The challenge for credit option allows you to demonstrate that you are proficient in the subject matter of a specific Athabasca University course without having to complete the entire course. Using a predetermined process, this option allows you to challenge courses based on your knowledge of the course content. Not all courses are available for challenge.
Not all post-secondary institutions recognize the challenge for credit process. If you are a visiting student, find out first whether your home institution will accept credit obtained by challenge prior to registration.
Determine your subject-matter knowledge and the method of challenge evaluation by reviewing the online syllabus.
Prior to registration, you must obtain approval from the faculty or designate who is responsible for this AU course. Faculty contact information may be found online. Tutor support, however, is not available during the challenge for credit process.
For challenge courses commencing on January 1, 2012 and later (term 201201), course credit obtained through challenge for credit processes will not meet AU residency requirements.
For challenge registrations prior to January 1, 2012 (term 201201), the maximum number of credits that can be challenged at Athabasca University is calculated from the total number of credits required for the program minus the number of credits required for residency. However, any course that is successfully completed through the challenge for credit process may count towards the Athabasca University residency requirements.
Some important facts regarding challenging a course:
- Prerequisites must be satisfied unless the faculty member, or designate, waives them. After completing a challenge course successfully, you may not challenge a prerequisite to that course.
- Tutor and faculty support is not available during a challenge.
- There are no provisions to withdraw from or extend your challenge course contract period.
- You must complete all of the requirements of the challenge course within the three-month course contract period. You must complete and submit the required assignments, reports, projects, or examination(s) within this period.
- For challenge courses with an exam requirement there are no provisions to write supplemental exams.
- You have one opportunity to challenge a course. If you do not successfully complete, or you fail your challenge course, you are not permitted to challenge the course a second time. You must instead register in the full course and complete it successfully in order to receive credit.
- If you do not successfully complete the requirements of the challenge course you will be assigned a grade of “F” (failure).
- Funding for challenge courses is not available through student financial aid.
Students registering for challenge for credit will have access to AU learning resource materials, limited to textbooks and readings, available for purchase at full cost. Any fees assessed for learning resource materials are not refundable.
Students may purchase the required learning resources, limited to textbook and readings as follows:
- by contacting AU’s Materials Management Unit at 1-800-788-9041, extension 6366, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All materials will be charged at full cost (defined as AU’s full purchase cost, plus shipping, plus a 20 per cent handling fee) or;
- by accessing the list of materials from the course syllabus and sourcing the materials via a book store, online book retailer, or other means.
Note: Students will not be provided access to the online individualized course site, the student manual, or course study guide in a Challenge for Credit registration.
188.8.131.52 Courses Unavailable for Challenge
Not all Athabasca University courses are available for challenge. The course syllabus will indicate if a course is available for challenge or not.
Students may not request to challenge AU courses:
- for which they have already received transfer credit as a direct AU course designation;
- for which they have received a “Do Not Register” designation;
- for which an exemption has been granted;
- which they have already successfully completed at AU;
- for which they have received credit through Undergraduate Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR);
- for which they have received a failing grade; or
- which are at the preparatory (100) level.
Determine that the course is available for challenge and the method of evaluation by checking the course syllabus. Determine if you will be purchasing the related textbook and readings, and what the cost of these items will be for the course(s) you are interested in challenging by contacting AU’s Materials Management Unit at 1-800-788-9041, extension 6366, or via email at email@example.com.
You must be eligible to challenge the course. Check with the appropriate faculty member or designate to ensure you have completed the prerequisites, discuss your level of skill and knowledge required for the course, and secure their approval. Faculty contact information may be found online.
If you haven’t done so already, complete and submit the Undergraduate General Application Form accompanied by the appropriate fee.
Complete and submit the Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form accompanied by the appropriate fee. You must register for Challenge for Credit and receive permission to challenge before the tenth day of the month in order to start your challenge course on the first day of the following month. The Office of the Registrar will process a completed Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form received by 4:30 p.m. MT on the tenth day of the month. Remember to consider postal, courier, and processing times when a particular start date is desired.
For challenge for credit courses that require the completion of an exam, students must request the exam within the guidelines for making examination requests as stated in the Undergraduate Exam Request and Completion Policy and its associated procedures. No supplemental exams are permitted.
Information effective Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012.
Updated January 12, 2012