Alternative Sources of Credit

Students may use nontraditional credit to satisfy general education, elective, or major course requirements, but credit cannot be granted for non-degree-applicable classes. MiraCosta College grants nontraditional vocational credit only for vocational subjects that MiraCosta offers.

International Course Work

International courses will be evaluated for associate degree requirements, including prerequisite requirements, when course descriptions are submitted in English along with a transcript evaluated by an approved foreign transcript evaluation service. Only courses that were taught in the English language will be considered for the writing competency requirement. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Program

MiraCosta grants advanced placement and advanced credit toward its associate degree to high school students who attain scores of 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams administered by the College Entrance Examination Board.

Students may earn a minimum of 3 semester units of credit toward their associate degree at MiraCosta for each AP exam satisfactorily passed while in high school. AP credit can also be used to satisfy California State University and University of California transfer and general education admission requirements. The Advanced Placement Guide identifies how specific AP exams can be used for these purposes.

High school students who intend to participate in this program should make the necessary arrangements with their high schools and should request when they take the AP exams that their test scores be sent to the Counseling Office. To obtain credit for advanced placement at MiraCosta, students should make an appointment to see a counselor. In addition, students intending to transfer to four-year institutions should consult a MiraCosta counselor or the individual university regarding AP credit policies.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination Program

MiraCosta grants  general education and elective credit toward the associate degree for most higher level exams passed with a minimum score of 5. However, individual departments may also determine course equivalency. Students intending to transfer to four-year institutions should consult with the individual university regarding its credit policy. The International Baccalaureate Guide identifies how specific exams can be used for these purposes.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

MiraCosta may award credit for successful completion of certain CLEP general examinations and subject examinations. These examinations are especially valuable for people whose learning experiences have taken place primarily outside formal classrooms. The CLEP Guide identifies how specific exams can be used for these purposes.

Military Service Schools

MiraCosta College grants experience credit of 3 elective units for submission of any DD214, 295, or other military transcript. Additionally, active duty military personnel and U.S. military veterans may satisfy Area E2 Self-Development of MiraCosta College's general education pattern (Plan A) or Area E-Self-Development on the California State University general education pattern (CSU-GE, Plan B)  through submission of a military transcript. 

Military service school training will be evaluated and awarded associate degree credit in accordance with the recommendations contained in the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces. In most circumstances, the units awarded will be elective credit. Students may also receive credit for USAFI/Dantes subject standardized tests and USAFI courses by submitting an official transcript to the Admissions and Records Office. Students should submit a verified copy of their DD214/military transcript to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation.

CTE Transitions—College Credit for High School Classes

Oceanside, Building 3700: 760.757.2121, x6578

The CTE Transitions program awards college credit to high school students who earn an A or B in career-related "articulated" high school courses. An articulated course is one in which the high school teacher and MiraCosta College faculty have formally agreed that the high school course's outline, syllabus, textbook, and final exam are comparable to those in a course of the same subject at MiraCosta. More than 40 different high school courses have been articulated in the following subjects: accounting, architecture, automotive technology, business administration, business office technology, child development, design drafting technology, engineering, horticulture, medical assisting, and nursing. Students who are taking courses in these subjects at area high schools may be eligible for CTE Transitions credit. To find out which high school courses offer articulated MiraCosta College credit, students should visit the CTE Transitions website.

Credit by Examination

Credit by institutional examination is available only under the following conditions:

  • A departmental or program credit by institutional examination policy is on file with Student Services.

  • An instructor who has been designated by departmental statement as eligible to give credit by institutional examination in the course agrees that such credit by institutional examination is appropriate. This instructor is also responsible for writing, selecting, and administering the exam.

  • Units earned under credit by examination provisions do not count in the12 units in residence required for graduation.

  • To receive credit by institutional examination, a student must be in good standing and must complete (with a grade other than "W") at least 3 units of work at MiraCosta College during the semester, other than those units that are earned through institutional examination.

  • Credit by institutional examination is limited to those courses in the MiraCosta College catalog current for the period of evaluation.

  • An examination may be taken only one time for a specific subject and will not be given in a subject previously completed unsatisfactorily (D, F, or NP).

  • The deadline for returning the completed petition for credit by institutional examination to the Admissions and Records Office is Friday of the sixth week of classes during a regular semester or the third week of classes during summer intersession.

  • All examinations will be given during the period reserved for "day class" final examinations each regular semester, unless special permission is secured from the examining instructor.

  • All examinations will be graded using the full range of grades available for any class.

  • Credit by institutional examination will generally not be offered for a course that is a prerequisite to a course for which the student has already received college credit in a previous semester.

  • A maximum of 15 units will be granted as credit by institutional examination at MiraCosta College. Note: This number does not include Advanced Placement, CLEP, or other similar standardized tests.

  • Credit by institutional examination in a course will be noted on the student’s permanent record by a notation next to the course.

  • Credit by institutional examination will be recorded on the student’s permanent record only if department and institutional policy has been followed.

  • Charges will be assessed for credit by institutional examination. Units earned through credit by institutional exam cannot be counted for federal financial aid payment purposes.

  • Credits acquired by examination are not applicable to meeting of such unit-load requirements as Selective Service deferment, veteran's, or Social Security benefits.

  • Credit by institutional exam is covered by the Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program, if eligible.