Prior Learning Experience

The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers students a variety of ways to earn college credit through alternative credit options.  Some of those options include:

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams / College Board Advanced Placement Examination (CBAPE)

Advanced placement and/or credit may be granted to entering students who have achieved appropriate scores on one or more of the Advanced Placement Tests offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. Students who receive AP advanced placement or credit progress immediately to more advanced courses and may apply these credits toward the total required for a degree. CSN credit may be granted to students who have achieved appropriate scores of 3, 4, or 5 on one or more of the Advanced Placement Tests offered by the College Entrance Examination Board. The tests are administered each year in May and are available to all high school seniors who have taken advanced placement courses in high school and to other interested students who feel they have knowledge of the given subject being tested equal to the college level course on the subject. Refer to our General Catalog & Student Handbook for additional information.

Non-Traditional Education (NTE)

Credit for work experience will be evaluated on the basis of a personal interview, verification of occupational experience, and the results of occupational competency examinations. Applicants must submit all relevant official documents, supportive materials, and specific information on the length, content, and other pertinent information concerning the work or life experience to the department chair or designee. Request for NTE credit will be evaluated and awarded in the sole discretion of the academic department. These non-traditional sources include:

  • Apprenticeship instruction and training
  • Certificate training
  • Correspondence schools
  • Extension courses
  • Post-secondary proprietary institutions including business colleges
  • Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC)
  • Work experience

Students applying for NTE credits must be admitted to the College of Southern Nevada. NTE credits can only apply towards the degree of Associate of General Studies (AGS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and the Certificate of Achievement (CoA). Generally a maximum of sixteen (16) NTE credits can be applied towards the AGS and the AAS, and a maximum of eight (8) NTE credits can be applied toward the CoA. However, there is an opportunity to exceed the foregoing limit through application to and approval from the Vice President of Academic Affairs, in addition to the regular approval process.

NTE credits can only be applied towards Special Program Requirements and cannot be used towards General Education Requirements. NTE credit cannot exceed the credit value of the equivalent course. Students who wish non-traditional education credit must pay a nonrefundable fee of $25.00 per course. Credits earned from NTE sources will not apply toward satisfying the minimum residence credits required for graduation purposes. NTE credit is not included in a student’s cumulative CSN grade point average (GPA). NTE credit awarded by CSN may not be transferable to another educational institution.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP is a specific type of challenge examination. Credit may be granted for the satisfactory completion of the CLEP general or CLEP subject examinations. Students who wish to use credits from CLEP should submit official CLEP results to the Office of the Registrar.

CLEP Subject Examinations A maximum of three or four credits (one semester) may be granted for each institutionally approved subject examination for scores of 50. For Language CLEP exams a total of 8 (two semesters) credits with a score of 70 or higher.

Three credits for ENG 101 are granted for a score of 50 through 63 on College Composition and an additional three credits for ENG 102 if the score is 64 or higher (College Composition Modular is not accepted at CSN but is given at the Testing Center for other institutions).

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature grants three credits for ENG 298 with a score of 50 or higher. Additional credit may be granted for selected examinations as permitted by institutional policy.

The Calculus exam will award 4 credits with a score of 50 or higher.

Please check with the counselor of your degree to determine which CLEPs will be transferable and the maximum amount of CLEP credits allowed by your program before taking the exams.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

CSN does not accept DANTES for credit.