Establishing Credit

UMUC is unlike any other institution of higher education in the world in its combination of access with academic quality. It opens doors to learning by taking education to students wherever they may be. Because UMUC understands the importance of life-long learning, it has established academic policies that encourage the appropriate use of transfer credit from other institutions. Recognizing that adult students bring to the university not only a willingness to learn but also an educational history informed by experiential learning, it incorporates the assessment of nontraditional learning (i.e., learning gained outside the classroom) into the evaluation of students' competencies and academic credit.

Classroom and Online Learning

Students take UMUC Asia courses in classrooms at many sites around the Pacific. Students can also "attend class" worldwide in UMUC's online courses. Additionally, students may enroll in one-week, 3 credit field study courses held at significant cultural locations in Asia

In on-site classes, there are 16 contact hours for each unit of credit. Therefore a 3-credit course delivered in an on-site format meets for 48 contact hours, usually over an eight-week session. On-site courses are also enriched by access to online materials and resources, and may require online participation as part of UMUC's support of technology fluency for students. In online classes, students are linked to faculty and classmates via the Internet. The faculty member leads discussions, responds to student inquiries, and posts reviewed assignments in individual folders online. Students are expected to participate frequently in online discussions. Online students should have strong reading and writing skills, as well as basic knowledge of the Windows environment.

UMUC courses meet the same standards of quality regardless of delivery format. Any given course has the same objectives and requirements, awards the identical amount of academic credit, and may be applied toward the same undergraduate degrees whether it is delivered in a stateside classroom, overseas, or via the Internet.

Ways of Earning Credit

Credit Sources 18 credit Certificate Associate's Bachelor's
A. Maximum number of credits transferred from approved institutions: 9 45 90
B. Maximum number of credits transferred from American Council on Education (ACE) recommended military training and experience: 9 30 60
C. Maximum number of credits transferred through AP, DLPT, USAFI, DANTES, CLEP (General and Subject), and Excelsior College examinations: 9 30 60
D. Maximum number of vocational/technical credits transferred from accredited institutions and military sources: 3 12 21
E. Maximum number of transfer credits from an approved junior or community college: 9 45 70
F. Total non-instructional credits transferred from exam credit (CLEP, DANTES, etc. plus UMUC course-challenge and UMUC Europe foreign language exams), EXCEL, and ACE-recommended military/civilian credits: 9 30 60
G. Maximum number of credits for a combination of portfolio assessment (e.g., EXCEL), course challenge and UMUC Europe foreign language examinations, or military occupational specialties (e.g., MOS, NER): 6 15 30
H. TOTAL credits transferred from any combination of the above sources not to exceed: 9 45 90

Learning Gained through Experience

Learning acquired outside the college classroom may be assessed for credit toward a degree with UMUC. There are two primary ways students can make use of life experience for possible college credit: Prior Learning and Workplace Learning. Details on each method follow. Academic advisors can help in determining the best route to use in fulfilling any academic plan.

Prior Learning

The Prior Learning program teaches students to identify, articulate, and gain academic credit for college-level learning they have gained through work and life experience. Students may earn credit for college-level learning acquired outside the classroom through course-challenge examinations, Portfolio, and UMUC Asia foreign language examinations. Credit earned may be used toward either a first or second degree. As many as 30 credits may be earned through Prior Learning. However, no more than half the credits required for an undergraduate major or minor may be earned through Prior Learning and credit by course challenge examination.

Course-Challenge Examinations

UMUC credit can be earned for any undergraduate course for which UMUC can prepare and administer a suitable examination (called a course-challenge examination). Academic advisors can inform students about courses that may not be challenged by examination or assessment. Degree- or certificate- students at UMUC who have received an official evaluation of transfer credit and have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 in UMUC coursework should carefully review the rules, procedures, and limitations before applying online.

Course-challenge exams are not intended as a substitute for independent study. Students may be required to show evidence of prior learning before being authorized to take a course-challenge exam. Credit may be applied toward a first or second bachelor's degree. No exam may be taken more than twice, and course-challenge examinations may not be taken for courses for which the student has previously enrolled. Only one course in a sequence may be tested at one time and students may not take an exam for a course that is a prerequisite for a higher-level course they have already taken.

