Completion of Course Credits

Your prior learning and experience may help you get your degree or certificate faster at GBCC!

Only courses taken at GBCC will be used to calculate the cGPA. A matriculated student who presents evidence supporting education in one or more courses applicable to the student’s program of study may request that the credits and experiences be evaluated and applied to graduation requirements. Final determination of transferability rests with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Methods of gaining advanced standard are:

  1. Transfer Credit Policy
  2. Awarding college credit for military training, experience and course work
  3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  4. Credit by Examination (Challenge)
  5. Credit for Prior Learning Experience (PLA)
  6. Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
  7. NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute)
  8. First Year Seminar Equivalency
  9. Independent Study for Matriculated Students
  10. Directed Study for Matriculated Students

Any student who pursues advanced standing in a program via transfer credit, CLEP, AP, Credit by Examination or Credit for Prior Learning, or a combination thereof, must meet GBCC’s residency requirements.


Students may transfer credits earned at other accredited institutions, including various colleges and universities, the Community College of the Air Force, Armed Services Education Experiences as outlined in the Armed Services Evaluation Guide, and USAFI courses, for major coursework required by programs at Great Bay. It is the student’s responsibility to furnish the College with official transcripts of academic courses from any institution attended, and a catalog from each institution attended with course descriptions for which transfer credit is sought. Grades of “C” or better in courses judged by the College to be equivalent in nature and content to Great Bay offerings will be accepted. Final determination of transferability rests with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Students seeking degrees or certificates at Great Bay must fulfill residency requirements. The student must have a minimum of 60 credits to complete a degree and must complete all required courses for his or her academic program. A student who transfers in three math or science courses or ENGL110 College Composition I may need to take additional elective courses to meet the degree credit minimum.

Students with foreign transcripts must submit the following for transfer credit review:

  1. Original College Transcript (not Diploma) translated (if not in English) that lists all courses taken, grading system, and grades earned; AND
  2. Official Course-by-Course Evaluation by a third-party agency. Example agencies include, but are not limited to:
    SpanTran (offers discounts to GBCC students) 
    World Education Services (WES)
    Center for Educational Documentation (CED)
    Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Great Bay values and respects the contributions and sacrifices made by our service men and women. This policy recognizes their service and the knowledge, skills and experience gained while in service to the nation. This policy outlines the process by which military education and training shall be recognized and appropriate credit awarded.

  • College credit will be granted to students with military training, experience or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE).
  • Any student seeking credit for military experience will submit a hardcopy of his or her military transcript as soon as possible to the Admission Office for review and evaluation.
  • Great Bay will use the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services to evaluate and award academic credits for military training, experience and coursework.
  • If the course to which the military training, experience or coursework is equivalent and fulfills a general education or major course or degree program requirement at the receiving institution, the credit should count towards graduation and meet a requirement accordingly. Otherwise, appropriate course credit, including open elective course credit, will be granted.

Students with previous academic experiences in specific subject areas may choose to earn credits by taking the nationally standardized exam known as CLEP. Great Bay is an approved testing site for CLEP, providing examinations in the areas of Composition and Literature, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, History, Science and Mathematics. A complete list of the CLEP exams accepted for credit by the College, along with corresponding course names and credits, is available in CAPS (Center for Academic Planning and Support) and at CLEP Testing.

Successful completion of a CLEP exam is treated as a transfer credit. Any student completing a CLEP exam must request that CLEP scores be sent to the College for review. The request is made to the College Board and can be done during or after the exam. Acceptance of CLEP exams for transfer credits will be based on the following criteria:

  • The student has earned a passing score as defined by the College Board and Great Bay Community College.
  • The student has been accepted into a program at the College.
  • There is a course within the student’s program of study that is equivalent to the CLEP exam.

Although CLEP credits count towards graduation, CLEP scores at not calculated into a student’s GPA or in any way interpreted as a grade. Additionally, CLEP credits may not be applied towards GBCC’s twenty-five percent residency requirement. Students may not transfer CLEP credits for a course they have successfully completed or for a course that is more advanced than the subject of the exam. Any student who fails a GBCC course and wishes to take a CLEP exam for credit in lieu of retaking the course must realize that the original grade received will remain on his/her transcript and will be counted in the GPA. The CLEP exam score does not replace a grade for a GBCC course. Students should speak with their academic advisor if they have questions regarding this process. CLEP exams are administered on the computer (CLEP CBT) through the Center for Academic Planning and Support. For further information, contact the CAPS Liaison at 603-427-7621.

