Proficiency exams are offered for the following MCB courses each semester, typically on the 2nd Tuesday (lecture courses) and 2nd Thursday (lab courses) of each fall and spring semester.

  • MCB 100, Introductory Microbiology
  • MCB 150, Molec & Cellular Basis of Life
  • MCB 151, Molec & Cellular Laboratory
  • MCB 250, Molecular Genetics
  • MCB 252, Cells, Tissues & Development

Fall 2024 proficiency exams for lecture courses (MCB 100, 150, 250 and 252) will be offered on Tuesday, September 3rd from 7 PM to 10 PM. The proficiency exam for MCB 151 lab will be offered on Thursday, September 5th from 7 PM to 10 PM.

Proficiency exams are not offered during the summer term.

Students may register for any of the proficiency exams using the online request form no later than 12:00 PM noon on the day of the exam they plan to take. Request forms will be reviewed by the MCB Instructional Program Office, and students will receive a response via email with instructions. Only one MCB Proficiency exam can be taken per day.

Please note, students may not take a proficiency exam if any of the following apply:

  1. They have taken the proficiency exam for the given course previously.
  2. They have already completed the course for credit or for a grade.
  3. They were enrolled in the course and withdrew after the campus drop deadline (eighth week of the semester).
  4. They have completed more than one course in advance of the course in which the proficiency exam is requested. (This is stated in the Student Code 3-203 (see below)

Additional information regarding proficiency exams appears in Article 3, Part 2, 3-203, Proficiency Examinations, in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students (see below).

Per Student Code, Part 2. Examinations, 3-203 Proficiency Examinations, departmental proficiency examinations may be taken only by the following:

  • Students who are currently enrolled for courses on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
  • Persons who have been previously registered in a degree program and are currently registered in an online course, or an extramural course offered by the university.
  • Persons who are not registered in the university at the time they wish to take a departmental proficiency exam but who are candidates for undergraduate degrees at the University of Illinois who need no more than ten semester hours to complete the requirements for their degrees.

Note: A proficiency examination may not be taken either to raise a grade or to earn credit in a course that has been failed. (See § 3‑204 on special examinations.)

Students may NOT take a proficiency exam to earn credit for an elementary-level college course which is part of a sequence of courses covering elementary- and intermediate-level material when the student has already received credit, or is scheduled to receive credit, for one or more than one semester of work in the subject. 

The grade in proficiency examinations is PS or F, but students are not given a grade of PS unless they have earned a score of C (70%) or better on the examination. No official record is made of failures in these examinations, but some departments may prohibit a student from retaking the examination.

Undergraduate students who pass a proficiency examination are given credit toward graduation for the amount regularly allowed in the course, provided such credit does not duplicate credit counted for admission to the University and provided the credit is acceptable in their curriculum.

Credit earned by a proficiency examination does not count toward satisfying the minimum requirement of sixty semester hours of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign credit, of which at least 21 hours must be 300 or 400 level courses at the Urbana-Champaign campus. (See § 3‑801 on credit requirements for degrees.)

Graduate students may satisfy specific requirements by proficiency examinations, but such credit cannot be applied toward graduate degrees.

Questions about proficiency exams should be directed to the MCB Instructional Program Office at 217-244-6239.