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200.3 College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Date Adopted: 3/1999
Date Last Revised: 01/11/2024
 BOR Policy 301.19
Issuing Office: Academic Affairs
Approved By:  Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

  1. Policy

    The University of Montana Western allows awarding of college credit to individuals who successfully attempt College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.

  2. Purpose

    CLEP exams demonstrate knowledge gained through a variety of non-traditional learning environments (e.g., employment, non-regionally accredited educational agencies/schools, self-study, personal interests, hobbies, or advanced high school courses).

  3. Procedures

    1. Individuals who are unconditionally accepted for admission to UMW and who are currently enrolled, or former students actively pursuing a degree at UMW (have earned credit applicable to a degree within the past year), are eligible to receive CLEP credit.
    2. CLEP scores/test attempts must be recent (taken within the past five years) and verifiable.
    3. Official CLEP score reports should be sent to UMW as part of the admissions application process. “Official” score reports (sent directly from The College Board to UMW) can be requested by writing: CLEP Transcript Services, PO Box 6600, Princeton NJ 08541-6600, or call (609) 771-7865. CLEP score reports submitted by individuals are not official and will not be accepted.
    4. CLEP credits may not be counted as part of class load for financial aid purposes, athletic or extracurricular eligibility, or classification as a student at UMW.
    5. While there is no limit to the number of credits that may be earned by passing CLEP exams, a maximum of 30 credits from all nontraditional sources may be applied to a baccalaureate degree (15 credits maximum for an associate degree) at UMW. Academic department chairs and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will determine the exact UMW courses for which various CLEP exams may substitute. Other graduation requirement limitations may apply.
    6. No CLEP credits may be awarded if an individual has previously attempted or is currently attempting a college course that is similar in content to the CLEP subject exam submitted for evaluation. Courses attempted at non-regionally accredited post-secondary institutions are exempt from this limitation.
    7. Credit awarded for CLEP exams are graded “P” (pass). Consult UMW’s Catalog regarding the maximum number of GPA-neutral credits that may be applied to a degree at UMW.
    8. CLEP credits do not meet UMW residency requirements and are considered lower-level credit for graduation purposes.
    9. The minimum score is the American Council on Education (ACE) recommended score required on a CLEP exam before credit can be awarded (go to http://mus.montana/edu/creditbyexam).
    10. Credits initially awarded for successfully passing a CLEP Subject Exam will be deducted from cumulative credit earned if a student subsequently enrolls in and completes a college-level course that is similar in content to the subject matter covered on a CLEP exam.
    11. Students must request CLEP evaluations and must approve the posting of CLEP credit to their permanent academic record. Once approved and recorded, CLEP credit becomes a permanent part of the student’s academic record unless removal is required to comply with other sections of the policy.
    12. Only CLEP Subject Exams (not General Exams) are recognized by UMW for purposes of this policy.
    13. The UMW Registrar’s Office will post approved CLEP credits to the academic records of qualified individuals free of charge.
    14. To be valid, the UMW Course Equivalency list can be no more than five years old.
    15. UMW officials reserve the right to revise this policy without notice. Credits awarded for CLEP are done so according to the policy in effect at the time of CLEP transcript evaluation.
    16. This policy applies to UMW only. Other institutions are not obligated to accept CLEP credits awarded or recognized by UMW.
  4. Authority

    Montana University System Policy 301.19 Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). 

  5. Responsibility

    Registrar, Department Chairs, Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs