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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015


Prior Learning Credit - Proficiency Examination Programs (AP, IB, CLEP, A-Level, Credit-by-Exam)

The University of Maryland, College Park offers new, continuing, and returning students several opportunities to earn college credit by demonstrating achievement in a subject field through examination. College Park recognizes the following proficiency examination programs for credit: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Exams (IB), Advanced Level/Advanced Subsidiary Level Exams (A-Level), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and Departmental Proficiency Exams (Credit-by-Examination). Undergraduate students may earn a total of up to one-half of the credits required for their degree through Prior Learning Credit. Usually, this is no more than 60 credits. Students are responsible for consulting with the appropriate dean or advisor about the applicability of any credits earned through Prior Learning Credit to a specific degree program. Students should also seek assistance in determining which University of Maryland, College Park courses duplicate credits earned for an examination. Students will not receive credit for both passing an examination and completing an equivalent course.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Information about AP can be found in Chapter 1 Requirements and Application Procedures, Prior Learning Credit.

International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

Information about IB can be found in Chapter 1 Requirements and Application Procedures, Prior Learning Credit.

Advanced Level/Advanced Subsidiary Level (A-Level)

Information about A-Level can be found in Chapter 1 Requirements and Application Procedures, Prior Learning Credit.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) recognizes college-level competence achieved outside the college classroom. Two types of CLEP tests are available: General Examinations, which cover the content of a broad field of study; and Subject Examinations, which cover the specific content of a college course. Credit can be earned and will be recognized by College Park for some CLEP General or Subject Examinations, provided satisfactory scores are attained. Credits earned under CLEP are treated as transfer credit. CLEP exams are administered at CLEP testing centers throughout the country. The University of Maryland, College Park is a CLEP Test Center (Test Center Code: 5814). To obtain an application or additional information, contact the CLEP Administrator in the Counseling Center, Room 0106A Shoemaker Hall, (301-314-7688), or write to CLEP, CN 6600, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6600. Students who want to earn credit through CLEP must request their official score reports to be sent to the Office of the Registrar, 1113 Mitchell Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. (The University of Maryland, College Park, Score Recipient Code is 5814.)

Policies governing CLEP are as follows:

1.      A student must matriculate at the university before CLEP credits are officially posted. The posting will not be done until a student has established a record.

2.      Each institution of the University System of Maryland establishes standards for acceptance of CLEP exemptions and credits. Students must check with the institution to which they will transfer to learn if they will lose, maintain, or gain credit.

3.      College Park will award credit for a CLEP examination

a.  provided the examination was being accepted for credit here on the date the student took the examination, and

b.  provided that the examination was not taken during a students final 30 credits. The final 30 hours of credit are to be taken in residence, unless prior approval has been granted by the student's dean.

4.      Credit will not be given for both completing a course and passing an examination covering substantially the same material.

5.      Furthermore, credit will not be awarded for CLEP examinations if the student has previously completed more advanced courses in the same field.

6.      CLEP examinations posted on transcripts from other institutions will be accepted if the examination has been approved by College Park and the scores reported are equal to or higher than those required by this institution. If the transcript from the prior institution does not carry the scores, it will be the responsibility of the student to request Educational Testing Service to forward a copy of the official report to the Office of the Registrar. University awards credits for CLEP Examinations only as indicated on the chart provided online at http://transfercredit.umd.edu/plc.html .

If you have questions about the applicability of specific credit to your program, consult the list provided online at http://transfercredit.umd.edu/plc.html or contact your advisor.

Departmental Proficiency Examination (Credit-by-Exam)

College Park Departmental Proficiency Examinations, customarily referred to as credit-by-exam, are comparable to comprehensive final examinations in a course. Although the mathematics department receives the most applications for credit by examination, many departments will provide examinations for certain of their courses. Initial inquiry as to whether an examination in a specific course is available is best made at the academic department which offers the course in question.

If an examination for a course is available, the department will provide information regarding time and place, type of examination, and material which might be helpful in preparing for the examination. An undergraduate who passes a departmental proficiency examination is given credit and quality points toward graduation in the amount regularly allowed in the course, provided such credits do not duplicate credit obtained by some other means. After making arrangements with the department, apply through the Division of Letters and Sciences, 1117 Hornbake Library, 301-405-2793.

Policies governing credit by examination:

1.      The applicant must be formally admitted to the University of Maryland, College Park. Posting of credit earned, however, will be delayed until the student is registered.

2.      Departmental Proficiency Examinations may not be taken for courses in which the student has remained registered at the University of Maryland, College Park, beyond the Schedule Adjustment Period even with a transcript notation of W.

3.      Departmental Proficiency Examinations may not be used to change grades, including Incompletes and Withdrawals.

4.      Application for credit-by-exam is equivalent to registration for the course at College Park; however, the following conditions apply:

a.  A student may cancel the application at any time prior to completion of the examination with no entry on his/her permanent record. (Equivalent to the schedule adjustment period.)

b.  The instructor makes the results of the examination available to the student prior to formal submission of the grade. Before final submission of the grade, the student may elect not to have this grade recorded. In this case, a mark of W is recorded. (Equivalent to the drop period.)

c.  No examination may be attempted more than twice.

d.  The instructor must certify on the report of the examination submitted to the Office of the Registrar that copies of the examination questions (or identifying information in the case of standardized examinations), and the students answers have been filed with the chair of the department offering the course.

5.      If accepted by the student (see 4b above), letter grades earned through credit-by-examination are entered on the student's transcript, and are used in computing his/her cumulative grade point average. A student may elect to take a credit-by-exam Pass-Fail only if the credit fulfills an elective in the student's degree program. No college, major, field of concentration, or general education program requirement may be taken under the pass-fail option. Please refer to the Pass-Fail policy under the Records section in this chapter.

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