Time-Shortening Options

Students pay a comprehensive tuition fee that allows them to carry 12 to 18 hours per semester. While students are required to complete 124 semester hours for a bachelor’s degree, they may carry as many as 144 hours over the four-year course of regular sessions (exclusive of summer school courses).

If students are capable of carrying 18 hours each semester, they may be able to complete their degree in a shorter period of time. By attending summer school classes and paying the additional costs, some will be able to graduate in three years. Many others will be able to graduate in three and one-half years. In either case, because of the time saved, this represents a savings despite the additional cost of attending summer school classes.

Other time-shortening options include the College Level Examination Program, Credit by Examination, Advanced Placement Tests, and International Baccalaureate credit.


Franciscan University of Steubenville actively participates in the computer-based College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and will give credit by examination for any student who takes the general examination and has not completed 26 credits of college work (note: this 26-credit-rule does not apply to the French, German, or Spanish exam, which students can take at any stage of their academic career as long as no credit for college work in that language above the intermediate-level has been awarded). Credit may be earned for each subject covered under the general exam (up to 21 credit hours). Subject examinations are reviewed individually by the departments to determine equivalency, and credit is granted accordingly. A complete list of tests, minimum scores, and course equivalents are available in the Student Academic Support Services office. An individual can earn up to 30 credits under the General exams and the Subject areas. Franciscan University will accept a maximum combination of CLEP, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate totaling 36 credits.

Note: students who find themselves in any of the following two situations may take the CLEP exam in French, German and/or Spanish to satisfy the University’s intermediate-level foreign language requirement for the BA degree, but shall not receive any other credit toward graduation for the exam: a) Students who are either over the CLEP and/or the combined CLEP, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate credit limit; or b) Students who are in their final 30 hours of course work.

Advanced Placement

Credit will be granted for freshman courses in American history, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, European history, French, French literature, German, Latin, mathematics, physics, music theory, psychology, Spanish, and statistics to those students whose test scores on the Advanced Placement Test of the College Examination Board (AP) indicate superior knowledge of the subject matter.

International Baccalaureate

Advanced standing credit will be given for courses with an IB score of 4 or higher for higher-level IB courses and with a score of 5 or higher for standard level IB courses. Students having earned the IB diploma may be awarded up to a maximum of 30 credits with a score of 30 or higher. The IB diploma curriculum must include at least three higher-level IB courses. Advanced standing deriving from a combination of CLEP testing, Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate course may not exceed 36 credits.

Credit by Exam

Some academic departments offer matriculated students the opportunity to earn credits in courses through special examination for those courses. Students should explore this opportunity with individual academic departments. A fee of $15 per credit is charged for each Credit by Exam taken. Note: Individual departments make the determination on whether Credit by Exam is available.

Distance Learning

In general, matriculating undergraduate students enrolled on campus at Franciscan University may request permission to enroll in Distance Learning courses under special circumstances (e.g. medical, employment, personal, etc.). The following policies govern the process for such cases: 1) Students may take a maximum of two courses (six credits) through Distance Learning; 2) Students will pay the Distance Learning tuition rate; 3) Distance Learning courses will be available to matriculating undergraduate students only during the mini- and/or summer sessions. These courses will not be available during the Fall or Spring academic semesters; 4) Students may request permission from the theology department chairperson, who reviews the merits of the request. Upon approval, the department chair will forward that request to the Director of Advising and Academic Operations for final approval.

Summer Courses

Franciscan University faculty offers a variety of courses over three summer sessions (Mini, Summer I and Summer II). Students may register for these courses to fulfill core requirements or move ahead in the major. Online summer courses are also available.

Summer Course Work Off Campus

For students who cannot study in Steubenville over the summer months, coursework at an institution closer to home may be considered. Students must complete a Petition to Transfer Courses Form prior to leaving campus for the summer. Forms are available in the Advising Office in Egan Hall, the Registrar’s Office in Starvaggi Hall, or on the Registrar’s webpage.