Alternative Credit

Alternative credit opportunities, or prior learning assessments, include options that allow a student to earn college credits via a method other than enrollment in a class. These options can help students progress more quickly to their intended degree and save money!  Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss whether alternative credit options may be appropriate. The University of Akron offers a large number of such opportunities.

Types of alternative credit

Advanced Placement (AP) — open to students still in high school

A University of Akron graduate at commencement.Many high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses through the auspices of the College Board for possible college credit. Eligible high school students may enroll in such courses and must take and pass at an appropriate level the Advanced Placement Test administered at the end of each course through your high school.

The test score required to receive credit for a specific course is determined by the Ohio Board of Regents and the Academic Department in which the course resides.

Credits earned in this manner are included in the total credits completed, but are not assigned a grade and do not count in the quality point ratio, a student’s class standing, or graduation with honors calculations.

More information about AP courses and college credits associated with them is available here.

International Baccalaureate (IB) — open to students still in high school

Some high schools participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and students enrolled in IB coursework in the program may earn credit upon completion of their IB Diploma.

Higher level examination scores (part of the IB process) are considered for departmental credit in the areas of French, Spanish, German, Geography, Latin, Greek, Economics, Chemistry, History, English, Social Anthropology, Mathematics, Music and Physics. Although minimum scores for the awarding of credit may vary by subject area, generally scores of four or five are sufficient. No credit is awarded for IB Subsidiary examinations, with the exception of some foreign languages.

More information about IB examinations and the college credits associated with them is available here.

Bypassed Credit — open to new and continuing college students

Certain courses designated in the Undergraduate Bulletin (see details here) by each academic department enable a student to earn "bypassed" credit.  A student who places into and completes such a course with a grade of "C" or better is entitled to credit for designated prerequisite courses which carry the same departmental code number. 

Credit for such bypassed prerequisites are included in the total credits earned, but do not count in the quality point ratio, student class standing, or hours required for graduation with honors. Bypassed credit is not awarded on the basis of completing a course either by credit-by-examination or credit/noncredit. 

There is a fee of $5 per bypassed credit.

Credit By Examination (CBE) — Open to new and continuing college students and may be especially useful for some adult students

Credit By Examination (CBE) is offered solely at the discretion of the department/school offering the course; only a select group of courses are approved by a department/school for CBE.

Depending on the department/school and course, the “examination” may take the form of a written or oral test, oral presentation, paper, and/or portfolio.

A student interested in earning credits by special examination may do so with the permission of the department/school offering the course, the dean of the student's college, and the dean of the college in which the course is offered. There is a special examination fee of $30 per credit that must be paid in advance of taking a CBE assessment.

The grade obtained in a CBE assessment is recorded on the student's permanent academic record.

Credit by examination is not permitted in the semester before graduation and may not be used to repeat for change of grade.

Courses authorized for CBE and the persons who should be contacted to arrange the CBE are listed here. Exams may be proctored at the Counseling & Testing Center on request of the department/school. See also the Credit by Examination form.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) — open to high school students, new and continuing students, transfer students, and those attending other institutions

The College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is the most widely used credit-by-examination program nationally, and is accepted at more than 2900 institutions, including the University of Akron. Exams can be taken in the Counseling & Testing Center, and passing scores are determined for specific course credit by the Ohio Board of Regents and the department in which a class is offered. See here for University of Akron policies. For information about taking a CLEP exam, call 330-972-7084 or visit this site.

ACE Transcript — may be especially useful to some adult students

The University of Akron accepts American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT). ACE transcripts may be available for formal educational programs and courses offered in a variety of businesses and industries, including specialized training providers, professional and voluntary associations, and military service (see Military Credit below). Visit ACE CREDIT to request your transcript to send to the Transfer Student Services Center.

Military Credit — open to military veterans and service personnel

Military Veterans may earn credits toward degree completion through the Ohio GI promise. Veteran students should request a copy of their American Council on Education (ACE) transcript be sent to the Transfer Student Services Center. Credit is evaluated and posted to the student’s record on enrollment at the University of Akron, based on the Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs). Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor to determine how military training, experience, and coursework credits can help them meet degree requirements. For more information, contact the Military Services Center.

More information

More about Alternative Credit/Prior Learning Assessment: