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Earn credit or meet course requirements before starting college

UWSP offers students a number of opportunities for earning credit or meeting course requirements outside of traditional college classroom instruction.  These opportunities could allow you to graduate sooner than normal or take advantage of additional coursework outside of your major.  If you are a self-learner, have substantial preparation in certain subject matter, or have appropriate life experiences, you are encouraged to pursue one or more of the following opportunities. Please Note: You may count a maximum of 32 credits earned under advanced placement, credit-by-exam, and test-out toward the 120 credits required for graduation. These credits are recorded on your academic record, have full academic value, and apply toward graduation. They are not assigned grades, are not calculated in your grade point average, and are not included in your semester credit load. 

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

If you are currently a high school student, you can earn college credit if your school participates in the College Board AP Program. High schools participating in the AP program offer college level courses for which examinations are given each May. UW-Stevens Point grants credit and advanced placement for scores of 3, 4 and 5 on all AP exams. If you are awarded credit, it will be entered on your permanent record after you enroll at UWSP. Contact your high school or our Admissions Office, 2108 Fourth Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481, or by phone at 715-346-2441, for additional details. Click here to view the UWSP Advanced Placement Examination Policy * 

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP, offered by the College Board, offers general examinations covering broad areas such as humanities, natural science and social science, as well as subject areas such as accounting, biology, American history, and psychology. UWSP grants credit for acceptable scores (determined by each department) on many of the CLEP examinations. Credit will be entered on your permanent record after you enroll at UWSP.  UWSP offers CLEP testing through the Testing Services Office.  We are an open test center, which means that anyone, not just UWSP students, may register to take CLEP exams.  For information on exam fees and to make an appointment to take an exam, please contact: Testing Services, Delzell Hall Third Floor, UWSP, Stevens Point, WI 54481, 715-346-4772.  Click here to view the UWSP CLEP Examination Policy

Prior Learning Assessment

If you have had experiences equivalent to college level learning which relate to coursework at UWSP, you may receive college credit for these experiences. For example, you may be eligible to gain academic credit for prior learning from your past employment, volunteer work, publications, or your participation in seminars, workshops, job-related training programs, or military training programs. For further information, see the Prior Learning Assessment page in our catalog or contact Sally Cayan, Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment, at or 715-346-2764.

Advanced Standing and Retroactive Credit

Some departments administer placement tests when you first enroll. If the test results indicate that you should start at a higher level than the entering freshman course, you may have the opportunity to earn retroactive credit for the course. In foreign language, for example, you can earn up to 16 retroactive credits if you place into 313 and earn a grade of B- or better. Check the departmental listings in our catalog or contact the appropriate department chair for additional information. 


You may test out of a number of general education courses. When you pass a departmentally approved test in a general education course, the requirement to enroll in the course is waived. You don’t earn credit when you test out, but the course applies toward fulfillment of the General Education Program requirement. For example, if you test out of Communication 101, you satisfy the Communication 101 general education requirement without enrolling in the course.

See “Test-Out and Credit-by-Exam Policy” under the General Education Program (GEP) section of our catalog or contact individual departments for more information about their test-out opportunities.  

International Baccalaureate

UWSP awards college credit for scores of 4, 5, 6 or 7 on various higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations.  A student must be enrolled in an authorized school to be eligible to sit for IB examinations.  Additional credit will be awarded to students who complete the full diploma programme. Click here to view UWSP’s International Baccalaureate Policy