Credit by Examination (CBE)
It is Iowa State University policy to grant academic credit by examination in many of the undergraduate courses listed in the university bulletin. Credit is awarded primarily in the introductory level classes in mathematics, natural, physical, and social sciences, and the liberal arts. Students with superior high school backgrounds or those with college-level proficiency in certain subject areas are strongly encouraged to investigate and attempt testing in the CBE programs available.
Types of CBE Programs
Students may earn academic credit in any of four ways and have that credit recorded on their academic record when they enroll. Programs accepted at Iowa State include:
Advanced Placement (AP)
Program of the College Board
This program allows students, while still in high school, to take examinations for credit at the college level. Iowa State University awards credit or advanced placement through the Advanced Placement Program in art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, foreign languages, government and politics, history, mathematics, music, physics, psychology and statistics. High school counselors and teachers will assist with testing arrangements.
Generally, students scoring 3 or better on the exams will be considered for course credit based on departmental review of the exams. In some departments, only scores of 4 or better will be considered for credit.
Correspondence concerning the Advanced Placement Program should be addressed to:
Advanced Placement Examinations
|P.O. Box 977-IS|
|Princeton, New Jersey 08541|
International Baccalaureate Examinations
The International Baccalaureate Program, offered at many high schools in the United States and abroad, allows students the opportunity to take examinations for credit at the college level. These examinations are offered at subsidiary and higher levels.
Iowa State University awards credit for higher level examinations in the following subject areas: art and design, biology, chemistry, computing studies, economics, English, foreign languages, geography, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, psychology, and social anthropology. Iowa State University also awards credit for subsidiary-level examinations in the following subject areas: biology, geography, mathematics, philosophy, and physics. Students must receive a minimum score of 4 to qualify for academic credit in most subject areas. Some departments, however, require a minimum score of 5.
Correspondence concerning the International Baccalaureate Program should be addressed to:
|200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2403|
|New York, New York 10016-3903|
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Students may take locally constructed departmental examinations for undergraduate credit in specified subject areas for which they and the department feel they have the necessary preparation. These exams are generally administered by the department which offers the course (for exceptions, see CLEP offerings below). Students interested in taking departmental (or CLEP) examinations should contact the appropriate department for specific information on the course covered by the exam and the exam itself. A nonrefundable fee is charged for each departmental examination requested. If an acceptable exam score is achieved, a grade of T will be reported to the Office of the Registrar. The T grade represents performance equivalent to a C or better in the course. T grades are not used in computing students’ grade point averages; however, the credit does become part of their official academic record and may be applied toward their graduation requirements.
A list of the most frequently requested exams and the date(s) and time(s) they are administered each semester is published in each semester’s Schedule of Classes. Most examinations for credit are prepared by the departments offering the courses. In some cases, the examination used is part of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), where the content of the CLEP test has been judged to be an equivalent to the content of the
The following information pertains to CLEP credit earned before July 1, 2001. Beginning July 1, 2001 CLEP will be available on computer only. At time of printing, information about the new computer version is not available. Therefore, for information about CLEP credit earned after June 30, 2001, see the URL
www.iastate.edu, Index, Credit by Examination. Updated information will be posted as it occurs.
Iowa State University will award up to six semester credit hours in each of three general CLEP tests (Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences) if the test score places the student at or above the 60th percentile on national norms. Iowa State University does not accept the general CLEP tests in either mathematics or English. In addition, the College of Engineering does not allow credit earned from CLEP general tests to be used in their students’ degree programs.
Subject CLEP tests accepted at Iowa State University include American Government
(Pol S 215); Introductory Accounting (Acct 284 and 285; engineering majors should consult with their academic adviser before registering for this examination); General Biology (Biol 109, not for biology or engineering majors); Introductory Psychology (Psych 101); Introductory Sociology (Soc 134); Macroeconomics (Econ 102); Microeconomics (Econ 101);Trigonometry (Math 141); and Calculus with Elementary Functions (Math 165). Students must score at or above the 50th percentile on national norms to qualify for credit.
A nonrefundable fee is charged for each CLEP test requested and all requests must be made one week prior to the test date in order to guarantee that a test booklet is available. CLEP tests are administered by the Student Counseling Service Testing Office Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. For information on whether to take any of the CLEP tests, contact the department that offers the course. To obtain information on any of the CLEP tests, contact the Testing Office, 2030 Student Services Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011. To print a copy of the Institutional CLEP registration form see the URL www.iastate.edu, Index, Testing (Student Counseling Service). Then click on the link, “CLEP Testing.”
Policies and Procedures Governing CBE Tests
||1. Departmental and CLEP tests are offered to newly admitted or currently enrolled students at Iowa State University. Former and future students will receive credit only if they enroll sometime during the twelve months immediately following the
2. Permission to take a departmental examination is obtained from the department. Students may be denied permission because (a) the nature of the course is such that proficiency cannot be measured by such a test, (b) the student does not appear to have adequate background to pass the examination for the course, or (c) the student would not otherwise be allowed to enroll in the course. Students may appeal such a denial to the dean of the college in which the department is administered and subsequently to the provost.
3. Students may ordinarily attempt a CBE test only once in any course or area. Under special circumstances a re-test may be taken upon approval of the department in which the course is offered.
4. Departmental examinations and CLEP subject tests cover only a single course and students may not test out of independent study or special topic courses.
5. There is a nonrefundable fee for all departmental and CLEP tests. The fee is set by the Board of Regents and is subject to change.
6. Examinations are usually given just prior to, or within two weeks of, the beginning of fall and spring semesters. For more information, students should check the Schedule of Classes, or contact the department that offers the class.
7. Credit for the CLEP general examinations is not evaluated as equivalent to any specific course and cannot be used in place of specific course requirements for the major. All colleges (except Engineering, which does not accept these tests) allow CLEP general credits to be used for either general requirements (not in Liberal Arts and Sciences) or elective credit. Students are responsible for checking with their academic advisers to determine whether such credit is to their benefit.
8. Listed below are policies for transferring CBE from another college or university to Iowa State University:
a. AP or CLEP credit which is earned at an Iowa public college or university may be transferred directly to Iowa State University provided it is accompanied by at least 12 semester credits earned in residence at the sending institution. AP or CLEP credit which is earned at any other college or university may not be transferred directly to Iowa State. However, the scores from these examinations may be
sent to Iowa State University from the testing agency, and credit will be awarded based on Iowa State’s AP and CLEP policies.
b. IB credit earned at another college or university may not be transferred directly to Iowa State University. However, the scores from IB examinations may be sent to Iowa State from the testing agency, and credit will be awarded based on Iowa State’s IB policies.
c. Credit earned at another college or university through local test-out examinations may be transferred directly to Iowa State University provided it is accompanied by at least 12 semester credits earned in residence at the sending institution.
9. Credit earned from CBE will be posted to the student’s academic record at the end of the term. CBE credits will be counted toward the projected year in school classification used to establish registration start dates.
10. Some professional programs do not accept T credit in preprofessional courses. Students who anticipate applying to such programs should inquire about the acceptability of such credit before registering for such CBE tests.
11. Credit established at Iowa State University will usually transfer to other colleges and universities; however, the final decision rests with the institution reviewing the transcript.