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Course Challenge

Graduate students who believe that their background, education, and/or experience has given them sufficient knowledge in a subject area may “challenge” certain courses. This means that they may be able to receive credit for the course by passing a challenge exam. The graduate program offering the course determines whether a course is available for challenge and may develop screening procedures to determine whether a particular student is eligible to take a challenge exam. (Some programs may not offer any challenge exams.) To be eligible for a course challenge, students must have completed 12 credits at Boise State University. Students may not challenge a course to improve a previous grade earned in the course. The process for a course challenge (governed by Boise State University policy #3040) is:

1. Request and approval. This requires:

  • A written request from the student to the graduate program for permission to register for a challenge exam.
  • A determination by the graduate program to grant the request. For interdisciplinary courses, this decision will be made by the coordinator of the graduate program to which the course applies.
  • A determination whether the challenge course will be graded (A-F) or P/F.

2. Credit for Prior Learning form (available via the Boise State University Registrar’s Office website). This requires:

  • Sections 1 and 2 of the form completed by the student.
  • A checkmark in the “challenge” box in section 2.
  • Signature of the course instructor.
  • Completion of section 3 by the graduate program.

3. Payment. This requires:

  • Submitting the signed form to the Boise State University Payment and Disbursement Center.
  • Payment by the student of the required fee ($50 for a challenge exam prepared by the department or $20 for an externally prepared exam).
  • Completion by the Payment and Disbursement Center of section 4 of the form.
  • Returning the form to the department before taking the challenge exam.

4. Exam and results. This requires:

  • Returning the form to the graduate program before taking the challenge exam.
  • Completing the challenge exam.
  • Completion of section 5 of the form by the graduate program and submission to Registrar’s Office.
  • Grades of P or A through C- will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Grades of D+ or lower will not be transcribed.