1

If I have a degree in science and I then begin studying another degree in science, the new course might have some of the same units or modules (e.g. basic chemistry, or mathematics) as the old course. Because I've already completed those modules, I might be allowed to skip them.

For a person in this situation, would it be correct to say:

This person got exemption of basic chemistry course.

I'm not sure whether this is correct usage of the word "exemption." If it isn't, what is an alternative?

4

One word often used in this context is the verb waive:

Because you took it already, we can waive your basic chemistry course requirement.

If you're getting your second degree from a different institution from your first, then other words might apply. One is transfer, which is when credit earned at one institution are applied toward degree requirements at another:

We can transfer your chemistry credits, so you won't have to take that course again.

or even apply:

We can apply the chemistry credits you earned at your last school.

Finally, there is the phrasal verb test out, which can be used when you need to pass a competency exam in lieu of taking the class again:

If you score high enough, you can test out of the chemistry course.

1
  • 1
    You can also be "credited for" classes already taken. – Andrew Feb 13 '17 at 20:33
3

Before I answer, your example sentence isn't grammatical English. It should be:

This person got an exemption from the basic chemistry course.

However, I don't think a native speaker would use "exemption" here. To be exempt from something, that something needs to be a requirement, which the chemistry course isn't. The requirement in this case would be taking the course. I think it would also be more natural to use the verb to exempt in this context:

This person was exempted from taking the basic chemistry course.

This sentence sounds more natural, but still isn't what I would expect a native speaker to say. I don't think there's a good reason for this, other than there being more specific terms used in this context.

J.R.'s answer provides some good examples of what a native speaker might say:

  • Because you took it already, we can waive your basic chemistry course requirement.
  • We can transfer your chemistry credits, so you won't have to take that course again.
  • We can apply the chemistry credits you earned at your last school.
  • If you score high enough, you can test out of the chemistry course.

Note that use of "school" to describe a university (or college) is primarily an American usage. In British English, it would only be referred to as a university, and it would only ever be a university which could grant a degree.

There is an exception to the rule, however. If the module was not optional for students who hadn't already taken it, a lecturer or professor might use "exempt" when describing the module:

This module is mandatory. Students who have already gained the module are exempt.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.