Jun 23, 2024  
2021-2022 Shepherd University Catalog 
2021-2022 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Prior Learning Assessment and Transfer of Credit

Shepherd University provides several avenues through which students may apply previous learning to their university experience for credit.

Advanced Placement Exams
International Baccalaureate Exams
CLEP Exams

Special Departmental Exams

Prior Learning Assessment by Portfolio
Prior Learning Assessment for Military Service

Transfer of Credit Prior to Admission
Transfer of Credit After Admission

Appeal Process


COVID-Impacted Undergraduate Transfer Grades

Some universities may have offered Pass/Fail (P/F) grading during the COVID-19 pandemic more liberally than academic policy generally allows.  When undergraduate students from those institutions present “Pass” (P) grades from these COVID-impacted semesters (Spring 2020 -Fall 2021), Shepherd University has agreed that such credits will be posted with the CR (credit earned) grade.  This grade will not calculate into the GPA, but is eligible to meet university requirements as established in existing  transfer articulation agreements.

Further, the Core Curriculum Committee affirms that the grade of CR (assigned to AP, CLEP, and some “Pass” transfer credits earned Spring 2020 - Fall 2021 when impacted by COVID at the sending university) will allow an equivalent course to meet a Core Curriculum requirement, including any Expressions of Learning designated for the equivalent course.  This includes requirements where the university has stipulated that a grade of C or better is required.


Advanced Placement Tests

To receive credit for Advanced Placement Tests, students must have the AP test results sent to the Office of Admissions at Shepherd by the testing service. As new AP tests are developed, credit awards will be adjusted accordingly.

American History-grades of 3, 4, or 5; HIST 201 and HIST 202
Art History-grades of 3, 4, or 5; ART 103
Art History-grades 4 or 5; ART 203 (for art majors)
Biology-grades of 3, 4, or 5; BIOL 103 and BIOL 104
Calculus AB-grades of 3, 4, or 5; MATH 207
Calculus BC-grades of 3, 4, or 5; MATH 207 and 208
Chemistry-grades of 3, 4, or 5; CHEM 207, CHEM 207L, CHEM 209, CHEM 209L
Classics-no credit given
Comparative Politics and Government–grades of 3, 4, or 5; PSCI 304
Computer Science (A,AB, or Principles)-grades of 3, 4, or 5; CIS 104
Economics (macro and micro)-grades of 3, 4, or 5; ECON 205 and 206
English (language and composition)-grades of 3, 4, or 5; ENGL 101
English (literature and composition)-grades of 3, 4, or 5; ENGL 102
Environmental Science-grades of 3, 4, or 5 WITH documentation of year-long laboratory experience: ENVS 201, 201L, 202, 202L (8cr)
     -(without documentation of laboratory experience, credit for ENVS 201 and 202 only, 6cr)
European History-grades of 3, 4, or 5; HIST 102 and HIST 103
French Language-grades of 3 or 4; FREN 101 grade of 5; FREN 101 and 102
German Language-grades of 3 or 4; GERM 101 grade of 5; GERM 101 and 102
Government and Politics (American)-grades of 3, 4 or 5; PSCI 101
Human Geography-grades 3, 4, or 5; GEOG 105
Music (Theory)-grades of 3, 4, or 5 ; MUSC 111
Music (Theory)-grades of 4 or 5; MUSC 103 (for music majors)
Physics 1-grades of 3, 4, or 5; PHYS 201, 201L
Physics 2-grades of 3, 4, or 5; PHYS 202, 202L
Physics C: Mechanics - grades of 3, 4, or 5; PHYS 221, 221L
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism - grades of 3, 4, or 5; PHYS 222, 222L
Psychology-grades of 3, 4, or 5; PSYC 101
Spanish Language-grades of 3 or 4; SPAN 101 grade of 5; SPAN 101 and 102
Statistics-grades 4 or 5; MATH 314
Studio Art Drawing - grades 4, 5, or 6; ART 115
Studio Art 2D Design - grades 4, 5, or 6; ART 140
Studio Art 3D Design - grades 4, 5, or 6; ART 170
World History-grades 3, 4, or 5; HIST 101 and HIST 102


International Baccalaureate


Shepherd University recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as a strong pre-university academic program and encourages applicants to complete the requirements for the IB diploma. Advanced standing will be awarded for higher level exams with scores of 5, 6, or 7 to students who present either the IB diploma or individual IB exam scores. Credit is not awarded for standard level exams.

