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Placement Exam and Exemption Information

Students who wish to be placed in a higher, intermediate course or wish to be exempt from any required courses should take the exam held prior to the start of their first semester at Heinz, when available.

Please find the current Fall 2024 exam schedule here (includes exams for all degree programs):  Fall 2024 Exam Schedule and Calendar View

Please review the section specific to your degree program (below) to determine which scheduled exams are applicable to you.  If you have questions about whether an exam is right for you, please contact your Program Director or Academic Advisor for more information.

This will be your  ONLY  opportunity to take the exam. (Heinz faculty reserve the right to adjust exam offerings.)

Exemption exams will be offered remotely with the help of Canvas, Respondus lockdown browser and Respondus Monitor.  The lockdown browser and Monitor serve as digital proctors for each exam, by limiting access to other websites and applications, and also by recording your exam attempt to ensure compliance with the University's academic integrity policy.  For more information about the recording and how to prepare, please review the Respondus Monitor details.  A practice test will be available for all students to make sure they can access an assessment in Canvas using the Respondus lockdown browser and Monitor prior to any scheduled exemption or placement exams.  This practice test is solely to test your ability to use Respondus - it will not contain any content or topics related to the offered exemption exams.

For courses that do not offer a placement exam prior to matriculation, students may submit an exemption petition directly to the instructor. Click Here for more information.

Dates, exams, and registration processes are subject to change.

If you are unable to attempt a scheduled exemption exam due to a scheduling conflict, please notify Heinz College Academic & Advising Services before the exam date, to determine if accommodations can be made.

Have questions about placement and exemption exams or the petition process?  Please reference the FAQ section below, or contact Heinz College Academic & Advising Services for any additional questions regarding placement and exemption exams.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    • Will these exemption and placement exams be offered more than once?
      • No, the listed exam dates are your ONLY opportunity to exempt these core course requirements.  Students can only attempt these exams prior to the start of their first semester, and this is the only method available to exempt the listed core course requirements on this page.

    • Will study guides be provided?
      • No, we do not provide study guides or materials for exemption and placement exams.  If you are looking for information about what might be covered on a particular exam, please review the linked course descriptions and syllabi to learn what topics are covered in the associated course(s).

    • What materials and resources are permitted for these exams?
      • No outside books or resources are permitted for placement and exemption exams.  For any exam where a calculator could be helpful, a calculator will be available within the Respondus lockdown browser itself.  No outside calculators are permitted.  Exams that require you to work out a math problem or show work generally allow scratch paper.  You will simply be asked to show it to your webcam before submitting your exam, or upload a photo/scan of it in a separate "assignment" on the Canvas page.  If the exam has specific instructions regarding scratch paper, they will be noted in the exam instructions on Canvas.

    • What happens if I pass an exam?
      • Congrats!  Passing an exam can place you into a higher, intermediate level of a required course when available, or it can exempt you from the requirement all together.  Exempted courses do not factor into your GPA and do not show on your CMU transcript.  Grades/results from exemption exams are not listed on your transcript.  Students do not earn units for exempted courses, but can replace those exempted units with additional elective coursework.

    • What happens if I attempt an exam and don't pass?
      • No worries!  Results from exemption exams are not listed on your CMU transcript and are not factored into your GPA.  This simply means that you will still need to complete the requirement for your degree program.

    • How do I exempt required core courses that do not have an exam scheduled?

    • Who can I contact if I need support related to an exemption exam?
      • If you do not have access to a particular exam that is available to your degree program after the exam window opens (reference schedules above for specific days and times), please contact
      • If you are having difficulty with Respondus lockdown browser or Monitor, please contact Respondus support
      • If you have questions or problems once you have started an exam, please use the Canvas inbox to message the teacher of the course. They may not respond to you immediately, depending on the time zone in which you are completing the exam, but they will be monitoring questions and will respond as soon as possible.