Credit earned by course-challenge examination earns a letter grade, according to the exam score, that is computed in the grade point average. However, this credit may not be applied to the requirement for graded coursework in the student's major.

Exams may only be canceled before the student receives the exam. Refunds are given only if a suitable exam cannot be prepared. More information on course-challenge examinations is available by contacting the UMUC Asia Student Services.

UMUC Asia Foreign Language Examinations

UMUC Asia foreign language examinations are for students completing degree requirements, not for those seeking to determine their level of foreign language mastery. To be eligible for a UMUC Asia foreign language examination, the student must have an academic advisement report. A student who has attended elementary or secondary school where English was not the language of instruction can establish credit in that language only for certain courses. A native speaker of a foreign language may not earn lower-level credit or conversational course credit in that language. To determine the courses in which he or she may be examined, the student must contact an academic advisor. UMUC reserves the right to determine the native language of a student and the level of exam to be taken.

The examination fee is the current cost of tuition for each credit hour the student is seeking to establish and can be paid through MyUMUC at the time of registration for the exam. The student must also complete the Application to Establish Credit by Examination in a Foreign Language.

Students can contact their local academic advisor for more information.

Portfolio

Portfolio is a unique way for students to articulate and identify college-level learning they have gained from work, community or political involvement, or other noncollegiate experiences and gain credit for it. Students interested in learning more about EXCEL or wanting to apply should contact an academic advisor.

To be eligible for Portfolio students must:

  • Complete an Portfolio application
  • Complete an orientation (available online)
  • Meet basic standards in writing (either by having taken a college writing course or by qualifying for WRTG 101 on the writing placement test)
  • Be in good academic standing at UMUC (not on academic warning or probation)
  • Have submitted all transcripts, exam scores, and military training records to:

    File Management
    Attn:Incoming Transcripts
    University of Maryland University College
    3501 University Boulevard East
    Adelphi, MD 20783-8070
  • Have a completed academic advisement report (AAR)

Enrollment in EXCL 301 Learning Analysis and Planning is required. In this 3-credit course, the student prepares a portfolio describing and documenting college-level learning gained from past experiences. Because EXCL 301 is a demanding and complex course, students should not register for other courses while they are enrolled in EXCL 301. Students who successfully completed EXCL 301 with a grade of S and submit a portfolio for evaluation may enroll in a supplemental classroom to complete additional portfolios. Such a class confers no credit and may not be applied toward degree completion.

EXCL 301 is graded on an S/D/F basis. If the quality of work in the portfolio merits a grade of C or higher, a grade of S is awarded and the portfolio is forwarded for credit evaluation. Faculty members from the appropriate disciplines assess the portfolio and recommend whether to award credit. Credit earned as a result of portfolio evaluation also earns a grade of S. The S grade is not computed in the grade point average and is not applicable toward honors.

If the quality of work in the portfolio merits a grade of D or lower, the portfolio will not be forwarded for credit evaluation.

Experiential-learning credits may be awarded at both the upper and lower levels. Although a maximum of 30 credits may be earned through Portfolio, the average award is between 15 and 18 credits. These credits are considered UMUC resident credit. However, they do not fulfill requirements for graded coursework and so may not exceed half the total credits for a major, minor, or certificate.

Credit for EXCL 301 is charged at the current tuition rate. Fees are also charged for enrollment in the program, portfolio evaluation, any additional evaluations, and credits awarded. Students receiving financial aid must pay all Portfolio fees.

Students should carefully review the requirements, rules, and procedures for Portfolio. More information may be obtained by contacting Student Services.

Workplace Learning Program (Cooperative Education)

Workplace Learning, also known as WKPL, offers an opportunity for students to gain experience and develop new knowledge and skills in their chosen discipline while earning upper-level college credit through an integrated model that puts theory into practice, thus enabling them to accelerate completion of both their academic and career goals.

