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Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning

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Recognizing that many individuals gain knowledge through self-study which may be equivalent to that attained through the completion of formal college courses, Washburn University has adopted a comprehensive program whereby college credit may be granted through means other than enrollment in and the successful completion of prescribed college courses.

The University may grant credit through national/international examinations and university departmental examinations. The national/international examinations are the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Examinations, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (Dantes) program, and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).  The University Departmental Examinations are administered on campus by individual academic departments.    

Students must be either currently enrolled at Washburn University or former students of Washburn University in order to have credit awarded and posted to their transcripts.  Test scores must be submitted directly from national testing companies in order to be considered for credit.  Specific information about the different types of examinations is provided below.

College Entrance Examination Board (Advanced Placement)

This program is designed for high school seniors planning to enter college and is administered in conjunction with Advanced Placement courses taught in the high schools.  The scores are reported to the University by CEEB.  Appropriate credit or advanced placement is awarded at the time of enrollment in the University. When credit is awarded it may be applied to meet degree requirements.  When advanced placement is awarded, a student is advanced to a higher level college course without being required to take a lower level prerequisite. Depending on departmental policy and the examination scores which are achieved, an academic department may award either credit or advanced placement or both to a student.  No entry is made on the college transcript for scores which are lower than those determined to be satisfactory by the Washburn academic departments.

Students may have Advanced Placement test scores obtained in high school reported to the University for evaluation.  Credit and/or advanced placement are awarded to students who have received a score of three (3), four (4), or five (5). Currently a student may be awarded college credit hours in the subjects listed.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

Washburn University recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Students should seek information and obtain registration materials through appropriate high school counselors or other secondary school officials. This program is designed for high school juniors and seniors planning to enter college and is administered in conjunction with International Baccalaureate courses taught in high schools.

At the time of enrollment in the University, official transcripts should be forwarded to the University Registrar in order to receive appropriate credit. Credit is awarded on a course-by-course basis by academic departments depending on departmental policy and the examination scores which are achieved. No entry is made on the college transcript for scores which are lower than those determined to be satisfactory by the Washburn academic departments.


DSST exams, formerly known as the DANTES program, are subject standardized tests that give students the opportunity to receive college credit for learning acquired outside of the traditional college classroom.  The DSST program offers 36 exams to choose from.  Washburn University awards credit for the following DSST exams listed.

DSST exams are offered to all students.  If you are a DANTES-funded military service member or eligible spouse, you are not required to pay the testing fee.  For more information about DSST testing and/or to register for an exam at Washburn University please visit www.washburn.edu/testing

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Washburn University allows you to test out of courses in which you already have academic knowledge comparable to that gained in collegiate study. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations measure knowledge of the material usually covered in courses during the first two years of college.  Students are only eligible to complete CLEP examinations before they have attempted or completed any college course in that discipline from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution. (A course that appears on a college transcript or a course in progress is considered an attempted course.) CLEP examinations may be attempted only once for credit at Washburn University. Either credit or a letter grade of "A", "B" or "C" will be assigned based upon the departmental CLEP evaluation. For courses evaluated as a letter grade, students who would prefer to receive credit only must obtain departmental approval. If the letter grade is awarded, it will become part of the Washburn University GPA. This credit is considered transfer credit and may be treated as a prerequisite for subsequent courses. There is no record made on the academic transcript for those students who are not awarded credit. Each school or department within the university has different curriculum requirements and may use the scores in different ways. CLEP exam credit listed on transcripts from other universities is not automatically awarded credit. Scores must be officially sent to Washburn University. The CLEP scores listed are for exams taken through computer-based testing (CBT) only.


When a student identifies a course which he or she feels qualified to "challenge" or "quiz out of," the student should contact the chair of the department offering that course to determine whether a departmental examination could be accepted. If the academic department gives approval for the student to quiz out of a specific course, the student obtains a Credit by Examination registration form in the University Registrar's Office. The University Registrar's Office determines that the student is either currently enrolled or a former student who is not currently enrolled in the challenged class and is free of all holds. The student completes the credit by examination registration form and obtains signatures as required on the form. The student must finalizae the process by taking the completed form to the Business Office where he or she pays the fee for challenging a course by examination. The fee for each credit hour is one-third of the current resident per-credit-hour tuition rounded to the nearest dollar. After payment is made, the student returns a copy of the form to the University Registrar's Office. The student takes his/her copy which has been marked "paid" to the department at the scheduled time of the examination. Under no circumstances will the examination be administered prior to payment. No refunds will be given for exams not taken or not passed.

After the student has taken the exam, the department evaluates it and determines whether or not the student receives credit. If the department determines that credit is to be awarded, credit for the course is posted to the transcript. If the department determines based on the exam that credit should not be awarded, no entry is made to the transcript. If the course is taken to fulfill requirements in a major, a letter grade for the course may be determined by the department and posted on the transcript. The exam may not be repeated; a student may not take a departmental exam for any course more than once. Credit by departmental examination may not be used to repeat courses previously taken by the student.  Credit given by departmental examination is considered residential credit.

Transferring CPL from another Institution

Credit for Prior Learning awarded by all accredited institutions of higher education is evaluated in the same manner as regularly graded coursework from these institutions. The credit awarded is adjusted to the CPL policies of Washburn University. Every attempt is made to ensure that credit for prior learning applies to both a student’s degree program and university requirements for graduation.

CPL Limits

There is no overall cap on Credit for Prior Learning that can be earned at Washburn University, however students must meet all requirements for graduation which include: 45 hours of upper division credit; 60 hours from a 4-year school; the last 30/45 OR at least 90 of the total overall hours required to complete the degree must be earned from Washburn; minimum of 84 hours presented at graduation must be on a graded basis. These policies may add some limits to CPL.