College Credit Information

College Credit Information for the PLTW Courses 
at the Iowa Regent Universities


The University of Iowa (UI) and Iowa State University (ISU) provide the opportunity to receive college credit for Project LeadThe Way (PLTW) courses. Credit is offered for seven of the PLTW pre-engineering courses:

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Digital Electronics
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Biotechnical Engineering
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Aerospace Engineering

Why should students apply for college level credit?
There are many reasons why earning college level credit for PLTW courses is beneficial. They include:

  • Sense of achievement as the students are recognized for earning collegiate level work.
  • Credit can be directly applied to college graduation requirements, reducing the amount of hours required and potentially reducing the amount of time spent to earn the degree.
  • Credit earned can increase the student’s registration priority for collegiate level courses. When the student is in college, this will allow them to register for other courses earlier than their peers.
  • Credit earned has a financial advantage:
  • The cost for PLTW credit is $125 (ISU) or $150 (UI) for 3 semester hours (s.h.)
  • Current cost of 3 s.h. course at ISU or UI is more than $1,000 for tuition and fees for Iowa residents.

How does a student become eligible for credit?
Any student, from a PLTW-certified school and who has met the following requirements, is eligible for college-level credit.

  • The student’s high school is certified in PLTW program
  • The student has earned a class grade of 85% or higher on any PLTW courses
  • Final Exam Parts A & C have a combined score of 70% or higher.
    • Final exam Part A is used for high school credit, if the teacher decides to administer it.
    • Teachers will only be able to administer Part C once the school is certified. 

Students qualify, now what?

You must follow this link to the Steps for Earning PLTW College Credit.


What’s the difference between the credit earned at The University of Iowa (UI) and Iowa State University (ISU)? Check out the differences.


Specific rules and regulations (the fine print)
Since the students are receiving college credit for college-level work, there are certain rules that must be followed by every PLTW-certified school to ensure the integrity of the exam and process:

  • The final course exam must be given exactly as it is provided by PLTW.
  • Exams may not be altered in any way. PLTW Iowa requires that graded exams (Part C) be submitted for review with the applications.
  • Students must take the exam immediately at the conclusion of the course.
  • Students cannot decide, later in their high school career, that they want to receive credit for a course taken in previous years.
  • Teachers may not tutor their students after they have completed the course or give the exam after a tutoring session.
  • Current exams may not be used for review in the classroom. PLTW provides previous exams for the review process.

These rules are in place to ensure that the college credit process is handled equally in all PLTW-certified schools, that all the students are tested based on the same curriculum and exam questions, and that those students receive credit based on the curriculum and knowledge in place at the time the course is taken.


Application Deadlines
Below are the various deadlines for students who want to apply for credit. 

PLTW high school courses have been completed prior to:

Application submission deadline 
(of same academic year):

The student will be admitted during the following semester:

Letters will be sent out by:

January 31
(first block or first semester)

March 1

Spring session (January-May)

Late May

End of school year
(full-year courses)

July 1

Summer session (May-August)


In other states with PLTW programs, numerous students have been accepted at the college of their choice partly because of their success in the challenging PLTW pre-engineering courses. We invite you to consider this worthwhile and valuable option.

For additional information contact us at


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