Credit By Examination

We offer a variety of opportunities for new and current students enrolled at NIU to obtain college credit or to test out of required courses.

Credit by examination (CBE) gives you several advantages, such as allowing you to skip introductory classes and move to higher level classes, earn proficiency credit for previously mastered information, shorten your time to a degree and save you tuition dollars.

Credit may be awarded through the following programs:

Note: Exemption exams are optional. NIU offers a grammar exemption exam for undergraduate English majors and minors. For students entering a master's program in the College of Business, exemption exams may waive Phase One requirements. If the exemption exam is passed, the course requirement is waived, but no actual credit is awarded.

Bilingual students may also receive foreign language credit by passing the STAMP test.

Additional information about CBE exams can be found in the NIU Undergraduate Catalog.

Requirements and Restrictions

Credit awarded will be entered on the student's record subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must be enrolled at NIU to receive credit by examination (CBE).
  • All CBE awarded by NIU will be posted to the student's record with the symbol CR and will not be entered until after the 15th day of the student's first semester. No specific grade is attached to this credit.
  • CBE will not be awarded
    • for courses in which NIU credit has already been granted.
    • for courses which substantially overlap or are prerequisites to courses in which a student is enrolled.
    • for courses which are prerequisites to courses for which credit has already been granted.

Credit may already have been granted on the basis of transfer, other credit by examination, or courses taken at NIU. Exceptions to these restrictions could occur in cases in which a student passed a credit-by-examination test prior to credit being granted in (or the student enrolling in) a course that would normally render the student ineligible for credit by examination. For example, a student enrolled in MATH 230 could be eligible to receive credit for MATH 229 based on an AP examination taken the previous May. Other restrictions specified in the NIU Undergraduate Catalog may also apply.