Credit By Exam Information for Students: ICS 45C




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Why take this exam?

  • Many admitted students have taken a C/C++ course, but the course may not be officially articulated on Consequently, you will not receive ICS 45C credit and will then need to take ICS 45C at UCI if it is a requirement for your major. NOTE: Regardless, this exam is not mandatory. It is intended for students who want to get credit for ICS 45C but have not taken the equivalent of ICS 45C at an outside school.

  • If you are a proficient C and C++ programmer, you should consider taking the credit by exam option.

  • If you do not have COMPLETE credit for ICS 45C i.e. took only 1 of the 2 required courses, OR your transfer school did not have an officially articulated ICS 45C course, we recommend you take the exam. You can review community college transfer articulation agreements held with UCI on

  • There is no academic penalty if you do not do well on the exam.
    • You will be given the option to accept or deny your grade.


How many times can I take this exam?

  • You may only take this exam once.
  • Re-takes and exceptions are not granted.


Is there a deadline to take this exam?

  • Yes, new ICS students who wish to take the exam should take it one week prior to their orientation date so that you can enroll in the appropriate classes. 

Which majors should consider the ICS 45C credit by exam?

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Data Science
  • ICS Undeclared
  • Software Engineering


What is the exam format?

  • The ICS 45C Placement Exam is a two-hour multiple choice exam with 28 questions. 
  • It is not open book or open note.
  • We adhere to strict academic honesty guidelines. Incidents of cheating will be reported to the campus.


Is there a study guide?


How does grading work?

  • A grade of C or higher on the exam is a passing grade. 
  • If you choose to accept the grade, that grade will be reflected on your official UCI transcript after grades are posted and you will enroll in ICS 46.
  • If you do not accept the grade, that grade will not be reflected on your transcript and you will instead enroll in the actual course, ICS 45C. 
  • If you are a new student, your exam results will be given to you at summer orientation during academic advising. So it is imperative that you take the exam well before you attend orientation.
  • Note: Please allow one quarter's time for posting grades. Once processed, the grade will be applied to the quarter the exam was taken or in Fall if taken the Summer prior.
      • Example: If you take an exam during Summer, it will post onto your Fall transcript along with the rest of your Fall grades. This change will appear during the Winter quarter.
      • You can be cleared for enrollment once you have accepted your grade. Major and School restrictions apply before you can be cleared to enroll in ICS 46.

I am ready to take the test!

I received my results, what should I do?

  • Should I accept my grade?
    • Grade of B- or lower: do not accept the grade and take the course instead.
    • Grade of B or higher: accept the grade.
  • What happens after I accept my grade?
    • Once you indicate your grade acceptance/denial, the Testing Center will notify the ICS Undergraduate Student Affairs Office.
    • ICS Undergraduate Student Affairs will report your grade, if accepted, to the UCI Registrars Office.
    • Grades are posted to the next quarter of completion
      • Summer: the grade will post on your Fall transcript. This change will appear during Winter quarter at the latest. 
      • Fall: the grade will post on your Fall transcript. This change will appear during the Winter quarter.
      • Winter: the grade will post on your Winter transcript. This change will appear during the Spring quarter.
      • Spring: the grade will post on your Spring transcript. This change will appear during the Summer quarter.
  • When can I enroll in the next course?
    • Once you have accepted the grade and ICS Undergraduate Student Affairs has received your grade, then you can be cleared to enroll in the course. Major and School Restrictions apply.