Challenge Examination to earn credit

You can earn credit for specific courses by taking a Challenge Examination.

Challenge Examinations take three hours and cost $30 per credit hour.


Credit by Challenge Examination may be earned for the following mathematics courses:

  • MAT 119 Finite Mathematics
  • MAT 121 Finite Mathematics with Calculus (Challenge Examination in development; availability expected for Fall 2018)
  • STA 270 Applied Statistics

CLEP exams, available by the NAU Testing Center, can be used to obtain credit for MAT 125 Precalculus or MAT 136 Calculus I.  The NAU Testing Center website also lists the minimum score needed to gain credit.


  • Credit cannot be earned by Challenge Examination if you are within 15 credit hours of graduation.
  • University policy imposes limits on the number of credit hours you may earn by Challenge or other Special Examinations.  (See the academic catalog for details.)
  • The Credit by Challenge Examination may not be earned for a course in which you previously received a grade.  You may not earn credit by Challenge Examination for a course in which you are currently enrolled, unless the Challenge Exam is completed prior to the eighth day of instruction (which corresponds to the Deadline to Add a Course Without a Petition).
  • The Credit by Challenge Examination may not be earned for a course which is equivalent to, more elementary than, or substantially overlaps another course in which you are currently enrolled or that you have already obtained credit.
  • A particular Challenge Examination may not be repeated within a year of the first attempt.  Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to take a Challenge Examination for the same course more than twice.
  • Credit earned by Challenge Examination is recorded as a “P” and becomes part of the student’s academic record.  Only students who have been admitted to NAU who are active during the term in which they take the Challenge Exam are able to earn credit.  Post-Baccalaureate students are not able to earn credit via Challenge Exam.


Challenge Exams will be offered (by appointment only) on the following days:

1.  Monday of the week before classes.      

2.  Monday of the 2nd week of classes.        

3.  Monday of the 9th week of classes.


  • Complete the Challenge Examination application.  (The application is also available from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ main office.)
  • Return the completed application form, together with a check or money order in the amount of the examination fee (payable to Northern Arizona University) to the Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ main office at least one day in advance of the examination.  Cash is also acceptable.
  • Report to the place of examination at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time for instructions and to allow for verification of your identification.

Course information

Here is the master syllabus for each course, as well as a copy of the formula page(s) that will be provided during the examination.  Note that formulas will be provided for MAT 119 and STA 270. 

You will not be allowed to bring a formula page for any of the examinations.  Please use this information to decide if you are prepared to take the Challenge Examination and to assist in your studying for the examination.

MAT 119            master syllabus                      formulas 

STA 270             master syllabus                      formulas