2020-2021 Catalog

Admissions/Enrollment Services

Admission Policy

Cumberland University admits those applicants whose ability, training, motivation, and interests indicate that they will succeed in college course work. The course of study and quality of work done in high school or college are both taken into consideration when a student applies for admission. The student’s scores on the ACT or the SAT are used as indicators of academic ability and are considered for admission, and if required, a student’s personal statement.

For students who do not meet the minimum high school grade point average (unweighted) and/or minimum ACT composite score/SAT Converted score, the University will require the student to complete a personal statement. Written by the student, the personal statement will indicate why the student would like to attend Cumberland University, would help contribute to a diverse student body, and measures the student will take to be successful academically at the University.

Cumberland University notifies the applicant of his or her admission status once all necessary documentation/credentials have been received. Questions concerning the admissions status of a prospective student should be addressed either by telephone, email or in writing to the Office of Admissions. Cumberland University is an equal opportunity educational institution and, as such, does not discriminate in the admissions policy on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information, ethnic or national origin, age, disability or veteran status or any other classification protected by Federal, or State constitutional or statutory law.

Standardized Test Score Requirement Suspended - Through Fall 2021 Admission Period

In response to the reduced number of national and state testing dates for ACT and SAT caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cumberland University is suspending the requirement for standardized test scores for students seeking admission as first time freshmen for the Fall 2020 semester through the Fall 2021 Admission Period. Additionally, the requirement of an ACT or SAT score for dual enrollment students is being suspended for this same period as well.

Freshman applicants with GPAs below the University's requirement of 3.0 will be asked to complete a personal statement with a supplemental survey that is designed to determine persistence and grit. This component will be an addendum to the admission file reviewed by the University Admissions Committee.

Dual enrollment students seeking to take English or Math courses must receive an endorsement from their high school counselor when completing the class registration form, unless the student already has an ACT or SAT score on file with the appropriate subscores or can provide one prior to course enrollment.

Please note: The adjustment of admission requirements does not apply for any term after the Fall 2021 admission term, does not apply to or lessen the requirements for institutional, state, or federal funding, does not apply to or lessen the requirements for athletic eligibility, and does not apply to applicants seeking admission into the University's Early College Program. All benchmarks for grants and scholarships, as well as benchmarks for athletic eligibility, must be met in their entirety. Early College applicants must submit a score or take the On Campus ACT with Cumberland to be reviewed for admission to the Early College Program.

As the Covid-19 pandemic landscape changes, the University will continue to monitor the situation as it relates to standardized test scores.

Campus Visit

Cumberland University encourages all interested students to visit the campus. Private campus visits are offered Monday-Friday at various times. Please contact the Office of Admissions by phone at 1-800-467-0562 ext. 1221 or by email at cue@cumberland.edu schedule a visit. Additionally, reservations may also be made by visiting www.cumberland.edu/admissions/visit. Cumberland University also hosts seasonal preview day events where all interested students are invited on campus to learn more about Cumberland and its offerings. More information and to sign up for available on preview days may be found on the Cumberland University website located at http://www.cumberland.edu/admissions/preview.

Transfer Credit

Normally, Cumberland University accepts transfer credits from all institutions of higher learning that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, or a similar body of a recognized regional accrediting agency. Students transferring from colleges and/or universities outside the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by World Educational Services, Box 745, Old Chelsea Station, (1 800-937-3895), Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. (JS&A), or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). For transfer credits to be accepted, they must appear on an official sealed transcript of the institution granting the credits. The following policies apply to acceptance of transfer credit:

  • No more than 90 total semester hours of transfer credit from all institutions will be accepted toward completion of a baccalaureate degree at Cumberland University.
  • A maximum of 70 semester hours may be accepted for transfer credit from a junior and/or community college.
  • At least 25% of the upper division (300-400 numbered courses) degree requirements must be earned at Cumberland University.
  • A student transferring into Cumberland University must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  • Only courses in which a “C” or higher has been earned may be accepted for transfer credit.
  • Developmental and remedial classes taken at institutions other than Cumberland University will not be accepted.
  • Cumberland University reserves the right to determine course equivalency regarding acceptance of transfer academic credits.
  • Cumberland University does not automatically accept transfer credit for Advanced Placement Exams, CLEP, PEP, or DANTES from another institution. Cumberland University reserves the right to request and review original scores before granting credit for any type of examination. Scores from any examination must meet Cumberland University’s standards for credit, which can be found in the Credit by Examination section of the Catalog.
  • Except for computing an overall graduation grade point average (GPA), transfer credits will not be included in the student's GPA. The GPA will be computed only on the basis of courses taken at Cumberland University.
  • Students who hold academic parallel Associate degrees from a regionally accredited institution will be considered to have met all requirements of the General Education Core (GEC) at Cumberland University. Applicants for professional licensure programs may be required to complete additional courses from the GEC.
  • Applicants must be accepted for admission to the University before an official evaluation of their transcript(s) will be performed.

