Earn College Credit Guide

College credit examinations are widely accepted by colleges and universities. By passing these examinations, you may earn one-third or more of the credits required for a college degree. These examinations are available in more than 70 subject areas and are similar to end-of-course tests offered by colleges and universities.


Credit-by-Exams, such as the CLEP and DSSTs, allow students to earn college credit by testing knowledge gained through military classes, technical assignments or through personal reading, travel, and intellectual curiosity, without attending class.

Who Can Take a Credit-by-Exam?

The commercially-owned CLEP and DSST exams are available for a fee at participating colleges and universities.

Service members and military-affiliated civilians should refer to DANTES Funding Eligibility Requirements to learn if they are eligible for DANTES-funded CLEP and DSST testing.

Civilian examinees not affiliated with the military or are ineligible for DANTES-funded testing should visit the respective national testing agencies websites.

Credit Awarding Institutions

Colleges and universities individually determine what American Council on Education (ACE) recommended credit may be awarded for these exams, in lieu of traditional course requirements for their degree programs.

Prior to testing, examinees are responsible for verifying their institution’s credit awarding policy and minimum passing score requirements.

Study Guides and Support Materials

Visit the individual CLEP and DSST program websites for exam information and test prep materials.

Service members should visit their military education center or installation library for information regarding free and low-cost test preparation alternatives. Other resources may be available through local, used college textbook stores.

Prospective examinees should be aware of test prep scams. Before investing in any prep service, the respective national testing agencies which own the CLEP and DSSTs do not endorse materials not identified on their websites, nor are they responsible for score results when materials are purchased from unaffiliated, third-party resources.