Exams for Credit or Proficiency

Exams for Credit or Proficiency

Effective: November 22, 2011

Last Updated: Approved by EPC October 12, 2011, Approved by Campus Assembly November 22, 2011; revised by EPC 10-31-12, approved by Campus Assembly May 14, 2013.

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

Certain examinations are accepted for credit toward or exemption from equivalent degree program requirements. 

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may earn college credit for successful completion of some CLEP examinations which have been reviewed by faculty and determined to assess the content of certain UMD courses.  The list of approved CLEP exams is maintained and posted by the Registrar. 

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

High school students may earn college credit by receiving satisfactory examination scores (3, 4, or 5) on the College Entrance and Examination Board Advanced Placement Program examination, or scores (of typically 5, 6, and 7) on the International Baccalaureate  examination.  Academic departments evaluate whether the material in the AP exam is substantially similar to that of an existing course, and if so, will award credits for that course. If the material is judged not to be substantially similar to an existing course, the academic department will assign general departmental credits. Academic departments may also provide an alternative method for evaluating proficiency in order to award academic credit. The list of approved AP and approved IB exams and the associated academic credit awards are maintained and posted by the Registrar. 

Departmental Examinations

Academic departments have the discretion to offer any currently-enrolled, undergraduate degree-seeking student an exam to either demonstrate proficiency or earn course credit.  Departments may establish eligibility criteria for an exam for proficiency or credit.  The format of these exams is at the department’s discretion (e.g., final examination, oral tests, written papers or projects).  A student may not take an exam for credit for a course in which they are currently enrolled or one already completed for any grade basis (i.e., A-F, S-N, or AUD status).  No department is required to offer exams for proficiency or credit.

1. Exam to earn course credit

A departmental exam for credit may be used to earn credit for a course.  Credit(s) earned by departmental exam do not earn GPA points and are reflected only within the student’s cumulative credit totals on the transcript (not within the term in which the student completed the exam).  Credits earned through examination are not considered as regular, residence, or transfer credits.

The academic department giving the examination will determine the minimum standards for successful completion of an exam for credit.  Students are required to pay the credit by special examination fee for exams to earn course credit. 

Work of “C-“ quality or better will earn credit with a ‘T’ posted on the transcript to indicate credit by exam.  If the work on the examination is below this level, no notation is made on the transcript. Only credits, not grades, are granted upon successful completion.

Electronic form for Credit by Examination Request

2. Exam to demonstrate proficiency

A departmental exam for proficiency may be used to fulfill prerequisites for advanced courses or satisfy other requirements.  An exam for proficiency does not yield any course credit or grade.  The academic department giving the examination will determine the minimum standards for successful completion of an exam for proficiency.  Courses satisfied through proficiency examination do not reduce the total credit requirements for graduation or in the major field.

If proficiency is demonstrated, a notation is made on the student’s transcript that reads, “Course X satisfied by proficiency examination.”

The department determines whether there is a fee for proficiency testing and administers the fee.