Alternative Methods for Earning University Credit

Upon matriculation at Cumberland University, students may be awarded credit toward their university degree through methods other than university course work. Alternative credit must be completed before the student's last thirty (30) hours. Examples include Advanced Placement credit, Experiential Learning credit, credit by examination, credit for outstanding ACT scores, and/or military credit. Any one example or combination previously noted may not total more than 25% of the total number of credits submitted for a degree (except for students in the RN to BSN program, whose students may be awarded up to 40 hours of validation credit based on licensure) and if the student is not enrolled in his or her last 30 semester hours before graduation. This credit is not calculated for purposes of admission to and is apart from any transferred credit awarded during the admission process for courses completed at other institutions.

Students currently enrolled at Cumberland University must file an Academic Appeal for Transient Permission to receive credit for transfer coursework earned after enrollment. This coursework is evaluated according to Cumberland University’s transfer credit policy.

Credit will not be awarded for any exam or course content for which a student has previously received credit or if a student has previously completed advanced study beyond the level to be covered by the exam. If an exam or its articulated content is repeated, the credit will only be awarded for the second taking. Evaluation of credit earned by alternative methods is based on articulated equivalencies in effect at the time the credit is requested. General guidelines for alternative credit types accepted by the University are described below.

ACT Credit

Cumberland University recognizes outstanding performance on the ACT examination by awarding credit for certain scores on the English and Math portions of the exam (and the corresponding score on the SAT). The criteria are:

ACT Score

Equivalent SAT Score

Cumberland Credit Awarded

English 28+

Critical Reading 630

ENG 101 – 3 credit hours

English and Reading 28+

Critical Reading 630

ENG 101 & ENG 215 - 6 credit hours

Math 28+

Mathematics 630

MATH 111 - 3 credit hours

ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)

The ACTFL is for students who have successfully completed two or more years of a foreign language on the high school level. The fee is the responsibility of the student taking the exam and Cumberland University faculty will determine the appropriate hours of Foreign Language Credit based on the student's test score. Current rates are as follows:

  1. Certified ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) costs $139.00. The Certified Oral Proficiency Interview is administered telephonically by an ACTFL certified tester, double rated, and digitally recorded. Ratings are available within two weeks. The oral test lasts 30 minutes.
  2. Certified ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) costs $70.00. The certificate WPT test is available via internet or in booklet form and is rated by two ACTFL certified raters. Ratings are available within two weeks. The WPT is a 90-minute test consisting of 4 out of 5 questions designed to elicit paragraph formed responses. It is entirely human rated.

Both forms of ACTFL evaluation are administered as follows:

  1. Contact the Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) (615-547-1295) for an application. The fee, which is set by the ACTFL, is to be paid with the application prior to scheduling the interview and the test. Current fees are available on the ACTFL website or by contacting the AEC.
  2. ACTFL evaluations are available for most any language.
  3. The OPI and WPT results combined determine the number of non-traditional credit hours awarded.

CEEB Advanced Placement (AP)

Cumberland University participates in the Advanced Placement program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) and credit is granted by the appropriate semester hours of credit to qualified freshmen students presenting an official record of a grade of three (3) or above on the appropriate Advanced Placement examination (unless a higher score is otherwise noted). Semester hour credit in the amount carried by the course or courses from which the student is exempted by the examination will be awarded. Credit by examination may not total more than 30 credit hours (or 25% of the total credits) submitted for a degree.

Cumberland does not automatically accept transfer credit for Advanced Placement Exams, CLEP, PEP, or DANTES from another institution. Cumberland University reserves the right to request and review the original scores before granting credit for any type of examination. Scores from any examination must meet Cumberland University’s standard for credit.

 CEEB AP Examination

 Hours Awarded

In Lieu of Courses
at Cumberland University

American History


HIS 201, HIS 202 (score of 4 or higher)

Art History


ART 191



BIO 111



CHEM 111 (score of 4 or higher)

College Composition Modular 3 ENG 102
Economics (Macroeconomics) 3 ECON 241
Economics (Microeconomics) 3 ECON 242

English Literature & Composition


ENG 101

English Language & Composition


ENG 101

English Literature & Composition AND English Language & Composition 6 ENG 101 and ENG 215

European History


HIS 112

Government 3 POLSC 223

Math Calculus AB


MATH 121 (score of 4 or higher)

Math Calculus BC


MATH 122 (score of 4 or higher)

Music Listening


MU 129

Psychology 3
PSY 201



PSY 205

Challenge Exams

Challenge Exams have been developed for a limited number of 100 and 200 level undergraduate courses. These exams allow students to "test out" of a course and receive college credit on their Cumberland University transcript. Exams are linked to the course learning outcomes and objectives. The school with academic responsibility for the course maintains a file of study materials for these exams. Study materials may be requested on the application to take a Challenge Exam.

Challenge Exams are restricted as follows:

  1. Challenge exams will not be accepted for students within the last thirty (30) hours required for graduation for Bachelor's degrees or within the last fifteen (15) hours required for graduation for Associate's degrees.
  2. A challenge exam application form can be picked up at the Registrar's Office or emailed to the student upon request. Completed and signed applications should be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
  3. Upon approval of an application for a Challenge Exam, the Registrar's Office will post a bill for the exam to the student's account. The student must then pay the $75 fee in full at the Business Office (615-547-1218) prior to setting up an exam appointment.
  4. Upon payment, the school with academic responsibility for the course will contact the student to set up an appointment to take the Challenge Exam.
  5. To be awarded non-traditional course credit for a Challenge Exam, the student must score no less than 70% on the exam.

CLEP - Credit by Examination

Cumberland University accepts the American Council of Education’s recommended score on a scaled score of 50 for granting credit for courses. Please visit the Cumberland University website for additional CLEP examination information or contact the Academic Success Center.



In Lieu of Courses at Cumberland University

Composition and Literature



American Literature


ENG 216

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature


ENG 215



ENG 101

English Literature


ENG 216

Social Sciences and History



American Government



Introduction to Educational Psychology


PSY 212

American History I
3  HIS 201
History of the United States II: 1865 to Present


HIS 202

Human Growth and Development


PSY 211

Principles of Macroeconomics


ECON 241

Principles of Microeconomics


ECON 242

Introduction to Psychology


PSY 201

Introduction to Sociology


SOC 221

Science and Mathematics



College Algebra


MATH 111

Algebra-Trigonometry, College


MATH 111

General Biology


BIO 111

Calculus with Elementary Functions


MATH 121

General Chemistry


CHEM 111, 112



MATH 112




Principles of Accounting


ACC 211, 212

Introduction to Business Law


BUA 340

Information Systems


CIS 300

Principles of Management


MGT 363

Principles of Marketing


MKT 362

To be eligible to take a CLEP Examination, a student must not have been enrolled in the class for which the student wants to receive credit for a period of time longer than the drop date to receive a grade of “W” (the student must have dropped the class before he/she would have received a grade of “WP” or “WF”). CLEP tests may be repeated within the guidelines of the College Level Examination Program.

Cumberland grants university credit in select courses to students who pass a comprehensive examination. Students seeking credit by special examination will be tested over all components of the course

Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES)

Students with military experience may have taken one or more DANTES exams. DANTES exam official scores may be submitted for consideration by the Registrar's Office.

Experiential Learning Credit

Students wishing to receive course credit for their past work experience may apply for Experiential Credit in lieu of one or more Cumberland University courses. Experiential Credit requires the student to document in detail his/her work experience relative to each course learning outcome and objective. Documentation must provide sufficient evidence of the achievement of the learning outcomes and objectives for credit to be awarded. The student’s documentation is referred to as a portfolio. Portfolios include documentation that the student has mastered the required learning outcomes and objectives as identified on the Course Syllabus and in the Course Assessment Documentation Sheet (CADS). A lead faculty member for the course evaluates the portfolio of the student.

The school with academic responsibility for the course maintains a file of Course Syllabi and CADS. Both documents can be requested on the Experiential Credit Application form. 

  1. An Experiential Credit Application form can be picked up at the Registrar’s Office or emailed to the student upon request. Completed and signed applications should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Upon approval of an application for Experiential Credit, the Registrar’s Office will post a bill for processing the student’s portfolio to the student’s account. The student must then pay the $75 processing fee in full at the Business Office prior to the student’s portfolio being accepted for evaluation.
  3. Upon payment, the school with academic responsibility for the course(s) will contact the student to set up an appointment to discuss the contents and requirements for the student’s portfolio and, if requested, provide the Course Syllabi and the CADS for the course(s).
  4. A second fee of $75 per credit hour is assessed only if the portfolio evaluation results in the award of college credit. However, if college credit is awarded, the student must then pay the associated credit hour fee before the awarded credit is posted to the student’s transcript. For example, if a student is awarded three credit hours of non-traditional course credit via portfolio review, the processing fee is $75 and the credit hour fee is $225 ($75 times 3 credit hours) for a total of $300.
  5. Those students who believe they were unfairly evaluated may petition the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Military Education Credit

Students with military experience may have earned military education credit(s) which may qualify for non-traditional course credit at Cumberland University. The American Council on Education's (ACE) Military Guide will be used by the Registrar's Office to determine the number of semester credit hours which may be awarded for military education credit. No military credit will be placed on the student’s transcript until payment of conversion credit fee ($65 per hour) is received. Military education credit cannot exceed 30 credit hours of the total credit hours awarded for a degree at Cumberland University.

POST - Police Officer Standards Training

Students with successful completion of a state certified law enforcement training academy and the acquisition of a POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) certificate may be eligible for up to 15 hours of academic credit.

CRJ 210    Investigation
CRJ 211    Introduction to Law Enforcement
CRJ 329    Criminal Evidence
CRJ 410    Criminal Law
CRJ 433    Terrorism and Homeland Security