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Office of the Registrar

Credit Available to Undergraduate Students

The University of Wyoming offers credit towards an undergraduate degree through:

1. University of Wyoming Credit:

a. Instructed classes - On campus and at Outreach School settings around the state including recognized academic courses under concurrent faculty general supervision such as intern-ships, clerkships, clinical experience, co-op programs, etc.

Distance courses. Unlike some institutions, UW delivers courses at a distance through its mainstream academic departments, not through a separate academic unit.  Academic department heads have the authority to assign instructors to distance-delivered courses, including online courses.  They also have a responsibility to ensure that those courses are comparable in rigor and effectiveness to courses delivered face to face.

For this reason, when a department offers a UW course both face to face and at a distance, any UW student may satisfy any relevant university-, college-, and department-level requirements or elective credit by taking the course in either format.  This policy applies to Laramie-based students as well as students taking courses delivered through the Outreach School.

Exceptions may arise when it is necessary to reserve space in a distance-delivered course for off-campus students, who can’t take the face-to-face version.  In these cases, departments may reserve spaces for off-campus students.  But to the extent that spaces remain available after all interested off-campus students have enrolled, these spaces must be available to interested on-campus students.

b. Correspondence Study - A maximum of 24 semester hours may be earned by correspondence study regardless of where the credit is earned. Flexible enrollment courses taken by post-baccalaureate students will appear on the transcript but will not be included in cumulative hours earned, as flexible enrollment credit is not applicable toward a post-baccalaureate degree.

c. Credit by examination - While there is no maximum placed on the amount of credit earned by examination, credit so earned does not count in fulfilling the residency requirement of 30 hours of upper division University of Wyoming credit.

Students showing proficiency by passing examinations such as the College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP), for example, or examinations developed by University of Wyoming departments may earn college credit through the level of demonstrated proficiency. Credit may be allowed on the basis of any testing procedure acceptable to any department, which may include tests of the AP program and both the general and subject (specific) examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

A student may not earn credit by examination in a course if the student has completed a course in the subject matter area above the level of the course for which the examination is sought. However, at the discretion of the departments involved, during the drop/add period a student may challenge a lower-level course while enrolled in a higher-level course in the same subject matter area, if the course challenged is a prerequisite for the course in which the student is currently enrolled.

An examination of an appropriate type and content for the credit sought may be conducted to determine if the applicant's proficiency is equivalent to that which could be expected upon completion of a college-level course in the subject. An applicant found to have this level of proficiency will be awarded credit for that course and allowed to proceed either with more advanced courses or with courses in other areas.

Information concerning credit by examination can be obtained by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

Options include:

  • Specific departmental course examinations
  • Subject CLEP tests
  • AP tests
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

Eligible students who pay the testing fee of $80.00 may not be denied an examination in the introductory undergraduate course in any department, if such an examination exists. "Introductory course" is interpreted as that course which is prerequisite for successive courses in the department. Additional fees for examinations offered by testing agencies other than the University of Wyoming are determined by the agency concerned.

Grades of S or U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) are given in all examinations. Credit by examination is not included in the student's grade point average; it is, however, included in the hours earned toward graduation. The grade of S is the equivalent of C or better. See below for specific subject requirements. Entry on the student's academic record for credit by examination is made only if a grade of S is obtained and is noted as a grade obtained by examination.

To qualify for undergraduate credit, the student must be currently registered at the University of Wyoming as a degree candidate. The student must also be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the chair of the department involved that background experience has prepared him or her to attempt a challenge examination if such an examination is sought. The department chair's decision will be based upon existing departmental constraints such as accreditation, graduation requirements, and program requirements.

The use of credit by examination, or credit for prior learning, in graduate programs is to be determined by the student's consulting committee in conjunction with the dean of the affected college.

A student may not be allowed credit by examination in a course in which the student is currently or was previously enrolled either for credit or as a visitor or auditor, except that credit by examination may be used as a means to obtain credit for courses previously taken at institutions from which credit is nontransferable. A student may not challenge equivalent courses.

Advanced Placement Information

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST) Information

International Baccalaureate Information

 
d. Portfolio evaluations - In recognition of factors in our society that produce great individual differences in backgrounds and preparation of students entering the university, the university has developed various options to assess extra-institutional college-level learning. To qualify for undergraduate credit, the student must be currently registered at the University of Wyoming as a degree candidate.

Credit based on faculty evaluation of the kinds and extent of college-level learning which an applicant has acquired in prior extra-institutional settings, evidenced in a portfolio of documentation, may count toward university undergraduate graduation requirements. In such event, the student's degree program can be enriched by freeing time needed to take additional courses, or accelerated to earn the baccalaureate degree earlier and commence postgraduate studies sooner.

The number of credit hours able to be earned by means of a portfolio evaluation is normally limited to 12. Such credit, when awarded, shall be for specific University of Wyoming content-oriented courses (rather than given as X number of hours of credit in a general discipline area), following the college course model of assessment as defined by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. Portfolio assessment, when used, will be conducted by a committee of appropriate tenured faculty including at least one member with the academic rank of professor. All credit assigned for experiential learning based upon portfolio evaluations is excluded from the minimum credit hour requirements as set forth in the university requirements.

2. Transfer Credit

a. UW Policy (Academic Affairs Policy Letter, 9 October 2012)

UW maintains a system for accepting transfer credits from other institutions and prides itself on forward-looking approaches to distance education.  The following clarifies policies for:

  • Accepting transfer credit from Wyoming’s public community colleges
  • Accepting transfer credit for students transferring to UW from other institutions
  • Accepting transfer credit for students enrolled at UW

1. Transfer credit from Wyoming’s public community colleges

For any student, UW will accept credit earned at any Wyoming public community college in accordance with the Wyoming Higher Education Course Transfer Guide/Statewide Course Catalogue.  This policy applies to students transferring to UW and to students enrolled at UW who take courses at one of these community colleges while they pursue degrees at UW.

