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Course Placement and Credit by Examination

Students at the University of Texas at Austin have the opportunity to determine course placement and to earn credit by examination. Some examinations are required for enrollment in certain courses, while others are optional; most serve as a basis for course credit.

Any current, former, or prospective University of Texas at Austin student may attempt to earn credit by examination for any undergraduate course provided the student has neither passed nor failed that course. Credit by examination will not be given for a course the student previously passed or failed at the University or any other collegiate institution. (When a student transfers a course from another institution with fewer semester hours than the corresponding University course carries, the student may earn credit by examination for the University course, but only with the symbol CR.) Additional eligibility requirements may be established by the academic department awarding credit with the approval of the dean of the college or school. Information about additional requirements is available at the Measurement and Evaluation Center and at the academic department. Although prospective students may take examinations to establish their eligibility to receive credit, credit is awarded only to officially enrolled[1] students or to former students.

A student enrolled in college-level courses in the Division of Continuing Education may attempt to earn credit by examination under the same rules as students currently or formerly enrolled in resident credit courses at the University. At least one college-level course must be completed before credit by examination can be awarded.

Credit by examination satisfies degree requirements in the same way as credit earned by passing a course, except that it does not count as credit earned in residence. Credit earned by examination does not jeopardize eligibility for scholarships that require freshman standing. The student's official transcript does not reflect unsuccessful attempts to earn credit by examination.

A student becomes eligible for credit by examination by earning a grade of C, B, or A. Credit may be accepted by the student with either the letter grade or the symbol CR (credit only). Credit accepted with a letter grade is used in calculating the student's grade point average.

Credit by examination is not reported to the registrar until the student advises the Measurement and Evaluation Center whether to report a letter grade or the symbol CR; a form for this purpose is available at the center.[2] A fee of $2.00 per semester credit hour is assessed for each report. The student is billed by the Office of Student Accounting.

The choice of CR does not affect the number of semester hours for which a student may enroll on the pass/fail basis. Credit by examination may be accepted with the CR designation in both required and elective courses, except in the College of Communication, where an eligible student must accept a letter grade rather than the symbol CR in the major. After credit has been reported to the registrar, the choice of letter grade or the symbol CR may not be changed.

A student's academic dean may approve an exception to the course placement and credit by examination policies for compelling academic reasons. Where the exception involves the student's eligibility to be tested or to receive credit by examination in a particular course, the exception must also be approved by the department in which the course is offered.

The faculties of the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences encourage students enrolled in those colleges to earn credit by examination in as many subjects as possible, including the student's major.

All tests administered at the University of Texas at Austin for course placement and credit by examination require a fee. To obtain information, including the testing schedule, eligibility requirements, test descriptions, sample questions, and the amount of test fees, send the name and address to which the information should be mailed and two first-class postage stamps for each handout requested, to the Measurement and Evaluation Center, Box 7246, Austin, Texas 78713-7246. The academic subject, specific test, and other topics about which information is needed should be stated. The center is located at 2616 Wichita Street. The telephone number is (512) 471-3032, Fax 471-3509.

Examinations required for course placement. The following tests are normally given on the University campus immediately before each semester and the first summer term, during most summer orientation sessions, and at least once each fall and spring semester. The College of Communication Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test and the Department of Journalism Word Processing Test are not given during summer orientation.

  1. Placement in rhetoric and composition. The College Board SAT II: Writing Test is required for placement at the appropriate level in lower-division rhetoric and composition courses. A student who makes a satisfactory score on the test is eligible to receive three semester hours of credit for the first rhetoric and composition course, English 306. Before enrolling in English 306, a student must have taken the SAT II: Writing Test, unless he or she has already earned credit for the course through the Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition. Information about the SAT II: Writing Test and registration forms may be obtained from The College Board ATP, Box 6200, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6200, from most high schools, and from the Measurement and Evaluation Center.

    International students whose native language is not English must submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for admission to a lower-division rhetoric and composition course. The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service. A student who scores at least 600 on the TOEFL must also take the SAT II: Writing Test.

  2. Placement in foreign languages. Students with knowledge of a foreign language, however acquired, must take a placement test before enrolling for the first time in a course in that language at the University, except that:
    1. Students who transfer college credit in most foreign languages are not required to take the placement test, but are strongly encouraged to do so before enrolling in a course in the same language.
    2. Students who have not studied Spanish within the past three years are not required to take the Spanish placement test before enrolling in a Spanish course at the University.

