SDSU classes at TPHS:
frequently asked questions

The following list includes most of the questions that my students and their parents/guardians have about how the SDSU classes work at Torrey Pines. (Open in new window first if you want to print.)

NOTE: Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, students may choose to receive credit through MiraCosta College for Calculus II, Calculus III, and/or Linear Algebra at no cost. Additional information related to MiraCosta College has not been updated yet on this web site. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact math teacher Abby Brown

Related Pages:

Will I get college credit for these classes?

Getting college credit depends on a number of factors. Primarily it will depend on (1) what college you attend, (2) if you listed the classes on your high school transcript, (3) your major in college, and (4) how much you advocate for yourself. Ultimately the decision belongs to the college you attend. If you have a lot of units to transfer, that may influence your decision on which college you choose to attend.

  1. Each college has its own policies regarding transfer credits and coursework taken before graduating high school. If you know which colleges you are most interested in attending, you should investigate their policies regarding transfer units. How much credit you get may also depend on whether your college is on a semester-based or quarter-based system. The SDSU classes are semester classes.
  2. Many colleges transfer the credits earned in these classes. However, some schools will not transfer the credits if you list them on your high school transcripts. By listing the classes on your high school transcript, they go into your total high school units. Even if you exceed the 230 units needed for graduation, some colleges will not let you count these courses twice (once in high school and once in college).
  3. Colleges and universities have school-wide policies regarding transfer units, but some departments will have their own restrictions about what courses they will accept toward your major requirements. For example, even if a university accepts transfer units taken before high school graduation, the engineering program at a university may insist that all of their students take Calculus with their professors so that all students have the same background, regardless of previous course work including AP classes and tests. Again, check with the colleges you are most interested in attending.
  4. Sometimes there are published guidelines rather than strict rules. You may need to do a little investigating to see if your college will give you credit for these courses. This is best done after you know which school you will be attending. Some schools say they will not give credit unless the courses are taken on the university campus, with regular university students, and taught by a regular member of the faculty. This is to prevent a student from asking for credit for a summer workshop or a class taught at the high school that only sounds like a college course. After you know which school you will be attending, if you come across such restrictions, please contact me for help. I have written letters along with the Math Department Chair at SDSU to help clarify our program and explain how it meets the expectations they desire in a transferable course. Some schools may want you to take a placement test to prove that you do know the material before granting credit or allowing you to take the next level course.

What is “college credit”?

In general, there are three types of “college credit.”

  1. College Units: These are the units (or credits) you need to graduate. Calculus II/C is 4 semester units, Calculus III/D is 4 semester units, Linear Algebra is 3 semester units, Mathematics Software Workshop* is 1 semester unit, and Topics in Mathematics* is 3 semester units (*Advanced Topics in Math II).
  2. Prerequisite Credit: This often goes along with the units. You have met the prerequisites for taking the next level course. Some schools may not transfer in the units, but will say it is okay for you to take the next course in sequence such as Differential Equations.
  3. Grade Point Credits: Rarely will colleges count courses taken in high school toward your college GPA. Each school has its own policy as to how the classes will appear on your college transcripts. They may list the course and your grade, but it may not be computed in your GPA. Colleges in the California State University (CSU) system are the most likely schools that would include these classes in your GPA since SDSU is a CSU school. Check with the colleges you are most interested in attending.

Will I get high school credit for these classes?

If you choose to list these classes on your high school transcript, you will receive high school credit for them. If you do this, they will be included in your high school GPA. If you take no action, the classes will be listed on your transcript by default. You do not have to get high school credit for these classes. Whether you take a class for high school credit or not must be decided before the last day of the semester.

Also see How do I remove these classes from my high school transcript?

How do these classes affect my GPA?

If you list these classes on your high school transcript, they will be included in your GPA as non-weighted classes (scored on a 4.0 scale). These courses are not weighted because they are not AP nor Honors classes.

Do I have to take the class for college credit?

Yes. All students must take Calculus II/C, Calculus III/D, and Linear Algebra for college credit regardless of whether they are taking them for high school credit. Credit is granted through the university and Torrey Pines accepts the units as if you took an off-campus class. College credits for Advanced Topics in Mathematics II are optional.

How does it work for the Advanced Topics in Math II class?

Students in the Advanced Topics in Mathematics II course have the option to enroll for college credits through SDSU. For the fall semester, the SDSU class is Math 341 Mathematics Software Workshop (1 semester unit). For the spring semester, the SDSU class is Math 299 Special Study: Computational Projects in Mathematics (3 semester units). Students who opt for college credits are expected to keep the Advanced Topics in Mathematics II course on their TPHS transcripts. These are special courses and are not as recognizable as Calculus II, Calculus III, and Linear Algebra, so some colleges may not accept Math 341 or Math 299 for transfer credits. When reporting Adv. Topics on college applications, students are advised to treat is as a high school class for simplicity. Students can then make a request to transfer the credits once attending college.

Ms. Brown has a course description that may be sent to colleges who have questions about these classes. Please contact her for more information or if you have any questions:

How do I enroll for college credit?

Students enroll through the Extended Studies Program at SDSU. Registration may be completed by mail or online and the details are posted at Separate registration is completed for each semester. This is usually done within the first few weeks of class.

MiraCosta College registration information coming later.

Why do I have to pay for the class for SDSU?

