UT Austin Exams in History (HIS 315K & 315L)

To accommodate students who feel that they have substantial knowledge of United States History and wish to satisfy part of the legislative requirement of six hours of U.S. History, outside our faculty-led courses, the department offers the option of credit by examination.  The two courses for which exams are regularly offered are The United States 1492-1865 (HIS 315K) and The United States since 1865 (HIS 315L).  The examinations are given twice each year on the UT Austin campus, toward the middle of the fall and spring semesters. Visit the Test Registration System to view and register for upcoming test dates.

Students should expect to answer three long essays from five options.  Each essay should require no more than an hour.  A maximum of three hours working time is allowed.

Level of Performance Required for Credit

Because one does not need to attend 15 weeks of lecture, write papers, and read as many books and articles as customarily assigned for our faculty-taught History courses, this examination will be graded more stringently than an typical final in these history course.  

Grading Policy

Students are expected to have taken the time to develop considerable mastery of the wide variety of subjects that could be included on the exams.  The examinations are graded by faculty in the Department of History.  To earn credit, students must make the equivalent of a C or better on the exam. 

Registration Fee: 

Students should take the test well before the semester in which they plan to graduate.

The total of the fees for each test is $90. When you register for a test, you will immediately be billed for the non-refundable test registration fee of $25. After you take the test, you will be billed for the test fee of $65. Payments are due within 14 days of the billing date. All fees are subject to change.

Students are strongly discouraged from attempting the examiniations during one test period due to the amount of information required to process and provide on the exam.  Moreover, since the exams are offered at the same day and time, there would be a maximum of three hours working time allowed to complete both exams.

Study Aids: 

Well before the scheduled date of the examination, students should undertake a comprehensive study of United States History during the time frame of the course including the people, places, events, concepts,: who or what, when and where, and why these are historically significant.  Students should definitely consult an American History textbook and others on more specific topics.  Here are a few suggestions:

Created Equal: A History of the United States, by Jacqueline Jones, et.al.

US: A Narrative History, by James West Davidson, Michael Stoff, et.al.

American Stories: A History of the United States, by H.W. Brands, et.al.

Test Results and Retakes: 

Results are available approximately 15 working days after the test date.  You may take the UT Austin test for credit in History 315K and History 315L only once.  The evaluation of CR (credit) or no credit is final. 

UT Austin CoursesScore Range
Test 1: HIS 315KNo cut scores are publicized for this test.
Test 2: HIS 315LNo cut scores are publicized for this test.