University Office of Examinations

The Office of Examinations assists students with testing needs. The office administers qualifying examinations to incoming students, and examinations on the state and federal constitutions. The office also has registration materials and/or is a testing center for ACT and CLEP.

Academic Skills Examinations

Freshmen: Once accepted for admission to Chicago State University, all freshmen must take the university qualifying examinations in English, reading, and mathematics by the end of their first term in residence. All freshmen students must either meet their minimal requirements of the university qualifying examinations or pass the appropriate academic skills course, namely English 1230, Reading 1500, or Math 0990 Level 1 and/or 2. Students must pass the appropriate examination to exit these courses.

Transfer students : Transfer students who have not completed an associate’s degree (A.A. degree or A.S. degree) must take qualifying examinations in English and reading by the end of their first term in residence. Transfer students who transfer in general education math courses with a C or better or whose majors do not require additional mathematics courses do not have to take the proficiency examination in mathematics. Transfer students who do not transfer in general education math or who are required by their majors or courses to take more math (particularly in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology majors) must take the proficiency examination in mathematics. Students must meet with their advisors to determine whether or not their majors require them to take the mathematics placement examination.

Transfer students entering Chicago State University as of Fall 2008 who have earned an associate’s degree (A.A. degree or A.S. degree) or who have completed 75 hours or more from a combination of two and four-year institutions and have completed the Illinois General Education Curriculum (as indicated by the transcript) are considered to have met the University General Education Requirement. However, students are required to take a qualifying examinations in English, reading, or math if the major or course requires it as a prerequisite.

English Qualifying Examination

Students entering the university with no credit in composition must take the English Diagnostic Examination. Students who successfully meet placement requirements may enroll in English 1270/127, Composition I. Students who do not meet placement requirements are required to enroll in English 1230/123, Writer’s Workshop I. Upon successful completion of English 1230/123 or English 1270/127, students will receive three credit hours in composition and enroll in English 1280/128, Composition II. Students wishing to transfer three credit hours of composition must take the English Qualifying Examination. Students who pass the English Qualifying Examination will receive transfer credit for English 1270/127, Composition I, and will enroll in English 1280/128, Composition II. Students who do not pass the examination must enroll in English 1230/123, Writers’ Workshop I. Upon successful completion of English 1230/123, students will receive credit for Composition I and will then enroll in English 1280/128, Composition II. Students wishing to transfer five to six credit hours in composition must also take the English Qualifying Examination. Students who pass the examination will receive transfer credit for six hours in composition. Students who do not pass the examination must enroll in ENG 1240/124, Writers’ Workshop II. Upon successful completion of ENG 1240/124, students will receive their six credit hours in composition.

NOTE: students enrolled in ENG 1230/123 or 1270/127 must pass the English Qualifying Examination at the end of the course to receive a passing grade and credit for the course. Students who do not pass the English Qualifying Examination will be required to repeat the course.

Reading Qualifying Examination

Students who fail to pass the reading examination are required to enroll in READ 1500/150 (Advanced College Reading Skills), a course offered by the College of Education. The course will provide the student with the necessary reading instruction to assist in the successful completion of the reading qualifying examination, which is taken at the end of the course.

Mathematics Qualifying Examination

Degree seeking undergraduate students may not register for any mathematics or computer science courses until they have passed the mathematics qualifying examination or the appropriate academic skills mathematics course(s). This is a computerized examination which will place students into MATH 0990/099 Level I or 0990/099 Level 2 (Intermediate Algebra) or a higher-level mathematics course depending on the student’s major.

Transfer students must meet with their advisors to determine whether or not their majors require them to take the mathematics placement examination. Regardless of major, any student who wishes to enroll in a course or courses for which passing the Math 0990/099 level of the qualifying math examination is required as a prerequisite must take the examination and enroll in Math 0990/099 Level I or II as advised based on the mathematics examination results.

Questions about the courses or preparation materials should be addressed to the appropriate area: Mathematics (Dr. Attele, HWH 322, X 2102); English (Dr. Brenda Aghahowa, SCI 320, X 2189; Reading (Dr. Rosemary Buteau, ED 318, X 2089).

