Earn College Credit in High School
There are many ways for students to earn college credit while in high school. Most Minnesota high schools have credit-earning opportunities where students earn college credit by taking a college-level course (dual credit) or by taking a college-level exam (exam-based credit). These programs are often referred to by their common names, such as PSEO, College in the Schools, College Now, AP, IB, etc. These programs are a great way to experience what it's like to take a college course and can set up students for success once they enroll in college.
Things to know:
- Not all programs are available at all high schools.
- Most programs require a certain academic standing to participate. Check with your school counselor to see if you are eligible to participate in these programs.
Dual credit and exam-based credit programs include:
- Concurrent Enrollment allows high school students to take college-level courses at their high school through partnerships between high schools and colleges. Students earn both high school and college credit by passing the class. In addition "concurrent enrollment," these programs are sometimes called College in the Schools, CEP, or College Now.
- Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows Minnesota high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses on campus or online. Students earn both high school and college credit by passing the class. Sophomores can also participate in PSEO if they first take and pass one CTE course.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) allows public school sophomores, juniors and seniors to take career-focused college courses while in high school. These courses are often hands-on and provide training for in-demand jobs.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) is a two-year pre-college diploma program that helps prepare students age 16 to 19 for higher education in the United States and overseas through a combination of course-taking and test-taking. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit by receiving a passing score on the IB subject exam, as determined by the college.
- Advanced Placement (AP) allows high school students to take college-level courses at their high school with the potential to earn college credit by receiving a passing score on the AP subject exam, as determined by the college.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows students to earn college credit by taking exams for what they already know. Students can submit their scores to a college or university and receive college credit based on their scores, if the college accepts CLEP scores. There are no classes that students take to help them prepare for these exams; students register and take tests independently.
For more details on each program, select any of the programs above or view them here in English or Spanish*.
Hear from real dual credit students on their experiences of dual credit programs like PSEO and concurrent enrollment.
*Spanish translation by Riverland Community College
Do All Colleges and Universities Accept These Credits?
Not all colleges and universities award credit for participating in dual credit programs. Credit acceptance can sometimes depend on the type of class or test the student takes. It is important for students to check with both their school counselor and college staff to make sure that the credits will transfer. Use the table below to help get a better understanding of what colleges accept.
Start by selecting a program tab. Un-check the "All" buttons under "Institutions" and "Test Subject," then select one or more institutions and tests. The PSEO/Concurrent Enrollment tab will show you if the schools you select accept PSEO and concurrent enrollment credit. Links to institutional policies are included on this tab. The AP, IB, and CLEP tabs will show you what test scores are required by the college in order to receive credit, and how much college credit they will award for each passing test. The Contact Information tab will direct you to the best person to contact at each college or university with additional questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
See instructions on how to send AP scores to your destination college.
See instructions on how to send CLEP scores to your destination college.
IB Students can request that their scores be sent to college. You can do so by logging on to MyIB. Colleges and universities can also access your scores electronically. You can call the university Registrar and ask if they'd prefer to receive them or view your scores online.
Always follow up with the college or university's Registrar's office to make sure that they received your exam scores and applied them to your college transcript.