Worcester State University
Adult Learner


How to Accelerate Your Degree

Many adult learners are looking for ways to complete the requirements of their degrees as soon as possible.  There are several ways you can earn credits towards your degree outside of the traditional Fall and Spring semesters.

Take an Accelerated Wintersession or Summer Class

Worcester State University offers a variety of undergraduate courses during Wintersession and during the summer months. The Winter session is a nine-day "term" at the beginning of January. Two six-week Summer sessions, the first beginning in late May and the second beginning in early July, provide intensive enrichment opportunities for students working toward completion of degree requirements or upgrading and enhancing professional skills. The Wintersession schedule is usually available in October and the Summer schedule is usually available in March. Course listings can be found at The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education

Review your Transfer Credits

Be sure to review your Transfer Program Summary to see that all eligible courses were transferred in.  If you have been admitted but have not started classes you can contact the Admissions office if you have questions.  Once you are enrolled, talk to the Academic Success Office if you have questions.

Did you serve in the military or participate in any corporate training that was evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE)?

ACE provides access to transcripts for several of its programs. If you have taken training through your employer, a specialized training provider, or during your military career, ACE will direct you to resources that, in many cases, can help you get that training translated into college credit.

Credit by Examination (CLEP)

In addition to the Advanced Placement examinations administered by the College Entrance Examination Board through high schools, the following opportunities to challenge subject areas for credit are available:

University Level Examination Program (CLEP):  These standardized examinations offered on campus through the Educational Testing Service confer University credit in two categories, general examinations, which include English, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and natural sciences; and examinations in specific subjects. Additional information and applications are available through the Academic Success Center.

Click here to see Worcester State’s chart of CLEP exams, scores needed and credits awarded.

Department Challenge

When appropriate and with the sanction of the faculty advisor, students may request and complete a department-developed examination to translate competencies into credit. A limited number of departments offer this as an option, so consult the appropriate department chair. However, in most cases it is recommended that students explore the CLEP option.

Credit for Life Experience (Prior Learning)

If you are a student in one of the following majors, you may be able to take coursework and generate a portfolio of life experience to be evaluated for credit (Urban Studies, Computer Science, and Community Health).  For more information, contact Amy Ebbeson, Next Step Coordinator at 508.929.8416.

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  Continuing Education
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