Examination Waivers

Effective fall 2004 for all students (new, continuing, and returning), university placement examinations are waived for the following categories of students:

  1. Students at large. However, if enrolled students at large transfer into degree programs, placement examinations will be required, except for students who meet criteria 2, 3, and 4 below.
  2. Students seeking a second degree (baccalaureate or higher).
  3. Graduate students, including post-baccalaureate students seeking initial teacher certification.
  4. Students who have passed the Illinois Certification Test of Basic Skills (ICTBS).
  5. Students who complete the ACT Compass examinations in reading and mathematics at another college or university, providing the scores are at the same passing level as required by Chicago State University.

Examination waivers apply only to university requirements. Departments and programs retain the option of requiring successful completion of one or more of the qualifying examinations as a condition of program completion or as prerequisites for course offerings.

Retake Policy

Effective fall 2004, students who fail a placement examination on their first attempt may automatically retake it only during their first semester in residence at Chicago State University (CSU). Students are assessed a $25 retake fee for each university placement examination (English or mathematics or reading) which must be paid at the cashier’s office (Cook Administration Building, room 210). Students who earn an A in a developmental mathematics courses at Chicago State University are permitted to retake the mathematics examination free if taken within one semester of completing the developmental course. Depending on their scores, these students may place into a higher level mathematics course. In order for students to receive appropriate instruction, the following conditions are stipulated relative to the examination retake procedure:

  • Students who do not pass an examination on their first attempt may retake it during their first semester in residence at CSU without petition. After the first semester, students must petition for a retake of each examination. If the petition is granted, students must pay the $25 retake fee.
  • Students who do not pass an examination on the second attempt will be required to register for the appropriate developmental course during the following semester. Policies in place that prevent students from registering for courses if students have not completed the required developmental courses will be strongly enforced.

Credit by Examination

The university recognizes that students may acquire knowledge through means other than formal college level courses. Therefore, a program of credit by examination has been established to award college level credit to students who demonstrate that they have satisfied college level course requirements. A student may earn up to a maximum of 60 credit hours by examination. Methods currently available are: (1) College Level Examination Program; (2) Advanced Placement Program; (3) Proficiency Examination Program; and (4) University administered and/or constructed qualifying examinations.

College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program offers both general and subject examinations. General examinations measure achievement in five basic liberal arts areas: (1) English composition*; (2) humanities; (3) mathematics; (4) natural sciences; and (5) social sciences-history. General examinations are designed to be particularly relevant to the kinds of intellectual experiences students can be expected to have had by the end of two years of college-level study, whether in or out of college. The subject examinations are tied more closely to a specific course or subject and are intended to measure an individual’s achievement in that particular area. They are designed to assess students’ overall mastery of the subject and to compare their grasp of the information, ideas, and skills with those normally expected of students who successfully complete the course. All full or part-time undergraduate degree seeking students currently enrolled at the university and all incoming freshmen and transfer degree seeking students are eligible to participate in the program.

Graduate students accepted into one of the graduate programs of the university are also eligible to take the examinations to satisfy prerequisite undergraduate courses. Registration forms may be obtained from the Office of Examinations, ADM 126. Completed registration forms along with fees must reach the Office of Examinations at least four weeks prior to the test date(s) for subject examinations, and one week prior to the test date(s) for general examinations. Fees must be paid by check or money order (not by cash) made payable to College Level Examination Program and Chicago State University. The distribution of scores earned on the general and subject examinations of CLEP are controlled by the individual taking the examination. Scores are mailed by CLEP to the person taking the examinations and to whomever the individual has designated.

Incoming degree seeking freshmen and transfer students who have taken CLEP tests before being admitted to Chicago State University should have an official statement of their CLEP scores mailed to the Office of Admissions, Chicago State University. The scores will become a part of the admissions folder for entering students but will in no way affect the admissions decision. The request for such scores should be directed to:

CLEP Program
Box 1822
Princeton, New Jersey 08541

Currently enrolled degree-seeking students who have taken CLEP tests since admission and registration at the university should have an official statement of their CLEP scores mailed to the Office of Academic Evaluation and Advisement.

