2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Accelerated Coursework

Students are encouraged to decrease the time required to complete a degree by gaining credit for knowledge they have obtained which duplicates that which is taught in specific courses.  Students should initiate requests for such academic credit by consulting first with their advisor or department chairperson.  The following provisions indicate ways accelerated credit may be awarded.

Applicants who have taken Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, C/T Start and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams should request that the official scores be sent directly to the Office of Admissions and Records.  AP scores of 3 or higher and IB Exams with scores of 4 or higher will be granted college credit with a Pass (P) grade for the equivalent courses.  After students successfully complete a semester at MSU Billings, the credits will be placed on their college transcripts with the indication of AP for Advanced Placement, IB for International Baccalaureate, or C/T for Career/Technical STatewide ARTiculations (C/T Start).

Course Waiver

A required course may be waived if the student has previously completed equivalent work.  All waivers must be approved by the academic department responsible for the requirements or course in question and must be certified by the chairperson of the appropriate academic department.  In no instance will college credit be given for a waiver.

Course Substitution

Students may request a substitution for any stated course if they have previously completed a college course in which the subject matter closely parallels that of the course for which they request the substitution.  All substitutions must be approved by the academic department chairperson.  In no instance will a reduction be made in the number of credits required for any academic program.

Challenging Courses

Each department or unit determines the courses which may be challenged.  A course may not be challenged when the course is a prerequisite to a more advanced course already completed.  Students are advised to check with individual departments for detailed procedures to be followed.

Procedure for Challenging a Course

The student should obtain a recommendation from the instructor of the course being challenged and the approval of the chairperson of the department in which the course is listed.  The following conditions apply to the challenging of courses for college credit:

  1. The student must be currently enrolled in MSU Billings.

  2. Approval of the challenge request must be made by the chairperson of the department in which the course is listed, who will decide whether the challenge shall be by a comprehensive examination and/or by some other evidence of competence in the subject matter of the course.

  3. Challenge credit may be granted only if the grade received is “C” or higher.
  4. A course previously taken as an audit course or as a credit course may not be challenged for credit.

  5. By action of the University’s Academic Senate, AP, CLEP and DANTES credit is awarded with a “P” grade.  Departmental challenges may carry a letter or “P” grade.

    The Board of Regents has authorized the American Council on Education’s Guide to Educational Credit by Examination and National CCRS (National College Credit Recommendation Service) for use to establish minimum scores and credit.

  6. Currently enrolled students may receive credit on their transcript for successfully completed Advanced Placement (AP) exams, DANTES exams, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams or challenge exams prepared by the Academic Department.  For the credit to be applied to an MSU Billings transcript, the following procedure must be followed:

    Students or departments must turn in challenge documentation to Admissions and Records after the successful challenge has been completed.  Admissions and Records will enroll students for the course during a semester when they are planning to enroll in 12 or more credits.  Additional tuition and mandatory fees are not charged for credits taken in the tuition “flat spot” for 12 or more credits.  Challenge credits will be added up to a reasonable number/semester (generally not to exceed 24 credits/semester).

Independent Study

Well-qualified students may undertake academic work in the form of independent study.  The number of credits will be determined by the instructor and approved by the department chairperson.  Courses listed in the General Bulletin as regularly offered courses may not be taken under the designation of Independent Study.

Advanced Placement

Advanced placement in certain academic areas with sequential or prerequisite courses is available to students with a high degree of competency.  Normally, advanced placement is made on the basis of standardized tests and other evidence of competency in the area.  Should students demonstrate sufficient competency as determined by the appropriate department, they are placed at a level in the course sequence commensurate with their abilities.  Satisfactory results of the advanced placement procedure are reported to the Office of Admissions and Records by the responsible department with a grade report.

College Advance Placement Exams (AP for High School Students)

High school students who earn at least a scaled score of three on the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advance Placement exams may receive credit in approved MSU Billings courses.  (See the Admission Section of this General Bulletin pertaining to admission of high school students.)  Call Admissions and Records at (406) 657-2158 for course equivalencies or check the listing at www.msubillings.edu.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The purpose of this program is to allow students and prospective students to take examinations which measure knowledge in a variety of subject matter areas.  Evaluation of the results determines whether proficiency is equivalent to that which would be expected upon completion of a college level course in that subject.  If the individual demonstrates proficiency, credits earned through CLEP may apply toward graduation requirements (See “Procedures for Challenging a Course” on page 32).  A Pass (P) grade is granted upon obtaining the required examination score.  Call the Office of Admissions and Records (406-657-2158) for course equivalencies or check the listing on the homepage at www.msubillings.edu.

Opportunities for Study Abroad

MSU Billings encourages students to seek out opportunities to study abroad.  A variety of international programs varying from a summer tour to a complete junior year abroad are available.  Contact the Office of International Studies (406-657-1705) for details, or visit:  www.msubillings.edu/internationalstudies/StudyAbroad.htm

NEXT: Prior Learning Assessment Policies and Procedures

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