After enrollment at Kent State in an undergraduate degree or certificate program, students may be awarded credit toward their academic program through methods other than completing Kent State coursework. This credit may shorten the time required to complete a Kent State degree.

For information on credit awarded for transfer coursework earned before or after matriculation at Kent State, refer to the Transfer of Undergraduate Credit policy in the University Catalog.

Credit will not be awarded for any exam or content that duplicates the content of a college course for which a student has already received credit or if a student has completed more advanced study, i.e. beyond the level covered by an exam. Evaluation of credit earned by alternative methods is based on articulated course and requirement equivalencies in effect at the time the credit is requested. General guidelines for alternative credit types accepted by the university are described in the sections below.

Advanced Placement (AP)

The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) program awards college credit based on college-level high school courses and tests administered through the high schools. The State of Ohio, working through the University System of Ohio, has initiated policies to facilitate the ease of transition from high school to college as well as between and among Ohio’s public colleges and universities.

Beginning in fall 2009:

  • Students obtaining an AP exam score of 3 or above will be awarded the aligned course(s) and credits for the AP exam area(s) successfully completed.
  • General education courses and credits received will be applied towards graduation and will satisfy a general education requirement (Kent Core) if the course to which the AP area is equivalent fulfills a requirement.
  • If an equivalent course is not available for the AP exam area completed, elective or area credit will be awarded in the appropriate academic discipline and will be applied towards graduation where such elective credit options exist within the academic major.
  • Additional courses or credits may be available when a score of 4 or 5 is obtained. Award of credit for higher score values varies depending on the academic discipline.
  • In academic disciplines containing highly dependent sequences (e.g., sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics), students are strongly advised to confer with their advisor to ensure they have the appropriate foundation to be successful in advanced coursework within the sequence.

Kent State will not accept AP credit from a high school or out-of-state transcript. Students must submit either an official score report from the College Board or, upon special request, a transcript from an Ohio college or university with the AP credit displayed. Visit the Credit Transfer Office's AP website for more information on scores and credits earned.

A and AS Levels

Kent State accepts for credit the successful completion of A (Advanced) Level and AS (Advanced Subsidiary) Level qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education administered by AQA, Edexcel or the University of Cambridge International Examinations.

The A and AS Levels Credit Chart gives information about these exams and credits earned for passed exam reports. The chart reflects Cambridge exam numbers and syllabi, but exams from other sources will be cross-referenced by the Office of Global Education in consultation with faculty upon evaluation of scores.

An official score report must be submitted to Kent State before A- and AS-level credit can be applied to a student's academic record. Specific questions regarding how these credits apply to program requirements should be directed to the student's major program's college office.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may earn academic credit through the College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) administered at Kent State by the Office of Academic Engagement and Degree Completion. CLEP allows a student to earn college credit for prior knowledge and move on to more advanced coursework sooner. Credit hours, but no letter grade, is granted for scores that meet the minimum for each exam as determined on the CLEP guide for the Kent State University Catalog in effect at the time of the exam.

For additional CLEP information, including available tests, Kent State course equivalents and test dates, visit the Office of University Advising and Testing’s website. Refer to the Alternative Credit-Testing Eligibility policy at the end of this section for more regulations on earning credit through testing.

 College Tech Prep (CTP)

Kent State University will award college credit to students who successfully complete an approved College Tech Prep (CTP) program. Credit received through the CTP program is applied toward an appropriate degree at Kent State as identified in the signed articulation agreement. A student-articulated credit application for CTP credit is available from the CTP teacher or high school guidance counselor or on the Kent State Tech Prep website.

To earn Kent State University credit, students must:

  • Complete the state-approved CTP program with a minimum B grade
  • Graduate from high school
  • Enroll at Kent State and request credits within three years after high school graduation
  • Meet any additional criteria identified on the articulated credit application

 Credit By Examination (CBE)

Students with demonstrable ability and knowledge in a particular subject area may earn credit in selected courses though Credit-By-Examination (CBE), coordinated by the Office of the University Registrar. Students who wish to pursue CBE must complete the CBE application to gain appropriate college and departmental permission. The appropriate academic department administers the exam, which may include the completion of additional assignments. The minimum passing standard for CBE is the equivalent of a C grade. However, no letter grade, only credit hours, are posted to the academic transcript for CBE.

For the CBE application, per-credit-hour fee and a list of available courses, visit the Office of the University Registrar's CBE website. Refer to the Alternative Credit-Testing Eligibility policy at the end of this section for more regulations on earning credit through testing.

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

Formerly known as the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) exams, the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) is a nationally recognized program that gives students the opportunity to receive college credit for learning acquired outside the traditional college classroom. Kent State accepts the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations for the minimum score required and the amount of credit awarded. Official score reports or a joint services transcript (JST) must be submitted to Kent State before the credit can be applied to a student’s academic record.

For information on credit options for military students, visit the Credit Transfer Office website.

Industry-Recognized Certifications, Examinations and Professional Training

Kent State accepts many industry-recognized certifications, examinations and professional training as prior learning credit applicable toward degree programs upon programmatic approval. Kent State awards academic credit following recommendations from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Official documentation from the issuing company or professional organization must be submitted to Kent State before credit can be applied to a student's academic record.

