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General Program Requirements

It is recommended that all incoming freshmen enroll in the CNSL 5: Introduction to College course, or demonstrate proof that they have completed an equivalent course. If you are eligible for ENGL 1A, you should complete this course by the end of the third quarter of enrollment; you may take a speech course first. If you are eligible for ENGL 110 or 209, you should complete these courses during the first or second quarter.

You may receive up to 10 quarter units of credit for each score of 5, 4 or 3 on College Entrance Board Advanced Placement Tests. The Evaluation Office, located in Counseling/Building 8300, provides information on how the advanced placement scores are marked on transcripts and the equivalencies for the University of California and California State University.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a credit-by-examination program that measures a student’s level of comprehension of introductory college-level material for which students may earn college credit by receiving a satisfactory test score. Foothill students who are planning to satisfy graduation or transfer requirements by completing the CSU General Education-Breadth certification pattern may apply credit obtained through CLEP per the California State University approved policy AS-2492-10/AA, which requires a passing score of at least 50 on the CLEP exams as outlined on the CSU CLEP website. Students should be aware that CLEP credit is currently not awarded for satisfaction of particular major course equivalency at Foothill College; moreover, for transfers, each campus in the CSU system determines how it will apply external examinations toward credit in the major.

If you want to transfer credit from an armed services school or other special institution, you may apply through a counselor. It's possible these credits will be accepted toward the associate in arts or associate in science degree after you have successfully completed a minimum of 15 units at Foothill.

Unit Limitations

An average class load is 15 units per quarter. The maximum number of allowable units per quarter without a counselor's approval is 21.5 units. If you intend to enroll in more than 21.5 units, you must obtain a counselor's approval and submit a petition to the Academic Council. The maximum number of allowable units for Summer Session is 15 units. To complete the petition process, schedule a consultation with a Foothill counselor by calling 650.949.7423.

Credit From Other Institutions

Foothill accepts credit from institutions accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations or follows the recommendations of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Credit by Examination (Challenge)

Regularly enrolled students may be permitted to obtain credit by examination in subject matter fields in which they are especially qualified through training or experience, but for which credit or advanced placement has not been given. 

Challenge is limited to those courses recommended by the divisions and approved by the dean. There are special limitations for challenging foreign language courses, courses that depend on laboratory or activity experiences, or courses in a sequence. Students may not challenge a course at a lower level than one they have successfully completed in the same department. The examination may include written, oral, or skill tests, or a combination of all three, and will be sufficiently comprehensive to determine that the student has essentially the same knowledge and skills as a student who successfully completes the course. A student is not permitted to obtain credit by examination unless enrolled in the course and fully informed by the instructor of the requirements for successful completion. The grade received is entered on the student's permanent record.

No course may be challenged after the class has met for two weeks. Courses may not be challenged during Summer Session. Credit by examination may not be gained in a course that the student has failed. Units of credit received through this procedure may not apply toward the minimum of 24 resident units required at Foothill College for the associate in arts or associate in science degree. A maximum of 20 units of credit may be earned by examination.

Although the University of California and the California State Universities accept, within certain limitations, appropriate credits obtained by examination, there is no guarantee by Foothill College that other institutions will do so.

Petitions for credit by examination may be obtained from the student's counselor during the first week of classes, and the examination will normally be completed by the end of the second week. Units earned under credit by examination will be identified on your transcript.

High-School Completion at Foothill

Although Foothill College cannot grant a high school diploma, many high schools in the area recommend that students 19 years of age or older complete their high school requirements by taking college courses. A student who chooses to obtain a diploma in this way should obtain a statement from the principal or a counselor of the high school indicating:

  • The subject necessary for completion of the requirements for graduation and the number of quarter credits in each,
  • Suggested Foothill College courses that may satisfy these high school requirements,
  • The total number of quarter credits required, including electives,
  • Acceptance of credit for courses taken at Foothill.

Upon completion of the college courses, the student should request that the Foothill College registrar send a transcript of the college record to the high school. The diploma will be issued in accordance with the procedures of the high school.

All credit courses taken at Foothill count as college credit, whether or not the high school counts the coursework toward high school requirements.

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