To be eligible for Workplace Learning, students must:

  • Be seeking a degree or certificate in which Workplace Learning credit may apply
  • Have completed 30 credits, including transfer credit, toward a degree (if seeking a degree)
  • Have completed at least 9 credits in the discipline in which they plan to do their Workplace Learning project
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or better at UMUC
  • Be working in a position that provides an opportunity to apply classroom theory to practical projects incorporating significant analysis and problem solving directly related to the student's academic discipline. (The work experience may be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time.)

Students interested in pursuing a Workplace Learning experience must first develop a learning proposal that identifies several project tasks representing the new learning to be acquired as a result of the work experience; a faculty member in the appropriate discipline must then approve the learning proposal to ensure that it constitutes upper-level college learning. Once the learning proposal is approved, the student is given permission to register for Workplace Learning. The learning proposal is then developed into a three-way learning contract among the employer, the student, and the faculty mentor.

Throughout the Workplace Learning experience, students work under the supervision of the employer on completion of several of the identified project tasks and the faculty mentor on the completion of academic assignments required to earn college credit for their work experience. The project tasks for the employer constitute the course content, which is augmented by the reflective academic assignments for review by the faculty mentor. Students are required to communicate regularly with their faculty mentor throughout the Workplace Learning term, which typically lasts 15 weeks.

Students may earn either 3 or 6 credits during the WKPL term. To earn 3 credits, students must devote at least 12 hours per week to tasks providing new learning (for a total of 180 hours during the Workplace Learning term) and complete a minimum of four project tasks identified in the learning contract. To earn 6 credits, students must devote at least 20 hours per week to project tasks (for a total of 300 hours during the Workplace Learning term) and complete five to eight project tasks identified in the learning contract.

Workplace Learning projects may be developed in all undergraduate disciplines. Courses are listed with the designator of the discipline and numbered 486A (for 3 credits) or 486B (for 6 credits). For example, a 3-credit Workplace Learning in business and management would be listed as BMGT 486A, a 6-credit as BMGT 486B. Tuition for the Workplace Learning course is charged at the current rate per credit, and an administrative fee is charged each time the student enrolls.

Students may apply up to 45 Workplace Learning credits to their bachelor's degree (15 credits for a second bachelor's degree). Certificates that may include a Workplace Learning option typically accept no more than 3 credits of Workplace Learning course work. Workplace Learning courses may not be used to satisfy general education requirements or required academic coursework in the major. However, Workplace Learning credits may be applied to electives as well as to upper-level supplemental courses in the major or minor. A standard letter grade is awarded for successful completion of Workplace Learning courses. It is strongly recommended that students consult with a UMUC Asia advisor to determine how Workplace Learning credits may help them fulfill degree requirements.

For more information, students should review the information, policies, and procedures and/or contact Student Services

Transferring Credit from Outside Sources

(Further details and regulations are given in Appendix A and Appendix B of the Undergraduate Catalog.)

UMUC will not award credit for courses that repeat work done elsewhere. Students who have earned credit at other colleges or universities are responsible for determining whether courses they plan to take at UMUC would duplicate any previously earned credit. Students who are in doubt should consult a UMUC Asia academic advisor before registering.

Students are also responsible for submitting all official transcripts from colleges and universities attended, as well as documentation of military and professional learning and pertinent test scores (e.g. CLEP, AP, etc.)- regardless of whether they appear on a previous college transcript or not.

Students may not pursue two degrees of the same type (associate's, bachelor's) at both UMUC and another institution using the same credits to meet requirements toward both degrees.

For more information on how your credits may transfer to UMUC, visit our Transfer Evaluation System.

One UMUC - Europe, Stateside, and Asia

A student who has done satisfactory work in UMUC Asia is encouraged to enroll in any of the regularly scheduled terms elsewhere within UMUC without having to be readmitted.

Because faculty and courses in UMUC Asia and UMUC Europe meet the same academic standards as those for UMUC Stateside, courses offered overseas carry resident credit identical to that earned on the home campus.

