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International students can take advantage of CLEP

CLEP® offers international students the opportunity to bypass introductory undergraduate courses by demonstrating to colleges and universities in the United States that they have undergraduate-level knowledge in specific subjects.

CLEP exams are optional. As it is not required for admission to U.S. colleges and universities, institutions' student recruitment materials often do not mention CLEP, and students must specifically request CLEP information.

Exams are usually administered within an institution's testing or advising department. Students should check with their international student advisors or the admissions officer to find out which CLEP exams are recognized by the institution.

How can CLEP exams benefit international students?

Passing a CLEP exam offers specific benefits for international students, including:

  • Credit for language skills—International students could earn undergraduate credit and fulfill foreign language requirements at the same time by taking the Spanish Language, French Language, or German Language CLEP exams.
  • Credit for previous study—In cases where credit that students have earned at an international college or university is not transferable to a U.S. institution, CLEP exams can provide an alternate way for students to show that they have learned college-level material.
  • Saving money—Higher education in the United States is costly, and international students have fewer opportunities for scholarships and financial aid than do U.S. citizens and residents. Shortening the time it takes to earn a degree means saving money on tuition and fees.

Where can an international student take CLEP exams?

CLEP exams are computer-based and are administered at 1,400 test centers located at colleges and universities in the United States. Because there are few international CLEP test centers, we encourage international students to take CLEP exams once they arrive at a U.S. institution.

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