Individual academic departments determine how credit will be awarded for IB exams in a manner similar to the awarding of credit for Advanced Placement exams.

To receive credit for International Baccalaureate higher level examinations, students must have the IB examination results sent to the Office of Admissions at Shepherd University. Academic departments may add or delete credit for these examinations if course content or examinations change. For specific information go to https://www.shepherd.edu/bog/policies.


CLEP Tests

Students are awarded credit for the successful completion of many of the CLEP Subject Examinations. To obtain credit for an examination, Shepherd University has established a minimum score for each CLEP test. A CLEP test should not be taken for a subject in which you have previously enrolled and from which you have withdrawn. A CLEP exam cannot be used to change a grade of D or F received for course work at Shepherd University or another institution.

Shepherd University is an open testing center and any student may complete a CLEP examination who has properly registered to do so. CLEP examinations are administered through the Advising Assistance Center, and information about CLEP examinations may be found at www.shepherd.edu/career-center/clep-testing. Persons desiring to enroll at Shepherd University who would like to apply CLEP credit toward their Shepherd degree requirements must have the offical score report sent directly to Shepherd.


Special Examination for Course Credit

Application must be made to the registrar for permission to take a special examination. To qualify for permission to take such an examination, an applicant must be a degree-seeking student enrolled full time at Shepherd University and be recommended by the department chair and the instructor concerned. Examinations will not be given for courses in which the student has previously earned a low grade.

Applicants must pay a fee for each special examination. A receipt for the payment of the fee must be obtained from the Business Office and submitted with the application for special examination. No money will be refunded if any examination is failed. Upon successful completion of the special examination, the student will receive the credit hours for the course with no letter grade designated. This will not affect the grade point average of the student.


Prior Learning Assessment by Portfolio

The Regents, R.B.A.  program conducts detailed academic review of life and work experience for academic credit. There is a fee for portfolio review. Contact Beth Thomas, 304-876-5275.

The R.N.-to-B.S.N. track within the Nursing Comprehensive, B.S.N.  program provides for articulation of nursing program credits based on several factors, including active RN licensure and successful completion of a sequence of coursework at Shepherd. Contact Dr. Michael Groves, 304-876-5583.

University Credit for Military Service

Students who have completed basic training in military service may be granted a maximum of four semester hours credit, which may be used to satisfy Core Curriculum Wellness and/or elective requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to request this credit and to verify this military experience to the registrar. If the student was not in the Army or other service branch that has basic training, then Shepherd University will grant the same credit to individuals who present a certified copy of their DD-214 form after completing a minimum of one year of active military service.

Correspondence work completed at accredited institutions of higher learning cooperating with the Armed Forces Institute is accepted by universities in West Virginia. The amount of credit allowed by the institution where credit was earned, however, must not exceed 28 semester hours.

To determine eligibility of college credit, students from the Air Force can go to the CCAF website to have a military transcript sent to the Office of the Registrar at Shepherd University. All other branches of mlilitary may request a transcript from the Joint Services Transcript website.

Transfer of Credit Prior to Admission

Undergraduate Credit Transfer

Students enrolling at Shepherd University with college credits earned elsewhere will have their transcripts evaluated for transfer credit. All courses and grades from other institutions determined as transferable by academic departments or established articulations will appear on the student’s Shepherd transcript.  Students receive an unofficial transcript and a degree evaluation showing how their transferred credits apply.

High school courses that have been accepted by a community college for credit under a special arrangement between a high school and a community college are not eligible for transfer. Transfer articulation agreements do not apply to these credits.

