Additional Credit Opportunities

Transfer Credit

Valley City State University accepts transfer credit from post secondary education institutions that are accredited regionally or nationally by an institutional accreditor agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Transfer credits from programmatic accreditor agencies or non-accredited institutions will not be accepted in transfer. Before transfer credits are evaluated for specific course equivalencies or program requirements, the credits must be accepted by the Office of the Registrar according to university policies and procedures. The application of the transfer credit to program requirements is the responsibility of the faculty.

The Office of the Registrar evaluates transfer credits according to institutional requirements and North Dakota University System policies and procedures in consultation with appropriate faculty. College-level credits that do not have course equivalents or do not meet a program requirement at Valley City State University will be accepted as general electives and count toward total credits required for graduation. Transfer students who are dissatisfied with the course equivalency determinations may consult the appropriate department chair, in an attempt to more precisely define equivalencies or identify appropriate substitutions. If necessary for transfer evaluation, students are responsible for providing course descriptions and course syllabi.

Total hours earned from all transfer institutions are entered on the Valley City State University transcript. If necessary credits will be converted to semester hours. Transfer courses and grades appear on the official VCSU transcript and are used in the calculation of cumulative grade point average.

Limitations on Transfer Credit

Developmental Credit

Credit for developmental courses is not accepted in transfer if the course is developmental by definition of the transferring institution or if it is equivalent to a developmental course at VCSU. Transfer credit earned at the developmental level will be transcribed on the official VCSU transcript. However, these credits will not count toward earned credit or be calculated in the cumulative grade point average.

Graduate and Continuing Education Credit

Credit earned at the graduate level and non-degree continuing education is not accepted in transfer at the undergraduate level.

Credit by Examination or Life Experience

Credit earned by institutional examination or life experience is not accepted for transfer.

Military Credit

Basic training courses are accepted in transfer as HPER 100 and fulfill the Wellness category of General Education requirement at VCSU. All other military credit is evaluated using the most recent ACE Guide recommendations. Military work experience will not be accepted.

General Education Transfer Agreements

Transfer students who have graduated from a regionally accredited institution and have completed a general education program at that institution consisting of a minimum of 36 semester hours will be deemed to have met all lower division general education requirements at VCSU. This may include transfer students who have earned an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science degree. If the general education requirements are not complete upon transfer, the transcript will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Even if the lower division general education requirements have been met, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor. Some majors require specific or additional general education courses be completed as an upper division program requirement.

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) General Education Requirement Transfer Agreement (GERTA) was developed to assist students who transfer within the NDUS. This agreement states that students who transfer to a NDUS institution after completing their general education coursework at any other NDUS institution will be deemed to have met all lower division general education requirements at the transfer school. A minimum of 36 semester hours must have been completed in the areas of communication; arts and humanities; social sciences; and mathematics, science and technology.

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) also has specific general education transfer agreements with the California Community Colleges, Minnesota System of Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), Oregon Public Colleges and Universities, South Dakota University System, Washington State Community and Technical Colleges, and Wyoming Community Colleges for students who have completed an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science degree.

Dual Credit/Early Entry

The Dual Credit/Early Entry arrangement provides an opportunity for high school students to take courses for which they may earn both high school and college credit. These credits may be applied toward both high school and college graduation requirements. Eligible students in grades 10, 11 and 12 may earn college credit by enrolling in any course which has been jointly approved by appropriate high school and university administrators.

The courses to which dual credit/early entry may apply can be placed into three categories:

  1. A VCSU course taught by a high school teacher at the high school
  2. A VCSU course offered as part of the regularly scheduled term offerings at the university
  3. A college course taught in the high school by a VCSU professor (This course could be delivered by the college professor directly within the high school or via online or interactive television.)

Students must meet the minimum test score for student placement in English and math courses established by North Dakota University System Procedure 402.1.2.  For more information, see Placement in English and Math

Credit by Examination

Credit for courses may be granted by national examination, which includes Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). Minimum scores are established by NDUS Procedure 463 and published in their Credit-By-Exam Chart at

Credit by Challenge

Credit for courses may be granted by department examination. Currently enrolled, degree-seeking students may apply to establish challenge credit for approved university courses.  Some courses (e.g. special topics or independent study) may not be challenged.  Credit by challenge will be posted as test credit with an S/U grade.  This test credit may not transfer to another postsecondary institution.  

A Department may offer challenge exams for courses which have no equivalent national subject exam. Students who have audited a course or who have previously enrolled in a course (regardless of grade earned or drop status) will not ordinarily be permitted to take a challenge exam.  A Petition for Course Challenge form, obtained from the Office of the Registrar, must be completed by the student, the course instructor, and the appropriate department chair.  The fee for the challenge is equal to one half the tuition plus applicable fees for the course.  If the petition is approved and the student makes payment, the examination will be scheduled. 

The Language & Literature Department may approve up to 12 challenge credits in Spanish after a student satisfactorily completes an advanced level language course with a “C” grade or better. A Petition for Spanish Credit form, obtained from the Office of the Registrar, must be completed by the student, the course instructor, and the department chair.  The fee for the challenge is equal to one half the tuition plus applicable fees for the course. 

Through the Business Department, students who complete the High School of Business ™ program and enroll at VCSU as a degree seeking undergraduate may earn up to nine challenge credits by achieving minimum scores on MBA Research final exams: 

  • A 60 or above on the Business Economics test earns credit for ECON 202.
  • A 65 or above on the Principles of Management test earns credit for MGMT 270.
  • A 70 or above on the Business Strategies test earns credit for BOTE 214.

Credit for Life and Work Experience (PLA)

The Valley City State University Prior Learning Assessment Program is designed to offer adult learners, generally 25 years of age or older, the opportunity to apply learning received from life and work experience toward a Valley City State University degree. This program is administered through the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The adult learner must enroll in UNIV 180 Prior Learning Assessment for Credit. For specific questions on PLA, contact the Technology Education Department.

Credit for Military Service Experience

All military service experience submitted for credit will be evaluated by the Office of the Registrar using the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. The student desiring such credit must submit an official copy of his or her official military transcripts.


The Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to work in a field related to their major, while earning academic credit. Students are eligible to participate in this program after completion of their sophomore year and a 2.50 GPA, but are encouraged to discuss internship opportunities with their department chair or advisor and the Career Services Coordinator during their sophomore year. Internships may be with employers in private industry, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations. Employment can be part-time or full time with a local employer or virtually anywhere in the world. The internship experience benefits students by providing the opportunity to explore and confirm career options.

Eligibility to enroll for academic credit is granted through the Internship Program when an internship position is secured. Upon being hired, the student enrolls in the appropriate internship course. Students can earn from 3 to 12 credits per semester, depending on the total hours to be employed; however, each academic department will determine how many credits may be applied to the degree requirements.

Project 65

People ages 65 and over may audit courses free of charge on a space available basis. Audited courses may not be counted toward a degree.