A student may earn resident credit toward an associate's or bachelor's degree entirely through study with UMUC Asia or in a combination of study with UMUC Europe and/or UMUC Stateside. When departing Asia, students may request to have their records transferred to UMUC Stateside or UMUC Europe by using the online Division Transfer Request form through MyUMUC.

Credit by Transfer

Credit toward a UMUC degree may be assigned for work completed through the kinds of institutions described in the following sections. As many as 9 credits of transferable college coursework may be counted toward an 18-credit certificate, as many as 45 credits of transferable college coursework may be counted toward an associate degree, and as many as 90 credits of transferable college coursework may be counted toward a bachelor's degree. UMUC does not accept credits for remedial or pre-college coursework or sectarian religious courses in transfer. A student who wants to transfer credit from other institutions to UMUC should request an official evaluation/SOC Agreement to determine the applicability of those credits to a degree from UMUC. Official transcripts must be submitted from all colleges and universities previously attended, as well as, military, professional learning, and credit by exam. No transfer credit will be accepted without official transcripts.

Credits earned at other institutions during a period of disciplinary suspension or dismissal from UMUC will not be accepted in transfer.

Credit from Other Colleges and Universities

When the grade earned was at least C (2.0), transfer credits from approved two- and four-year colleges and universities may be awarded for courses that apply to the student's curriculum that do not duplicate other courses for which credit has been awarded. C minus (C-) grades cannot be transferred. Transfer credit for another institution's course-challenge examinations and prior learning may be accepted if it is listed on the transcript with a passing grade of C or better.

Approved institutions include those accredited by the following regional associations:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., Commission on Technical and Career Institutions
  • Southern Association of College and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Other institutions may be approved based on agreements and/or joint programs with UMUC.

Credit from Junior Colleges and Community Colleges

A total of 70 credits from approved two-year institutions (junior colleges or community colleges) may be applied toward a bachelor's degree at UMUC. A student who has already completed 70 credit hours may not apply further credit from a junior college or a community college to a degree from UMUC.

A maximum of 9 credits may be applied toward a certificate and 30 credits toward an associate's degree at UMUC.

A student who initially enrolled in any public community college of Maryland will be admitted to UMUC in conformance with the policy developed and approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Additional information is presented in the section on transfer policies in Appendix A and Appendix B of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Credit through Correspondence Study

UMUC does not offer correspondence courses. However, UMUC will accept correspondence credit earned through approved colleges and universities, provided a grade of C or better has been earned and the course applies to the student's curriculum. A student planning to enroll in correspondence study should consult a UMUC Asia academic advisor to determine if the course is appropriate.

Credit from Institutions Outside the United States

Study at Institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an approved international credit evaluation agency. Details for evaluation of foreign credentials.

Transfer to Other Institutions

A UMUC student planning to transfer to another college or university should seek guidance directly from that institution. The institution receiving the credit will supply the most accurate information about its requirements and whether specific UMUC courses will fit its curricula.

Technical and Professional Credit

Vocational and Technical Credit

Vocational and technical credit from approved institutions or American Council on Education (ACE)-approved organizations, when applicable, may be accepted as elective credit only. This credit may be applied toward a degree at UMUC, up to the following limits:

  • 18-credit certificate: a maximum of 3 credits
  • Associate's degree: a maximum of 12 credits
  • Bachelor's degree: a maximum of 21 credits of coherently related work

Noncollegiate Courses

UMUC will accept for credit professional (not technical) noncollegiate courses applicable to the student's curriculum that have been evaluated by either (1) ACE (if the courses are listed in the National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training found at www2.acenet.edu/credit) or (2) the University of the State of New York College Credit Recommendation Service (if listed in its College Credit Recommendations found at www.nationalccrs.org).

Educational Experiences in the Armed Services

UMUC grants credit for study completed in service schools on the basis of the recommendations by the American Council on Education (ACE) in Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Such credit is granted only if it is applicable to the student's chosen UMUC curriculum. UMUC generally accepts recommendations of ACE for lower-level and upper-level credit. Recommendations made by ACE for vocational or technical credit are considered on the same basis as, and with the same limitations as, those placed on nonmilitary sources of credit.

