The term departmental credit is a ruse, mostly played on transfer students from other universities. The situation works out as follows:

Mr. Schmoe takes seven classes in programming at University A. These classes teach all the way through templates and queues in C++, assembly language for the Motorola 68000, Visual (gag) Basic, in-depth architecture and networking principles, database modelling and modelling languages.
Mr. Schmoe decides that a degree from University B would be more beneficial to his career, so he decides to attend University B instead. Upon arrival, he discovers that he has four semesters of "departmental credit", a request denial for a 300 level course, and a nice, open, welcoming spot in Computer Science 101, "The Modern Applications of the Mouse".

Another interesting side effect of the "departmental credit", if the user attempts to use "departmental credit" towards a "degree", it causes fits of laughter amongst the various secretaries, advisors, and professors of the University.