Departmental Challenge Exams

Students admitted to Andrews University degree programs who have achieved the course outcomes in non-traditional education settings may request credit by exam, usually in foundational undergraduate classes, or validation of skills through performance or professional training, certification or other documentation.

A departmental challenge exam cannot be used to replace failures or other low grades earned in residence including an “F” (Fail), “I” (Incomplete) or “W” (Withdrawal).

Challenge exams are available at the discretion of each department, for courses where standardized exams are not available, and the course outcomes can fairly be assessed by one comprehensive exam. Validation of certification, skill performance and other documentation of learning outside the classroom that is not adequately assessed through challenge exams.

  • Contact the chair of the department offering the class for which you have prior learning outside of the classroom.
  • Download the Credit-by-Exam/Validation Form. Save. Type in the student section. Save. Email the department contacted.
  • Expect a decision within two weeks. Arrange to take the exam as directed by the department, or provide all documentation requested for validation, within the semester in which approval is given.  The department completes the form and emails on to the College Dean's office, for approval and forwarding to Records.
  • Download the current class syllabus. Prepare by reviewing the student learning outcomes. Refresh your learning and check for any gaps by reviewing the required textbooks, focusing on sections assigned in the syllabus overview of learning activities.
  • Be ready to show a photo ID and sign the Credit by Examination form provided by the department personnel at the time of the exam. Signing the form accepts responsibility for both the recording fee (per credit) and the administrative fee (per exam/test).

The department will complete the Credit By Examination form, including signatures from the faculty evaluator, the department chair (if it is in the major), and the college dean. When the department forwards the form to Records, the grade is entered, and the form sent to the Business Office to charge the student’s account.

A challenge exam request may be approved during the drop/add period at the beginning of a semester. Thereafter, you cannot challenge a course in which are you previously enrolled.

No. Credits count toward graduation, but are recorded on the pass/fail scale, which is not calculated into your grade point average.  This holds true for all forms of credit for prior learning which are evaluated on the pass/fail scale.