Servicemembers Opportunity College

UMUC is a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium and the SOC Degree Network System. The Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), established in 1972, are a consortium of national higher education associations and more than 1,700 institutional members. SOC Consortium institutional members subscribe to principles and criteria to ensure that quality academic programs are available to military students, their family members, civilian employees of the Department of Defense and Coast Guard, and veterans.

The SOC Degree Network System consists of a subset of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by the military services to deliver specific associate's and bachelor's degree programs to servicemembers and their families. Institutional members of the SOC Degree Network System agree to special requirements and obligations that provide military students, their spouses, and their college-age children with opportunities to complete college degrees without suffering loss of academic credit due to changes of duty station. SOC operates the two- and four-year Degree Network System for the Army (SOCAD), Navy (SOCNAV), Marine Corps (SOCMAR), and Coast Guard (SOCCOAST). Information and the SOC Degree Network System-2 and -4 Handbooks are available at the SOC website at www.soc.aascu.org and on the SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, and SOCCOAST home pages.

Army, Navy, and Marine Training

A Joint Services Transcript (JST), formerly AARTS for Army and SMART for Navy and Marine Corps, should be submitted for evaluation of Service Schools and Military Occupational Specialties for Army training. The JST is the most effective means of documenting the learning servicemembers have acquired through their military experiences. The JST can be requested online, after establishing a JST account, at https://jst.doded.mil/official.html or for GoArmyEd students through the GoArmyEd Portal at www.goarmyed.com

Students who submit the JST transcript do not need to submit DA Form 2-1 or DD Form 295. UMUC recommends, however, that servicemembers request a transcript copy for themselves to ensure that all their military courses and experience have been included.

Students seeking credit for work not documented on the JST transcript should submit other documentation to verify their experiences. Students who submit a JST transcript do not need any other documentation to verify the following items listed on a JST transcript: SQT or SDT results, scores on CLEP and DSST exams, and Defense Language proficiency tests (DLPT). For example, if all CLEP and DSST tests are included on the JST transcript, students do not need to submit a DANTES transcript as well.

For work not covered by JST transcripts, other documentation must be submitted. For DLPT, the National Cryptologic Institute, and ALMC, official transcripts must be requested directly from the issuing institution. The documents listed below, in conjunction with an ACE credit recommendation, can lead to the assignment of credit applicable to a student's UMUC Europe degree program:

  • Army and Navy Service Schools: DA Form 2-1 or DD Form 295 (retired and former military use DD Form 214) or NAVPERS 1070-604 or DA- 1059 or ERB/ORB.
  • Army MOS Credit-Enlisted (E-6 or higher): PMOS, DMOS, or SOS must be documented on the JST as skill level 30 or higher. 

Retired and Former Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard

Former military who are unable to secure a JST transcript need to submit certified true copies of documents shown below. Those seeking VA benefits MUST submit appropriate documents. Students should begin the process as soon as possible. Microfiche records are available from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132. Web: www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel

Army
DD Form 214 or MOS documentation listed in the previous paragraphs. 

Navy
DD Form 214 or NAVPERS 1070-604 for Enlisted or NAVPERS 601-4 and 1611/1 for Warrant Officers and LDOs

Marine Corps
DD Form 214
Marine Corps Institute Transcript. Students who attended the Marine Corps Institute may obtain an official transcript at: www.mci.usmc.mil.

Coast Guard
DD Form 214
Coast Guard Institute Transcript request; Web: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cgi/active_duty/go_to_college/official_transcript.asp

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)

UMUC awards credit for study at service schools of the U.S. Air Force in accordance with recommendations from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). Credits must be applicable to the student's chosen curriculum at UMUC, must meet other UMUC requirements for transfer credit, and are subject to the same limitations as those placed on nonmilitary credit. In addition:

  • All credit from the CCAF is lower-level credit and is applicable only to freshman and sophomore requirements
  • Since the CCAF records satisfactorily completed courses as S (satisfactory) and specifies that S equals a grade of C or better, credit may be applied wherever appropriate in the UMUC curriculum. Courses that are vocational or technical may be used only as electives, up to a maximum of 21 credits toward the bachelor's degree and 12 credits toward the associate's degree.

