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FAQs

How can I accelerate my undergraduate program?

Students with significant experience in computer science gained on the job or through self-study can reduce the time required to gain a bachelor's degree by taking courses "by examination" or by waiving requirements.

  • Credit by Examination. Any 100- or 200-level computer science course may be taken by examination during a term in which it is offered. In order to qualify to take a course by examination, you must be admitted to PSU and must present evidence to your adviser, and to the instructor of the class, that you have mastered the content of the course. Taking a course by examination may involve writing programs, doing specific exercises, or taking exams, as required by the course's instructor, plus taking the final exam along with regular students in the course. You will be able to consult with the instructor only to clarify requirements. Your grade will appear on your transcript as it does for any other course for which you paid full tuition. You must finish all work required by the instructor two weeks before the beginning of finals week in order to be able to take the final exam. There is a nominal fee for each course taken in this way; it must be paid at the beginning of the term in which you submit an "Application for Credit by Examination" form. Note that upper-divsion CS courses are not available for credit by examination.
  • Waiving Courses. In exceptional circumstances a required CS course may be waived if there is sufficient evidence that the course material has been learned. For example, a student might present evidence that the material for a CS course is equal to parts of several courses taken at another school. The completion of a CS course does not imply that a prerequisite course may be waived. No credit is given for a waived course, so a waiver does not change the credit requirements for a degree. For undergraduates, if an upper-division CS course is waived, then another upper-division CS course must be taken in its place so that the total number of required CS upper-division credits remains the same. In addition, in the event that the CS Capstone is waived, then the capstone requirement must be met through University Studies. Your adviser has the authority to waive course requirements.