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Special Credit / Credit by Examination

Academic departments at IUPUI on a case-by-case basis, may grant students course credit based on demonstration of proficiency in a particular discipline. A personal skill, talent, job experience or other experiential based proficiency may be considered in the evaluation process.

Each department establishes the appropriate academic standards and methods of evaluation. In general, students may be required to sit for an exam, complete an assignment, audition or provide a portfolio to establish their level of skill. Some departments also may require that a student take additional, typically more advanced, courses in the discipline before awarding the introductory or lower level credit.

In other cases, instead of processing as special credit, the department may simply waive the requirement that the student take that specific course. However, overall degree requirements (total hours) remain and students complete another course in order to satisfy the overall requirements. For more information, contact your school Recorder.

Departments generally grade the work S for Satisfactory or choose not to award special credit. In exceptional circumstances, an A may be awarded if it is deemed outstanding.

If special credit is to be awarded, students must start the process with the department awarding the credit. The department will then initiate an eSpecial Credit request.   This request will be routed electronically to users who are required to approve the document. 

If there are fees associated with the eSpecial Credit request, the student will be required to take action on the electronic document.  When the document is pending approval, the student will receive an additional email notification (at his official university e-mail address) that instructs him to take action by clicking a hyperlink to the document.  A step by step job aid for students can be found here.

Once the document is approved and posted to the student record, an e-mail confirmation will be sent to the document initiator and the student.  The credits will be viewed on the student’s transcript for the term specified and fees (if applicable) will be posted to the student’s bursar account.

Special Credit appears on the transcript for the semester it was awarded. The heading "Indiana University Special Credit" accompanies the course information and grade. The transcript heading will be the same regardless of the student’s IU or Purdue degree program and regardless of the Purdue or IU affiliation of the department awarding the academic credit.

Assessment of special credit fees

If special credit is awarded as a result of credentials or experience, a charge of $20.00 per credit hour will be assessed, up to a maximum of $100.00 per course.

If special credit is awarded as a result of examination:

  • ...and the application is processed for new students within the first three semesters following initial matriculation (regardless of campus), there will be no charges assessed.
  • ...and the application is for a first semester transfer student, a charge of $20.00 per credit hour will be assessed.
  • ...if neither of the above apply, the special credit as a result of examination be assessed the current credit hour rate based on the student's academic program and residency status
  • *The date used to determine the student's status is the date the Special Credit form is processed in the Offices of the Registrar and Bursar. Current special credit fees (as outlined above) are charged in cases where the examination was taken in a preceding year.


Documents not fully approved within 120 days of initiation will be cancelled automatically.