Credit by Examination

About Credit by Examination

Currently-matriculated SJSU students who have previous knowledge in a given subject may petition to challenge the course via Credit By Examination (CBE).

Credit earned in this fashion is non-transferable and may only be used to assist with progress towards SJSU degree requirements. CBE may be attempted a maximum of once per course, on a Credit/No Credit basis, for any department-approved 0-199 level course.

The following courses are currently approved for CBE:

  • AVIA 2, 62
  • BCME 25
  • EE 97
  • ME 20, 110, 114, 147, 160, 165, 186
  • TECH 41, 46

You must meet all eligibility requirements and prerequisites for the course in order to petition for Credit By Examination.

Courses which have an equivalent CLEP exam are ineligible for Credit By Examination. If you are currently enrolled in the course (or equivalent), or have previously attempted the course for credit at any institution, you are ineligible for Credit By Examination.

Who needs CBE?

Credit By Examination is optional. Students may opt to take it if completing CBE will help them to progress through their degree requirements at SJSU. 

Upcoming Test Dates / How to Begin

Credit By Examination is handled on a case-by-case basis. Timelines vary. Begin the process 3-4 weeks before the start of the semester.

To begin, complete a petition for CBE [pdf] (allow 2-3 weeks for processing). Submit petitions via e-mail to

Exam fees are individually calculated at current rates, based on the exam, and will be collected by the Testing Office upon approval of your petition, before any CBE work begins. All fees are nonrefundable.

Once approved, you complete the CBE by fulfilling requirements set by the department. In most cases, the exam is the only component, but CBE may include other requirements, depending on course. The Testing Office assists in facilitating most exams; in special cases, some exams are conducted by the professor of the course. 

In order to be applied to the current semester, CBEs must be completed, scored, and posted prior to the deadline to add courses. All CBEs completed later in the term will be posted at the end of the semester. CBEs not completed by the end of the semester receive a grade of No Credit; future CBE petitions will be denied.

Frequently Asked Questions