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Idaho State University

Evaluation of the Academic Credentials of individuals Applying to the Health Physics Program

The purpose of this document is to describe the methods and practices that the ISU Department of Physics and the ISU Office of Registration and Records will evaluate the credentials of individuals applying to the Health Physics Program. These methods are all standard University policy or departmental policy. Standard policies may be found specifically in the Idaho State University Undergraduate Catalog. This document is intended to act as a summary of other printed documents. This is not a binding document rather a convenient summary for quick reference. The statements of policy as they appear in the Official Idaho State University Undergraduate Catalog control the practices under which decisions on credential assessment are made.


Current ISU Acceptance and Placement Practice (January 10, 2003)

Entering students are allowed to register for courses in mathematics, English writing, and chemistry in accordance with general university policies on academic placement. The initial evaluation and advising that our students receive is generally carried out by the Supplemental Academic Advising Center (S.A.A.C.) within Enrollment and Planning. The placement guidelines are summarized below.

Placement in English writing classes is based on each student's SAT, COMPASS, or ACT scores:

SAT ACT COMPASS Recommended Course
Less than 440 Less than 17 Less than 67 English 090 Developmental Writing
450-560 18-24 68-94 English 101 Intro. To College Writing
570-690 25-30 95-99 English 102 College Writing & Rhetoric
Greater than 700 Greater than 31 - Exempt (credit awarded for ENGL 102)

If SAT or ACT testing scores are not available, the student is placed in the appropriate English Writing class according to testing results from the "COMPASS" writing examination administered by the University Testing Center. Students scoring greater than 3 on the Language & Composition Advanced Placement Test receive 3 credits for ENGL-101. Those scoring greater than 5 receive 3 credits for ENGL-101 and 3 credits for ENGL-102. Students scoring greater than 3 on the Literature & Composition Advanced Placement Test receive 3 credits for ENGL-101. Those scoring greater than 4 receive 3 credits for ENGL-101 and 3 credits for ENGL-110. Those scoring greater than 5 receive 3 credits for ENGL-101, 3 credits for ENGL-110 and 3 credits for ENGL-102.

Placement in mathematics classes is also based on each student's SAT, COMPASS, or ACT scores:

SAT ACT Completion of COMPASS Recommended Course
No Prerequisites................................................................ Math 015
250 12 Math 015 53 30 25 Math 025
420 17 Math 025 - 40 33 Math 108
460 19 Math 025 - 45 37 Math 123, 127
540 23 Math 108 - 61 49 Math 130, 143, 147, 253
620 27 Math 143 - 84 63 Math 144, 157, 160, 230
650 29 Math 144 or 147 - - 71 Math 170

COMPASS Key: A = pre-algebra, B = Algebra, C = College Score Placement in chemistry classes is based upon the following performance criteria:

    Eligibility to enroll in Chem 111 (Principles of Chemistry I) requires that the student either
  1. Earn a 3 or better on the Chemistry Advanced Placement Test.
  2. Have completed Math 143 or Math 170.


 Acceptance and Placement of Transfer Students in Physics

The placement of transfer students into the Health Physics Program follows university guidelines in regard to acceptance of transfer credits from other higher-education institutions. To be admitted into the university, transfer students must present a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 for all college level study attempted in all accredited colleges attended. Applicants with fewer than 14 semester hours of transfer credit must meet both freshman and transfer admission requirements, including submission of the required test scores.

Upon admission of a transfer student, all credits earned or attempted and all grades received in general education college-level courses at accredited institutions are evaluated, then potential curriculum equivalence determinations are made by the Registrar's Office.

The applicability of physics transfer credits to the student's program of study is determined within the physics department. No grade points for this work are included in the computation of the student's GPA at Idaho State University. Transfer credit from non-U.S. institutions is recorded with grades of pass-fail only. All transfer credits are recorded on the student's permanent record after the student is officially registered. The Registrar's Office provides us with a listing of the accepted transfer credits.


Experiential College Credits

The Health Physics Program within the Department of Physics has evaluated American Council on Accreditation (ACE) recommendations and National Registry of Radiation Protection Technologists (NRRPT) recommendations concerning assignment and distribution of college credit for the achievement of NRRPT certification. NRRPT suggests 6-semester hours of lower division credit, 16-semester hours of upper division academic credit, and 8-semester hours of internship credit be assigned in specific areas of study to the transcripts of those individuals who are certified by NRRPT. The 2002 National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs distributed by ACE provides identical recommendations to those promulgated by the NRRPT. Idaho State University will recognize 6-semester hours of lower division elective credit and 16-semester hours of elective upper division credit for current NRRPT certification. Additionally the Idaho State University Department of Physics will waive all internship requirements for those individuals who are certified by NRRPT and seeking an Associate of Science degree in Physics with an emphasis in Health Physics.