The university will award successful candidates college credit in accordance with university policy. Scores in all examinations must reach or exceed the 50th percentile in order for credit to be granted by the university. Students will be notified in writing by the Office of Academic Evaluation and Advisement as to the number of credit hours earned at the university through the CLEP examinations. All credit earned will be posted on the student’s permanent academic record. No student may retake a CLEP examination within a six month period.

* Students who take and pass the English composition CLEP examination must also pass the Chicago State University English Qualifying Examination (EQE) in order to apply CLEP credits to the general education composition requirement.

Advanced Placement Program

The university participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. Students who have completed advanced level courses in high school may take the standardized examinations offered by the Board. Upon application for admission to the university, students should send their test scores to the Office of Admissions. The appropriate university academic department determines the scores required for the granting of credit. Students are notified in writing by the Office of Evaluation and Advisement as to the credit hours earned through the program. At present, course descriptions and examinations are available in American history, art, biology, chemistry, English, European history, French, German, Latin,

mathematics, music, physics, and Spanish. These examinations are based on college-level studies. Students who have not had extensive preparation beyond regular secondary school work are not expected to take them. The examinations are administered during the third week in May. Students take the examinations in their own local participating schools. The secondary schools participating in the program must take the primary responsibility for the administration of the examinations and distribution of materials and documents. Students who are unable to make the necessary arrangements to take the examinations should write to: Program Director College Board Advanced Placement Examination, Box 977, Princeton, New Jersey 08541

Examination fees are collected by the schools in which the examinations are given. Students may obtain information regarding the current examination fee schedule from their high school academic counselor.

Proficiency Examination Program

The American College Testing Proficiency Examination Program (PEP) provides students with an opportunity to obtain recognition for college-level learning, regardless of how the knowledge was acquired. There are a total of 47 examinations designed to permit an individual to demonstrate proficiency in various college-level subjects. PEP examinations cover coursework in a broad range of areas, including the arts and sciences, criminal justice, business, education, health, and nursing. Most of the examinations cover undergraduate level work, but some deal with graduate-level learning. The examinations generally cover material studied in comparable one or two semester courses; a few advanced examinations in business subjects deal with broader areas. The PEP examinations have been prepared by college and university faculty members who have taught comparable courses in their own schools. Each examination is based on an outline that defines its scope and content. This outline is contained in the PEP study guide for examinations, which may be obtained by writing to ACT. The PEP examinations are administered four times annually during regularly scheduled testing periods that encompass two days. A student may register for any examination given on a particular date, except that a student: (1) may take only one examination during any of the four half-day testing sessions; and (2) may not take the same examination more than twice during any 12 consecutive months. A student’s grade for any PEP examination is the result of the application of one of three scoring systems; hence, it is reported in one of three ways: (1) a standard score; (2) a letter grade; or (3) a pass/fail grade. A student is awarded credit for an examination at Chicago State University if the student has achieved (1) a standard score of 45 or higher; (2) a letter grade of C or better; and (3) a grade of Pass. For registered nurses matriculating for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, credits earned by the PEP examinations may be counted toward meeting graduation requirements subject to all the academic regulations that would apply if the same course had been taken in regular class attendance. For more information about any aspect of the ACT Proficiency Examination Program, write: The PEP Program, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, Iowa 52243

University Proficiency Examinations

Many of the academic programs of the university participate in the university’s program of credit by proficiency examination. The examinations cover material taught in university courses in particular subjects. Credit for successful performance on these examinations is granted by the university. The decision as to what constitutes adequate performance on these examinations or the validity of a test in a given area is made by the university department concerned. Applications for university administered and/or constructed qualifying examinations are available in the Office of the Registrar. Proficiency examinations may be taken for credit in accordance with the following regulations: 

  1. The applicant must be a degree seeking student at the university and in good academic standing.
  2. The course for which the examination is requested may not duplicate any courses already taken for credit or accepted as transfer credit upon entrance to the university.
  3. The applicant must obtain the approval of the chairperson of the appropriate academic department.
  4. An examination for credit will not be permitted in a course where the applicant has already received credit for coursework in advance of the course for which the examination is requested (to be determined by chairperson).
  5. In order for the student to be granted credit, the examination must be comprehensive, and the grade must be C or better.