    Foreign language placement tests serve not only to determine the level of work appropriate for students but also as the basis for credit by examination, which normally may be earned in as many as four lower-division courses. Credit by examination can be used to absolve a high school unit deficiency or to fulfill individual degree requirements. Credit that exceeds degree requirements often can be used as elective credit.

    The University uses the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Subject Examinations in French, German, and Spanish, a Russian Proficiency Test with a UT Austin Russian Grammar Achievement Test, and UT Austin Tests for Credit in Chinese and Japanese for course placement. Information about these tests and sample questions may be obtained from the Measurement and Evaluation Center.

    Students who have taken either a College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examination or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher-Level Examination in French, German, or Spanish are not required to take the corresponding CLEP Subject Examination because their Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Examination results can be used for placement. Tests in foreign languages not listed in this section are scheduled on an individual basis; students should contact the Measurement and Evaluation Center for information.

  3. Placement in chemistry. The University of Texas at Austin Test for Credit in Chemistry 301 is required of students who intend to study for the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Physics, or Chemical Engineering, who studied chemistry in high school, and who do not have credit for Chemistry 301 or the equivalent. Information, including eligibility requirements and sample questions, is available from the Measurement and Evaluation Center.

  4. Placement in mathematics. Most entry-level mathematics courses have as a prerequisite either a minimum score on the College Board SAT II: Subject Test in Mathematics Level I, or credit for a specified college-level mathematics course with a minimum grade. Course prerequisites are listed in the Course Schedule. Although the Level I test is preferred, a student may present a score on the Level IC or IIC test. These tests serve as a basis for credit by examination for Mathematics 305G. Information and registration forms are available from The College Board ATP, Box 6200, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200, from most high schools, and from the Measurement and Evaluation Center.

  5. Prerequisite for advertising and journalism. A satisfactory score on the College of Communication Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test is a prerequisite for Journalism 312. Students who transfer credit equivalent to Journalism 312 must present a satisfactory score on the test prior to enrolling in their first journalism skills course at the University. A student who believes he or she should be exempted from the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test should contact the Department of Journalism. Undergraduate students must take the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test before enrolling in certain upper-division courses in advertising. Eligible students who choose to graduate under a catalog of the College of Communication issued in 1991 or later may take the test a maximum of three times; eligible students who choose to graduate under an earlier catalog may take the test a maximum of five times. The test does not serve as a basis for course credit. In addition to the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test, the Department of Journalism Word Processing Test is required of students who wish to enroll in Journalism 312 or in a journalism skills course beyond Journalism 312. A student who believes he or she should be exempted from the Word Processing Test should contact the Department of Journalism.

Optional examinations. The following optional tests serve as a basis for credit by examination at the University of Texas at Austin.

  1. University of Texas at Austin tests for credit in biology, chemistry, computer sciences, history, Latin, management information systems, and physics. Eligible students can earn credit for specified courses in the fields named. Handouts describing the tests in each subject area and test schedules are available at the Measurement and Evaluation Center.

  2. College Board SAT II: Subject Tests.[3] In addition to the Writing Test and the Mathematics Level I, IC, or IIC Test, the University grants credit on the basis of the SAT II: Physics Test. The physics test is given at the University just prior to registration for each semester and the summer session.

  3. College Board Advanced Placement Examinations. Credit is granted to students who have earned satisfactory scores on the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations in art (art history and studio art), biology, chemistry, computer sciences, economics, English, European history, French, German, Latin, mathematics, physics, psychology, Spanish, United States government and politics, and United States history. The Advanced Placement Examination in government and politics is supplemented with local test items on Texas government; these additional items are administered only at the University of Texas at Austin. Advanced placement examinations are different from the College Board SAT II: Subject Tests and are offered only once each year in May in specific high schools across the country. Forms for requesting information about test center locations are available from AP Examinations, AP Services, Box 6671, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6671, by February 1 each year.

  4. College Board College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    General Examinations: On the basis of the CLEP General Examinations, an unaffiliated student (one who has been out of high school or college for at least two years) may be eligible for credit without a grade in one or more subjects. Eligibility for credit depends on an evaluation of CLEP test scores in relation to college coursework, if any, in the areas covered by the CLEP General Examinations.

