Covid Impact on Upcoming CBE (updated 10/12/2020)

As of now, or unless otherwise directed by the University, we plan to offer the August CBE as scheduled.  Please complete the CBE application form here, and email it to for approval.  In the email, please be sure to include proof that you have taken a course elsewhere that is similar to the CBE material (eg. high school transcript).  If we approve your application, you will then mail the approved form with a payment of $30, in the form of a check, to the Bursar's Office, addressed below:

Financial Service Center  
Student Financial Services and Cashiering| University of Maryland 
1135 Lee Building| 7809 Regents Drive| College Park, MD 20742

On the memo section of the check, indicate the course information.  Once the Bursar's Office has cashed your check, you will need to email  a copy of your approved CBE application and a copy of your canceled check before we can finalize your application.  Due to the present circumstances, please note that January 7, 2021 will be the last day we accept applications for this upcoming January CBE.

Upcoming Credit-by-Exam Dates

Generally, exams will be given during the week preceeding the start of the next semester's classes.  Under special circumstances, exams may also be given during Uniform Finals, if requested.

  • January 21, 2021 (Thursday)

  • August 27, 2020 (Thursday)

We do not have the resources to offer credit-by-exams on demand.  Please make sure that you will be available on the dates above before applying for credit-by-exams

These exams are generally given 12:00-2:00 P.M.  A MATH246 exam takes 20 minutes longer (i.e. is given 12:00 - 2:20 P.M.). If you have questions, please contact: Ida Chan, Mathematics Advisor, 301-405-7582, .

You should complete the application for a credit-by-exam test at least one week before its scheduled date, to allow for the preparation of an exam.

How Credit-by-Exams Work

Under special circumstances, students may apply to obtain academic credit for certain courses through a Departmental Proficiency Examination ("credit-by-exam"). Before applying for credit-by-exam, review the University policies on Credit-by-Exam. Note especially,

  • every application must be approved by the Math Undergraduate office.  Approval is not guaranteed.
  • credit-by-exam cannot be given for a course (or a similar course) in which the student has remained registered at UMD beyond the Schedule Adjustment Period (this includes a "W" in the transcript).  For example, if you have registered for MATH120 beyond schedule adjustment, you will not be allowed to take MATH140 CBE. 
  • credit-by-exam cannot be used to change a grade.
  • credit-by-exam may be taken only once for the each course.
  • when credit-by-exam is to be used for a CORE/GEN ED or major requirement, the credit-by-exam must be taken for a letter grade (not Pass-Fail).
  • a fee is charged with each application for a credit-by-exam.

Note also,

  • Credit-by-exam is only appropriate when a student has taken a similar course elsewhere without being able to transfer it to UMD
  • Credit-by-exam is not intended to be an option by which a student gets credit for a UMD course by auditing it and then taking the Proficiency Examination
  • The Undergraduate Advising Office reserves the right to deny CBE applications which it deems appropriate

Math Courses Eligible for Credit-by-Exam Tests:

  • The Mathematics Department offers credit-by-exam only for the following courses:
    MATH 140, 141, 220, 221, 240, 241 and 246
  • Credit-by-exam for MATH 212, 213, 214 is offered only to graduate students
  • MATLAB on credit-by-exam tests in MATH 240, MATH 241 and especially MATH 246
  • As a rule, if a student has remained registered at UMD beyond the Schedule Adjustment period in a math course, then the student is not eligible for credit-by-exam in that course or any closely related course. For example, MATH 120, 130, 136 and 140 are closely related in this sense; likewise MATH 121, 131, 141 and 221 are closely related


  • Students are expected to be well-prepared for the credit-by-exam tests
  • Students are not allowed to bring notes, books, calculators, or any other unauthorized material to the exam
  • Student are encouraged to review final exams from previous semesters, to prepare and to assess their readiness for the credit-by-exams tests.  Final exams from previous semesters are available at the Mathematics Department's TESTBANK. It is also very wise to check the list of topics for a course in our online syllabi; a student can drop a letter grade on an exam by being unprepared for one topic. We often see students who think they are well prepared and do very poorly on our proficiency exams.


The credit-by-exam is not a "no-stakes" test -- you can decline to accept the letter grade from a graded test, but even in this case you have something to lose by a bad performance:

  • If you turn in the CBE exam for grading and do not accept the grade, then you get a W on your transcript for the course
  • If you take the CBE exam for a course and do not hand it in for grading (don't hand it in if you think the grade will be bad!), then you will not get anything on your transcript, but it will still count as a "try".
  • If you register to take a CBE and later need to cancel  the registration, please kindly provide notice one business day in advance.  There will be no refunds for missed exam.

Steps for taking credit-by-exam

  1. Pick a Credit-by-Exam form from Letters and Sciecnes, Room 1117 in Hornbake Library. Graduate Students can pick up forms at the Graduate School, Room 2117 Lee Building.
  2. Fill out the form and bring it to the Undergraduate Office (no need to attach transcript).
  3. You will be notified by email whether your application is approved.  If approved, stop by the Math Undergraduate Office to pick up the approval form and bring it to the Bursar's Office in the Lee Building to pay the exam fee.  
  4. On the day of the exam (see above), at 11:45 am, bring the payment receipt and approval form to the Undergraduate Math Office.  You will be led to the exam site to take the exam.
  5. When you take the exam, you have the option to not turn it in for grading. In this case, nothing at all will appear on your official transcript. (However, it will still count as a "try" in the math department: you get one try for credit-by-exam for any course.) If you think you will get a bad grade, then you probably don't want to turn the exam in for grading; if you turn it in for grading, you will get a grade or a "W" on your transcript.
  6. After you take the exam, the exam will be graded. The grading procedure may take longer in the summer, over breaks, and during holidays.
  7. After the exam has been graded, you must come in to the Undergraduate Math Office and sign a form saying that you either accept or reject the grade. If you do not contact us within eight (8) weeks of the date you took the exam, your paperwork will be sent back to Hornbake Library and put on file. They may not allow you to take credit by exam again if you are negligent in keeping your exam appointment or in signing your paperwork. A grade cannot be submitted to Records if you do not sign the form.
  8. If you do not accept the grade, then instead of the grade your transcript will have recorded a "W".