University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Student Governance and Policies

Scholastic Regulations

Chapter 105

Credit by Examination

1.  Credit by Examination

  A. Matriculated and currently registered students may take examinations described in this section in courses offered by the University to gain credit:

    1) For independent study.

    2) For work completed with private teachers.

    3) For work completed in unaccredited institutions if a formal examination is deemed necessary by the chair of the relevant department(s). Provision for validation without an examination is included in Scholastic Regulations, Chapter 101, Section 4, Acceptance of Transfer Credit.

  B. No one may take a credit examination for a course in which he or she has received credit.

  C. All credits secured by examination shall be counted as extension credit and shall be included in the 90 extension credit maximum allowed toward the bachelor's degree. No credit shall be allowed by examination with a grade less than 2.

  D. No student shall receive credit by examination for a course for which the student would not be eligible to receive credit if the course were taken in residence.

  E. No student shall be permitted to repeat any examination for credit.

  F. No student shall receive credit by examination for lower-division courses in the student's native language.

  G. Credit by examination is not acceptable toward an advanced degree in the Graduate School.

  H. The procedure for authorizing, formulating, and conducting credit by examination shall be as follows:

    1) A student who wishes to qualify for credit by examination shall apply to the Registrar for a certificate of eligibility. After this certificate has been approved and signed by the Registrar, the student shall present it for signed approval to an instructor responsible for the course in which the examination is to be taken, to the chair of the department concerned, and/or to the dean of the college or school concerned. If such approvals are granted, the student shall then pay the established fee per course to be gained by examination.


The chair of the department or dean of the school or college shall approve the examination. In general, examinations shall be of sufficient scope to occupy the qualified student a minimum of three hours and a maximum of four hours in a test for a three-, four-, or five-credit course; and a minimum of two and a maximum of three hours in a test for a one- or two- credit course.

    3) The Registrar shall designate a time in each quarter during which all approved examinations shall be given. Such examinations shall be supervised by the Educational Assessment Center or by faculty or designated staff in the offering department.

    4) No student shall be permitted to take more than two examinations in three-, four-, or five-credit courses, or more than three examinations in one- or two-credit courses in one day. Should the student plan to take more examinations in that quarter, an additional day may be permitted and arrangements will be made with the Educational Assessment Center.

    5) Completed examinations shall be transmitted to the proper college, school or department for grading. Grade reports signed by the instructor and chair or dean involved shall be sent to the Registrar for recording.

    6) Nothing in this section shall apply to the allowance of credit under the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board, separate rules for which follow in Scholastic Regulations, Chapter 106.

  I. Credit granted through examination is not included in the student's cumulative grade-point average.

S-B 93, May 1964 with Presidential approval; AI, March 1966; BR, February 1971; S-B 116, April 1971 with Presidential approval; AI, March 1972; S-B 127, December 14, 1976; S-B 177, April 14, 2010: both with Presidential approval.

2.  Advanced Standing Credit

Students who successfully complete advanced level courses (transfer included) in computer science, foreign language, or mathematics may request advanced standing (AS) credit for the entry-level course(s) in the course sequence through the Office of the Registrar. To be eligible for advanced standing credit, students must have not been enrolled in the lower-level course at the UW or at another institution. Students may not request advanced standing credit in their native language.

Advanced standing credit is not included in the student's cumulative grade-point average or as UW residency credits.

S-B 177, April 14, 2010 with Presidential approval.