At DePaul, credit towards a degree is accumulated on the basis of quarter hours (for College of Law, see the College of Law Handbook). The unit of credit is one quarter hour granted for 45 minutes of instructional time and at least two hours of additional assigned work each week, or an equivalent amount of work for other credit-bearing activities. The standard course extends over a ten-week period and a final examination week; courses that occur over a different time-period (e.g. in the summer or December quarter) must incorporate the same total amount of instructional time and additional assigned work per credit hour as a standard course. Undergraduate and graduate courses carry 4 quarter hours of credit unless otherwise specified. Credit is earned if a student receives an A through D, or PA grade. Undergraduate credit may also be earned through credit-by-examination and transfer credit. The School for New Learning and the School of Nursing also may award credit based on assessment of prior learning. Some graduate programs may accept a limited number of transfer credits which is specified in the graduate program information.
Among other requirements specified in their respective catalogs, graduation with a bachelor’s degree requires that a student successfully complete a minimum of 192 quarter hours of college credit; graduation with a master’s degree requires that a student complete a minimum of 45 quarter hours of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. The requirements for approved combined bachelor’s/master’s degree require at least 36 quarter hours of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree (with a minimum of 12 applicable graduate hours completed as part of the bachelor’s degree). Graduation with a doctorate degree will require the minimum number of quarter hours specified by the degree awarding department or college.
Additional Types of Credit
Please see the Credit and Evaluation, Limitations section for limits to the amount of credit listed below that can be applied to the degree.
DePaul University recognizes the achievements of students as represented by their successful completion of exams through the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Depending on the exam and the score achieved, students may earn credit applicable to their general education requirements, major field or elective requirements. For more information on credit awarded by examination, visit the Office of Admission website.
Advanced Placement Program (AP)
Incoming undergraduate students may receive credit through the Advanced Placement program. These tests are administered during high school. Incoming freshmen and transfer students (who earned AP credit while in high school) should have their score report sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul.
College-level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College Level Examination Program may be taken by students prior to their enrollment or while currently enrolled at DePaul. CLEP exams are offered in a variety of subject areas and represent knowledge gained through coursework as well as through life or work experience. In addition, current students must consult with their college advisor before taking any CLEP exam to ensure that the exam will fulfill individual academic plan requirements. The CLEP score report should be sent to the Office of Admission 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul or immediately following completion of the exam.
International Baccalaureate Program (IB)
DePaul University awards credit to students who have taken an International Baccalaureate program either at the Diploma or Certificate level. Standard or Higher level score results determine the amount of credit awarded to students at DePaul. Incoming students should have their IB transcript sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul.
International A and A/S Level Exams
DePaul awards DePaul course credit for some courses and grades earned on A and A/S Level exams. Students should have their documentation sent to Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.
Transfer credit completed prior to admission at DePaul or subsequent transfer coursework approved by the student’s advisor should be sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604. Transfer grades do not calculate into the DePaul grade point average.
School for New Learning Proficiencies and Independent Learning Pursuits
An Independent Learning Pursuit (ILP) is a submission of proof that a School for New Learning (SNL) student has fulfilled a competence requirement in their SNL program with college-level learning gained from life experience. Contingent upon assessment of submitted evidence, students may fulfill competences and earn credit for college-level learning experiences obtained through a variety of means: for example, professional development in the workplace, courses and workshops in non-accredited programs (thus not normally eligible for direct transfer credit), and independent learning—whether pursued at home, workplace, or school. The learning experience serving as the basis for an ILP may have been accomplished prior to arrival at SNL or alongside a student's studies at SNL.
Credits earned through ILPs and proficiencies are not eligible for Financial Aid, do not count for purposes of determining enrollment status, and they neither fulfill nor interrupt the residency requirements. While SNL will apply ILP and proficiency credit to SNL degrees, other DePaul colleges are under no obligation to do so.
SNL students should see their advisor for additional information.
Professional Nursing Portfolio (RN to MS Nursing Students Only)
Because continuous learning occurs in the life of a working nurse, the professional nursing portfolio assessment process awards credit for specialty certifications, research, continuing education, and other intellectually demanding activities done by professional nurses. The portfolio will be reviewed by the RN to MS program director and the Admissions, Progression, and Retention Committee upon admission to the program. A student may earn up to 33 quarter hours of credit through the portfolio.