Academic Credit Options
St. Cloud State University is a formal participant in the advanced placement program administered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Credit may be awarded to any degree seeking student who provides evidence of earning a score of three or higher on an advanced placement examination. Additional information may be secured from the Office of Records and Registration (320-308-2111). See "Getting a Head Start" for more information (pdf).
Permission of the instructor of the course and the department chairperson must be obtained on the arranged course form available online, in the Office of Records and Registration (AS-118) or from the department chairperson.
Assessment of Prior Learning
Assessment of prior learning is a means of granting academic credit for learning such as that gained through life experiences including employment, volunteer work or personal experience with a clear relationship to a specific course or courses offered by the university. The content of the prior learning need not be identical to the content of the course, but the student should be prepared to demonstrate that he/she has met the same learning goals.
A student may earn a maximum of 16 semester hours by assessment of prior learning. Entering first-year students are eligible to apply for assessment of prior learning if they have at least a “B” average (3.0) in high school in the area to be assessed and for all high school work.
All other students who meet the qualifications listed below may apply for assessment of prior learning.
- The student must have at least a “B” average in any transfer credits or university courses taken in the area to be assessed.
- A student must have completed at least one semester and fifteen credits at the university with at least a “C” average to be eligible to apply.
- A student can be assessed only once for a particular course.
- A student who has earned at least seventy-five semester credits may not earn credit by assessment of prior learning at the 100 or 200 level. The level of learning must be sufficient to justify awarding of credit at the 300 or 400 level.
The following procedures will apply to all assessment of prior learning.
- The student completes an application for assessment of prior learning. The applications are available at the Office of Records and Registration. Applications will include a brief statement from the student as to the basis for believing that the prior learning may be deserving of academic credit.
- The student consults with the chair of the academic department most closely related to the area to be assessed. The final authority for determining whether a student may earn credit by assessment of prior learning rests with the chairperson of the department involved.
- If the department chair believes the assessment is appropriate, the chair or an appropriate faculty member completes the remainder of the form which will include a departmental plan for how the assessment will be carried out and a suggested faculty assignment. The department then submits the completed form to the Office of the Dean for comments and for approval of the suggested faculty appointment. If approved, the Dean then forwards the application to the Office for Academic Affairs. If not approved at the departmental or dean’s level, the department or dean returns the application to the student with reasons for denial.
- If the Office for Academic Affairs approves the application, the department and the student are notified and the assessment may proceed as planned. If the application is not approved, the department and the student will be notified as to why the application has been denied.
- Credit received through assessment of prior learning counts towards residency requirements.
- Credits are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Only satisfactory grades are entered on the student’s permanent record.
- Credit applies to a specific course or courses as recommended by the department. The department, through democratic procedures, is the final authority for determining whether assessment of prior learning is appropriate for any of its courses.
- Credit received through assessment of prior learning may be applied to general education, a major or a minor, or to university electives as appropriate.
- The assessment of prior learning need not take place in the same semester in which the student applies. In fact, since the assessment may take some time, the student is urged to plan and apply well in advance of when the credits may be needed for graduation or to meet other requirements.
- The charge for each credit awarded by assessment of prior learning will be one-third the cost of a regular credit. All charges must be paid before credits will be awarded.
In accordance with state law, St. Cloud State University awards credit for CLEP examinations. CLEP examination equivalents and credit awards for St. Cloud State University are listed online at: www.uSelect.mn.org. Students must achieve the minimum recommended score for the exam to receive credit.
Students wishing to take a CLEP exam on campus should contact the University Testing Center to make arrangements.
The DSST Program allows individuals to receive college credits for learning acquired outside the traditional classroom including reading, on-the-job training, or independent study. Formerly known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests-Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support. See DSST http://www.getcollegecredit.com/testprep/
Students should submit a copy of their CLEP or DSST score sheets to the Office of Records and Registration, AS-118, for evaluation. See "Getting a Head Start" for more information (pdf).
Interested students should contact the common market director in the Office of Records and Registration (AS-118, 320-308-2111).
A student may earn a maximum of 30 semester hours of credit by examination. Entering freshman students are eligible to take examinations for credit if they have a "B" average in high school in the area to be examined and for all high school work. Requests for exceptions will be considered when test scores or other evidence suggests greater ability than the high school record indicates.
All other students who meet the qualifications listed below may apply to take credit examinations:
- The student must have a "B" average for all university work taken in the subject area of the examination.
- A student should have a "C" average for all university work taken at St. Cloud State University. A student must have completed at least one semester and at least 15 credits in order to apply to take credit examinations.
- Students may not take examinations at a level below that of courses already taken in an area. For example, a student who has completed a 200-level course in a specific subject area may not take an examination for credit in a 100-level course in the same area without the special approval of the dean. Exceptions may be made in the case of transfer students who, in the judgment of the chairperson of the department involved, have not had previous opportunity to cover the material in the 100- level course.
