Skip Navigation

Prior Learning Assessment for Academic Credit

You may be able to earn credit for what you already know and have accomplished.

Our students come to us with a vast array of work experience and training, and we recognize that not all learning has resulted from traditional classroom attendance. Our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program provides students with the opportunity to earn credit for learning outside the confines of a traditional classroom.

The PLA portfolio might be right for you if you have developed college level knowledge, skills, and abilities as a result of your:

  • Work experience
  • Formal corporate or military training
  • Business ownership
  • Volunteer work
  • Civic leadership
  • Hobbies
  • Independent study

Are you Eligible?

In general, you are eligible to participate in the PLA program if you meet these requirements:

  • Completed the university application and orientation process.
  • Completed the Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) process if you have credits to transfer.
  • Earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for courses taken to date and are not on academic probation
  • Not yet applied for graduation or registered for a senior seminar course.

PLA Undergraduate Course - COLL 200

If you are accepted into the undergraduate PLA program, you will enroll in COLL200, which is a mandatory 8-week, 3-credit-hour elective course designed to help you think and write about your prior experience in terms of the learning that resulted.

The PLA course provides specific exercises to assist you in the identification of individual prior learning that may be credit-worthy. Upon completion of the course, you will have developed one PLA portfolio.

You are only required to take COLL200 once, but can submit more than one portfolio for evaluation. The review of the first portfolio is done as part of the course tuition. However, there will be a $250 fee for the submission of each additional portfolio. This fee is non-refundable even if the review does not result in the award of academic credit.

Credits Awarded

Credit petitioned via PLA must be for a specific university course within your academic program, but cannot be applied toward seminar, capstone, and/or independent study courses. The university awards credit for college-level learning that can be assessed and documented. Credit is awarded for learning, not just experience. Your prior learning must be:

  • Related to your current educational goals and objectives.
  • College-level and be relevant to a specific course for which the university grants academic credit.
  • Transferable to situations other than that in which it was gained.
  • Accompanied by the application of appropriate theories.

Note: PLA credits are considered "non-traditional" credits. Accrediting guidelines limit the amount of non-traditional credit applied toward degree completion as follows:

  • Associate - no more than 15 semester hours
  • Bachelor’s - no more than 30 semester hours

Additional Information

For more information, please contact the staff of the Prior Learning Assessment office at or visit our AMU Student Help Center or APU Student Help Center.