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    Top Colleges That Accept CLEP 

    By Zach Skillings

    Zach Skillings is the Scholarships360 Newsletter Editor. He specializes in college admissions and strives to answer important questions about higher education. When he’s not contributing to Scholarships360, Zach writes about travel, music, film, and culture. His work has been published in Our State Magazine, Ladygunn Magazine, The Nocturnal Times, and The Lexington Dispatch. Zach graduated from Elon University with a degree in Cinema and Television Arts.

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    and Varonika Ware

    Varonika Ware is a content writer at Scholarships360. Varonika earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. During her time at LSU, she worked with the Center of Academic Success to create the weekly Success Sunday newsletter. Varonika also interned at the Louisiana Department of Insurance in the Public Affairs office with some of her graphics appearing in local news articles.

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    Reviewed by Caitlyn Cole

    Caitlyn Cole is a college access professional with a decade of experience in non-profit program and project management for college readiness and access organizations.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: July 9th, 2024
    Top Colleges That Accept CLEP 

    The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows students to earn college credit based on previous knowledge through a variety of tests. It’s a great way to save time and money while working toward a degree because you can earn credit(s) for knowledge that you already have in particular subjects. The best part is that there are nearly 3,000 colleges that accept CLEP in the United States!

    In this guide, we’ll share a sampling of the public, private, and online colleges that award credit for CLEP exams. If you have a specific school in mind, use this search tool to check the CLEP policies of individual colleges and universities.

    Also see: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

    Top public colleges that accept CLEP credits

    1. University of Central Florida

    Boasting an undergraduate enrollment of over 60,000 students, UCF is one of the largest universities in the U.S. It’s also one of the most CLEP-friendly universities. UCF awards credit for all CLEP exams.

    To receive credit, students must earn a score of 50 or higher. Students cannot be within 60 credit hours of graduation when taking CLEP exams.

    2. University of Wisconsin

    The University of Wisconsin is a large research institution with a flexible CLEP policy that grants credit for 13 different exams. Students must earn a minimum score of 65 in order to receive credit.

    They must also take CLEP exams before completing 16 semester hours of college credits. Test credits or college coursework taken in high school doesn’t count toward the requirement.

    3. University of Massachusetts

    Students at this large research university can choose from over 110 majors. They can also benefit from UMass’ generous CLEP policies, which grant credit for nearly every exam.

    To be eligible for credit, students must take CLEP exams before completing the majority of their general education requirements. They must earn a minimum score of 50 on most exams.

    4. Ohio State University

    This iconic Big 10 school offers over 200 undergraduate majors, many of which can be chipped away at through CLEP. Ohio State recognizes about 35 CLEP exams, but students should note that passing scores are higher than average.

    For instance, students must earn a score of 65 or higher to receive credit for the Principles of Marketing exam. Check out the course catalog to view requirements for each individual exam.

    5. Purdue University

    Located in Indiana, Purdue is another well-known Big 10 school that offers well-respected engineering and business programs. The school awards credit for a wide variety of CLEP exams.

    Depending on the subject and the score, students can earn anywhere from 3 to 12 credits per exam. The higher your score, the more credit you can receive.

    • Location: West Lafayette, IN
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 37,658
    • Most popular field of study: Computer Science and Business Administration

    6. Florida State University

    This public university in Tallahassee grants credit for 30 different CLEP exams. For the majority of Florida State exams, students can earn 3 credits if they achieve a score of 50 or higher. For world language exams, students can earn anywhere from 4 to 12 credits depending on their score.

    7. Texas A&M University

    Founded in 1876, this well-known research institution is the oldest public university in the state. Texas A&M currently awards credit for 16 CLEP exams. Reach out to the university directly to learn more about its CLEP policies.

    See also: How do Interdisciplinary Studies majors work?

    8. University of Arizona

    The University of Arizona is a big-name public school that offers credit for over 30 CLEP exams. Minimum score requirements range from 46 to 68, depending on the exam. Credits earned through CLEP and other exams cannot exceed 60 units.

    9. Michigan State University

    Students at this top-tier research university can benefit from flexible CLEP policies. MSU awards credit for most CLEP exams, and is particularly generous regarding world language exams. For instance, students can earn up to 16 credits if they earn a score of 59 or higher on the French Level II exam.

    • Location: East Lansing, MI
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 38,424
    • Most popular field of study: Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication and Business Administration

    Related: Public Relations Major Overview

    10. University of Kansas

    Located in the quintessential college town of Lawrence, Kansas, this research university offers credit for nearly all CLEP exams. For most exams, students can earn 3 credit hours with a score of 50 or above.

    11. Penn State University

    This Big 10 school is known for its robust engineering program and lively campus culture. Penn State grants credit for most CLEP exams, but students should be aware that tuition increases when transferring more than 59.1 credits from tests, which includes any AP exams you might’ve accumulated as well.

    12. North Carolina State University

    NC State is a leading research university known for its excellent STEM programs. The school currently recognizes 16 CLEP exams, but these policies are subject to change. NC State conducts periodic reviews of its CLEP policies, so contact the school directly for specific questions about course credit.

    13. Arizona State University

    ASU is a highly-regarded research institution both in-person and online located in Phoenix, Arizona. The university accepts credit from most CLEP exams, but students cannot fulfill general studies requirements in natural science, literacy, and critical inquiry through CLEP. Students can earn up to 60 credit hours from CLEP exams and other tests.

    • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 64,216
    • Most popular field of study: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

    14. Iowa State University

    This Big 12 school recognizes 14 CLEP exams, but students should keep in mind that minimum passing scores are higher than other universities. Iowa is also stricter about which CLEP credits apply to engineering and biology majors. Regarding world language studies, the university encourages students to enroll in classes rather than take CLEP exams.

    15. Oklahoma State University

    Another member of the Big 12 athletic conference, Oklahoma State grants credit for over 20 CLEP exams. Passing scores are typically 50, and the number of credit hours awarded range from 3 to 9. As long as students meet residence credit requirements, there’s no stated limit on the amount of CLEP credit that can be applied toward a degree.

    16. Colorado State University

    Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, CSU is one of the nation’s top public research universities. The school recognizes all 35 CLEP exams, and the minimum passing score is 50 for most exams. CSU usually grants 3 to 6 credits for each exam, but students can earn up to 12 credits for advanced scores on world language exams.

    • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
    • Undergraduate enrollment: 24,344
    • Most popular field of study: Business Administration, Management and Operations

    17. University of Kentucky

    Featuring more than 100 undergraduate majors, the University of Kentucky caters to students of all interests. It also has a generous test-for-credit policy that grants credit for roughly all CLEP exams. A passing score of 50 or above is considered acceptable for most exams.

    18. Louisiana State University

    Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this big-name public school grants credit for CLEP exams in 16 subject areas. However, LSU’s CLEP policies tend to change from year to year. Check the most recent course catalog for updated information on which CLEP exams are accepted.

    Top private colleges that accept CLEP credits

    1. DePaul University

    Located in Chicago, DePaul University is the nation’s largest Catholic university. The school recognizes 36 CLEP exams, and typically awards 4 credit hours per exam. However, students can earn up to 12 credits for a score of 53 or higher on the biology exam, and up to 8 credits for a score of 50 or higher on the Introduction to Psychology exam.

    2. University of New Haven

    This mid-sized university in Connecticut grants credit for CLEP exams with passing scores of 50 or better. The university accepts over 30 CLEP exams. Contact the University of New Haven directly to learn more about its CLEP policies.

    3. University of San Diego

    The University of San Diego is a private Catholic institution that offers credit for 15 CLEP exams. Minimum score requirements typically range from 50 to 60, depending on the exam. The university typically awards 3 credits per passed exam, but students can earn up to 8 credits for passing the General Chemistry exam.

    4. Elon University

    This mid-sized university in North Carolina grants credit for 6 CLEP exams — Sociology, Chemistry, Biology (two exams), English, and American Government. Students receive 4 credit hours per exam if they earn a score of 60 or above, excluding the biology exams.

    5. Emerson College

    Located in Boston, Emerson College is a private school dedicated exclusively to communication and the arts. Emerson accepts CLEP credit, but their website does not provide information on how many exams they accept. However, you can earn up to 32 credits from exams.

    The College Board reports that Emerson accepts credit for most exams, but check with the Registrar’s Office for confirmation. Students are allowed to transfer a maximum of 32 credits from CLEP and other exams.

    6. Drexel University

    Drexel University is a private research institution located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school accepts CLEP credits, but its website provides little information on its policies.

    According to the College Board, though, Drexel recognizes 20 CLEP exams. Reach out to Drexel directly for more information on its CLEP policies.

    Top online colleges that accept CLEP 

    1. Excelsior University

    Excelsior University is an accredited online institution offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The great thing about Excelsior is that its students are rewarded with credit for a variety of prior learning experiences.

    One of the ways students can benefit is by demonstrating their knowledge on CLEP exams. Excelsior has no limit on the number of credits that can be earned through CLEP.

    2. Thomas Edison State University

    Based in New Jersey, this majority-online institution primarily serves the state’s adult learner population. Its generous CLEP policies allow students to receive credit for all exams. Students can earn 3 to 6 credit hours per exam, depending on the specific test. Check the course catalog for more information.

    3. Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University is a private university that offers both in-person and online learning options. The school has a flexible test-for-credit policy that allows students to place out of college courses through CLEP and AP exams. Contact the school directly to learn more about how you can earn credit through CLEP.

    4. Western Governors University

    Based in Utah, this private online university offers a variety of degree programs for business, information technology, nursing, and teaching. The school accepts credit for a variety of exams, including CLEP, AP, IB, and DANTES. Students seriously considering WGU should reach out to the school directly to learn more about its CLEP policies.

    See also: What can I do with a business management degree?

    Additional CLEP resources

    If you’re thinking of taking CLEP exams, or have already taken them, we have a host of resources that can help you through the process. Here are a few articles to help you with any questions you may have:

    Frequently asked questions about CLEP exams

    How should I study for a CLEP exam?

    The best way to study for a CLEP exam is to utilize the practice tests to quiz yourself and get familiar with the test format. The College Board also sells examination guides for the different exams, but there are still tons of free internet resources as well.

    Are AP exams better than CLEP exams?

    It depends. Both are focused on one subject at a time, but AP exams are taken during your high school years while CLEP exams are taken during your undergrad. Also, people usually take CLEP exams if they have prior knowledge and experience that makes them confident the specific course isn’t necessary.

    Are CLEP exams worth it?

    Yes! While CLEP exams cost about $90 dollars each, it can be worth it in comparison to paying for a semester-long college course. You can also earn credit for any future courses you might take, and get one step closer to finishing your degree!

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