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Testing & Portfolio Credit

Earn college credit with proficiency exams and portfolios

Demonstrate college-level learning and earn college credit for what you already know by testing for it or by showcasing your knowledge and experience.

And, if you have professional knowledge in a particular area that aligns with one of our courses, we’ll consider course credit once we assess your knowledge and skills through your portfolio.

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Get College Credit for What You Already Know

Franklin wants to help you get all the college credit you deserve so you can save time and money on earning your degree. That’s why we’re pleased to accept proof of college-level learning in the form of proficiency exams. 

Test out of some of your degree program courses and earn college credit by examination for passing CLEP, DSST and other proficiency examinations. 

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program or CLEP is a widely trusted credit-for-course examination program. CLEP is a nationally sponsored program, however, Franklin University sets its own policies regarding qualifying credit. Please talk with your academic advisor about CLEP eligibility before you study for and take an exam.

CLEP currently offers 33 different exams, including a number of math, science and business disciplines.

With the exception of the combination multiple-choice and essay College Composition exam, each CLEP is a computerized, 90-minute, multiple-choice test.

Find CLEP exam guides at your local library, at the Franklin University Learning Commons, most major bookstores, and the CLEP website at


DSST, formerly known as the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), is a nationally recognized prior learning assessment program. It lets you earn college credit for learning done on the job or through independent study -- including reading.

Because Franklin University sets its own policies regarding qualifying credit, please talk to your academic advisor about your DSST eligibility before scheduling testing.

DSST currently offers 30 different exams in such subject areas as math, applied technology and business.

DSST examinations measure achievement one course at a time so you can study for one anytime, including while taking other courses.

Each exam is a computerized, two-hour, multiple-choice test (with the exception of public speaking, which also includes a 20-minute speech prep and presentation).

Find DSST study guides at the DSST website.

Franklin University Proficiency Examination (FUPE)

Franklin University Proficiency Examinations (FUPEs) are Franklin-created proficiency exams that assess prior knowledge and experience for course credit. FUPE course credit is only available at Franklin and is not transferrable to other institutions.

Franklin offers nearly two dozen different exams in a wide variety of subjects, however, Franklin does not offer FUPEs for subjects available through CLEP or DSST examination.

You may be eligible for a FUPE exam if your experience, training or independent reading is equivalent to what you would learn in the college classroom. 

For more information or a list of available FUPEs, visit Franklin University’s Learning Commons.

Advanced Placement Testing

Take an advanced placement test at your high school and earn a score of three, four or five, and you could be awarded University credit -- even before you start college.

Only test scores that are sent directly to Franklin’s Transfer Credit Office will be considered for University credit through this program. For more information, please contact us at 614.947.6807 or email

UExcel® Exams

Learn -- then earn -- equivalent course credit through Excelsior College’s UExcel® exams.

Approved for credit by Franklin University, UExcel proficiency exams let you earn some of your college credits by exam rather than by taking an online class or college course.

UExcel offers dozens of lower- and upper-level credit-by-examination subjects. Learn more at


Earn University credit when you have college-level learning that cannot be assessed through other exams, such as CLEP, DSST or UExcel®.

Franklin values on-the-job experiences and independent study knowledge, and will consider experience-for-credit through a prior learning portfolio assessment.

Ask your Franklin admissions advisor about preparing a portfolio to showcase your experience. Please note that developing a portfolio requires writing skills equivalent to WRIT 120 (College Writing).

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