Credit by Exam
The University credit by examination program is designed to recognize superior learning experiences and translate that experience into college credit. It helps a student gain recognition for what the student knows and can do irrespective of how, where, and when the knowledge was obtained. Credit may be earned through any one of five programs.
The Advanced Placement Program is a testing program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). It is a special college-level learning experience of the high school student which can take the form of an honors class, a strong regular course, tutorial, or independent study.
Any high school sophomore, junior, or senior who has participated in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) during high school, or has developed an equivalent background through the student's own initiative, may make arrangements to be tested in any or all of the available subject areas. Tests are given once a year during the third week in May. Participating high schools with Advanced Placement Programs may administer their own tests. A student attending a non-participating school may take the qualifying exams at any participating school. Download a list of AP tests, the minimum score required to receive credit at USI, and the courses/credit hours to be awarded.
For assistance in making test arrangements, a person may write to:
College Board Advanced Placement Program
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
College Entrance Examination Board
A student is not required to take the SAT II, but is encouraged to do so while in the junior or senior year of high school. These tests should be taken especially if the student has gained a high degree of proficiency in certain areas. A high school student should contact the high school counselor for registration materials and further information.
- The General Exams (90 minutes each) measure achievement in five basic areas of general education: English composition, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. Credit for successful completion of the general examinations is granted for general education courses. A student who has earned 24 semester hours of college credit is not eligible to take the CLEP general examinations. In addition, a student must take the mathematics general exam prior to the official mid-term date of the student's first college-level mathematics course.
- Subject Examinations of CLEP cover specific academic areas and supplement the general examinations of CLEP.
Download information regarding CLEP exams, the minimum score required to receive credit at USI, and the courses/credit hours to be awarded. Additional information about credit via CLEP examinations may be obtained in the Registrar's Office.
There are several departmental exams through which students can be awarded credit, provided the student demonstrates a level of proficiency satisfactory to the department involved. In order to be eligible for a departmental exam, the student must be in good standing and regularly enrolled at the University as a degree candidate. A department may adopt either a standardized examination available to the department from outside the University or may develop the appropriate exam for the subject area. Departmental exams may be written, oral, or both. A fee of $15 is required in advance of taking each examination. No refund is given if the student fails to qualify for credit. For further information about departmental examinations, contact the department involved.
World Languages Departmental Credit
To earn foreign language credit by examination for high school course work, students must obtain a grade of "B" or better in the USI foreign language course into which they have been placed.
Additional Policies Concerning Credit by Examination
- Anyone may take examinations for credit; however, only a currently or previously enrolled student of USI may apply granted credit toward a degree.
- A student may not establish credit for auditing purposes; similarly, the student may not take a course for credit if the student has established credit by examination for that course.
- A student may not establish credit by examination for any course in which the student is currently enrolled.
- A student is eligible to receive credit by examination for a lower level course while the student is enrolled in an advanced course until that semester's official mid-term date, at which time the student becomes ineligible to establish credit by examination for the lower level course if the student successfully completes the advanced course. A lower level course can be either a prerequisite for the advanced course or a course whose content overlaps that of the upper-level course.
- The Credit by Examination program is designed expressly for the student who intends to earn a degree at USI. The decision on whether the exam credit is transferable remains with the institution to which the student may intend to transfer.
- Upon successful completion of any examination, the student will be offered credit for the equivalent course(s). A letter grade will not be assigned; therefore, the credit will not affect the student's grade point average.
- After credit is granted to a student through any one of the Credit by Examination programs, there is no additional charge to the student. Earned credit is recorded automatically on the student's transcript.
- A request for an exception to the current policy may be made to the department chair responsible for the discipline covered by the exam. Such a request will be reviewed by a committee consisting of the dean, the director of Admission, and the vice president for Academic Affairs.
- A maximum of 90 semester hours earned by examination may apply toward a student's baccalaureate degree, and a maximum of 42 semester hours earned by examination may apply toward the student's associate degree. For detailed information concerning the Credit by Examination program, contact the department of your major.