During the admission process, applicants receive an academic evaluation to help them determine whether they have satisfied the general education portions of their degree programs and how many additional credits they will need to earn for their degrees. The number of total credits needed for graduation is 60 for all associate’s degrees and 122 for all bachelor’s degrees.

Applicants who meet all the prerequisite, general education, and Core courses required for admission and graduation will not need to pursue additional elective credit options once they have earned the following number of semester credits outside of the requirements of their major:

Major Semester Credits
Accounting 73
Business Management 79
Christian Ministries 83
Finance 73
Human Services 79-80
M.I.S. 73
Nursing 89
Organizational Leadership 83

Applicants pursuing elective credit options may do so using any combination of the following options.

Option 1 • Credit from Bethel University or Other Regionally Accredited Institutions

Elective courses offered through the College of Adult & Professional Studies at Bethel University are listed in this catalog in the respective academic disciplines. Students may opt to add a minor to their bachelor’s degree program. A minor is a series of courses, between 18 and 24 credits, in an academic discipline outside of the student’s major.

Credit earned in other Bethel University schools is transferable to CAPS. Students may also request transfer of credit to CAPS by submitting official transcripts from other regionally accredited institutions for evaluation.

Option 2 • Credit from Nationally Accredited Institutions

Students may also request transfer of credit to CAPS by submitting official transcripts from nationally accredited institutions for evaluation.

Option 3 • Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces

Students may receive college credit earned through military training if the American Council on Education (ACE) has recommended credit. A Joint Services Transcript (jst.doded.mil) is required.

Option 4 • Standardized Subject Examinations

Students may earn college credits by successfully passing a standardized exam in content areas for which they have not already earned college credit. CAPS students can earn up to 30 credits through any combination of the AP, CLEP, DSST, Excelsior, and IB exams, which are equivalent to college courses. Official transcripts or official score reports from the examination programs are required for credit awards.

DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests): For the convenience of students, Bethel offers online DSST examinations several times each month. More than 30 DSST examinations are available on a variety of academic subjects. With a passing score, three semester credits are earned.

CLEP (College-Level Examination Program): Examinations are administered at various testing sites in the Twin Cities. More than 30 CLEP examinations are available on a variety of academic subjects. With a passing score, college credit is earned. CLEP scores are valid for 20 years.

AP (Advanced Placement), UExcel/ECE (Excelsior), and IB (Higher Level International Baccalaureate): Students who have passed these exams may earn college credit based on their exam scores.

Option 5 • Selected Professional Training/Examinations

Many career fields offer non-collegiate-sponsored training courses, examinations, or certifications. Students may earn college credit at CAPS for completing non-collegiate-sponsored training that has been recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). Students may have their training evaluated for potential credit by submitting appropriate documentation to the coordinator for prior learning.

Option 6 • Documented Experiential Learning

Some college-level learning obtained through work or life experience may be demonstrated by the documented experiential learning portfolio process. Based on an evaluation of a portfolio, Bethel University faculty will determine whether credit will be awarded. Students may contact the coordinator for prior learning for the most current information and policies related to the process. An assessment fee is charged based on the number of credits requested, not based on the number of credits awarded.

Elective Credit Options Guidelines

Credit earned through elective credit options follows the guidelines listed below:

  1. Options 1, 2, and 3: Official transcripts will be reviewed to determine the number of credits Bethel will accept.
  2. Option 2: Total credit from this option may not exceed 30 semester credits.
  3. Option 3: A copy of DD Form 214 or DD Form 295 may be submitted for evaluation only if none of the specified transcripts exist.
  4. Option 4: Total credit from this option may not exceed 30 semester credits.
  5. Options 5 and 6: Total combined credits from Options 5 and 6 (Documented Prior Learning) may not exceed 30 semester credits. This total includes credit earned from competency-based education (CBE) at other regionally accredited institutions. Credit earned through Options 5 and 6 is identified on the transcript as Prior Learning Assessment Credit.
  6. Options 5 and 6: Credit earned through options 5 and 6 is eligible for application toward elective credit or lower level general education requirements only, not to fulfill the requirements of any major, minor, or certificate.
  7. Credit is awarded only when the content does not overlap or repeat courses on a student’s transcript. Obtain approval from your Student Success Advisor (SSA) in order to avoid overlap or repetition.
  8. All official transcripts for transfer credit and all submissions for prior learning assessment credit must be submitted to the College of Adult & Professional Studies no later than one academic term after the student’s final semester of enrollment. Permission to exceed this time frame is required from your SSA for transfer credit or from the coordinator for prior learning assessment credit.
  9. Bethel awards credit for Options 3, 4, and 5 based on recommendations in the Directory of the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) in The Guide to Educational Credit by Examination; The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces; and The National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training.

Credit for Prior and Experiential Learning

Bethel University is one of more than 900 American colleges and universities listed in the Directory of the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT), a publication of the American Council on Education.

More than 500 accredited institutions or institutionally affiliated individuals are members of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), of which Bethel is a member. Bethel follows the national standards established for experiential learning by CAEL.