IUPUI Bulletins » Undergraduate » Special Academic Opportunities » Special Credit Opportunities (Waivers and Credit)

Special Academic Opportunities

Special Credit Opportunities (Waivers and Credit)

Special credit policies and procedures vary with individual schools.

Special credit may be awarded to degree-seeking IUPUI students who possess, by previous education or experience, a background in a discipline represented by an IUPUI program. The categories under which students are awarded credit are (1) credit by credentials, (2) credit by experience, and (3) credit by examination. Each school and many disciplines have different policies that define how these mechanisms apply to students seeking credit.

Not all schools accept special credit, and special credit does not transfer to IUPUI from other universities. Changing schools at IUPUI may result in special credit awards not being used to meet degree requirements of the new school.

Students who establish eligibility for special credit must apply for the credit in the course department. The credit will be awarded at the following fee rate:  no credit hour fee for freshmen who apply for special credit during the first three consecutive semesters after entering the university, and   a nominal fee per credit hour for undergraduate transfer students if they apply during the first semester after entering the university. The nominal fee per credit hour also applies to students receiving special language credit for lower-level language courses, following the satisfactory completion of a higher-level course. Students who do not qualify for the above will pay the standard fee per credit hour at the appropriate resident or nonresident rate currently in place. Visit registrar.iupui.edu/specred.html for more information.

Special Credit for Military Service

Some IUPUI schools grant college credit for military course work. Eligible students should submit a copy of their DD214 or DD295 form or military transcripts to the Office of Admissions, Campus Center,  CE 260. Students should check with their schools for more information.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit

The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) tests are offered by participating high schools. IUPUI encourages high schools and their students to participate in the AP program and awards college credit at no charge in all subjects to students who receive scores of 4 or 5. Some departments give credit for scores of 3 as well. Contact the Office of Admissions to receive an informational brochure or visit enroll.iupui.edu.

CLEP Credit

The College Board College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is also recognized by IUPUI, and it is available to both current high school students and to students who have already graduated from high school. The same brochure mentioned above shows how CLEP credit is handled. Information is also available at enroll.iupui.edu.


The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Test (DSST) is a subject-matter examination in college and technical subjects. Contact the Office of Admissions for information on the IUPUI policy for acceptance of DANTES credit. Information is also available at enroll.iupui.edu.

International Baccalaureate Exams

For those students participating in the International Baccalaureate exams, IUPUI grants college credits for all higher-level subject exams with scores of 4 or higher.

Departmental or School Proficiency Examinations

Many departments/programs award special credit to students who have demonstrated skills and/or knowledge equivalent to that taught in a given course. Some departments allow students to take a comprehensive final to show such competencies. Such special credit is normally indicated with a grade of S, although some departments may award a grade of A if a student’s performance on a departmental examination clearly merits it. In some cases, students will be charged a fee for the special credit. Consult the departments and programs about such tests, and see the Registration Guide for more information on the fees.

Special Credit for English W131

Some students are eligible to apply for special credit for English W131 Elementary Composition I. This option is open to students who have taken the IUPUI English placement test and placed into honors (English W140), and to transfer students whose previous institutions waived composition requirements without awarding credit. Eligible students can get more information about the special credit portfolio requirements from the English Department’s Writing Program office, CA 343. Students who are eligible to submit special credit portfolios should be aware that credit is not always awarded; portfolios are evaluated by a faculty committee that determines whether credit should be awarded based on the essays submitted in the portfolio.

Special Credit for Foreign Languages

Students who have previously studied a foreign language may receive special credit by taking a placement examination and completing the course into which they were placed with a grade of C or higher. The student may then apply for credit for the lower-division courses that was skipped. Students seeking such special language credit through the credentialing process described above must file an application for special credit and pay a nominal fee per credit hour for the additional credits. See the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures in Cavanaugh Hall 408, and your home school for additional information.

There are restrictions for international students who are taking courses in their native language. They may earn credit at the 300 level but not at a lesser level.

Self-Acquired Competency Credit (Experiential Learning)

Credit may be granted in some schools for experience acquired outside of normal college courses. Credit may be available for course-specific learning or for non-course specific learning within a discipline. Faculty will evaluate the experience and determine whether and how much credit should be awarded. Students may be asked to prepare a portfolio, take examinations, or document their learning in other suitable ways so that the faculty can make a judgment. While General Studies accepts up to 15 credit hours for the Associate and up to 30 for the Bachelor of General Studies, most schools either do not accept such credit or limit the number of acceptable credits to 12 credit hours toward a degree. If a student changes schools within IUPUI, self-acquired competency credit awarded by one school may not count in the new school.

Consortium for Urban Education (CUE)

IUPUI is a member of the Consortium for Urban Education (CUE), Indianapolis. Through CUE, an IUPUI student can enroll in and receive credit for courses not offered by IUPUI but available at another member college. An IUPUI student registered in such courses is subject to IUPUI’s fees and payment procedures. Visit registrar.iupui.edu/cue.html for more information.