Academic Catalog

Non-Traditional Academic Credit

EKU Campus

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) awards credit in transfer for undergraduate courses completed at colleges and universities whose accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and other institutions/organizations with which the University has a recorded Academic Agreement. Additionally, EKU awards credit earned by examinations that meet EKU standards, credits for certain types of military experiences, and credit based on portfolio review. 


Credit by examination is an approved method to demonstrate proficiency in course content areas. Students may earn academic credit by examination in certain undergraduate courses. Following are the conditions which apply to receiving credit by examination credit:

Eastern Kentucky University credit-by-examination may be earned through any of the following methods:

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP® )
  • Advanced Placement Program
  • International Baccalaureate Credit 
  • Departmental Examinations
  • DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support) 

General Information Regarding Credit by Examination:

  • Only admitted and active degree seeking EKU students may have credit by examination recorded onto an EKU transcript.
  • Academic credit earned by external examinations and challenge tests (such as AP, IB, CLEP®) shall not be considered as credit earned at EKU and will not apply toward the residency credit requirement for an associate or baccalaureate degree.
  • Credit awarded through credit by examination, which is general in nature and/or not course-specific has no inherent guarantee of meeting EKU degree requirements since these are program and college specific decisions.
  • Credit earned by examination is recorded as “CR” (no letter grade); it has no effect upon the overall GPA. 
  • Special fees are assessed for credit-by-examination and must be paid prior to taking an examination. 

Examinations Completed Prior to Admission:

  • Proficiency examination credit is eligible for transfer to EKU if it is from a nationally recognized standardized test, earned at a college or university from which EKU accepts transfer credit, or at an EKU-recognized testing site, and is recorded on an official transcript. 
  • Departmental or institutional specific challenge tests presented on the official transcript of an institution from which EKU accepts transfer credit may be accepted in transfer - upon the review and approval of the academic department most closely related to the subject matter.
  • Students seeking to have AP or IB credit recorded on their EKU academic record must have score reports sent to the EKU Department of Academic Testing before they have earned their first 30 credit hours at EKU.

Examinations Completed After Admission:

  • A student may attempt to earn credit-by-examination in a course only once in a six-month period.
  • A student will not receive academic credit for a course specific College Level Examination Program (CLEP®) or departmental examination in an area in which advanced course work has already been completed, and EKU credit recorded.

Credit by Portfolio Review

Eastern Kentucky University acknowledges that students may have completed education, training classes, and work experiences that result in learning that sufficiently meets or exceeds the course requirements, exhibited via Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), at EKU; therefore, formal recognition of that body of knowledge, without taking the particular course, is warranted upon evaluation by appropriately qualified EKU faculty.

Portfolio assessment allows EKU students who are admitted, enrolled, degree seeking, and are on good academic standing, to demonstrate competence in every SLO of a course and thus meet the course requirements and receive EKU academic credit in those subject areas through one or more of the following activities: past work, training programs or in-service courses, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, hobbies and recreational pastimes, community or religious activities, organizational memberships, adult education, non-credit courses, study abroad, military training not evaluated for credit by ACE or other experiences. This list is not meant to be exhaustive.

Credit cannot be earned through portfolio assessment for certain types of courses, including but not limited to physical education activity courses and any course that must be fulfilled through direct current experience. These could include practicum courses, field experiences, and internships including student teaching, cooperative education, senior seminars, capstones, and lab courses not accompanied by related lecture/theory courses. In addition, credit by portfolio review may not be suitable for application to professionally accredited programs. The Office of the Provost is responsible for maintaining the portfolio assessment process. 

Military Credits

To receive academic credit for military training and experience, students must submit an official Joint Services Transcript (JST). Credit hours will be awarded based upon American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations listed on the official JST.