Challenge Policy

Students who wish to challenge out of a particular course at YSN must demonstrate mastery of course content either by satisfactorily passing a challenge exam or by presenting documentation of a similar graduate level course. It  is the YSN faculty’s responsibility to decide whether to offer any/either of these options, to determine eligibility criteria, and to determine performance quality. Students who successfully challenge out of a YSN course are encouraged to replace the course with other learning opportunities, as tuition will not be adjusted. Students wishing to challenge or waive a course should initially complete the challenge form available at

All course challenges must be complete by the close of the registration period.

Need to explore how many credits (and what) can be waived – talk with Graduate School & SPH.

Option #1: Challenge Exam

If a student makes a request to challenge out of a course or module because of prior mastery of content, the student meets to discuss the request with the course instructor. The faculty member may then decide to offer the student the chance to demonstrate mastery of the material by completing a challenge exam with a grade of high pass or higher. Students who successfully complete the exam will receive the grade of Pass for the course or the module. The grade of Pass on their transcript will be followed by the phrase by examination.

Option #2: Waiver by Transcript

Students may request to waive participation in a YSN course or module on the basis of having had an equivalent graduate level course within the past five years. In this case, the student contacts the Specialty Coordinator or Program Director with the request and presents evidence of having successfully completed an equivalent course. The evidence needs to include a transcript documenting the course grade of high pass (B) or higher, and a copy of the course syllabus including objectives, listing of the textbooks, a copy of the course outline, reading list, etc. The Specialty Coordinator or Program Director reviews the submitted materials and makes the determination of whether the previously completed course(s) meet criteria for waiver of the YSN course. In the case of a waived course, no grade is recorded on the transcript, but the course will be recorded as credit by waiver. 

Approved by Executive Committee 9/16/75
Revised Executive Committee 11/82
Administrative Update 7/1/98
bpm 3/5/99
Updated by Executive Council 12/16/15 (reviewed by Academic Leadership 2/11/2016)