The Health Physics Program within the Department of Physics in collaboration with the ISU Office of Registration and Records will evaluate recommendations made by the University of the State of New York (USNY) National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI) as soon as they are available.

We expect that individuals with such credentials will score highly on core curriculum physics class screening examinations. Should a student's scores on a core curriculum physics class screening examination exceed 70% for a particular core curriculum physics class required for completion of the Associate of Science degree in Physics with an Emphasis in Health Physics the Department of Physics will waive the requirement to complete that class for the individual student.


Transferring Credits from Other Institutions Directly into ISU Health Physics Credit

When questions arise over whether a certain transfer course will substitute for a required course in the undergraduate health physics curriculum, the health physics program director makes a decision after evaluating the content of the external course based upon an interview with the student or examination of pertinent information about that course such as class notes, published college catalog information, or discussion with the course instructor. This decision evaluates if the material learned in the class being considered is consistent with the goals and objectives of the required course. Should ambiguities exist with regard to the class after the evaluation conducted by the health physics program director, then the student is asked to sit for a screening examination. The screening examination is consistent with the final examination last offered in the course in question. The student must pass this examination by a score greater than 70 percent in order for the transfer course to be substituted for a required course in the Health Physics curriculum. Under this circumstance the required course is waived. If the student is successful in this pursuit, a memo describing the decision is placed in the student's departmental file.


Meeting ISU Prerequisite Requirements

When a course has a prerequisite, generally a passing grade of D or better, or permission of the instructor in any prerequisite requiring course is sufficient. Course instructors are provided with computer generated reports listing the students enrolled in each course and their status regarding prerequisites. It is the responsibility of the instructor to both serve and assess students with respect to prerequisite requirements. Prerequisites are assigned to classes to prevent students from enrolling in classes in which they are unlikely to succeed without pre-developed skills or understanding of particular topics. Course instructors are in the best position to assess a student's likelihood of success and hence the ultimate decisions about prerequisite satisfaction is left to the instructor.


 Alternative Credit Opportunities

Students at Idaho State University have the opportunity to earn undergraduate credit for prior learning through a wide variety of means:

  • College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Program (AP)
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Credit by Challenge Examination
  • Credit for Military Service
  • Credit through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)
  • Experiential Learning Assessment (ELA)
  • Correspondence Courses

A maximum of 64 credit hours granted through any combination of the means listed above may be counted toward a baccalaureate degree. Credits earned through any of the above means affect total credits toward a particular degree but generally do not impact the student's grade point average. Grades for all said credits, except challenge and correspondence, are recorded as Satisfactory (S). The student is responsible for providing ISU with an official copy of grades/scores from the appropriate school, testing or reporting agency.

When the credit awarded is dependent upon evaluation by ISU faculty, such as Experiential Learning Assessment and Challenge, credit should be counted as resident credit and that which is standardized or not evaluated by ISU faculty should be counted as nonresident credit. An explanation of each program is given below. Additional information on these programs can be obtained by contacting the:

  • Office of Registration and Records
  • Museum Building Room 319
  • Box 8196
  • Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
  • (208) 282-2661


 College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Program

Idaho State University affirms the principle of advanced placement and acknowledges the accomplishments of students who have taken college level courses in high school. The university encourages participation in the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Program. The CEEB Advanced Placement Examinations are administered each May, at a cost of $72 per test, at most high schools. For more information about the tests, students should contact their Advanced Placement instructor or high school counselor. The tests and students' ratings are sent to the university at the individual student's request. ISU accepts Advanced Placement examinations in art, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, foreign language, history, mathematics, music, physics and political science. The Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Physics, and Political Science allow college credits with Advanced Placement scores of 3 or higher. The Art, Economics, History and Music Departments require scores of 438.

General Information


  • European 4 or 5 6 credits (HIST 101- 102 equiv.)
  • American 4 or 5 6 credits (HIST 111-112 equiv.)


  • Calculus AB 3 or above 4 credits (MATH 170 equiv.)
  • Calculus BC 3 or above 8 credits (MATH 170-175 equiv.)
  • Statistics 3 or above 3 credits (MATH 253 equiv.)


  • Hist. & Lit. 4 or 5 3 credits (MUSC 100 equiv.)
  • Theory 4 or 5 8 credits (MUSC 102, 103,104 equiv.)


  • Contact Department for more information

Political Science 3 or above

  • 3 credits (POLS 101 equiv.)