Industry-recognized certifications, examinations and professional training that is not evaluated by ACE may be considered for academic credit. Students who wish to request credit for training not yet evaluated must complete the industry/training credit application, including submission of all documentation to determine whether academic credit is to be awarded. All credit for industry/professional training appears on the student transcript without a grade.

Students should contact the Credit Transfer Office for more information on the types of certifications, examinations and professional training accepted and the approval process. Official documentation from the issuing agency must be submitted to Kent State before the credit can be applied to a student’s academic record.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students who complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, a rigorous two-year course of pre-university studies in their high school, may be awarded credit toward a degree or certificate at Kent State. An official IB transcript must be submitted to Kent State before the credit can to be applied to a student’s academic record. (A notation on a high school transcript will not be accepted.)

Kent State accepts scores of 5, 6 or 7 for higher-level (HL) and standard-level (SL) IB exams toward specific course equivalencies and general education requirements (e.g., Kent Core, diversity). Visit the Credit Transfer Office's IB website for more information on these scores and credits earned.

Military Training

Kent State University awards academic credit for military coursework according to recommendations listed on the Joint Services Transcript (JST). All eligible credits must be recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE). Kent State awards Military Transfer Assurance Guide (MTAG) coursework for articulated credit as established by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Service members can visit Kent State’s Credit Transfer Office website for information regarding requesting and submitting military transcripts.

Service Examinations: Credit is awarded for some experiences in basic training that are equivalent to specific beginning Physical Activity, Wellness and Sport (PWS) courses at Kent State University. Credit is awarded on the basis of recommendations from the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

In order for credit to be granted in any of the above areas, a transcript or certificate of completion or a veterans DD 214 form is required. In addition, Kent State reserves the right to set the percentile score that is necessary for satisfactory performance in a course and for the granting of credit. Credit will not be given for duplicate work taken through any of these agencies.

Military Transfer Credit Appeals Process

Students must submit, in writing, a letter of appeal regarding their military transfer credit to the Credit Transfer Office c/o Kent State University. Upon recommendation by the Transfer Review Committee, students will be notified of the outcome, in writing. Information regarding the standards for satisfactory performance or to submit an appeal may be found on the Credit Transfer Office website.

Retroactive Credit

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in a degree or certificate program who are placed into an advanced course through assessment or departmental review may earn retroactive credit for designated lower level course(s) in that subject. The advanced courses approved for earning retroactive credits are listed below.

To apply for retroactive credit, students must submit an application for retroactive credits to the Office of the University Registrar.

The following stipulations apply:

  • Students must complete the advanced course at Kent State with a minimum C or S (Satisfactory) grade to be eligible for retroactive credit. Courses taken for the pass/fail grade or audit mark will not be accepted for retroactive credit.
  • Students who withdraw from or fail to meet the minimum C or S grade in the advanced course may retake the course and apply for retroactive credit once the minimum C or S grade is achieved and posted.
  • Course credits earned through the retroactive policy are not assigned a letter (A-F) grade. The mark CR will be posted to a student’s transcript for the enrolled term the student applied for the retroactive credit.
  • Retroactive credit will count toward students’ class standing, total credit hours earned for graduation and hours required for graduation honors.
  • Retroactive credit will not count in students’ grade point average (GPA), quality points and residence requirement.
  • Students are not eligible for retroactive credit if they previously earned college credit for a course that is comparable to a lower level course in the same subject of the advanced course. Previous college credit includes credit earned through exam (e.g., AP, CLEP); courses transferred from other college-level institutions, tech prep programs or dual enrollment in a high school; or any other alternative credit listed in the University Catalog.
  • Not all courses that offer retroactive credits are available each semester.
  • Retroactive credit is not available for graduate courses.
  • Students may apply for retroactive credit following the posting of the grade at any time before graduation, but no later than the second Sunday of the semester in which they are graduating.

A fee per credit hour is charged for processing and posting of the credit on the student’s transcript. The Kent State Retroactive Credit Chart provides information about eligible courses and credits earned.

Alternative Credit-Testing Eligibility

The student’s college determines eligibility for testing. The following regulations govern credit through testing:

  1. Credit is awarded on a course-by-course basis. Students may be tested for Credit-By-Examination (CBE) only once for any given course. Students may not attempt a course CBE for which they have previously attempted through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  2. New students may take the CLEP before beginning work at Kent State University. CBE is available to currently enrolled degree- and certificate-seeking Kent State students only.
  3. Students are allowed to take CBE only if they are in good standing (i.e., not on probation).
  4. Students may not take CLEP or CBE for any course:
    1. In which they have audited
    2. In which they are currently enrolled
    3. In which they have previously enrolled and earned a grade, including withdrawal (A-F, AU, IN, IP, NF, NR, S, SF, U, W, Y or Z)

In subject fields in which knowledge is sequential or accumulative (e.g., mathematics, foreign language), courses are structured in prescribed sequences. Students who have received credit for, or established proficiency at, one level in such a sequence (either by testing or by enrolling in and completing the course) cannot subsequently earn CLEP or CBE credit for any prior course in the sequence or in any lower level sequence. Students who want to earn CBE for more than one course in such a sequence must complete CBE one course at a time, beginning with the lowest level course for which they want to receive academic CBE credit.

Students approaching graduation must complete all CBE and CLEP credit by at least the semester proceeding the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Students who sign up for CBE must take the exam within 60 days of the payment date of application. If they do not, they forfeit any fees paid and must reapply to take the exam.