    Subject Examinations: The CLEP Subject Examinations in American Government, American Literature, Calculus with Elementary Functions, College Algebra, English Literature, French, German, Principles of Macroeconomics/Introductory Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics/Introductory Microeconomics, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, and Spanish are used as the bases for credit by examination. Subject examinations are not restricted to unaffiliated students. The tests in American Government, American Literature, English Literature, College Algebra, and German are supplemented with items prepared by University faculty members; these items are available only on the Austin campus. Information about locally prepared items may be obtained from the Measurement and Evaluation Center. A registration guide for the CLEP Subject Examinations may be obtained from College Board CLEP, Box 6601, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6601. Most CLEP subject examinations used by the University for credit are given on campus immediately prior to registration for each semester and the summer session and at least once during the spring and fall semesters. The University also serves as a nationwide testing center offering the CLEP Examinations once a month.

  5. International Baccalaureate Higher-Level Examinations. Credit is granted by the University to students who earn satisfactory scores on the International Baccalaureate Higher-Level Examinations in anthropology, Arabic, biology, chemistry, Chinese, computer science, Danish, Dutch, economics, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, history (European and African concentrations), Italian, Japanese, mathematics, music, Norwegian, philosophy, physical science, physics, Portuguese, psychology, Spanish, and Swedish.

  6. Other credit by examination. With the approval of the appropriate academic dean and department chairman or program director, a student may take an examination in any undergraduate course offered by the University for which he or she has reason to feel qualified. Applications must be approved by the program director or chairman of the department that offers the course and the student's academic dean. A candidate may apply to take course examinations only after registering as a student at the University. Examinations are given at the convenience of the administering department. A student who receives a satisfactory score on an examination will receive credit for the course.

Application forms for course examinations are available at the Measurement and Evaluation Center. A student who intends to apply for an examination over a first-year course should obtain a course outline from the department that offers the course; only students who have the equivalent in knowledge or training of that presented in the outline should apply for the examination.

Measurement and Evaluation Center

The Measurement and Evaluation Center coordinates University testing programs, including examinations for course credit and placement, and serves as a test center for many examinations offered on a worldwide basis, including the Graduate Record Examinations, the Law School Admissions Test, and the Graduate Management Admission Test. Information about academic placement and credit by examination as well as worldwide testing programs is available at the center at 2616 Wichita or PO Box 7246, Austin, Texas 78713-7246; (512) 471-3032, Fax (512) 471-3509. When writing for information, please include a daytime telephone number.

In addition to the administration of testing programs, the Measurement and Evaluation Center conducts studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the University in achieving the goals of its educational programs. The center assists faculty members with the construction, processing, and analysis of tests and other measuring instruments, with system design and data processing services involving automatic document scanning, and with related data processing activities. By means of Course-Instructor Surveys, the center enables faculty members to obtain student opinions of their courses and their teaching methods.

Adding and Dropping Courses[4]

Procedures for adding and dropping courses are given in the Course Schedule. Each student is responsible for properly initiating and completing adds and drops.

Adding Courses

The addition of a course is governed by the following requirements: (1) the student must obtain all required approvals; (2) the student must be eligible to take the course and there must be space available in the course; and (3) the student must remain in conformity with the quantity of work rule.

Subject to these requirements, a registered student may add a course through the twelfth class day of a long-session semester or the fourth class day of a summer term. Through the fourth class day of the semester or the second class day of the summer term, the approval of the chairman of the department offering the course may be required; after these dates the approval of the chairman is required. In some colleges and schools, the approval of the student's adviser and dean are also required. The student must consult the regulations of his or her college or school before adding a course.

Although a college or school may permit the addition of courses through the twelfth class day of the semester or the fourth class day of a summer term, the student is expected to be settled in his or her courses by the fourth class day of the semester or the second class day of the summer term. After the twelfth class day of a long-session semester or the fourth class day of a summer term, the student may add a course only in rare and extenuating circumstances as approved by the student's dean and the chairman of the department offering the course.

Dropping Courses: Rules for Undergraduate Students

Subject to the conditions below, an undergraduate may drop a course through the midsemester deadline in a long-session semester or the last class day in a summer term; the midsemester deadline is given in the official academic calendar. The student must remain in conformity with the quantity of work rule and must obtain all required approvals.

