Undergrad Catalog

Institutional Information

Credit By Examination

You may demonstrate mastery of curriculum areas through Advanced Placement (AP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam or departmental proficiency examination. The following general guidelines apply to all of these programs (specific details for each follow):

  • A maximum of 32 semester credits earned through these programs may be applied toward the degree. (This maximum is removed for students who enter St. Catherine University Fall 2014 or later.)
  • A grade of Satisfactory is awarded for credit earned through these programs and is not included in computed grade point averages. (In some special cases, where the major requires it, the letter grade will be awarded.)
  • Credit earned through these programs does not fulfill the University residency requirement.
  • Credit is recorded on your permanent record after you enroll at the University.

The University grants credit for Advanced Placement (AP) Tests administered by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). The minimum grade required for credit varies across subject areas. For some AP tests, credit is awarded for a grade of 3 or higher, whereas other tests require a minimum grade of 4 or 5. Specific requirements are on file in the Registrar's Office.

CLEP has been established to enable students of all ages to earn college credit by examination. St. Catherine University accepts the recommendations of the American Council on Education for the minimum scores necessary to earn credit and the number of credits awarded for General and Subject Examinations. You must have official CLEP scores submitted for credit to be considered.

To obtain further information about CLEP examinations, write to the College-Level Examination Program, P.O. Box 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600, visit their Web site at or inquire at the Office of Academic Affairs.


Through Prior Learning Assessment, St. Kate's students earn credit from learning acquired from non-classroom experiences like work, professional training, military careers, volunteering and personal life.

St. Catherine University is a member of the Council for Applied and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and partners with for Prior Learning Assessment through written portfolios.

You may seek PLA after enrolling at St. Kate's and completing at least 16 credits. Then, you'll take these steps:

  1. Consult with a member of St. Catherine University's Office of Academic Advising (in Derham Hall 203, call 651.690.6803 or e-mail academicadvising@stkate,edu).
  2. Enroll in one of two portfolio courses:

    • CAEL 100 is a three-credit, six-week instructor-led online course. These three credits will be transferred to St. Catherine University. The cost is $500. In the course, you'll identify areas of learning to be evaluated for college-level competency.

    • Develop Your Portfolio (DYP) for college credit. This is a self-paced, interactive online workshop that you will have access to for six months. No credit is earned through this workshop, and the cost is $129.
  3. Create your portfolio and request an evaluation. Portfolios are evaluated by trained assessors . will evaluate portfolios and make recommendations for credit via the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). Each portfolio costs $250. St. Catherine recognizes credits recommended by and NCCRS.

Students who completed post-secondary college-level work through their high school may be able to transfer the course work to St. Catherine's. (See Transfer Credit Evaluation in this catalog for information pertaining to the evaluation process.) The Registrar's Office must receive a copy of your transcript from the college that offered the course. Post-secondary course work completed at St. Catherine University remains on your undergraduate St. Catherine transcript and is computed in your cumulative earned hours.

The University grants credit for IB exams. The IB exam score determines the number of credits awarded. The number of credits varies across subject areas. Specific requirements are on file in the Registrar's Office.

A proficiency exam allows you to earn credit for a course by successfully completing an examination and/or skills test covering the content of the course. You may request to challenge a course when you believe your previous course work (for example, a portion of a course or combination of courses), experience (work, on-the-job training, continuing education) or knowledge (independent study in an area of special interest) is commensurate with a St. Catherine's course.

This option is provided only by certain departments. Baccalaureate students may use proficiency examinations to satisfy a maximum of two courses in any one department. A fee, equal to one-fourth of the tuition, is charged for the testing process. Applications to take a proficiency exam must be submitted to the instructor (associate degree programs) or department chair (baccalaureate programs) no later than the second week of the term in which the particular course to be challenged has begun. Individual programs may have earlier application deadlines. Limits may be placed on the number of times a student may take a proficiency exam for a given course.