CBE Frequently Asked Questions


Can I petition for CBE in any course?
No. CBE credit can only be given for courses listed in the SJSU Course Catalog. Courses eligible for CBE must be listed with the appropriate Department Office, College Office, and Dean’s Office. You may not apply for CBE in a course that is:

    • an activity course
    • a 100W course for any department
    • a requirement for a graduate degree (200-level course)
    • a course for which an equivalent CLEP exam is available
    • a course you are currently enrolled in, or any course that you have received a grade
    • a course that you have previously attempted to petition for CBE

I want to petition for CBE for a certain course. How can I check if it is available?
Each department maintains a list of courses that are eligible for CBE. Speak with the appropriate department chair to see whether a course is available before you petition.

Can I use the units from CBE to fulfill the requirements for full-time enrollment?

No. Petitions in progress, and units earned from CBE, do not count towards full-time enrollment status.

I qualify for a fee waiver. Can it be applied to CBE?
No. Fee waivers are not applicable towards CBE fees.

When do I need to submit a petition for CBE?
The deadline to submit a CBE petition is 28 days after the deadline to add classes, or the end of Week 8, whichever is later.

What happens if I submit a petition for CBE but change my mind?
You may withdraw your CBE Petition at any time before the completion of the examination with no entry to your permanent record; however, the application fee is non-refundable, and you will not be able to resubmit an application for CBE for this course.

Will the grades earned from CBE affect my GPA?
No. Grading for CBE is done only on a Credit/No Credit basis, and will not affect GPA.

Can I apply credits earned through CBE at SJSU to a degree program at another university?
No. CBE petitions completed at SJSU can only be applied to a degree program at SJSU.

How many units can I earn by completing courses through CBE?
You may earn a maximum of 30 units through CBE and/or CLEP exams.

What happens if I take the exam close to finals?
CBE grades will be processed 4 weeks after your instructor submits the final grade. If that processing time extends beyond the end of the current semester, your grade will be posted next semester.

What happens in cases of academic dishonesty for CBEs?
All your scores will be removed and you will not be allowed to submit or resubmit any CBE petitions in the future. The Testing Office reports all incidents of academic dishonesty to Ethical Conduct. We periodically perform random checks on student transcripts, with department assistance.

What happens if my CBE is not an exam? What if it is a portfolio or lab?

    • Portfolio Review: You will turn in your portfolio to your instructor. They will review your portfolio and submit a final grade to the Testing Office.
    • Lab Examination: Your instructor will provide instructions to take the lab examination with them.
    • Lab Examination w/Written Exam: If there is a written exam in addition to the lab, you may be asked to take the written portion either in the Testing Office, in the lab, or with your instructor. Instructions will be provided once your CBE Petition is approved.