- Students having completed 75 or more semester hours may not receive credit by examination in courses at the 100- or 200-level. Departments may recommend exceptions to this policy.
- A student may not take an examination in a course more than once.
Credit received by examination counts toward residence, general education, major and minor requirements. Examinations are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Only "satisfactory" grades are entered on the student's permanent record.
Examinations for credit may be requested in any course. The final authority for determining whether a student may take a course by examination rests with the department chairperson involved.
Students are not required to take the examination in the same semester in which they apply. For example, students are encouraged to apply in the spring semester for examinations to be taken in the fall, thus permitting the use of summer for reading and preparation.
Application forms are available in the Office of Records and Registration, 118 Administrative Services Bldg., 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498. Cost of credit-by-examination is one-third the cost of a student's tuition rate per credit.
E-Mail as Official Communication to Students
HuskyNet e-mail is recognized as an official communication channel for all students at St. Cloud State University (SCSU). The HuskyNet address will be designated as their e-mail contact in the Integrated Statewide Records System (ISRS); students will not be permitted to change or replace this address within ISRS. SCSU requires students to activate their HuskyNet e-mail account once it is assigned to them, and students are expected to receive, read and act expeditiously upon communication distributed through HuskyNet e-mail. Students will not be held responsible for their inability to access messages due to problems with the HuskyNet e-mail system, whether the downtime is scheduled or unscheduled.
Students are required to use their HuskyNet e-mail in accordance with all approved federal, state, MnSCU, and SCSU statutes and policies.
The university offers a number of new courses on an experimental basis each semester which are not listed in this catalog. These courses are listed in semester class schedules. Course descriptions are available in the Office of Academic Affairs (AS-209) and in the appropriate department office.
Recognizing the diversity of interest, preparation and talent among its students, St. Cloud State University desires to individualize education as much as possible. This program permits a student to earn from one to three hours of credit for individual study in an area or topic not offered in a regular course. A maximum of 30 credits of independent study (199-499), arranged courses, and/or internships for an undergraduate degree is allowed.
In working out the arrangements for this special study, the student should consult with and receive the approval of her/his adviser, the instructor with whom the work will be done, and the chairperson of the department. Independent Study forms are available online at www.stcloudstate.edu/registrar or in the Office of Records and Registration, 118 Administrative Services Building.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is an internationally recognized program through which secondary students complete a comprehensive curriculum of rigorous study and demonstrate performance on IB examinations. The examination for the diploma covers six subjects, three or four of which must be at the higher level and others at the subsidiary level. Students may present a full IB diploma or a certificate recognizing specific higher level or subsidiary level test scores.
International Baccalaureate Policy
- Students who complete an IB diploma with a score of 30 or higher shall be offered 8 semester credits for each of three higher level examinations, plus 2 semester credits for each of the subsidiary or standard exams, for a total of 30 semester credits.
- Credits shall be transcribed according to the same rules as those used for Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Where a test covers material that is substantially similar to an existing university course, credit for the course shall be awarded. Where a test covers material that is deemed to be college level but is not substantially similar to an existing course, elective credits shall be awarded in appropriate departments.
- No credit shall be given for subsidiary or standard level exams other than those included as part of the IB diploma as described above, but students may receive credits as above for any higher level exams with a score of 5 or higher.
Additional information may be obtained from the Office of Records and Registration, 118 Administrative Services Building. See "Getting a Head Start" for more information (pdf).
An internship is a one-semester, full- or part-time work experience for university credit. The program offers students a supplement to classroom learning through a variety of internship positions in local, state, and federal government agencies, public service organizations and private business. Information about internship opportunities and policies is available from the offices of the college deans or department chairpersons.
St. Cloud State University awards credit for learning acquired in military service (and for completion of basic or recruit training) at levels consistent with the ACE Guide recommendations and/or those transcripts furnished by the Community College of the Air Force; Students with Army training should submit an AARTS transcript; Navy or Marines should submit a SMART transcript. All transcripts should be submitted to the Office of Records and Registration, 720 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498. St. Cloud State University's policy concerning the awarding of Advanced Standing credit for the completion of CLEP, DSST, ACT/PEP and USAFI, can be found in the current Serviceman's Opportunity Colleges Guide.
St. Cloud State University, the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University have entered into a cooperative agreement to encourage registration for courses on any of the three campuses by traditional full-time undergraduate students. The purpose of this agreement is to encourage students from one institution to take courses at the other institutions and thereby broaden their educational opportunities. The program is restricted to undergraduate students and excludes summer school and extension courses. Students will register and pay fees at their home institution while attending classes at the host institution. Additional information including special registration forms, may be obtained in the Office of Records and Registration (AS-118) or online at www.stcloudstate.edu/registrar.