Prep Courses for Academic Exams and Professional Credentialing

The path toward achieving career goals often involves taking tests and earning professional credentials. This is true for lawyers, engineers, human resources professionals and many others.

That’s why the University of San Diego has developed prep courses to help students succeed in acing key exams and earning career-building professional designations. Program participants will benefit from comprehensive curriculum, small class sizes, dedicated teachers and a generous retake policy (in case you want some extra practice). Thousands of students have used our courses as a springboard toward future success.   

Who Are These Courses For?

Our test preparation courses can offer a valuable career-building boost for people in the following scenarios:

  • Aspiring lawyers looking to ace the LSAT.
  • Engineers pursuing their FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) credential.
  • Human resources professionals focused on aPHR, PHRca or PHR/SPHR exams.

We also work with businesses or individuals looking to partner with an accredited academic institution to create their own customized courses.

Why Test Prep Courses Work

Many of the tests used to assess academic aptitude (like the LSAT, SAT, GMAT, GRE) or to certify proficiency in a professional context (from CPAs to PMPs, project management professionals) are “standardized.”

Because standardized tests typically follow a specific structure and assess mastery of a standard body of knowledge, concepts, skills, etc. in a given field of interest, it is possible to design test prep courses that effectively prepare students for the format, timing and the actual content before taking the exam.

Benefits of Test Prep Programs

Test prep programs are a common pathway to passing key exams and earning important professional designations and certifications. Such courses are designed to: 

  • Position you for success on exams/tests related to your academic and career goals
  • Provide participants with deep subject matter insight from experienced instructors
  • Eliminate any surprises on test-taking day

The goal, often, is professional certification that can lead to expanded employment opportunities and higher pay. “Professional certification shows employers and clients that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained,” according to learning and development consultant Deb Peterson, writing in ThoughtCo. “It gives them confidence in your abilities because it proves that your skills have been evaluated and approved by a well-regarded professional organization. Certification makes you more valuable to employers.”

Test Prep Program Outcomes

Generally speaking, our courses helping you prepare for important academic exams and professional credentialing processes result in the following learner outcomes:

What test preparation classes can do for you

  • Explain the nature and format of the exam
  • Teach the knowledge and skills needed to master it
  • Provide you with proven test-taking strategies to maximize your performance
  • Diagnose and remedy individual difficulties through seminar discussion and review
  • Build test-taking confidence and competence to help you attain your highest possible score

Experienced Instructors

Our instructors, many of whom hold relevant professional certifications and advanced degrees, are subject matter experts and experienced practitioners who are focused on engaging each student in a stimulating and participative learning environment.

For example, Dr. Ernie Kim, who teaches the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test prep course, is a deeply experienced University of San Diego electrical engineering professor who has earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. Click on individual course listings to learn more about instructors.

Experienced instructors, plus high-quality course curriculum, is our formula for your success. Our materials teach mastery of the content, test-specific strategies and use technology to help each of our students succeed.

Why University of San Diego?

The University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Additional reasons to select USD include:

  • Top 100 nationally ranked university (U.S. News and World Report)
  • Wide selection of courses both online and on-campus
  • Ranked among nation’s most beautiful college campuses (Princeton Review)
  • Small class sizes facilitate personalized instruction

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I need to be a USD student to take a continuing education course?

A: No, all professional and continuing education courses are open enrollment. An application to USD is not required. Just search for the course you want and click through to the course description to enroll.

Q: What is the course retake policy?

A: USD test preparation courses include a generous retake policy. A $25 student processing fee covers all course retakes. (Note: In some cases, new course materials may need to be purchased.)

Q: Where are the classes held?

A: All classroom courses are held on the USD Campus. Online courses are held on our online learning platform.

Q: How do I qualify for a discount?

A: Discounts are offered to the following:

  • U.S. Military active duty, veterans and eligible dependents
  • Current USD Students
  • USD Alumni
  • USD benefit-based employees and eligible dependents

Please fill out the form below to see if you qualify.

Please contact us for more information

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