Students occasionally request to take courses at another institution in lieu of taking similar courses at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, (Pittsburgh Institute, PIMS or Institute), and then “substitute” those credits for the courses offered at PIMS. While the curriculum may appear to have courses that are similar to courses offered at other institutions, there is an application and focus, of material taught, in the courses offered at PIMS toward funeral service practice. Furthermore, there is a requirement for graduation, of passing a comprehensive examination and a requirement for licensure, in most states, of passing the National Board Examination. We at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, feel that the various applications and the foci of instruction to funeral service are important to aiding students in the understanding of material, to assist them in studying for the graduation requirements and the National Board Examination and ultimately, to better prepare them for their professional careers. It is for the reasons cited above, that the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science does not accept transfer credit, in the traditional sense of “transfer credit” policies that other institutions may adopt, but rather, has adopted a policy of “credit by examination,” to facilitate such requests.


The objective of this policy is to try to accommodate the student who may want to take a course that has been deemed to be both similar in content and in the number of credits awarded by the Institute, and through various personal reasons, cannot attend classes at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science has adopted a policy of providing “challenge” examinations on a course-for-course basis. The examination is given during the first two weeks of the trimester of the course offering. Thereby, the student can register for the class that is offered at PIMS, in the event that s(he) does not pass the challenge examination.


The following procedure will apply, upon a student request for challenge examination.

  • The student shall have taken a course that is offered at a regionally accredited institution, have earned at least a “C” grade in the course, and is also approved, by PIMS, as both similar in content and number of credits awarded. The number of credits awarded at the college or university shall either be equal to or exceed the number of credits offered at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.
    • This approval process is accomplished by thorough examination of course content material from the course taken at the former college or university. Both the course syllabus and course outline or other suitable information may be required for this to be done.
  • Once, approved, the challenge examination will be scheduled. There is no charge for the examination. Passing requirement for the challenge examination is 85%. If the student sustains the examination, a “T” grade will be entered into the student’s permanent grade report for the applicable course, and the student will not have to take the course at the Institute. The “T” grade does not carry any grade points. The Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated with the remaining credits taken by the student and their associated grades that were earned.
    • The examination is scheduled during the first two weeks of the trimester in which the course is offered at PIMS.
  • The student may only take this examination one time. No retests are available.
  • If the student does not sustain the examination, the student will then be required to take the course, as offered at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.