At DePaul, credit towards a degree is accumulated on the basis of quarter hours (for College of Law, see the College of Law Handbook). The unit of credit is one quarter hour granted for 45 minutes of instructional time and at least two hours of additional assigned work each week, or an equivalent amount of work for other credit-bearing activities. The standard course extends over a ten-week period and a final examination week; courses that occur over a different time-period (e.g. in the summer or December quarter) must incorporate the same total amount of instructional time and additional assigned work per credit hour as a standard course. Undergraduate and graduate courses carry 4 quarter hours of credit unless otherwise specified. Credit is earned if a student receives an A through D, or PA grade. Undergraduate credit may also be earned through credit-by-examination and transfer credit. The School for New Learning and the School of Nursing also may award credit based on assessment of prior learning. Some graduate programs may accept a limited number of transfer credits which is specified in the graduate program information.

Among other requirements specified in their respective catalogs, graduation with a bachelor’s degree requires that a student successfully complete a minimum of 192 quarter hours of college credit; graduation with a master’s degree requires that a student complete a minimum of 45 quarter hours of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. The requirements for approved combined bachelor’s + master’s degree require at least 36 quarter hours of credit beyond the bachelor’s degree (with a minimum of 12 applicable graduate hours completed as part of the bachelor’s degree). Graduation with a doctorate degree will require the minimum number of quarter hours specified by the degree awarding department or college. ​​​​

Additional Types of Credit

Please see the Credit and Evaluation, Limitations section for limits to the amount of credit listed below that can be applied to the degree.


DePaul University recognizes the achievements of students as represented by their successful completion of exams through the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Depending on the exam and the score achieved, students may earn credit applicable to their general education requirements, major field or elective requirements. For more information on credit awarded by examination, visit the Office of Admission website.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

Incoming undergraduate students may receive credit through the Advanced Placement program. These tests are administered during high school. Incoming freshmen and transfer students (who earned AP credit while in high school) should have their score report sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul.

College-level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program may be taken by students prior to their enrollment or while currently enrolled at DePaul. CLEP exams are offered in a variety of subject areas and represent knowledge gained through coursework as well as through life or work experience. In addition, current students must consult with their college advisor before taking any CLEP exam to ensure that the exam will fulfill individual academic plan requirements. The CLEP score report should be sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul or immediately following completion of the exam.

International Baccalaureate Program (IB)

DePaul University awards credit to students who have taken an International Baccalaureate program either at the Diploma or Certificate level. Standard or Higher level score results determine the amount of credit awarded to students at DePaul. Incoming students should have their IB transcript sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 prior to enrolling at DePaul.

International A and A/S Level Exams

DePaul awards DePaul course credit for some courses and grades earned on A and A/S Level exams. Students should have their documentation sent to Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit completed prior to admission at DePaul or subsequent transfer coursework approved by the student’s advisor should be sent to the Office of Admission, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.  Transfer grades do not calculate into the DePaul grade point average.

School for New Learning Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) allows School for New Learning (SNL) students to earn credit toward degree requirements based on demonstration of college-level learning through submission of proof of such learning, for example portfolios and proficiency exams. The learning experience serving as the basis for PLA credit may have been accomplished prior to arrival at DePaul or alongside a student's studies at DePaul.

While SNL may apply PLA credit to its degrees, other DePaul colleges are under no obligation to do so.

PLA credits are not eligible for Financial Aid, do not count for purposes of determining enrollment status, and neither fulfill nor interrupt the residency requirements.

In SNL’s undergraduate competency-based programs, a minimum of 25% of the programs’ degree requirements must be earned through residential credits taken in courses at SNL. A maximum of 75% of SNL undergraduate degree requirements for competency-based programs may be met through transfer coursework and PLA. For all SNL degree programs, PLA may not account for more than 25% of the total degree requirements.

For additional information SNL students should speak with their advisor

Professional Nursing Portfolio (RN to MS Nursing Students Only)

The student entering the RN to MS program will be taking more advanced coursework at DePaul; coursework that relies on a knowledge base established by the nursing courses taken at the community college and assessed by the NCLEX-RN® examination. By successfully completing the first quarter of the RN to MS program, students will have demonstrated their success in the RN to BS bridge course and a graduate level course. The 45 quarter hour portfolio credit will be applied to their degree at DePaul upon successful completion of NSG 330 (bridge course) and NSG 431 (graduate course) with a cumulative GPA of 3.000.​