Credit earned by proficiency examinations may be counted toward meeting graduation requirements subject to all the academic regulations that would apply if the same course had been taken in regular class attendance. The grade in the proficiency examination is Pass or Fail. No

official record is made of failures in these examinations, and grades received on qualifying examinations are not considered in computing grade point averages. Students will be notified in writing by the Office of the Registrar as to credit hours earned through proficiency examinations.

All credit earned will be posted on the student’s permanent academic record.

Policy on Student Conduct

The Office of the Assistant Provost for Student Affairs is responsible for providing oversight of the process for protecting students’ rights to live and learn in a safe and crime-free environment. The office administers CSU’s student judicial process and follows the guidelines established by

the university. A judicial hearing committee representing members of CSU’s faculty, staff and students is responsible for hearing students’ responses to charges filed with the Office of Student Conduct and for levying sanctions in cases when students are found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct. The complete Student Code of Conduct can be found online at www.csu.edu/DOSA or by calling 773/995-2448.

Policy on Release of Student Information

Chicago State University, in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, has designated the degrees a student has been awarded, current enrollment status (full-time/part-time, withdrawal) and academic information used to determine eligibility for scholarships or awards as directory (public) information. The University receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources including prospective employers, licensing agencies, government agencies, friends and relatives. Students have the right to have this directory information withheld from the public if they so desire. Forms to request directory

information be withheld can be obtained in the Office of the Registrar, ADM 128. The University, in good faith, will not release information not listed as directory information unless the student provides written consent for the release. All students enrolled at the university shall

have the right to inspect and review their official university records, to request corrections or deletions, and to limit access to such records by other persons in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and university guidelines issued pursuant thereto. Copies of the Guidelines for Implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 are available in the Office of the Registrar. The primary academic record of a student is located in the Office of the Registrar. Other records may be located in Admissions, Alumni Affairs, Financial Affairs, Wellness/Health Center, School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Intercollegiate Athletics and academic departmental offices. Students have the right to file complaints regarding alleged failure of the university to comply with FERPA. Students should file a written request for a hearing with the Office of Judicial Affairs.

Undergraduate degrees and Majors at Chicago State University

Although only one undergraduate major is required for graduation, students may take advantage of the diverse educational opportunities available at the University to complete multiple undergraduate majors. Multiple majors may be completed in the following ways:

Double/Second Major

Students may declare a double/second major with the approval of the participating departments. Students choosing a second/double major must satisfy requirements for both majors. Unless otherwise specified in a particular program, students may use a specific course to meet requirements for both majors. Nevertheless a double/second major may require more credit hours than the 120 semester hour minimum required for graduation. If the requirements for both majors are fulfilled, both will be indicated on the academic transcript record. The diploma granted will be that of the student’s first or primary major. Double/second majors are categorized as 2 majors in “Bachelor of Arts” (BA) or 2 majors in “Bachelor of Science” (BS).

Students pursuing a double major who complete all degree requirements for one major but not the other, may graduate with a single major by submitting a change-of-major form to change from “double or “second” to “single-major” status.

For one degree (BA or BS) with a double major, one graduation application is filled out and signed by both advisors.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

A student who has received one bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University or from another accredited institution may receive a second bachelor’s degree, provided that all specified requirements for the second degree are fully met, and provided also that the curriculum offered for the second degree includes a minimum of 33 semester hours not counted for the first degree.

