It’s Your Life, Take Credit for It.  The DSST credit by exam program gives students the opportunity to receive college credit for life experience as a form of prior learning assessment.  Recommended for credit by the American Council on Education, the 38 exams are offered in diverse subject areas such as health, ethics, finance and technology.  The DSST program is owned by Prometric, the global leader in testing and assessment, and has been placing students on the fast track to college degrees since 1974.  For more information go to

Current DSST Subject Tests (Brochure - PDF)


Fundamentals of College Algebra
Principles of Statistics

Social Sciences

Substance Abuse
Criminal Justice
Art of the Western World
Human/Cultural Geography
Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union
A History of the Vietnam War
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Foundations of Education
Life-Span Developmental Psychology
General Anthropology
Introduction to Law Enforcement
Fundamentals of Counseling


Ethics in America
Introduction to World Religions
Principles of Public Speaking


Introduction to Computing
Personal Finance
Management Information Systems
Principles of Finance
Human Resource Management
Organizational Behavior
Principles of Supervision
Introduction to Business
Money and Banking
Business Mathematics

Physical Science

Here's To Your Health
Environment and Humanity
Principles of Physical Science I


Technical Writing

Frequently Asked Questions About DSST Exams

  • How is DSST credit awarded?

At Southwestern credit will be awarded based on recommended guidelines from the American Council on Education (ACE).  The credit-awarding scores are equal to the mean score of students in the norming samples who received a grade of C in the respective course.

Southwestern will grant credit only for tests that correlate to current curriculum and if the credits do not duplicate previously awarded credit.   Credit by examination will not be granted if it duplicates courses previously passed or failed, for a course for which the student does not meet the stated prerequisites listed in the college's catalog, or for a course which is a prerequisite to one for which credit has previously been earned.  A minimum of 12 hours of college credit must be earned at Southwestern before DSST credit may be applied to the permanent record.  Credit earned through the DSST program will not be given grades nor will they be considered in determining grade point.

  • Will DSST credit transfer?

Each school adopts their own policy so test takers are encouraged to contact the school where they want to obtain credit and ask about specific policy.  Southwestern does not assume responsibility for transferability of DSST courses.

  • Where and when are the examinations given?

Examinations are given by appointment in the Southwestern Assessment Center, located in room 215 of the Instructional Center.

To register for a DSST test, telephone 641.782.7081, ext. 320, or use our toll-free number 1.800.247.4023, ext. 320.

  • What is the cost for a DSST exam?

A DSST exam currently costs $100--$80 pays for the test, $20 goes to SWCC for an administration fee. 

The DSST fee must be paid with a major credit card.

  • How long do the examinations take?

Unlike the CLEP exams, DSST exams are untimed.  It usually takes about 90 minutes to take a DSST but you may work longer if necessary.

  • For More Information Regarding DSST

  • Questions?  Contact the Assessment Center, 641.782.1320.

Test Preparation

For resources to help prepare for taking the exam, head to There you will find practice tests and other helpful information.