Credit By Examination

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Under certain prescribed conditions, currently registered students in good standing may receive course credit by taking an examination without formally enrolling in a course. Students must be registered either in the current quarter or semester, or in the spring quarter or semester prior to a summer session in which the examination is taken.

The petition is subject to the approval of the instructor giving the examination and the department involved. The completed petition, accompanied with the processing fee, must be presented for final approval to the dean of the student’s college or school, or to the Dean of Graduate Studies for a graduate student. The completed petition must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar no later than the business day before the date of the scheduled examination; petitions that are submitted after this date will be denied. Students who are approved by the Office of the University Registrar to take credit by examination shall be issued a permit to take the examination, which the student will present to the instructor at the time of the examination. The examination may not be taken until the permit has been issued.

The final result of a student’s work in an examination for credit shall be reported to the Registrar in terms of the following grades: A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, S, U. The "I" grade (incomplete) is not acceptable. Optional P/NP or S/U grading is subject to approval by the appropriate dean. This approval must be attached to the petition before submitting it to the University Registrar’s Office.

To earn credit through the credit by examination process, the examination must be given by a UC Davis instructor and be for a course listed in the General Catalog. Students are not eligible to take a credit by examination in a quarter in which they are not currently enrolled.


Credit by examination may not be used to:

  • Duplicate any credit already earned by the student towards their degree
  • Satisfy the General Education requirement
  • Repeat any course a student has taken previously, regardless of the grade earned
  • Receive credit in elementary courses for a foreign language that is the native tongue of the applicant

Additional information regarding the Credit by Examination process can be found under Provision 528 of the Academic Senate Regulations.