>=4 and Macro AP>=4 validates FE210.
Micro AP>=4 validates SE201.
Macro AP>=4 validates SE202.
No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Some combination of syllabus, transcript, interview and test.
English English AP=5 or IB=7, Literature or Language, validates English 1. Tests administered for English 1 and English 2. Syllabus, transcript and interview. 
History World History AP=5 plus either European History AP=5 or American History AP=5 validates HH216. No validation tests are administered during plebe summer.   Syllabus, transcript and interview.
Political Science American Government AP>=4  validates FP130.
Comparative Politics AP>=4 validates FP230.
No validation tests are administered during plebe summer.   Syllabus, transcript and interview.
Languages & Cultures

For Class of 2025 and earlier:  {French, German, Spanish} AP >= 4 validates Language 1 & 2, and AP = 5 validates Language 3 & 4.  {Chinese, Japanese} AP = 5 validates Language 1 & 2. 

For Class of 2026 and beyond: {French, German, Spanish} AP >= 4 validates Language 1 & 2, and AP = 5 will grant placement into Language 3XY.  {Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian} AP = 5 validates Language 1 & 2. 

Tests offered in plebe summer for Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. 

Only Language 1&2 can be validated by test, skill beyond Language 2 is reflected in placement.

Interview tests available. Skill beyond Language 2 is reflected in placement, not validation.
Division of Professional Development
Department Validation via
AP or IB scores
Validation
testing opportunities
during plebe summer
Validation
requirements
for upper
level courses
Seamanship and Navigation No validation tests are administered during plebe summer. Interview, test.
Division of Leadership Education and Development
Department Validation via
AP or IB scores
Validation
testing opportunities
during plebe summer
Validation
requirements
for upper
level courses
Leadership, Ethics & Law Introductory Psychology AP>=4 validates NL200 (Human Behavior). No validation tests are administered during plebe summer.   Syllabus, transcript and interview.
go to Top