All grades and credits transferred to Shepherd University are posted on the student’s permanent record exactly as received from all other colleges and/or universities with the following provisions: 1) plus and minus signs will be ignored, 2) D and F grades can be replaced only if earned within the first 60 hours attempted, and 3) for admission purposes, all grades on the student’s transcript(s) will be used in computing the grade point average.

Students who transfer from a regionally accredited junior or community college are allowed a maximum of 72 semester hours toward the 120 credit hour minimum for graduation from Shepherd University. In compliance with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, students who have completed more than 72 hours of coursework may select the courses they wish to have evaluated as part of their semester hours of credit counted toward graduation. The total number of credit hours earned will be calculated in the student’s overall grade point average. Credits from universities that do not have regional accreditation are assigned on the basis used by the state university in the state where the nonaccredited university is located.

Graduate Credit Transfer

Graduate courses from other institutions or other Shepherd University graduate programs will be evaluated, at the time of admission, by the dean and/or the coordinator of the program to which the applicant is applying, or the department chair in which the course is offered.

  • Up to nine credit hours may be transferred to a Shepherd graduate program from another institution or program, either prior to starting the program or during the program, at the discretion of the program coordinator in consultation with the department chair and the dean. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis by the dean if it would inappropriately prolong the graduation of a student.
  • Courses transferred to a Shepherd graduate program must have a minimum grade of “B,” and must have been taken within seven years based on the date of admission to the degree program (see sunset clause).

International Credit Transfer

The international student applying to Shepherd must present official university transcript(s) if the applicant has credit from a postsecondary institution. The transcripts must be evaluated by one of the international academic credential evaluation services listed at www.shepherd.edu/admissions/international-students. The costs associated with this evaluation will be the applicant’s responsibility.


Transfer of Credit After Admission

Once enrolled at Shepherd University, a student must receive prior approval to enroll in and transfer any additional coursework from another institution. Transfer approval is subject to the following conditions:

  • No Shepherd University D or F grade can be replaced by an equivalent transfer course.
  • Only courses from regionally-accredited institutions of higher education may be transferred to Shepherd.
  • A maximum of 72 transfer semester hours from accredited two-year institutions may count toward undergraduate graduation requirements.
  • For undergraduates, the last twelve hours of coursework before graduation must be completed at Shepherd.  For graduate students, the last six hours of coursework before graduation must be completed at Shepherd.
  • A GPA deficiency earned at Shepherd University cannot be made up at another institution.

A Transfer Approval form must be completed, including appropriate faculty signatures, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling at another institution. This form is available in the Office of the Registrar or online at the Office of the Registrar website. Graduate students use the graduate-level approval form, available in the office of Graduate Studies or at the Graduate Studies website.

Exceptions to any of these policies must be petitioned through the Admissions and Credits Committee for final action.

Appeal Process

  • Students may appeal decisions made regarding transfer credit.  The first step in such an appeal is to meet with the appropriate department chair and provide a syllabus from the course taken.  If that meeting does not achieve a resolution satisfactory to the student, the student may submit a written appeal to the Admissions and Credits Committee, which will review the appeal and make a formal determination. Decisions of the Admissions and Credits Committee may be appealed to the provost.

If the provost denies the transfer request and the request involves credits earned at another West Virginia institution, the student may request a review by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Division of Academic Affairs. Instructions for submitting such a request are on the WV-HEPC web site: http://www.wvhepc.edu/. The HEPC will issue a recommendation regarding the appeal to the president of Shepherd University who will communicate the final decision to the student.

All courses completed at public institutions in West Virginia are generally considered as transferable to Shepherd University. Courses that share at least 70% of their learning objectives with existing SU courses will be accepted in place of those SU courses.


  • Students may appeal decisions made regarding credit for prior learning experiences other than college courses by written petition to the Admissions and Credits Committee, which will review the appeal and make a formal determination. Decisions of the Admissions and Credits Committee may be appealed to the provost.