Credit by Examination (CBE)
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
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, environmental science, foreign languages, geography, 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 the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations, P.O. Box 977-IS,
International Baccalaureate Examinations
The International Baccalaureate Program, offered at many high schools in the
Correspondence concerning the International Baccalaureate Program should be addressed to International Baccalaureate, North America, 200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2301, New York, New York 10016, or visit their web site at www.ibo.org.
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.
For a listing of common departmental test-out exams, refer to the Student Counseling Service website at www.scs.iastate.edu and select Testing Options. 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 course.
College Level Examination Program
CLEP is available on computer only.
CLEP subject tests accepted at Iowa State University include American Government (Pol S 215); Principles of Accounting (Acct 284 and 285; engineering majors should consult with their academic adviser before registering for this examination); Biology (Biol 101, not for biology or engineering majors); Introductory Psychology (Psych 101); Introductory Sociology (Soc 134); Principles of Macroeconomics (Econ 102); Principles of Microeconomics (Econ 101); Trigonometry (Math 141); and Calculus (Math 165).
A nonrefundable fee is charged for each CLEP test requested, and all requests should be made one week prior to the test date. CLEP tests are administered by the Student Counseling Service Testing Office Monday through Friday. 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
Policies and Procedures Governing CBE Tests
1. Departmental and CLEP tests are offered to newly admitted or currently enrolled students at
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 retest 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, State of
6. Departmental examinations are usually given just prior to, or within two weeks of, the beginning of fall and spring semesters. For more information, students should contact the department that offers the class. CLEP tests are given year round.
7. Credit for the CLEP examinations Social Sciences and History, Humanities, and Natural Sciences 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 these 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
a. AP or CLEP credit which is earned at an
b. IB credit earned at another college or university may not be transferred directly to
c. Credit earned at another college or university through local test-out examinations may be transferred directly to
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 (test-out) 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