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The Challenge Exam: Credit by Examination

Course Credit By Testing Out

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in order to encourage independent study and recognize personal knowledge and mastery of subject matter and topics, provides matriculated students, who have not been previously enrolled in an equivalent course, the opportunity to demonstrate academic competency.

Students who show evidence of advanced knowledge will be exempt from certain courses and requirements if they pass departmentally created examinations. A student who successfully passes such an examination satisfies the requirements of and earns credits for the course.   Such courses are graded on a “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” basis with an ‘S’ grade being defined as a ‘C’ or better.  A passing grade of “CE” will appear on the student’s transcript; a failing grade will not be recorded.  With the exception of Foreign Language, Credit by Exam may not be used to fulfill a Core Requirement.  A fee of $130 per credit hour will be levied.

Participation in the program is not automatically given, and is contingent upon the following limitations:

1. The student must be matriculated, and offer evidence of sufficient background to the department offering the exam to have a reasonable command of the subject matter;

2. If the student has previously taken the exam to waive course requirements, the student may not take an exam for credit in the same course;

3. A student cannot use this program to pass a course for which the student has failed, either at Villanova or any institution;

4. A student on probation, or who is suspended, may not take an exam for credit;

The granting of credit is contingent upon the following conditions:

1. A student may not challenge a foreign language requirement in their primary language.  Once a sequence of language has begun, a student may not revert to a lower-level course.

2. A fee of $130 per credit hour will be levied

3. Credit granted will not exceed that assigned to the course as listed in the University Catalog

4. The maximum credit allowed the student through this program is 30 hours

5. Credit for no more than three courses may be applied to a student’s major

6. A passing grade of “CE” will appear on the student’s transcript; a failing grade will not be recorded

7. The test dates, determined by the Director, will take place shortly after the mid-semester break and before the pre-registration period in the Fall and Spring.  The exam is also given in July.

Procedural Matter:

1. The application process is the responsibility of the student and must be completed one month before the date of the exam. The student begins the application process with the director who will provide them with the appropriate forms and directions for completion.

2. The form is then taken to the Bursar’s Office for validation once the appropriate fee is paid.  A “no show” student forfeits all fees.

3. During the week prior to the exam, the department will provide the director with a copy of the exam for each candidate.  This will be in a sealed envelope properly identified with the student’s name, Banner ID, department, and exam title on its front.

4. Notification of students of time and place of the exam, and other arrangements, are the responsibility of the Director.

5. Students who fail the exam have the right to review it with the faculty in question.  Exams are destroyed in the semester in which they are administered.

6. The Director will notify the students and the Registrar’s Office of the exam results.

Contact Information

Office for Undergraduate Students
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Saint Augustine Center 107
Phone: 610-519-3900
Fax: 610-519-6322

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Challenge Exam Calendar

FALL 2021
Application Deadline:
September 24, 2021
Examination Date: October 23, 2021

Application Deadline
: February 18, 2022
Examination Date:  March 19, 2022