UW maintains an active regimen of institution-wide and discipline-specific articulation with Wyoming community colleges.  These discussions, together with department-driven decisions about which courses to list in the statewide common course-numbering system, provide mechanisms that can ensure appropriate levels of course equivalency.

2. Transfer credit for students transferring from other institutions

The UW registrar’s office maintains a list of course equivalencies and courses accepted for general credit from other institutions of higher learning.  In maintaining this list, the registrar, in consultation with academic departments as necessary, determines which outside courses:

  • are equivalent to specific UW courses when students transfer to UW
  • count for general university-level credit when students transfer to UW
  • are not transferable for university-level credit when students transfer to UW.

For course beyond the 1000-2000 level and in cases where questions arise, the registrar relies on academic departments to make the assessment.

For any student transferring to UW from another institution of higher learning, UW will adhere to the registrar’s equivalency and general transfer list on the date that the transcript is evaluated.  If a course in question doesn’t appear in the list, the registrar will follow the normal protocol, in consultation with academic departments, to make a determination.  If an academic department determines that an outside course improperly appears on the list, the registrar will correct the list according to the department’s guidance.  The corrected list will apply to subsequent transfer students but not retroactively.

3. Transfer credit for students enrolled at UW

The university’s faculty and administration expect UW students to earn credits by taking courses at UW.  Exceptions may be appropriate in some instances.  For example, the university encourages students to pursue opportunities to study abroad, whether through UW course offerings or through other approved programs.  As another example, a student who spends a summer in another university town may also have a compelling case for taking a non-UW course and applying the credits to the UW transcript.  There are many other possibilities.

For any student enrolled at UW, the university will guarantee transfer credits only for courses for which the student has received prior, course-specific approval from an academic advisor and the affected academic department head. A Transfer Guarantee Form should be submitted prior to enrolling for a transfer course. 

The only exceptions are transferable credits from Wyoming community colleges, as discussed above.  In considering requests of this type, academic department heads may take into account the student’s circumstances, department- and university-level learning outcomes such as global awareness, and the department faculty’s assessment of the course’s content, level, and academic rigor.

This policy has no effect on such programs as WICHE’s Internet Course Exchange and other inter-institutional arrangements through which courses taught elsewhere count as credit-bearing UW courses.

b. Process - Transfer credit includes college courses accepted from other accredited colleges or universities. Such course work must be considered equivalent to course work required by the University of Wyoming. Students transferring to UW must have the registrar or records office of previous school(s) send an official transcript to the University of Wyoming Admissions Office. Once all final transcripts have been received by the Admissions Office, the degree analysts in the Office of the Registrar will create an electronic record of all courses that transfer to UW.

The recording of credit does not automatically imply acceptance toward a degree since degree requirements vary from major to major. Acceptance of credit toward a major is dependent upon final approval by the student's academic adviser. Questions concerning the transferability of course work from other institutions should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

c. Articulation Agreements

1. Wyoming Community College Articulation Agreement

Students entering UW beginning Fall 2001 who have completed an AA, AS, or AB degree from a Wyoming Community (spring 2001 or later) College receive credit toward completion of the lower division general education requirements included in the University Studies Program. Two types of graduates are addressed in this agreement

a. All Wyoming community college graduates (AA , AS ,or AB degree) who have completed the prescribed thirty (30) credit hour Wyoming community college Common General Education Core and, in addition, a second three (3) credit college-level math course, will be deemed to have met UW's lower division general education requirements.

b. All Wyoming community college graduates (AA, AS, or AB degree) who have completed the prescribed thirty (30) credit hour community college core, but who lack the second three (3) credit college-level math course will be required to complete the second mathematics course either at the community college or at the University before they will be deemed to have met UW's lower-division general education requirements.

This articulation agreement applies to graduates receiving an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Sciences, or an Associates of Business degree from any of the seven Wyoming Community Colleges. All graduates with an AA , AS, or AB degree complete a minimum of 64 college-level credits with a minimum of 2.0 GPA.

Nontraditional credits awarded by another institution will not normally be accepted by the University of Wyoming. They may be validated by departmental exam within the faculty regulations allowing for such examinations. Credits based on ACT or SAT scores or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) general examinations will not be accepted as transfer credit, unless the examination score appears on the transcript.

2. Colorado Community College Articulation Agreement

Graduates of regionally accredited Colorado community colleges earning an AA/AS Spring 2012 or later are awarded the lower-division general education core in the same manner as graduates of Wyoming community colleges, with the exception of the UW/WY Government and Constitutions requirement. Students must complete the Wyoming component through coursework or challenge exam. 
Spring 2008 (and later) graduates of Pikes Peak Community College are included due to a pre-existing articulation agreement.

3. Other Community College Articulation Agreements

Spring 2012 and later AA/AS graduates of Western Nebraska, Mid-Plains (Nebraska), and Colby (Kansas) Community Colleges will be extended the lower-division general education core in the same manner as Colorado schools above.

3. Military Service Courses

Students who have served in the Armed Forces may be allowed transfer credit for courses taken in some military schools. Students who desire to apply for credit on the basis of their military schooling should submit a copy of their DD-214 form or AARTS/SMART/CCAF transcript (or equivalent) to the UW Admissions Office. The degree analysts in the Office of the Registrar determine whether the course work is transferable to UW. Evaluations for the granting of credit for military-based training are based on recommendations in the American Council of Education (ACE) guidelines. Individual colleges will determine whether such course work is applicable to their degree programs.

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