Dropping a course through the twelfth class day. The following rules apply from the first class day through the twelfth class day of a long-session semester and from the first class day through the fourth class day of a summer term.

To drop a course during this period, the student must have the approval of the chairman of the department offering the course. In some colleges and schools, the student must also have the approval of his or her adviser and dean; each student must consult the regulations of his or her college or school. If the student is allowed to drop the course, the course is deleted from his or her academic record and applicable fees are refunded.

Normally, the approval of the chairman of the department during this period is routine, and the student may initiate the drop on the telephone registration system (TEX). However, in some circumstances a department may disapprove requests to drop certain courses. If a drop request is not accepted by TEX, the student should consult the department that offers the course for more information.

Dropping a course through the fourth week of classes. The following rules apply from the thirteenth class day through the twentieth class day of a long-session semester and from the fifth class day through the tenth class day of a summer term.

To drop a course during this period, the student must have the approval of the chairman of the department offering the course and the student's adviser and dean. If the student is allowed to drop the course, the symbol Q appears on his or her academic record to indicate a drop without academic penalty. No refund is given.

Dropping a course after the fourth week of classes. The following rules apply from the twenty-first class day through the midsemester deadline in a long-session semester and from the eleventh class day through the last class day of a summer term.

To drop a course during this period, the student must have the approval of the instructor, the chairman of the department offering the course, and the student's adviser and dean. If the instructor approves the drop, he or she will assign the symbol Q or a grade of F. The symbol Q indicates that the student has a grade of at least C in the course, that no grade has yet been assigned, or that no academic penalty is in order because of the student's performance and the nature of the course. In compelling circumstances, the student's dean may assign the symbol Q for nonacademic reasons.

Dropping a course after midsemester. After the midsemester deadline for dropping courses in a long-session semester, an undergraduate may not drop a course except with the approval of his or her dean and then only for urgent and substantiated, nonacademic reasons.

International students must obtain written permission from the International Office, in addition to other required approvals, to drop a course.

On the recommendation of the instructor, and with the approval of the student's academic dean, a student may be required to drop a course at any time because of neglect or for lack of preparation.

Dropping Courses: Rules for Graduate Students

With the required approvals, a graduate student may drop a course through the last class day of the semester or summer term; after the twelfth class day of the semester or the fourth class day of the summer term, the graduate dean's approval is also required. If the student drops the course by the twelfth class day of the semester or the fourth class day of the summer term, the course is deleted from the student's academic record and applicable fees are refunded.

If the student drops the course from the thirteenth through the twentieth class day of the long-session semester or from the fifth through the tenth class day of the summer term, the symbol Q appears on his or her academic record to indicate a drop without academic penalty. No refund is given. After these dates, the course instructor assigns the symbol Q, a grade of F (if the student is registered on the letter-grade basis), or the symbol NC (if the student is registered on the credit/no credit basis).

A student who is in warning status for failing to maintain a B average may not drop a course without the recommendation of his or her graduate adviser and the approval of the graduate dean.

International students, in addition to obtaining the required approvals, must be advised by the International Office before dropping a course if their remaining course load will be fewer than nine hours.

Students employed as assistant instructors, teaching assistants, assistants (graduate), and graduate research assistants may not reduce their course load to fewer than nine hours during a long-session semester without the written recommendation of the graduate adviser and the approval of the graduate dean.

Changing Course Registration to or from the Pass/Fail Basis or the Credit/No Credit Basis

An undergraduate student may change registration in a course from the pass/fail basis to the letter-grade basis or from the letter-grade basis to the pass/fail basis no later than the last day for dropping a course or withdrawing from the University (approximately midsemester). The basis of registration for a course may be changed only once.

A graduate student may change the basis of registration in a course (from letter grade to credit/no credit or credit/no credit to letter grade) until approximately midsemester.

Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from the University after completing registration for a semester or summer session must secure the dean's approval. If a minor, the student must present a written statement from a parent, guardian, or sponsor indicating that the responsible person knows of the student's intent to withdraw. In addition, international students must have permission from the International Office to withdraw. The dean's permit to withdraw must be submitted to the registrar, where the student may request a refund of fees in accordance with University policy. No fees will be repaid to anyone other than the payer, except on the payer's written order. The student's identification card must be turned in to the registrar at the time of withdrawal.