Credit by Examination

UMUC may award as many as 30 credits toward the associate degree and 60 credits by examination toward the bachelor's degree, provided that

  1. there is no duplication of other academic credit and
  2. the scores presented meet UMUC's standards and does not exceed non-traditional credit limitation

Examinations may include the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations administered by the College Board; those from the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST examinations, Excelsior College Examinations (ECEP - formerly RCEP and ACT/PEP), and the International Baccalaureate exam, as well as approved industry certification examinations. UMUC also accepts credit for professional examinations listed in the ACE Guide to Educational Credit by Examination. As many as 30 credits of examination credit awarded by other approved institutions will be accepted for courses that appear on an official transcript with a grade of C (2.0) or better. Students may not receive credit for introductory courses in their native language. Students who have questions about credit by examination are encouraged to consult a UMUC Europe academic advisor.

Application of Credit by Examination

CLEP General Examination Credit ACE Recommended Score Duplication of UMUC Courses GER Application
English
Composition 6 50* None Communications
Social Sciences and History
Social Science 3 50* None Social Sciences
History 3 50* None Humanities
Natural Science 6 50*

NSCI 100

BIOL 101

Science
Mathematics 6 50* MATH 106 Mathematics**
Humanities 6 50*    
Fine Arts     ARTH 100 Arts and Humanities
Literature     None Arts and Humanities

* For exams taken prior to March 31, 2005 the minimum passing score is 500. For CLEP English Composition examinations taken between August 1979 and May 1986 (ETS) or October 1986 (DANTES), the minimum passing score is 594. After these 1986 dates and continuing through 30 June 1993, the minimum passing score was 494. A maximum of 3 credits by examination can be awarded for English writing.

** CLEP General Mathematics examination must have been taken after 1 August 1985. No credit will be awarded for exams taken after credit has been assigned for MATH 107 or a higher level math course.

Advanced Placement

Advanced placement and college credit may be granted to students on the basis of scores on a College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examination. These examinations are normally administered to eligible high school seniors during the May preceding matriculation in college. For information about requesting AP transcripts email: apexams@info.collegeboard.org.

A student intending to transfer AP credit that was awarded at another college or similar institution must have a transcript of those scores sent directly to UMUC from the College Board. When those scores have been received, an academic advisor will determine whether they meet the standards established at UMUC for granting AP credit and how much credit may be awarded.

Credit earned by advanced placement may be used to complete general education requirements, majors, minors or electives.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Up to 30 credits may be awarded for general examinations in the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). The scores must meet UMUC standards. UMUC may award 6 credits each for the examinations in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and history, and humanities. Successful completion of certain subject-area examinations is another way of earning college credit. Generally, all CLEP subject examinations yield only lower-level credit. Academic advisors can furnish details.

DSST Examinations

Credit may be awarded for successfully completing certain DSST Tests (formerly known as DANTES Subject Standardized ). Academic advisors have information on which tests are acceptable.

Excelsior College Examinations (ECEP - Formerly RCEP and ACT/PEP)

Students may earn credit for successfully completing subject tests offered by Excelsior College. Tests are available in various areas of the arts and sciences, as well as in business. Scores must meet UMUC standards. Academic advisors can furnish details.

Institutional Exam Codes for UMUC

To have your official exam results sent to UMUC, use the proper code:

Exam Code
AP 0551
CLEP 5804
DANTES 9357
Excelsior College Examinations (ECEP) 02626
TOFEL 5804

Industry Specific Examinations

Students may earn credit for successfully completing certain industry-specific examinations. Documentation must be submitted within five years of completion of the exam(s).

International Baccalaureate Examinations

The International Baccalaureate Examinations are accepted by UMUC. To receive credits, students must complete examinations before they graduate from high school. Transcripts must be sent directly to UMUC from the examining body and scores must meet UMUC standards. Academic advisors can provide information regarding scores and credit awarded.