Applicants wishing to earn a second bachelor’s degree at Chicago State University must:

  1. Be a graduate of an accredited college or university, or an admitted 2nd degree student at Chicago State University.
  2. Submit the appropriate application form and academic credentials to the Office of Admissions.
  3. Complete a minimum of 33 semester hours at Chicago State University distributed as follows:
    1. At least 24 of the 33 semester hours of work required for the second degree must be senior college level.
    2. Complete the semester hours required for a major as established by the selected degree program and the appropriate academic department. Courses completed as part of the program for the first degree will not be counted for meeting the requirements in semester hours for the new major, unless the major department at Chicago State University approves.
    3. Applicants for the second bachelor’s degree are subject to the same academic regulations as students earning their first baccalaureate degree at Chicago State University.
    4. Candidates for second bachelor’s degree must pay the graduation fee and all other appropriate fees.

Please Note: Graduate tuition rates apply to all students holding a baccalaureate degree, regardless of the level of course work in which they intend to enroll. This policy applies to those who are seeking a second-bachelor’s degree, non-degree-seeking, or seeking a certificate.

Concurrent Baccalaureate Degrees

A student may complete more than one major by electing to concurrently pursue multiple degrees: (majors in Bachelor of Arts (BA) and majors in Bachelor of Science (BS).

Students may pursue concurrent degrees with the approval of the participating departments. Students choosing to pursue concurrent degrees must satisfy requirements for both degrees. Unless otherwise specified in a particular program, students may use a specific course to meet requirements for both degrees. Nevertheless concurrent degrees may require more credit hours than the 120 semester hour minimum required for graduation. For concurrent degrees, students will receive two diplomas. In such cases, the transcript and diplomas will read, for example, “Bachelor of Arts: major in Sociology” and “Bachelor of Science: major in Mathematics”.

Applicants wishing to earn concurrent degrees at Chicago State University must:

  1. Submit the appropriate application form and academic credentials to the Office of Admissions.
  2. Complete a minimum of 33 semester hours at Chicago State University distributed as follows:
    1. At least 24 of the 33 semester hours of work must be senior college level.
    2. The general education requirements of the selected degree program must be fulfilled either through courses completed through transfer credit or through appropriate courses completed at Chicago State University.
    3. Complete the semester hours required for a major as established by the selected degree program and the appropriate academic department. Courses completed as part of the program for the one degree will not be counted for meeting the requirements in semester hours for the second degree, unless the major department at Chicago State University approves.
    4. Applicants for concurrent degrees are subject to the same academic regulations as students earning their first or second baccalaureate degree at Chicago State University.
    5. Candidates for concurrent degrees must pay the graduation fee and all other appropriate fees. Two separate graduation applications must be submitted.

Grievance Procedure

Each college, program, and/or department has a grievance procedure developed to provide students with a fair method of resolving conflicts with faculty, staff, and administrators. Students with complaints, grievances, and appeals concerning academic programs should contact the appropriate department chairperson or the dean of the appropriate college. If complaints cannot be handled at the department or college level, students should contact the University Ombudsperson. 

Oral English Proficiency Policy and Student Complaint Procedures

Illinois statute requires each public institution of higher education to “establish a program to assess the oral English language proficiency of all persons providing classroom instruction to

students” and to “insure that each person who is not orally proficient in the English language attain such proficiency prior to providing any classroom instruction to students.” Students with complaints about the oral English proficiency of an instructor should first contact the chairperson of the department involved. The complaint must be in writing and should be as specific as possible. Copies of the complaint must be sent to the appropriate college dean and to the provost. The chairperson will investigate the complaint and may observe the class. If the chairperson concludes that the faculty member’s English is adequate, the chairperson will notify the student, the faculty member, the appropriate college dean, and the provost. The student may appeal the chairperson’s decision to the dean. The dean will then investigate the complaint and follow the same notification procedure. The decision of the dean will be final. If the chairperson or the dean finds that the faculty member’s oral English is unsatisfactory, he or she will make a recommendation to the provost who will take action on this recommendation and notify all parties involved of his or her decision. Except for the necessary notifications, the identities of all students and faculty involved in oral English proficiency complaints shall remain confidential.