Credit for Prior Learning

51Ʒ recognizes that adults entering or returning to college bring with them a wide variety of prior learning experiences through work, travel, volunteering, activities in professional organizations, or self-study.

Some of these prior learning experiences may qualify students to earn college-level credit. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) allows qualified students to earn credit for college-level learning outside of the classroom. CPL may be right for students if their prior learning experiences have resulted in college-level knowledge, skills and abilities, and they are able to demonstrate that this knowledge meets the objectives of designated college-level courses. College-level knowledge & competencies can be demonstrated through multiple options. Review our CPL available subjects to learn more about current CPL options at PSU.


  1. PSU Departmental Challenge Exam(pdf form)
  2. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  3. Prior Learning Portfolio (The portfolio option is not available at this time)

In addition,ǰearned while in high school can be applied to an undergraduate degree.

Credit for Prior Learning Policies

Credit for Prior Learning Policies can be found in theor the CPL Academic Policies page

Cost for CPL Assessment

  • Fees for CPL assessment vary by the kind of credits earned. The fee for each CPL exam is $200, which is paid at the Cashier's office before the exam can be administered.
  • Financial aid is cannot be used for CPL exam fees, it is for enrolled courses only. You are not registered or enrolled in thecourse you are challenging the the CPL process.
  • CPL fees are not refundable.

Credit Limits

  • There is not a credit limit on the number of credits that can be challenged. However, no more than 45 credits of PSU Exam and Portfolio credit can apply toward a PSU degree/credential.
  • There is no limit on the number of CLEP and Military Credits that may apply.
  • There is no limit on the number of CPL credits that can be transferred in from another institution.

Degree Eligibility

CPL credits may count toward your degree depending on your academic department. Speak with yourto learn more.

Admission Requirement

  • CLEP and Military Credit will be awarded at the time you are formally admitted to PSU prior to actual enrollment/registration.
  • PSU Exam and Portfolio credit awards can be made only after you have been formally admitted, matriculated, and enrolled in classes at PSU.
  • Portfolio credit also requires that you be in Good Academic Standing.

Grading, Credit and Transcripts

  • Grading: CPL credit is limited to Pass-only grading. A "No Pass" assessment will not be recorded on your transcript and will have no impact on your GPA. Some majors will not accept courses with Pass grading. Please see yourfor more information about CPL-Pass grading in your major.
  • Transcripts: Credit earned by CPL will be included and appear as institutional credit on the PSU official transcript. Credit earned by CLEP and Military Credit awards will be treated like transfer credit and thus will not be included on the PSU Official Transcript. Although CLEP and Military Credit awards may apply towards PSU degree requirements and show up on your PSU Degree Audit, PSU will not certify CLEP or Military Credit awards on the PSU transcript.
  • Credit Limit: CLEP and Military Credit will not count against the 45-hour limit on Pass credit. PSU Exam and Portfolio credit will count against the 45-hour limit on Pass credit.
  • Repeat Policy: CPL is not eligible for the PSU Repeat Policy. Earning CPL credit for a course in which a student had previously earned a D or F does not remove the prior grade from the GPA calculation.
  • PSU residency creditrequirement:CPL credit will not count toward the PSU residency requirement nor will it be used to meet the requirement that 45 of the last 60 credits be taken at PSU.

Transferring CPL Credits

Students wanting to transfer from PSU to another institution should check with that institution as to whether they accept the various types of CPL credit. Policies about acceptance of CPL credit vary by institution.

University Studies (UNST) Placement

  • CLEP and Military Credit will be combined with transfer credit to establish placement into UNST.
  • PSU Exam and Portfolio credit will not be used to establish placement into UNST.