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College Credit in High School

Get a Head Start

There are several ways high school students can earn college credit to get a head start on completing a degree, while saving on college costs.

CVA (Cardinal Virtual Academy)

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Cardinal Virtual Academy provides partner high school students the opportunity to engage in transformative college-level learning and earn college credit while still in high school. Courses are delivered online and asynchronously by instructors trained in best practices for online learning. If enrolled at a partner high school, contact your counselor.

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PACC (Program for Advanced College Credit)

Saint Mary’s Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC) offers college-level learning experiences and college credit to participating private high school programs, with the same expectations, workload, learning activities, projects, and exams as the courses taught to first-year students at Saint Mary’s. See your high school for a specific list of the PACC courses offered.

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PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options)

PSEO is a State of Minnesota program that allows Minnesota high school students to get a head start by taking college courses at colleges and universities, including Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Juniors and seniors in high school can enroll, full-or part-time, in Saint Mary’s courses and will receive high school and college credit at the same time.

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Other Advanced Credit Programs: AP, CLEP, and IBP

Saint Mary’s participates in the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement program (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and accepts advanced placement credits under the International Baccalaureate High School Program (IBP).

Students with AP test scores of 3, 4, and 5 may request credit and advanced placement by submitting the scores to the registrar. Advanced placement is determined by the department chairs. Credit is granted for appropriate CLEP subject examinations; credit is not granted for CLEP general examinations. For more information, view the Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Table.

Saint Mary’s accepts advanced placement credits under the International Baccalaureate High School Program (IBP). Academic departments accept scores 4 through 7 on the higher-level exam only (with the exception of Foreign Language). Examinations must be in subjects which are comparable to courses in Saint Mary’s curriculum.

Placement testing for English, mathematics, and Spanish are available to incoming students at New Student Orientation. For more information, please contact the