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Back to Policy Section III: Academic Affairs
Section III: Academic Affairs

Policy Number: III-1.41(A)

University of Maryland Policy and Procedures Concerning Credit for Prior Learning

(Approved on interim basis Amended )

Undergraduate students at the University of Maryland may earn up to one-half of the credits required for their baccalaureate through Prior Learning Credit. Usually, this is no more than 60 (sixty) credits. No more than 30 (thirty) of these credits can be from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The University of Maryland recognizes the following as Prior Learning Credit: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Exams (IB), Advanced Level/Advanced Subsidiary Level Exams (A-Level/AS-Level), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Departmental Proficiency Exams (Credit-by-Exam), and Basic Military Training (BMT). Students will not receive credit for both passing an examination and completing an equivalent course.

A. Advanced Placement Credit (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Level/Advanced Subsidiary Level (A-Level/AS-Level) Exams, and College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Credit for AP, IB, A-Level/AS-Level, and CLEP examinations is awarded based on approval of the relevant department offering the course material and is subject to ongoing departmental reevaluation.

1. The University of Maryland Office of the Registrar must receive an official score report directly from the organization that administers each of the examinations for which credit is to be awarded.

2. The score received must be equivalent to the minimum score the University of Maryland accepted at the time the test was taken; otherwise, the credit will not be awarded.

3. The amount of credit to be awarded shall be determined by the department in whose discipline the course falls and is subject to re-evaluation.

4. Examination credits that are accepted are recorded as Prior Learning Credit and will be included in the total number of credits earned.

5. No credit will be given for AP, IB, or A-Level/AS-Level examinations taken after the student has matriculated at the University of Maryland.

6. Duplicate credit will not be awarded for passing an examination and completing an equivalent course. Credit received in a course at the University of Maryland shall supersede any credit from AP, IB, A-Level/AS-Level, and CLEP examinations.

  1. If examination credit has been awarded for an equivalent University of Maryland course in which the student has also earned credit, the course from the examination will be marked on the student’s record as a repeated course and the credits will be removed from the total number of credits earned.
  2. A student who has earned any grade, passing or otherwise, in a course at the University of Maryland shall not subsequently receive credit for that course by AP, IB, A-Level/AS-Level or CLEP examinations.
  3. When a student has previously received credit from an AP, IB, A-Level/ASLevel, or CLEP examination and subsequently completes an equivalent course at the University of Maryland, these examination credits will be vacated. The grade and credit received at the University of Maryland shall supersede these examination credits and will be used in the calculation of the grade point average.

B. Departmental Proficiency Examination (Credit-by-Exam)

1. Eligibility   In order to be considered for credit-by-exam, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 12 (twelve) credit hours completed at the University of Maryland;
  2. A minimum grade- point- average of 2.0;
  3. Completion of all prerequisite courses or the approval of the department chairperson (or, in non-departmentalized units, the dean) and the Senior Vice President and Provost.

Note: Requirements a. and b. may be waived for students in their first semester at the University of Maryland by the department chairperson and the dean.

2. Grading

  1. A student may cancel application for credit-by-exam at any time prior to the completion of the examination with no entry on the permanent record.
  2. The examination instructor shall make the grade available to the student prior to formal submission of the grade.
  3. A grade of "C-" or better must be obtained to establish credit-by-exam.
  4. If a student elects not to have the grade posted, a grade of "W" shall be recorded. No course may be attempted more than once using credit-by-exam.
  5. Grades earned using credit-by-exam shall be posted on the transcript as resident credit in the semester the examination was taken and used in computing semester and cumulative grade point averages. Such grades shall be accompanied by the notation "By examination" as applicable.

3. Miscellaneous

  1. Credit-by-exam will not be accepted for any part of the final 30 (thirty) semester hours without permission of the Senior Vice President and Provost. With such permission, 6 (six) of the final 30 (thirty) credit hours may be by credit-by-exam.
  2. Applications for examinations shall be approved on an individual course basis.
  3. The instructor must certify on the report of examination that copies of the examination questions and the student's answers shall be retained in accordance with the University of Maryland’s Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.

C. Credit for Basic Military Training (BMT)

For students enrolled as an undergraduate in the Fall 2013 semester and beyond, the University of Maryland may award 6 (six) Prior Learning Credits for the completion of basic military training.

Qualified students will be in one of the following categories:

  • Currently serving as an active duty member in the United States Armed Forces.
  • Currently serving as a member of a reserve or National Guard branch of the United States Armed Forces.
  • Has been Honorably Discharged from service in the United States Armed Forces.
  • Has been Honorably Discharged from a reserve or National Guard branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Documentation to verify current status must be provided to the Office of the Registrar.

D. Appeals

There are some instances of prior learning/competency-based education for which the University of Maryland generally does not award credit. These include, but are not limited to: American Council on Education (ACE), Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI), departmental credit-byexam from institutions other than Maryland public institutions of higher education, and life experiences. Students may contact the Office of the Registrar to appeal the acceptance of prior learning experiences. For prior learning credit to be awarded during an appeal, the student must provide evidence that the prior learning experience falls within the level, scope, content, and expected learning outcomes of courses offered at the University of Maryland. The determination of the Office of the Registrar shall be final.