Credit for Prior Learning

A college degree is awarded after you have completed all of the course requirements for the program in which you are matriculated. Traditionally, credit is received by completing college courses. Dutchess Community College recognizes that college-level learning may occur outside the traditional classroom setting.


All students are eligible to receive credit for any course that is required in the curriculum by successfully passing a departmental proficiency examination. However, credit for successfully passing the examination will not be granted until a student is matriculated. Students may not receive credit for elective courses by proficiency examination.

Students who are interested in taking a proficiency examination should contact the appropriate department head for information regarding the format and the content of the examination and then pick up the Proficiency Exam application at the Registrar's Office.

A non-refundable fee of $45 is charged for each examination and is payable at the Student Accounts Office.

A receipt must be shown to the Registrar's Office in order to register for the examination.

After the student takes the proficiency exam, the Registrar sends it to the academic department head for grading. If the student passes the exam with an equivalent of a C, the department head submits to the Registrar’s Office a grade of “J” for the student on the form entitled Certification of Credit by Proficiency.

Students who take an examination for a course in which they are currently enrolled will be required to withdraw from the course if they successfully complete the examination. Students may not take a proficiency examination for a course that they have failed without special permission from the department involved. Students may repeat a proficiency examination only with approval from the appropriate department head.


The College Level Exam Program (CLEP), the Excelsior College Exam Program and DANTES offer college-level tests in a range of subjects which provide a means of testing knowledge acquired in a variety of ways.


CLEP exams are offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at test centers around the country including the Office of Community Services at DCC. Please call (845) 431-8900 to register for an exam or email for more information.

The cost for each CLEP exam is $80 plus a $25 service fee, which must be paid prior to taking the exam. The fees may increase periodically.

Payment for the service fee is required at time of registration via credit card to reserve your testing time.

The fee CLEP charges has to be paid ahead of time by creating an account (if you haven’t already) on the website: You have to type the link into the web address bar at the top of the screen. The link is in the top right hand corner to “Sign In” and to “Create an Account.” To pay for an exam, locate the exam you wish to take and select to “Add to Cart” from underneath the description of the exam.

Dutchess Community College grants credit for CLEP exams as follows:

1. The student must be matriculated in a degree or certificate program at any college, and the exam must be equivalent to a course which is usable in the student's program.

2. The student must earn a score of 50 or better on the exam; this score is roughly equivalent to "C" level work in the actual course.

3. The credit earned will appear at the top of the student's DCC transcript with other transfer or advanced standing credits. This will appear only as a 3.00 credit transfer and no grade will be attached.

4. The maximum number of credits a student may use toward a DCC degree from all outside sources together is 40 credits.

5. CLEP credits may be used to meet the requirements for the 24-credit High School Equivalency (HSE, formerly known as GED) as described on page 12 in the 2013-2014 Dutchess Community College Catalog.

6. If the student took the CLEP exam(s) at a test site other than DCC, he/she must submit the exam scores to the DCC Registrar's Office on an official CLEP transcript by contacting the

CLEP Transcript Service
PO Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 05541-6000


CLEP Examinations normally have course and credit equivalencies at Dutchess Community College. Please contact the Associate Registrar for more information at (845) 431-8000.

CLEP Transcript can now be done online through the account you have created. All of your information will also be stored there as well for further tests and testing needs.


Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) are offered by the Registrar’s Office at DCC.

The exam fee for each Dantes Exam is $80 plus a $25 service fee.

Student information may be obtained through the DSST web site at

Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) normally have course and credit equivalencies at Dutchess Community College. Please contact Charles Lynch at Call the community services department at (845) 431-8900 if you wish to sign up. 


Excelsior exams are administered by the New York State Education Department. The exams are given at Prometric Centers (formerly Sylvan Learning Centers) around the nation including one in Wappingers Falls and Poughkeepsie.

The Excelsior College website provides a listing of the exams and credit recommendations. The site also explains how to obtain study guides for the exams.

Students considering Excelsior exams for credit at DCC should contact Associate Registrar Carl Marchese at (845) 431-8097 to find out what exam is equivalent to a desired course at DCC. For more information contact:

Excelsior College
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-5159