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Bachelor's Degree for Professionals

Complete your bachelor's degree on your own schedule

Alternatives for Acquiring Credit

By taking advantage of the following options, you can save tuition costs and reduce classroom time as you progress toward your degree.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP is a national system of credit by examination offered by the College Board in conjunction with Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J. CLEP exams are multiple-choice, computer-based examinations offered at several hundred test centers around the country. CLU is an open test center, which means the test administration schedule is open to CLU students and non-CLU students. Testing is offered at CLU several times each month in Pearson Library Lab #7. The CLEP testing schedule, FAQs and test preparation information is available on the Center for Student Success website.

The registration fee is $30 for Cal Lutheran students. An $80 exam fee is due at the time of the exam (payment by credit card or check is acceptable). Questions regarding testing should be referred to the Center for Student Success at (805) 493-3260 or

Students may earn a maximum of 32 credits through credit by examination; they may not take a CLEP exam for a course they previously failed. Exams are graded Pass/No Credit; CLEP credit is equivalent to lower division coursework. We do not grant credit for CLEP General Examinations; however, CLEP Subject Examination credit is awarded for the equivalencies found in the link below.

CLEP Equivalencies: Academic Year 2013-2014

Credit by Examination

Students in good standing may challenge for credit a course offered at Cal Lutheran upon the approval of the department chair and the dean. They may not challenge for credit a course in which they have previously received a grade of F, NCR (No Credit) or audited. Students may challenge a maximum of eight credits of upper division coursework. Applications must be made through the Registrar or Professionals office and signatures of the academic dean, department chair, and instructor must be obtained. Credit earned by examination will be grade Pass/No Credit and will be recorded at the end of the term in which the examination is taken. The $250 examination fee must be paid in advance.

NOTE: A maximum of 32 credits may be earned through credit by examination (CLEP, AP, and institutional challenge exams). A maximum of 8 of the 32 credits may be upper division. Residency requirement: 30 of the final 40 credits must be completed in residency at Cal Lutheran. This requirement cannot be met using credit by examination.

Independent Study

Independent study opportunities are available for students to work independently, in consultation with a faculty member, on in-depth research in particular areas of academic interest, and may be used when a student is short in degree credits (usually 1-2 credits). A student wishing to undertake an independent study must have attained junior status (58 units) and be in good academic standing. A student may not substitute an independent study for a course listed in the university catalog unless specific approval is given by the dean for academic affairs. A student may count no more than eight units of independent study credit toward the total number of units required for graduation. A student must first contact their academic advisor in the Bachelor's Degree for Professionals office for eligbility. Once pre-approved by the academic advisor, the instructor assigned to the independent study must approve and sign the contract, followed by the student submitting it to their academic advisor for final approval. Further signatures and approval is required from the department director, the chair of the department to which the subject matter belongs, and the registrar's office. Letter grade only.

Field Study

Field Study is a field experience course designed to apply academic knowledge to an actual work environment. The student must have attained sophomore status (28 units) and be in good academic standing. Departmental approval is required for participation. During any semester, a maximum of two units may be taken. The course may be repeated for different experiences, but a student may earn no more than eight units in field experience courses. Contact the Professionals office for field study contract form. Graded Pass/No Credit only.

For Further Information

If you would like further information about alternatives for acquiring credit, you are invited to contact the Bachelor's Degree for Professionals department and request an appointment to meet with your academic advisor (805) 493-3543.