Montana State University

Advanced Standing


Under certain circumstances, if students can demonstrate mastery of course work not taken at the University, they may receive advanced standing and University credit for the course. Two mechanisms are available for obtaining advanced standing:

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Montana State University awards credit toward graduation for successful performance in certain Subject Examinations of the College Level Examination Program conducted by the College Entrance Examination Board. Students may arrange to take these examinations on campus or at designated centers throughout the country. Passing grades are determined by Montana State University. These students receive credit and a P grade on the transcript for scores above the passing level; scores below the passing level are not entered on the transcript. CLEP examinations do not apply as a grade waiver for a course previously taken. University Core requirements cannot be satisfyed by the CLEP procedures.

The following list gives the names of the CLEP examinations and the course for which credit is given:

MSU Course CLEP Exam
ARNR 101 Nat Resource Conservation Natural Resource Consevation
BIOL 101 Biology of Organisms Gen Biology
BIOL 102 Molec & Cellular Biology Gen Biology
ECNS 101 Economic Way of Thinking Intro Microecon
ECNS 202 Prin of Macroeconomics Intro Macroecon
EDCI 208 Ed Psych Hum Dev Sch Age Educ Psych
LIT 110 Intro to Lit Analysis & Interp of Lit
HSTR 101 Western Civilization I Western Civilization I with essay
HSTR 102 Western Civilization II Western Civilization II with essay
HSTA 101 American History I Am Hist I with essay
HSTA 102 American History II American History II with essay
M 151 Precalculus Precalculus
M 171 Calculus I Calc with Elem Fncts
FRCH 101 Elementary French I Col French I
FRCH 102 Elementary French II Col French I & II
FRCH 201 Intermediate French I Col French I & II
GRMN 101 Elementary German I Col German I
GRMN 102 Elementary German II Col German I & II
GRMN 201 Intermediate German I Col German I & II
SPNS 101 Elementary Spanish I Col Spanish I
SPNS 102 Elementary Spanish II Col Spanish I & II
SPNS 219 Intermediate Spanish I Col Spanish I & II
PSCI 210 Intro to American Government Am Govt
PSPP 102 Plant Science, Resource & Environment Plant Science, Resource & Environment
PSYX 100 Intro to Psychology Intro Psy
SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology Intro Soc

In general, a department will not give a challenge examination if a CLEP examination is available for the same course.

Advanced Standing by Challenge

Challenge provides the opportunity to earn college credits and grade points without formal course enrollment. A student who has completed the work of a college course on his or her own initiatives and time, may, with the approval of the student's academic advisor, the instructor, the department heads, and the college deans, take a comprehensive examination in the subject matter of the course. Performance in the examination will become the basis for a grade in the course, and the results will be recorded on the student's permanent academic record at the end of the term which the challenge exam is taken. Official permission forms should be secured in advance from the Registrar's Office. Students must be registered at MSU when they take the challenge examination, and they must have passed ten credits of regular course work at Montana State University before the challenge grade will be recorded on their permanent records.

The challenge examination for credit in a course which is a prerequisite to a second course must be taken before completion of the second course. Students who have enrolled in a regular or an extension course and received a grade other than W or have taken a regular or an extension course for zero credit may not challenge that course. Challenges are not permitted in any 280, 470, or 480 courses.

A fee of $30 per credit is assessed and must be paid prior to taking the challenged exam.


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