Non-Traditional Credit

Many colleges and universities recognize credit that was earned in a non-traditional manner, meaning college credits that were not earned in a traditional classroom or lab.

A variety of non-traditional vehicles exist including:

  • AP-Advanced Placement
  • CLEP-College Level Examination Program
  • DANTES-Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support
  • IB-International Baccalaureate
  • Military Service


Many of these can provide students with college credits and will transfer to most colleges and universities if appropriate scores or grades are earned. Colleges frequently publish lists of non-traditional credits they recognize on their websites or in the catalog.

Some institutions and departments at ACM offer "credit by exam," which is typically for in-house use at the school. Credit by departmental exam at ACM may not transfer. Credit granted by life experience is another form of non-traditional credit. Students document their experience and are awarded credit. An example would be a person who worked 10 years as a book-keeper without any formal training. That person could earn credit for an accounting course.

College credit earned through high school articulation may not transfer. Depending on how the credit appears on the transcript, the transfer school may reject the credit.

Search for a program or interest