After the last day for withdrawing (approximately midsemester), an undergraduate student may petition for withdrawal only for urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons. Nonmedical withdrawal by an undergraduate student on scholastic probation may affect the student's scholastic standing. (See Scholastic Probation and Dismissal.)

A graduate student in good standing may withdraw through the last class day of the semester. A graduate student who is in warning status may not withdraw without the recommendation of the graduate adviser and the approval of the graduate dean.

A student who withdraws as a result of being called to active military service may choose (1) to receive a refund of tuition and fees for the semester; (2) to be assigned an incomplete (temporary delay of final course grade, symbol X) in all courses if eligible; or (3) as determined by the instructor, to be assigned a final grade in courses where he or she has completed a substantial amount of coursework and demonstrated sufficient mastery of the course material.

Medical withdrawal. A medically ill student whose illness precludes class attendance may be withdrawn from the University effective the date and under the conditions specified at the time of the withdrawal. A student who requests medical withdrawal must submit adequate written documentation from the treating physician to the associate director for clinical services of the Student Health Center who will instruct the registrar to withdraw the student under specified conditions.

Class Attendance[5]

Regular attendance at all class meetings is expected. Instructors are responsible for implementing attendance policy and must notify students of any special attendance requirements.

A student who is absent from a class or examination for the observance of a religious holy day may complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, if proper notice of the planned absences has been given. Notice must be given before the absence and no later than the fifteenth class day of a semester, or the fifth class day of a summer term; it must be personally delivered to the instructor and signed and dated by the instructor, or sent certified mail, return receipt requested. A student who fails to complete missed work within the time allowed will be subject to the normal academic penalties.

Special regulations of colleges and schools, required by the unique nature of their programs of study, may be enacted through the normal legislative process and printed in The Undergraduate Catalog. These special regulations may not conflict with University regulations on class attendance and absence.

Examinations[6]

The final examinations for each semester and summer term are scheduled by the registrar. An index of examinations is printed in the Course Schedule each semester, and the complete examination schedule is distributed to academic offices and published as an insert to the Daily Texan.

Classes that meet at the same time during a semester also have a common examination time. Examinations should begin promptly at the scheduled hour and should not continue beyond the three hours allocated in the official schedule.

No final examinations may be given before the examination period begins, and no change in time from that printed in the official schedule is permitted. An instructor with a compelling reason to change the time of an examination must obtain the approval of the department chairman and the dean of the college or school in which the course is taught before announcing an alternative examination procedure to the students. No examinations may be given during the study days (no-class days) included in the final examination period. A change in the room assignment for an examination may be made only with the approval of the registrar.

With the approval of the department chairman, an instructor may choose not to give a final examination. However, if an examination is given, all students must take it and no exemptions may be allowed except pursuant to a uniform exemption policy announced to the class.

For good cause, an instructor may give a student permission to take an examination with a different class section than the one in which the student is registered.

For good cause, a student may petition his or her academic dean for permission to change the time or place of an examination from that specified in the official schedule. If permission is given by the dean and the instructor, no penalty (such as a reduction in grade) may be assessed.

In a course extending over two semesters, when the subject matter is continuous, the second-semester final examination may include the subject matter of the first semester.

A student may address complaints related to the final examination procedures in a course to the chairman of the department or the dean of the college or school in which the course is offered, or to the Office of the Ombudsman.

The following instructions govern the conduct of final examinations as well as other examinations given during the semester:

Searches

General searches of a student's personal papers and belongings may be conducted at the discretion of an instructor only when there is reasonable suspicion that the student has engaged in misconduct in violation of the "Student Discipline and Conduct Code" (chapter 11 of the Institutional Rules). In addition, the instructor must believe that the search is necessary to maintain the academic integrity of an examination or to maintain an environment in which learning can occur.

Availability of Classwork to Students

A student has the right to have all written materials that are submitted to meet the requirements of a course returned or made available for review. To be "made available" does not ensure the right to a photocopy, but the materials may be examined in the office of the faculty member or the academic department. Written materials that are not returned to the student must be retained by the faculty member or the department for at least one long-session semester following the completion of the course.

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28 August 1996. Registrar's Web Team
Comments to rgcat@utxdp.dp.utexas.edu