Additional Ways of Earning Credits (Undergraduate)

Marywood University adheres to the principles outlined in the “Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit” recommended by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, American Council on Education, and Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Academic credits, graduate or undergraduate, may be accepted in direct transfer from colleges and universities depending upon their quality, comparability, and applicability to the student’s program of study. Professional staff from the Office of the Registrar will work in tandem with faculty within the specific discipline to assess the appropriateness of course content vis-a-vis the Marywood University curriculum.

Marywood University recognizes that people learn in a variety of settings and that some students approach the university experience with college-level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom.

Academic credit or waiver for other college-level learning can be awarded through a variety of programs, such as standardized testing through CLEP, DSST, and Advanced Placement (AP). Some departments allow challenge exams and place-out exams. Students may be able to present a portfolio to show that they have acquired college-level learning for particular courses.

None of these means of earning credit are included in the minimum number of credits which must be earned at Marywood University in order to receive a degree.

Marywood subscribes to the standards for quality assurance set forth by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Additional information is available from the Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination program (CLEP) provides people with the opportunity to gain college credit in general academic areas, as well as in a foreign language, by performing well on specific tests. The tests measure knowledge gained through life experiences during travel, work, military service, etc. Information on credit awarded based on CLEP exams may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment at Marywood. Those who wish to be considered for advanced status through CLEP should take the CLEP examinations and request the test scores be reported directly to Marywood University (CEEB code number: 2407). 

DSST Examinations

Another nationally recognized testing program that affords individuals the opportunity to receive college credit for learning acquired outside the traditional college classroom is DSST. Those who have military experience or on-the-job experience, or have independently acquired knowledge may gain college credits by obtaining a recommended score on the DSST subject standardized tests.


Marywood recognizes that some individuals gain college-level knowledge and competence through experiences comparable to learning outcomes of specific courses. Students who can document these significant learning experiences may be able to present a portfolio to gain credits for courses in their degree programs. A portfolio is a written, documented account of what the student has learned and how well they have learned it. Credit will be awarded only if the prior learning can be demonstrated as college-level learning. To be awarded credit at the undergraduate level, the assessor of the portfolio must determine that the student’s knowledge of the subject is equal to a college-level grade of “C” or better at the undergraduate level. A portfolio must be presented for each course for which credit is being sought and must be undertaken prior to the completion of 100 credits toward the undergraduate degree.

Portfolio credits are based on prior learning. They are not applicable toward the minimum number of credits which must be earned at Marywood in order to receive a degree (i.e., 42 credits in the case of the baccalaureate degree).

To be eligible to present a portfolio, you must be a matriculating Marywood University student in good academic standing. Students will need to meet with the Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment before an application can be sent to the department for review. For additional information, contact the Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment.

Transfer Credits

In order for credits to be transferred to Marywood from other colleges and universities, the courses must be college-level and a minimum grade of C is required. (A grade of C- is not transferable.) Transferable courses must be equivalent to courses offered at Marywood and appropriate to meet degree requirements in a student’s major. Some disciplines may require a higher grade for transfer than the University minimum. Some course credits may transfer only as general electives. Grades do not transfer, only credits. A student’s QPA (quality point average) at Marywood University depends on courses taken at Marywood or through a formal Consortium agreement such as that with the University of Scranton.

Credits older than 20 years may be approved for transfer if it is determined that the course content is still relevant. College­-level credits earned within 20 years of a student’s acceptance to Marywood are usually transferable. Some courses (e.g., science) will not transfer if taken more than seven years previous to entry into Marywood. Credits required for the student’s major will be transferred if the course content is judged suitable by the chair of the department involved. Beginning with those undergraduate students admitted for fall 2018, the last 30 credits of the baccalaureate degree must be completed at Marywood.  The authorization for transfer of credit forms required of currently matriculating students are available on­line.

Challenge and Place-out Exams

Several departments allow students to challenge lower level courses and receive advanced placement with or without credit if successful. Some place­out examina­tions are to be completed prior to the accumulation of 90 credits. 

Advanced Placement (AP)

Secondary school students whose education has included work at the college level and who demonstrate a high level of achievement will be considered for advanced standing. Students who desire to apply for such placement should take the appropriate Advanced Placement Examinations (AP exams) offered in the spring by he College Board, Princeton, NJ. Many high schools offer students opportunities for taking Advanced Placement courses and exams. A score of “3” or higher is necessary to receive advanced placement at Marywood University. For additional information contact the Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment.