2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog

Non-Traditional Course Credit

In addition to traditional transfer course credit, students may apply for non-traditional course credit. In an effort to recognize the work and life experience of our student population, Cumberland University offers several opportunities for the awarding of undergraduate college credit through testing, interviews, and/or the documentation of work and life experience relative to course learning outcomes and objectives. There are nine (9) sources of non-traditional undergraduate course credit that Cumberland University will consider:
  1. ACT and SAT exam scores may qualify for English and Math course credit.
  2. College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken in high school may qualify for course credit.
  3. Military Education Credit as recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) may qualify for course credit.
  4. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) content exams may qualify for course credit.
  5. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) course content exams may qualify for specific college course credit.
  6. An American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) evaluation, consisting of an interview and a written exam, may qualify students for foreign language course credit.
  7. Cumberland University offers Challenge Exams which allow students to “test out” of a Cumberland University course and earn credit for that course.
  8. Students can submit portfolios for consideration for Experiential Credit for some course work. A review of a student’s portfolio will be completed to determine whether the student can earn credit for his or her work experience.
  9. Police Officer Standards and Training (POST)

Non-traditional coursework is evaluated according to Cumberland University‘s transfer credit policy.

  1. Credit will not be awarded for any exam or course content for which a student has previously attempted college/university credit or if a student has previously completed advanced study beyond the content level covered by the exam.
  2. Evaluation of credit earned by alternative methods is based on equivalencies in effect at the time the credit is requested.
  3. Admissions decisions are not based on the award of non-traditional course credit because these credits are not assigned a letter grade and, therefore, cannot be included in the calculation of a student’s GPA

General guidelines for non-traditional course credit accepted by the University are described below.


Undergraduate students enrolled in any program are eligible for non-traditional course credit under the following requirements.

  1. The student must have received a letter of Initial Acceptance or Full Acceptance from the Director of Admissions. Initial Acceptance is based on the receipt of a completed and signed application, all final or in progress official transcripts, and a $50 application fee.
  2. Applications for non-traditional course credit are not accepted for students in the last 30 credit hours of their degree program.
  3. A maximum of 30 credit hours of non-traditional course credit from all sources may be awarded. The 30 credit hour maximum may be met by any combination of ACT/SAT, CEEB AP, Military Credit, DANTES, CLEP, ACTFL, Challenge Exams, and Experiential Credit. For example, more than one CLEP exam may be taken to reach the 30 credit hour maximum of non-traditional course credit.
  4. Non-traditional course credit reviews, exams, interviews, and portfolio reviews are not available until the associated fee is paid.
  5. Once an application for non-traditional course credit is received and paid for, no refunds are made.
  6. All fees are subject to change.

Notification of Results

A final evaluation of all non-traditional course credit results (exam reviews, test scores, interview results, and experiential credit results) will be provided by the Registrar’s Office. Once their evaluation is finalized, the student’s transcript is annotated and an unofficial transcript is mailed to the student from the Registrar’s Office. An official transcript is obtained by submitting a written request and paying the associated fee of $5.00. 

Transcript Annotation of Awarded Non-Traditional Course Credit

Letter grades are not awarded for non-traditional course credit. When non-traditional course credit is awarded, the transcript is annotated with a “CR” for credit in the grade column. “CR” grades are not used in the calculation of the student’s GPA. Consequently, non-traditional course credit does not contribute to a student’s GPA requirement for admission decision or to meet graduation requirements.

Non-traditional course credit is posted to one of two areas on the student’s transcript. Exams and interview credits are posted under the heading “Exams” on the official transcript. An exam entry includes the course number and title for which non-traditional course credit is awarded and the grade of “CR”. Experiential course credit is posted under the heading of “Validated” with the course number and title for which the non-traditional course credit is awarded and a grade of “CR”.

If non-traditional course credit is applied for, but no course credit is awarded, there is no posting to the student’s official transcript.

Office of Responsibility

For ACT/SAT, CEEB Advanced Placement (AP), Military Credit and DANTES credit information, please contact:

Registrar's Office
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM weekdays

For CLEP and ACTFL information, please contact:

Academic Enrichment Center (AEC)
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM weekdays

For Challenge Exams and Experiential Credit, please contact the school with academic responsibility for the course.

Edward A. Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business

School of Nursing and Health Professions


School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts