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2017-2018 Academic Catalog: Alternatives to Classroom Study

Proposals for Alternative Study require Dean approval and must be submitted prior to the last day of the add/drop period.

Independent Study

Independent Study courses provide an opportunity for individual pursuit of knowledge in an area not covered in a regularly scheduled classroom course at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Independent Study courses include directed readings, advanced problems or specialized research. All independent study courses are directed by faculty and must be approved by the appropriate department chair and dean. Independent study petitions are available on the Registrars website.

External Study

External study is an established course in the academic catalog. External study requires the approval of the dean or department chair. Students interested in enrolling in external courses must first meet with a member of the faculty to complete the External Course Petition available on the Registrars website.

Co-op Requirement

As a requirement for graduation, undergraduate day program students complete two cooperative education semesters. Note that transfer students must complete at least one semester in residence at Wentworth before being eligible for the cooperative education program. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.1 or higher as a requirement of co-op. Students not meeting the minimum GPA by the end of the semester immediately preceding their co-op will not be eligible for co-op and dropped from their co-op registration.

The two specific co-op courses that are required are:

  • COOP3500: Cooperative Education I (typically taken during a student’s junior year)
  • COOP4500: Cooperative Education II (typically taken during a student’s senior year)
  • A student must register for a co-op course for their work experience to fulfill a co-op requirement. Enrollment in a co-op course maintains a student’s full-time student status. There are also two optional co-op courses in which students may enroll:
  • COOP3000: Optional Cooperative Education
  • COOP3000 is only offered during the summer semester and is open only to students who have completed the prerequisites for the junior year of a baccalaureate day program with a grade point average of C (2.0) or better and where no other remedial work is required. COOP3000 does not replace either of the required co-op courses (COOP3500 or COOP4500).
  • COOP5000: Additional Cooperative Education

A student is eligible for COOP5000 only if COOP3500 and COOP4500 have been completed. Registration for this course is by permission of the co-op advisor.

Upon completion of the co-op and assignments, students earn a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade, which is recorded on the student’s official transcript.

Review of transferable industrial work experience (as a substitute for co-op) must be work congruent with approved co-op positions. Occasionally students enter the baccalaureate day programs with substantial work experience in their major field. With the approval of the Dean, with consultation from the Director of the Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development, this work experience may be substituted for one or both cooperative education requirements. Students must formally petition to receive this course substitution.

Challenge Exams

Enrolled students who can demonstrate evidence of expertise are eligible to apply for a challenge examination, which has been approved by the appropriate college or school. Challenge examinations may not be repeated and may not be taken for a grade replacement for previously completed courses with grades of "C-" or below.
A student may test out of no more than 25 percent of the courses needed for graduation. Interested and eligible students should be aware of the following: Students must complete a Challenge Examination Request form.
Students must request permission during the first week of classes to take challenge exams in courses in which they are enrolled. Such examinations must be administered during the first two weeks of the semester. Grading for Challenge Exams are Pass/Fail and graded before the end of the third week of the semester.

Successful completion of a challenge examination results in the listing on the student’s permanent record of the course equivalent, the notation “credit by examination,” and the amount of credit granted.

Challenge Exams in Mathematics

External Transfer Challenge Exams

Transfer students who have completed a three-credit transferable mathematics course in College Mathematics, Precalculus, Engineering Calculus I or Engineering Calculus II are eligible for the transfer challenge exam. Upon successful completion of the Mathematics Challenge Exam one (1) credit is applied to the three (3) credits of a specified transferable mathematics course and will complete either a pre-requisite or a Wentworth mathematics requirement.

To qualify, transfer students must meet the following criteria: have a transferable three (3) credit mathematics course from the list of available mathematics topics found on the list below, not be enrolled in a Wentworth equivalent course or completed an advanced level mathematics course of the same focus.

  • Note: Students who do not successfully complete the mathematics transfer challenge exam, will not have satisfied the pre-requisite or mathematics requirement.

Available external transfer challenge exams in mathematics:

  • MATH1000: College Mathematics
  • MATH1500: Precalculus
  • MATH1750: Engineering Calculus I
  • MATH1850: Engineering Calculus II
  • MATH2025: Multivariable Calculus
  • MATH2500: Differential Equations
  • MATH2860: Linear Algebra & Matrix Theory

There are no fees associated with the Mathematics Transfer Challenge Exam.

New students who feel they have sufficient knowledge in College Mathematics or Precalculus are given the opportunity to take a mathematics challenge exam. Upon successful completion, the requirement for either MATH1000 College Mathematics or MATH1500 Precalculus will be met.

This challenge exam in mathematics is not repeatable; students who do not earn academic credit will be required to complete the course in the traditional classroom setting.
Available Wentworth course challenge exams in mathematics:

  • MATH1000: College Mathematics
  • MATH1500: Precalculus

There are no fees associated with the Mathematics Challenge Exam for new students.

Military Service

To qualify for advanced standing credit, students must provide their DD214, and any other official documentation of military service.

Evaluated Non-College Sponsored Learning (CPCE only)

Students may have acquired college-level learning from non-college professional development programs, training experiences offered by an employer, professional associations, community-based organizations or military experience. This non-college learning might have been evaluated for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE) CREDIT program. You can find more details about this program at If such an evaluation exists, CPCE can accept the recommended credits into a student’s degree plan if it fits within the degree requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) (CPCE only)

Students in the College of Professional and Continuing Education can earn a maximum of 45 credits in a bachelors’ degree program and 27 in associates for learning experiences that took place outside of the classroom, through work experience, training programs, or volunteer opportunities. Students must be admitted into the Institute for a specific program and must enroll and successfully complete the PLA course in the CPCE within their first two semesters. Credits through PLA are considered as part of your incoming credits and therefore cannot be taken or applied at the completion of your program.
CPCE’s PLA course helps students identify learning outcomes and develop a portfolio that documents learning content so that they may demonstrate how previously acquired knowledge aligns with the learning necessary to earn college-level credit.

During the 3-credit course, faculty work closely with students to ensure that their portfolio content is accurately documented and reflects the requirements of the college level credit for which they are applying. Students will not be awarded credit for PLA portfolio without successful completion of the course. This course is graded as a Pass/Fail.