Major Declaration Policy, Common Course Numbers, Special Exams

Major Declaration Policy

In order to progress toward the timely and successful completion of an undergraduate degree, it is in the best interest of students at the University of North Dakota to declare a major early in their academic career. During the semester in which a General Studies: Undeclared student will reach 45 undergraduate credit hours (typically the third semester), a Major Declaration notice will be added to the student’s To Do list in Campus Connection. In addition, the Student Success Center will use multiple means of communication and connect a student to resources to assist in exploring program of study options. This notification will prompt a student to take the necessary steps to move from General Studies: Undeclared, and begin working with an advisor in the program of study the student plans to pursue.

Upon reaching 60 credit hours in a General Studies: Undeclared status, a negative service indicator hold will be placed on a student’s account prohibiting registration for the following semester until a program of study other than General Studies: Undeclared is chosen. The Student Success Center will further assist the student through additional communication and contact to prompt major declaration. Once a major is declared, the negative service indicator hold will be removed by the Student Success Center, allowing the student to register for courses based on the intended program of study. A student who has reached 60 or more credit hours would be allowed to retain or move to General Studies: Undeclared status only with permission from the Student Success Center.

Common Course Numbers

All universities and colleges in the North Dakota University System (NDUS) have agreed on Common Course Numbers (CCNs) for many of the courses they have in common. A list of the common courses can be found on the North Dakota University System website at:

Special Examinations for Credit

A regularly enrolled student may apply to take “special” (challenge or validating) examinations to establish credit for approved University courses. Requests to take an examination must be made to the chair of the department offering the course. Approval of the department chair, the instructor of the course and the dean of the college offering the course(s) are required. A petition with the appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to examinations. A committee of three appointed by the chair of the department offering the course will administer and evaluate the examinations, a majority being necessary to award a grade. Special examinations must be searching and comprehensive. Grades of “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” will be recorded on the student’s permanent record upon recommendation of the committee, but will not be used to compute scholastic average.

The fee per credit hour for a validating or challenge examination is one-half the regular credit hour fee for the course to be challenged. Receipt of payment must be presented to the instructor prior to examination.

Students may apply to take challenge or validating examinations to establish credit in University of North Dakota courses that correspond to work taken at institutions that are not regionally accredited, or for courses in which they have superior preparation or knowledge gained through prior learning or independent study. These exams are offered for courses which have no equivalent CLEP subject exams. Students who have audited a course, or who have previously enrolled in a course and then dropped it, will not ordinarily be permitted to take a special examination in that course.

College-Level Examination Program

The University of North Dakota offers the opportunity to submit the results of CLEP for credit in most of the Subject Examinations.

CLEP Subject Examinations currently accepted by UND for transfer credits with minimum acceptable standard scores can be found at: Credit earned through CLEP Subject Exams may be used to fulfill University Essential Studies requirements, to fulfill specific course requirements, or to be used as elective credits. CLEP credit will not satisfy Essential Studies Special Emphasis requirements. As soon as they become available, new examinations will be reviewed by University departments to determine their suitability for credit at UND.

The following guidelines have been established for utilization of the Subject Examinations:

  1. A CLEP Subject Examination may not be taken to establish credit for a course in which a student has earned credit in a higher level sequential course.
  2. Regarding CLEP Subject Examinations which offer a maximum of six to eight credits, a student with previously earned credit in one semester of a two-semester sequence must petition the CLEP Advanced Placement Committee for exception to this policy prior to taking the CLEP Subject Examination for the balance of the credit.
  3. A Subject Examination may be repeated no sooner than six months after date of the last testing. Students should submit a petition to the UND CLEP Committee for permission to repeat an examination.
  4. A Subject Examination may not be taken to establish credit in a subject in which the student has been enrolled, but from which he or she has withdrawn after the last day to add a course, until six months from the last class day of the term in which he/she was enrolled for the course.
  5. A Subject Examination may not be used to establish credit in a subject which the student has previously failed. In addition, a Subject Exam may not be used to repeat a course.
  6. CLEP credit is considered as equivalent to credit earned at another institution. UND students must earn 30 credits at UND. UND uses the ACE Recommended Credit-Granting Score as a guide to determine whether credit is granted.
  7. For a listing of approved examinations, required scores, and transfer equivalents, go to:

Foreign Language Placement & Credit Test

Students with a background in a foreign language may receive credit by taking a test in that language through the University of North Dakota Testing Center. UND strongly recommends that students take this test during pre-registration or registration. Students who are enrolled in a language course and wish to take the Foreign Language Placement & Credit Test in that language must take it during the first two weeks of the semester. Credits earned through the Foreign Language Placement & Credit Test do not satisfy any Essential Studies Special Emphasis requirements.

Credit earned through College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests may be recognized by UND (see CLEP listing), and students who have completed French, German, Latin, or Spanish Advanced Placement (AP) courses with appropriate scores may also receive credit. This credit is normally equivalent to Levels I and II in that language (see Advanced Placement listing). Neither CLEP credit nor AP credit will satisfy any Essential Studies Special Emphasis requirements.

Native speakers of a language other than English who wish to take classes in that language may enroll without special permission in any 400-level course, or in any 300-level course that emphasizes literary or cultural topics. Incoming students whose native language (as indicated on their TOEFL exam) is one offered at UND should consult the Chair of the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literature about an automatic waiver of the language placement examination.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382