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Continuing Professional Education vs. Credit

Universities sometimes throw around a lot of academic terms and we may make the mistake of assuming everyone knows what we’re talking about. A common area of confusion is the difference between credit and continuing professional education (non-credit) courses.

Here in Continuing Education within the College of Arts and Sciences, we focus on Continuing Professional Education (CPE) with courses that do not award credit towards a degree.

You might take a CPE non-credit course, sometimes called continuing education, to gain job skills or just for fun. CPE courses generally cannot be used toward a credit degree, but many employers value you keeping up-to-date on that latest trends. You may already have a degree and CPE courses often award a certificate, badge or recognition of your education or training.

Examples of Non-credit Students:

  • Enrolling in a course in Microsoft to improve your skills or Film Study because you enjoy movies
  • You’re working toward a CPE certificate in Sociology or Geography to break that field

You might take a credit course if you plan to eventually want to earn a degree or you need a course that appears on an official transcript. Credits add up and can be applied toward a degree.

Examples of Credit Students:

  • You’re working toward a bachelor degree in Economics
  • You enroll in a credit course that appears on an official UB transcript
  • Learn more about degrees you may earn in the College of Arts and Sciences

You can always contact us at Continuing Education in the College of Arts and Sciences at UB