Psychology 4 or 5

  • 3 credits (PSYC 101 equiv)


 College Level Examination Program

Elective credit only is granted toward graduation for achievement of satisfactory scores on any of the four CLEP general examinations: humanities, natural science, mathematics, social science/history. A student may earn a maximum of 32 elective semester hours toward a degree on the basis of the general examinations. Scores on the general examinations range from 200 to 800. The point of test proficiency is fixed at 500 for the purpose of granting credit. Subject-area CLEP examinations may satisfy specific goals in the General Education Requirements at the discretion of the departments whose courses satisfy those goals. Similarly, at the discretion of the department, credits earned on the CLEP subject area examinations may be allowed towards that department's major program. Students may earn a maximum of 48 semester credit hours by CLEP subject-area examination with department approval, and scores ranging from 45 to 55 or higher are accepted for credit award. An "S" grade is entered on a student's record for credit hours earned through CLEP examinations. Credit for CLEP examinations transferred from another institution is subject to evaluation based on the rules and regulations of Idaho State University. CLEP examinations will not be released on an official ISU transcript to other agencies or institutions until the student is "officially registered" with the institution. CLEP credits cannot be granted for college courses previously taken. Both general and subject-area CLEP examinations are given at the Counseling and Testing Center.

  • Counseling and Testing Center
  • Graveley Hall, 3rd Floor South
  • Box 8027
  • Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
  • (208) 282-2130

Registration and fee payment must be completed four weeks before tests are administered.

Further specific information on the acceptable credit awarded is provided in the ISU Undergraduate Credit.


 Credit by Challenge Examination

Registered students may obtain credit for course-specific examinations by procuring a petition from the dean's office in the college of their major and by obtaining the appropriate signatures. Credit and grades obtained by examination are not used in determining the load or grade point average for the semester in which the examination is taken; they are used in calculating the accumulative grade point average. When an examination for credit is taken, whatever grade is made is recorded. A student may complete a total of 48 credits by examination toward a degree. The cost of credit by examination is $15 per credit hour payable to the ISU Cashier's Office prior to the examination. Credit earned by successfully passing a challenge examination is considered resident credit.


 Credit for Military Service

Nonresident credit will be given for military courses according to recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) Service Guide. Military credits will be evaluated only after the student has applied for admission and furnished the Veterans' Coordinator with official transcripts, and will appear on ISU transcripts only after the student is officially registered with the institution.

In the case of former military personnel, the high school GED test will be accepted for admission, but college level GED tests receive no credit. Military education experience may be granted for college credit by having an official transcript mailed to:

  • Veterans Coordinator
  • Office of Registration and Records
  • Museum Building Room 319
  • Box 8196
  • Pocatello ID 83209
  • (208) 282-2676

Military education experience may be granted for college credit by having an official transcript mailed to the institution for evaluation. Army personnel who entered active duty on or after October 1, 1981, may request an Army Ace Registry Transcript System (AARTS) transcript at or by phone at (866) 297-4427. Individuals who served in the Navy or Marine Corps may requested a Sailor and Marine Corps American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART) at or by phone at (877) 253-7122. Individuals who served in the Air Force may request a transcript from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) through e-mail at or by phone at (334) 953-2794.


Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) Examination Credit

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) general and specific subject-area examinations administered through DANTES are treated in the same manner as those taken through the traditional CLEP. Only elective credits may be granted to those completing the general examinations, while subject-area CLEP examinations may satisfy specific goals in the General Education Requirements. Refer to the section describing College Level Examination Program credit in this catalog for details.


Correspondence Courses

Correspondence study in Idaho is administered by the University of Idaho in cooperation with Idaho State University. An annual catalog is provided to the ISU Office of Registration and Records and is available to students interested in correspondence study. A maximum of 16 credits of correspondence study may be applied toward a baccalaureate degree at ISU. A student should not enroll for more than 18 credits, including correspondence courses, in any one semester. Grades obtained through correspondence are not used in determining the grade point average for the semester in which the courses are taken; they are used in calculating accumulative grade point average. It is the student's responsibility to contact the respective department to determine whether correspondence courses can be utilized to fulfill requirements for the student's particular major. This permission must be given in writing in the form of a petition approved by the department chairperson. Credits earned for composition courses taken by correspondence will be accepted by the Department of English and Philosophy for fulfillment of Goal 1 requirements upon approval of the student's entire portfolio from that course. Such approval must be obtained from the Director of Composition. Students who have studied French, German, or Spanish or lived temporarily in a foreign country and have spoken the language can receive credit by CLEP examination to be applied to their transcripts with an "S" grade (16 credits maximum). These credits can fulfill Goal 10B of the General Education Requirements when the student completes one course at the 200 or 300 level (4 or 3 credits) in the language in which they have gained CLEP credits.

Further specific information on the acceptable credit awarded is provided in the ISU Undergraduate Catalog.

Health Physics

(208) 282-2902

(208) 282-4538

921 S. 8th Ave

Mail Stop 8060

Pocatello, ID 83209-8060