tiles spelling out Language

Students who place beyond the first-semester of a language can earn up to 16 retroactive credits. This is up to a full semester of free credits that gets you that much closer to graduation!

Students who have studied a language other than English in high school should take a placement exam to establish their starting point in college coursework. A student who tests beyond the first-semester course in a language can receive retroactive credits by completing the course that they place into with a grade of B or better. For example, a student who tests into and completes fourth-semester Italian with a grade of “A-” would earn 3 credits for the completion of fourth-semester Italian plus 4 credits for first-semester Italian, 4 credits for second-semester Italian, and 3 credits for third-semester Italian — a total of 14 credits earned by taking just one class. Similarly, a student who tests into and takes second-semester French and earns an “A” grade would receive 4 credits for second-semester French and 4 credits for first-semester French — a total of 8 credits earned with one class.

AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) test scores may also carry degree credits to incoming students. UWM has an online AP chart (PDF) and an IB chart (PDF) to see how different scores transfer into UWM. AP and IB coursework cannot be used to earn retro credits beyond the credits shown in the AP or IB chart, but can be used to establish placement which then offers a pathway towards retro credits. For example, a high school student who takes AP Spanish and scores a “3” on the AP exam will receive 3 credits for Spanish 204 Fourth-Semester Spanish. If the student chooses to take Spanish 318 which is the typical next course after Spanish 204, and they complete Spanish 318 with a B or better, they will receive credit for Spanish 318 plus retroactive credits.

Please submit requests for Language Retro Credits after the grade has been posted in PAWS for the eligible course. Requests cannot be processed until the final grade is recorded.

Students can login to complete the form at: Student Form to Request Language Retro Credits.

Forms also may be submitted by advisors and language instructors on behalf of eligible students at: Advisor/Instructor Form to Request Language Retro Credits.