National University




Credit/Challenge by Examination

National University Credit by Examination

Currently enrolled students can obtain credit for undergraduate courses by departmental examination when training or experience appear to provide a proficiency in the subject matter of an approved course. Only a limited number of courses are approved for Credit by Examination. Students cannot challenge courses that are in the same area as an advanced course taken at National University or another regionally accredited institution. Students must submit a request for Credit/Challenge by Exam as an e-form on the SOAR Student Portal. Students must submit their petitions after they have been formally evaluated by the University. Approval must be granted by the Office of the Registrar and students must pay a $100 fee to the business office. Students may take the examination within 120 days following the approval.

All credit-by-examination must support the objectives of the student's degree program and cannot exceed 13.5 quarter units in an associate degree program or 22.5 quarter units in a baccalaureate degree program, including credits earned toward an associate's degree. Of the 22.5 quarter units permitted in a bachelor's degree, 13.5 may consist of departmental examinations to replace lower-division work and 9 quarter units to replace upper-division work, or vice versa. Students can earn no more than 9 quarter units in their major or minor by departmental examination. All grades are final. Students cannot repeat a credit-by-examination if a previous attempt was unsuccessful.

Credit from departmental examination is counted toward graduation, but no grade points are assigned or included in calculating grade point averages nor is the credit used to meet residence requirements.

Waiver Based on Prior Training or Experience
Occasionally, students may request to waive a course based on previous training or experience. If the student can demonstrate mastery of a subject, the department chair must submit a recommendation to the Committee on the Application of Standards to allow the student to waive the particular course.

A course waived by the Committee on the Application of Standards exempts a student from that course. Units are not awarded for a waived course, so the student may need to take a different course in its place in order to meet the overall unit requirement for the degree.

Challenge by Examination
Waivers for certain University courses can only be established by departmental examination. Typically, the courses that require a departmental examination to establish an exemption (waiver) are courses in computer science, mathematics, technical subjects, or those required for licensure or a credential.

Procedures to challenge a course by examination are identical to the credit-by-examination procedures explained above, but the fee for a challenge-by-examination is $50 rather than $100. No credit is awarded for a waived course.


National University is a member of the National University System.