Credit by examination, also known as challenging a course, enables students to use their acquired knowledge, abilities, and competencies to challenge certain existing courses for credit.

A list of approved Credit by Examination Courses is released each academic year by Academic Affairs.  Only certain courses may be challenged.

List of Approved Credit by Exam Courses

Credit by examination is granted under the following conditions:

  • The course is listed in the Cuesta College Catalog and on the approved list of courses for credit by examination for the academic term the student wishes to challenge the course.

  • The student has completed all prerequisites for the course.

  • The student must be currently enrolled in another credit course in addition to the course to be challenged.
  • The student has completed at least 12 credits with a "C" or 2.0 GPA at Cuesta College and is in good standing (2.0 grade point average). 

The following restrictions apply to credit-by-examination:

  • A course may not be challenged more than once.
  • A course may be challenged on a letter grade or pass/no pass basis, if the course provides a "GP" grade option.

  • A maximum of 15 semester credits may be challenged.

  • Credits received through a challenge may not be used to satisfy eligibility requirements for athletics, financial aid, or veterans benefits.

  • Courses that involve a lab will include a lab portion, studio portfolio evaluation, or a similar demonstration of ability in the examination.

The student submits the Petition for Credit by Examination to a Registration Center to complete Step 2, the Records Check.  Bring photo ID so a records check may be completed to determine eligibility.  The petition must be completed and the student registered by:

  • Friday of the 4th week of the semester (Fall/Spring); or

  • Thursday of the 2nd week for Summer Session.

The fee charged is equal to the current enrollment fee per credit for the term.