University Regulations

Alternative Credit


The following programs/services allow students to begin college work at levels consistent with their academic background, thereby avoiding the repetition of material already mastered. These options also permit students to pursue more flexible schedules and reduce the time required for completion of graduation requirements. Students may be granted credit through these programs at the time of initial enrollment at Cleveland State University or subsequent to their matriculation. Credit granted through the following programs is not, however, applicable in the calculation of enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc.) for the term in which it is completed or posted to the academic record.

Credit by Examination

The four types of examination credit recognized by Cleveland State University are those earned through the Advanced Placement Program (AP), for which there is no limit on the number of credits that can be granted, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) general exams, for which a maximum of 30 credit hours can be granted, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject exams, for which a maximum of 30 credit hours can be granted, and departmental examinations, for which a 30-credit limit also exists.

The following regulations apply to the pursuit of credit by examination:

  1. Credit is granted only to matriculated, degree-seeking students.
  2. Credit granted for successful completion of an examination will be entered on the student's permanent record as hours earned. A grade is not assigned for such work.
  3. If a student does not receive a score high enough to grant credit, no entry is made on his or her permanent record.
  4. Credit will not be granted for areas of study or for particular courses in which the student has already earned or been granted equivalent Cleveland State credit.
  5. Generally, Cleveland State does not approve for credit the score made when an examination has been repeated.
  6. Credit earned through CLEP or Advanced Placement may not be applied toward the student’s residence requirement. However, credit earned for departmental examinations may be utilized toward this requirement.

All students interested in pursuing credit by examination are urged to discuss their plans with an academic adviser prior to registering for the examination(s).

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College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is offered under the auspices of the College Entrance Examination Board. The Examination Program consists of two components: general and subject examinations. Both types of examinations are administered through Cleveland State's Testing Center, as well as at other testing centers across the country.

Students seeking credit through CLEP after completing Cleveland State or other college-level work are cautioned to determine in advance with an academic adviser whether such credit will duplicate that already earned. Transfer students who have received credit through CLEP at another institution should have the official score report sent to the Office of the University Registrar for evaluation.

The general examinations comprise a series of five comprehensive exams in the areas of English, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Science, and Social Science/History. Cleveland State requires a minimum score of 500 in order to grant credit for any of these examinations.

The subject examinations are end-of-course exams for 35 widely taught undergraduate courses representing a diverse range of academic disciplines. Cleveland State requires a minimum score of 52 in order to grant credit for any of these examinations. For certain examinations the student is required to complete an essay in addition to the objective section.

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Departmental Examinations

End-of-course examinations are administered by various university departments. Each participating department’s chairperson shall decide the grading and level of achievement required for credit from these exams. The Department of Modern Languages also provides examination opportunities in foreign languages not typically offered by the department, contingent upon the availability of a qualified examiner. Questions about this and other departmental exams for credit should be directed to the appropriate office. A fee is charged for each departmental exam attempted.

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Military Training and Experience

Cleveland State University grants college-level credit for military training and experience in accordance with the credit recommendations provided by the American Council on Education. In order to have such work evaluated and added to the permanent academic record a student needs to submit to the Office of the University Registrar certified copies of any documentation related to these experiences, including official military transcripts or discharge forms. Decisions regarding the utilization of credit granted through this program shall be made at the discretion of the studentís academic adviser.

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Assessment and Accreditation of Prior Learning Experience (AAPLE)

The Assessment and Accreditation of Prior Learning Experience (AAPLE) is a credit for life experience program offered by the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. The program is designed to award undergraduate academic credit to majors in urban studies for previous substantial learning experience in settings other than the classroom. Students may earn up to 24 credits through this program; fees are assessed at approximately one-half of the current tuition (per credit hour) rate.

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Veterans' Educational Benefits

The veteran representative certifies the enrollment of veterans to the Veterans Administration (VA) for those students who have completed application for VA Educational Benefits.  Once the application or change of program form is on file, certification of enrollment will be automatic.  Students will still have to verify it on the VA's website under WAVE at the end of each month. Students with questions about their benefits or certification should speak with one the VA student assistants at the Campus VA Office in Financial Aid or a specialist in Campus 411. All enrollments are subject to audit by the Veterans Administration. Any overpayment in veterans' benefits discovered through a VA audit will result in the veteran assuming liability for repayment.

Additional questions regarding VA educational benefits can be directed to the Cleveland State University VA Office, 1300 Keith Building or by calling  216-687-2053.


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