Credit by Examination

Credit by Examination enables students to use their acquired knowledge, abilities, and competence to challenge certain existing courses for units. Credit will be granted to any student who satisfactorily passes an examination approved or conducted by proper authorities of the College. Such credit may be granted only to a student who is registered at the College and in good standing and only for a course listed in the College Catalog.


1.0 A department chair, after consultation with the faculty in the department, may apply to have a credit course within a given department available for Credit by Examination. Examination may not be limited to a written test. It may include: demonstration of skills competencies, assessment of portfolio, or use of a cumulative assessment tool approved by faculty, who normally teach the course, which is deemed an appropriate mechanism to measure student competency in the course. A written application must be submitted to the cochairs of the curriculum committee along with a copy of the exam. In the case of the use of a cumulative assessment tool, e.g., criteria for skill demonstration; rubric for portfolio assessment, the co-chairs will recommend approval to the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC), if the following conditions are met:

1.1 The course outline of record indicates that examination or other cumulative assessment tool is an appropriate method of assessment for this particular course.

1.2 The department chair, on behalf of the faculty in the department, verifies in writing that the exam or other cumulative assessment tool adequately measures mastery of course content as set forth in the course outline of record.

2.0 The exam or cumulative assessment can be administered by the department as soon as Curriculum Review Committee approval is secured. The course will be placed on the list of courses eligible for credit by exam in Academic Affairs, and updated lists are published in each printing of the College Catalog.

3.0 The nature and content of the examination or other cumulative assessment shall be determined solely by the faculty in the discipline that normally teaches the course for which credit is to be granted. The faculty shall determine that the examination or other cumulative assessment adequately measures mastery of the course content as set forth in the course outline of record. 

(Title 5, 55050(c)) 

4.0 The faculty may accept an examination or other cumulative assessment conducted at a location other than the community college for this purpose. (Title 5, 55050(c)) For example, the faculty may accept standardized exams regulated or prescribed by the State of California for specific occupational areas. The department chair should apply for credit by exam as described in number 1 above.

5.0 A separate examination or cumulative assessment shall be conducted for each course for which credit is to be granted. Credit may be awarded for prior experience or prior learning only in terms of individually identified courses for which examinations are conducted pursuant to this procedure.

(Title 5, 55050 (d)) 

6.0 The student’s academic record shall be clearly annotated to reflect that credit was earned by examination.

(Title 5, 55050 (e))

7.0 Grading shall be according to the regular grading scale approved by the governing board pursuant to Title 5, section 55023, except that student shall be offered a pass/no pass option if that option is ordinarily available for the course.

(Title 5, 55050 (f))

8.0 A student who receives credit by exam for a particular course shall not be allowed to subsequently earn credit by exam for any other course that normally precedes that course in a prerequisite sequence.

9.0 Units for which credit is given pursuant to this policy shall not be counted in determining the 12 semester hours of credit in residence required for the associate degree. (Title 5, 55050 (g)) Units earned through credit by exam are not considered for financial aid, scholarships, or veteran services eligibility and payments.

10.0 No more than TWO attempts to be granted Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment will be allowed including an exam the student registered for and failed to attend. However, if a student registers for an exam and subsequently drops the course before taking the exam, this does not count as an attempt.

11.0 Academic Affairs will provide guidelines regarding the process on how departments should administer Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment. Departments intending to offer opportunities for Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment are responsible for ensuring that examination/assessment dates are well publicized, so that students wanting to take the examinations/assessments receive adequate notice. 

12.0 Registration and fees. Students will be registered for a Credit by Examination section of the course created specifically for this purpose. Variable unit courses should specify how many units are being awarded.  Students who take the examination or cumulative assessment must pay a fee for service equal to the usual per unit enrollment fees for the course, but exclusive of any fee-based supplies.  Fees for credit by exam are non-refundable. (Title 5, 55050 (h))

13.0 The maximum number of units awarded by Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment shall be limited to 15 units per SRJC student record.

Special Provisions for Students under High School Articulation Agreements

14.0 In the case where high school course articulation with a district course exists under formal agreement, district faculty may designate high school faculty to proctor Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment and provide grade recommendations. Completed student exams and/or other documentation related to cumulative assessment of student course competencies are submitted to appropriate district faculty. The content of the exam or cumulative assessment, grade determination, and decision to award college credit, however, remains with and is the responsibility of the district faculty. High school students under articulation completing such examinations or other cumulative assessments, must have current applications and concurrent enrollment forms on file with the District in order for grades to be transcripted.

Not withstanding the Credit by Examination policy, high school students under articulation agreements completing examination or other cumulative assessment proctored by a high school teacher designated by the college faculty, are governed by the following special provisions that apply only to this articulation:

14.1 Students are exempt from the fees outlined in section 12.0;

14.2 Students are exempt from any other fees associated with Credit by Examination or cumulative assessment;.

14.3 Students are exempt from the student health fee.

Procedure 3.16P, Reviewed January 2012

Please refer to for a list of courses currently available for credit by examination at SRJC.

Note: The Credit by Exam list is subject to change. Contact the office of the Dean of Curriculum and Educational Support Services for the most current information: 
(707) 524-1554.