Not all courses are appropriate for credit by examination. Individual departments will be responsible for determining if a course is eligible for credit by examination. Credit by examination may be earned only by a matriculated student who, by study, training or experience outside the CCSNH College has acquired skill or knowledge equivalent to that acquired by a student enrolled in the College. A student is eligible for a maximum of sixteen (16) credits through credit by examination. Students shall pay an examination fee as set by the Board.

If the student passes the exam, using criteria developed by the respective department, appropriate credits shall be applied to the student’s academic record, and a notation will be entered on the student’s transcript indicating successful completion. Since a traditional grade (A-F) is not entered, the Credit By Exam is not calculated into the student’s GPA. If the student fails to pass the exam, no entry is made on the academic transcript, but a record of the unsuccessful completion will be maintained in the student’s file. A student who does not pass the Credit by Exam will be ineligible for another Credit by Exam in that course.

The student should complete the form available in Academic Affairs and meet with the chair or coordinator of the program to discuss obtaining credit by examination. Final approval must be provided by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. No exam will be issued until all fees are paid and all approvals have been obtained. The date for the exam will be determined by the instructor administering the exam and will take place within 30 days after the date of the instructor’s approval.

Credit for Prior Learning offers students an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge gained through life experiences and apply the knowledge towards credit in a degree or certificate program. To prepare for this option, the student must develop a portfolio to be assessed by appropriate college personnel. A student must be matriculated to be eligible to apply for experiential credit. Not all programs provide the experiential credit option, and students should consult with their program chairs. Students may be awarded a maximum of 24 credits for experiential learning.

A request for Credit for Prior Learning should initiate with the chair or coordinator for program in which the student wishes to receive course credit. After initial discussion, the student should submit the appropriate approval form available in the Academic Affairs Office. Upon approval, the student must develop a portfolio that demonstrates achievement of the course objectives and competencies. The portfolio must contain at minimum a cover letter and resume, extensive work experience explanations, letters from employers, certificates of accomplishment, samples of work, and other information deemed appropriate. The responsibility of proof will be on the student requesting evaluation. The completed portfolio is reviewed by an appropriate faculty member, the department chairperson, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Transfer credit may be awarded for appropriate, outstanding secondary school work as demonstrated through Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Any student seeking to receive AP credit must request an official AP grade report be sent to GBCC for evaluation.

Course credits may be completed through National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Assessments, or certain licensure or certification exams recognized by industry. Industries include fields such as business, health, automotive, etc. Final determination of transferability rests with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Great Bay offers a course called the First-Year Seminar that is designed to provide specific skills to students to maximize academic performance. The course is required by several programs of study. Credit for this course may be awarded if:

  • The student has previously completed an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, including Great Bay/
  • The student attended an accredited college or university other than Great Bay ad completed a maximum of 12 credits (excluding developmental and pass grades) with at least a 2.7 cumulative grade point average.
  • The student has eligible transfer credit.

Opportunities for credit-bearing independent study are available to matriculated students wishing to explore areas of a discipline not covered in the normal curriculum but related to the student’s program. Independent study is not available to non-matriculated students. Matriculated students must have a minimum cGPA of 2.0 to be eligible for independent study. Typically undertaken for 1-2 credits, an independent study may not be done in lieu of any course existing in Great Bay’s catalog. The final approval rests wiht the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Under certain circumstances, a matriculated student may take a course in a semester during which the course is not offered. A directed study allows a matriculated student to pursue the published learning objectives and outcomes for a course independently under the guidance of a qualified faculty member. A matriculated student must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be eligible for a directed study. The student must demonstrate compelling reasons why the course could not be taken in a subsequent semester or was not taken in the semester when it was originally offered. Barring exceptional circumstances, a directed study will not be granted for a course currently being offered. The final approval rests with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.