Credit by Examination

Credit by examination is governed by Senate Regulation 620:

620. Credit by examination may be earned only in accordance with general policies established by the appropriate committee on courses in each Division. The deans of the several schools and colleges shall have the power to approve or reject any application for the examination.

The Committee on Courses of Instruction’s guidelines for granting credit by examination follow: 

  • On recommendation of the Board of Admissions, a new or reentering student may be allowed to receive credit by examination for knowledge acquired since graduation from high school, either by independent study or at another institution, and for which he/she has not been allowed advanced standing credit. Application for such credit should be made directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Berkeley.
  •  A student in good standing who is currently registered may qualify for course credit by examination. Application for such credit must be presented on a form, available from the Office of the Registrar, to the dean of the college or school. Credit by examination may be applied for any course listed in the Berkeley Academic Guide for the regular sessions that year at Berkeley, provided that the student’s knowledge of the subject area may be tested properly by examination, in the opinion of the instructor in charge and of the department chair. (There is a fee for filing the petition.) In certain laboratory, field, or practice courses, an examination, either written or oral, may not be a satisfactory test. Credit by examination is not available if such credit would duplicate credit presented by the student for admission to the University or in elementary courses in foreign language that is the applicant’s native language. Further information concerning credit by examination may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

The examination for credit may be the final course examination, if in the opinion of the instructor in charge, the final course examination provides an adequate test of the student’s knowledge. A special examination will be employed when deemed necessary by the instructor. The examination must be written, must be a comprehensive examination covering the entire course, and must be administered at one sitting, not to exceed three hours duration.

Credit by examination may be taken only on a Pass/Not Pass or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis (to be computed in the one-third limitation). Credit by examination will only be granted for a course listed in the current Schedule of Classes (regular terms only). Application for credit by examination presented by a student on warning, probation, or dismissed status will not be received.


  • The student makes application to the instructor in charge of the course in which the examination is sought. On the application the student indicates (a) the number and unit value of the University course for which credit is sought and (b) the term for which credit is sought.

  • The instructor, after conferring with the student, reports to the dean of the student’s college by endorsement on the petition the following information: (a) whether or not the course is one in which the student’s knowledge may be tested adequately by an examination, and (b) whether or not the student’s preparation seems adequate. The petition bearing the instructor’s endorsement is then forwarded to the office of the dean of the student’s college.

  • The dean, upon receiving the instructor’s report, scrutinizes the student’s application to ensure that it complies with the rules of the college and determines whether or not the student may proceed to the examination. The application of the student, if and when the dean finally approves it, is forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

  • The Office of the Registrar, upon receiving the approved application, determines if the student and the course in which the examination is sought meet the eligibility criteria. If the eligibility criteria are met, the Registrar signs and forwards the application to the instructor, which serves as the instructor’s authority for admitting the student to the examination, calls upon the instructor for a report after the date of the examination, and makes an appropriate record. If not, the student is notified.