This is an archive of the 2017-2018 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2017-2018 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

Credit by Challenge Examination Taken at CSUN

Students may challenge courses by taking examinations developed at CSUN. Credit shall be awarded to those who pass them successfully.

Currently enrolled undergraduate students not on probation who are especially qualified through experience or private instruction may petition to earn credit by challenge examination in selected courses designated by each department. A challenge examination provides for the awarding of academic credit through successful completion of an examination of a specific Catalog-listed course. Selected laboratory and activity courses in which student participation is an integral part of the learning experience will not be subject to challenge. Each department will have the sole responsibility for designating which courses may be challenged by examination.

Challenge examinations are given under the following guidelines:

  1. A student may not petition for Challenge Examination in a course if he or she does not have the prerequisites.
  2. A student may not petition for more than one course in one department during a given semester.
  3. An approval of an application for Challenge Examination will expire if the examination has not been completed by the end of the semester.
  4. Students may attempt the Challenge Examination in a given course only once.
  5. Approval for Challenge Examination will not be given for a course if the student has already received credit for a similar but more advanced course.
  6. Challenge Examinations may not be used to meet any provisions of the Repeat Course Policy.
  7. A student electing the Credit/No Credit grading option on enrollment for Challenge Examination will be assigned a Credit grade for work equivalent to A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ or C grades; “No Credit” will be assigned for work equivalent to C-, D+, D, D- or F grades. CR/NC grades are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
  8. The determination of eligibility for Challenge Examination rests ultimately with the department involved, including exceptions to the guidelines.


Before the registration period begins, a student wishing to challenge a course by examination should consult with the chair of the department offering the course. If the chair approves the request, the student will be given a 5-digit class number and a permission number to enroll in the “Credit by Challenge Exam” course. The student can then register online for the Challenge Exam course during regular registration periods. All required tuition and other fees must be paid according to the Fee Payment Schedule on the Student Finance website.