Public education is free for grades K through 12. Colleges and universities require some form of tuition. As part of the program with SDSU, students at Torrey Pines pay a significantly reduced price for these classes. The cost is determined by a fixed price per unit. (Please see the course syllabus for the most current price.) Even though students pay for the units, they do not have to pay for the textbook, parking, student association fees, and other incidentals often required of college and off-campus students.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, students may choose to receive credit through MiraCosta College for Calculus II, Calculus III, and/or Linear Algebra at no cost. Additional information related to MiraCosta College will soon be updated on this web site. If you have any questions, please contact math teacher Abby Brown

How do I remove these classes from my high school transcript?

To remove these classes from your high school transcript, you and your parents need to sign a form indicating that you want to do this. All students in class will be asked to sign this form stating that they want to remove the classes OR that they want to leave the classes on their transcript and they understand the potential consequences of doing so. You can download this form from my web site (here) and it will be explained in class. This form should be returned to Ms. Brown directly before the last day of the semester.

You may choose to remove one class from your high school transcript and leave the other class on it. Usually students only keep the classes on their high school transcript if they need the units to graduate.

Please note that this affects your semester grades since transcripts are issued at the end of each semester. Students will not receive a grade for this class on their quarter report cards either. Progress reports will be handled individually, if necesary. Also, every student will receive transcripts at SDSU. Grades will appear there at the end of the semester.

Juniors and sophomores are advised to remove the class from their transcript now. If you find that you need the units to graduate, you can still put the class back onto your transcript before the end of the first quarter of your senior year. However, if you leave it on the transcript now, you will NOT be able to remove it later.

Do I need these classes to graduate?

Check with your counselor for information about your graduation status. You need 230 units to graduate and you must fulfill the SDUHSD requirements for mathematics (below). Juniors and seniors in these classes have already met the course requirements. Sophomores may need one more year of mathematics taken in high school, such as Statistics, Discrete Math, or Advanced Topics in Math II, if they remove the SDSU courses from their high school transcript.

NOTE: The mathematics requirement for high school graduation has changed slightly so that students must have three years of math in high school. See your counselor or Ms. Brown if you have questions.

SDUHSD Graduation Requirements for Mathematics

Course Requirements: Three courses of Mathematics in grades 9 - 12. One course of the mathematics requirement may be earned by passing a college preparatory course (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II) in grade 8. In grades 9 - 12, one course of the mathematics requirement may be earned in a department other than the Mathematics Department.* Beginning with the graduating class of 2003-2004, Algebra I (or a course equivalent) will be required for graduation.

Exit Exam: Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year and each year thereafter, each student completing
grade 12 shall successfully pass the state exit examinations in language arts and mathematics as a
condition of high school graduation.

How do I get college credit?  Is there an AP test?

There are no AP tests for these classes since it is very unusual for high school students to be prepared for mathematics at this level. Colleges who transfer credits usually consider earning a grade of “C” or higher as passing. Occasionally students who take Calculus C in the fall will take the AP Calculus BC exam in the spring. The few students who do this usually have a specific reason for doing so or need it for the college they are planning to attend. In general, taking the additional AP exam is not encouraged.

How will colleges know I took these classes?

When you are applying to colleges, the applications will ask you to list classes you are currently taking and the classes you intend to take during the second semester. List these classes as if you took them at SDSU. Many college applications have a section where you list college courses you have taken or are currently taking. You should use the formal course names and number designations used at SDSU. See: How do I list these classes on my college applications? Also, you will need to send a request to SDSU for them to send a transcript to each college that asks for a high school transcript. SDSU transcripts are available for you after you complete your first semester of the SDSU courses.

How do I order a transcript from SDSU?

See: SDSU Transcript Request: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take these classes again in college?

Some students choose to repeat these classes in college rather than transferring the units. (If you do transfer the units, you should check with your college to see what happens if you decide to repeat a course.) Calculus III (D) and Introduction to Linear Algebra are traditionally sophomore-level college courses. Some students choose to repeat a class or two during their freshman year to learn the material better and/or make the transition to college a little easier.

Why do I have to pass the AP test to take this class?

Since credit is granted through SDSU, students must satisfy the university prerequisites before enrolling in the class. Prerequisites may be satisfied by passing the appropriate AP exam or by passing an appropriate college accredited course at a university. (The latter must be verified by transcripts issued by the institution where the course was taken. Before enrolling in any such courses, check with Ms. Brown and/or your counselor to see if the class you want to take will satisfy the prerequisites.)

Prerequisites for Calculus II/C:  Calculus I (one semester course or two quarter courses depending on the university) or passing the AP Calculus AB Exam or the AB portion of the BC Exam with a score of 3 or higher.

Prerequisites for Calculus III/D: Calculus I and Calculus II (C) or passing the AP Calculus BC Exam with a score of 3 or higher. Note: Students in Calculus II/C must earn a grade of C- (70%) or higher to qualify for Calculus III/D.

Prerequisites for Linear Algebra are the same as for Calculus II/C. However, students are strongly encouraged to take Calculus III/D before or concurrently with Linear Algebra.

Is Ms. Brown an SDSU professor?

I am employed by the San Dieguito Union High School District. I have B.S. and M.A. degrees in Mathematics and these are the qualifications that the SDSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics requires for non-tenure track lecturers. For more information about me and my background see: About Ms. Brown.

Where do I go for more information?

Talk to Ms. Brown or your counselor if you need more information about the classes. Contact the colleges and universities you are interested in attending for more information about their policies regarding transfer credits.

More information on Ms. Brown’s web site:

Or e-mail Ms. Brown: 



Abby Brown - Torrey Pines High School

Updated: 01/28/2024