***IMPORTANT UPDATE ON USM'S TESTING CENTER. Due to public health concerns, the USM PLA office is unable to hold regular on-campus exam sessions at this time. If you need to take an exam, please fill out the testing registration form and PLA staff will contact you for more information.***
DSST exams are delivered by Prometric, Inc. and offer college credit in a number of different subject areas. In large part, the exams do not duplicate the options offered by CLEP®.
USM is a testing site open to the general public. Be sure to check with your home institution to learn their minimum cut-off scores and course equivalents. The list below is specific to USM.
USM Equivalencies for DSST Passing Scores
Registering for a DSST Exam at USM
1. Complete the USM online registration form to schedule a testing time. Once complete, this form will alert USM’s testing coordinator to set up a date and time for the exam. The testing office is located on the Portland Campus in Room 240 Luther BonneyHall.
2. DSST exams are purchased with a credit card at UMS’s testing center on the date of the exam. The cost for the exam itself is $85.00. DSST allows 2 hours to complete an exam.
3. Bring a government-issued photo id and pay the USM test administration fee of $30 on the day of the exam. The fee can be paid by check or money order made out to USM, exact cash or credit card. The testing coordinator handles these payments at check-in for the exam.
Posting DSST Credit
DSST exams must be passed with a score of 400 or higher to earn credit at USM. There is a 30-day waiting period to retake a failed DSST exam. Payment of the DSST exam and USM testing administration fees are required on any subsequent exam attempts.
Once DSST scores are received in the Office for Prior Learning Assessment, credit for passing scores will be posted to the student's academic transcript. The PLA office will send email confirmation of any posted DSST credits to the student’s University email account.
DSST Credit from Previous Testing Attempts
If you took your DSST exam at another location, you can complete this form to request your records directly from DSST or they can be reached by phone at 877-471-9860. For your reference, USM’s school code is 9553. You can have your transcript sent to:
Prior Learning Assessment
University of Southern Maine
253 Luther Bonney Hall
85 Bedford St
Portland, ME 04104-9300
If you are a military student who has DSST scores listed on the Joint Services Transcript (JST), it is not necessary to send an official DSST transcript in addition to your JST. Your military transcript acts as official record of your DSST exam score(s).
Additional Information for Military, Veterans, and Their Families
Active Duty Military - You test for free! Your DSST registration is free as long as you meet these criteria. Remember to bring your military ID with you to your exam.
- Student veterans who are receiving funding through the Post-9/11 GI Bill may be able to have their initial testing fees (including the test administration fee charged by USM) reimbursed by the VA. Students interested in pursuing this opportunity should contact Lorrie Spaulding, Director of USM's Veteran Services, at email@example.com or 207-780-5232.
Accommodations and PLA Exams
The USM PLA Office is committed to helping students with documented disabilities gain equitable access to PLA exams. Students seeking accommodations on PLA exams should first contact Rusty Dolleman, Director of Prior Learning Assessment, at 207-780-5909 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will be asked to provide documentation of any disability for assessment by USM Disability Services Center staff and, in many cases, the relevant testing company before any accommodations can be granted.
Accommodations requests should be submitted as early as possible. As testing companies vary in their approach to granting accommodations, the USM PLA Office cannot guarantee that any particular accommodations request will be approved.