Prior Learning Credit

Credit for Learning Experiences Outside of College

MCLA recognizes that significant learning may occur outside of formal academic experiences, such as professional employment, community activities, military service. Students may receive credit for such experiences through programs detailed below. Advising is available to assist students in determining which option would be best suited for seeking credit for their previous experiences.

To initiate the process of portfolio development for Credit for Prior Learning, students must contact Amanda Schuler, Coordinator of Advisement for Academic Pathways and Degree Completion in DGCE, for consultation on the application process at Please note that credits awarded through AP, IB, CLEP and Prior Learning portfolio are not included in the 45 credits that must be taken at MCLA to earn a degree from the college.

options for prior learning credit

1. Standardized Tests - Academic credit may be awarded to students who achieve specific standards on the following assessments:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Program, sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), offers students the opportunity to earn college credits. The standardized AP exam is usually taken upon completion of a specific course of study in high school. An AP score of 3 or higher is required to receive credit. An official copy of the CEEB report should be sent to MCLA Office of Admission for evaluation at
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, offered through a number of high schools, offers pre-university courses in a variety of subject areas. Students must earn a score of 4 or higher for MCLA to award IB credit. An official copy of the IB score report should be sent to the MCLA Office of Admission for evaluation at
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP), also sponsored by the CEEB, provides standardized tests across a diverse array of college-level courses. For each CLEP examination that awards 3 or 6 credits, MCLA requires a minimum score of 50, representing the mean test score of students who earn a C in the corresponding college level course. For students seeking 12 credits in foreign language, the following scores are required. French 62, German 63, Spanish 66. Advising maintains a list of the MCLA course equivalents (core and departmental) for many of the CLEP exams. For more information contact

2. Credit for Prior Learning (PLC) Portfolio - Portfolio development provides students with opportunities to document professional and life experiences as substitutes for some courses at MCLA. Professional and life experiences must match specific course outcomes from MCLA's course catalog. 

Steps & Policy: Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio development (update coming soon)


credit for prior learning - faq

Will the credit appear on my transcript?

  • Yes. All credits awarded for prior learning will appear on your official transcript.

Do these credits count toward my residency requirement?

  • No. prior learning credits do not count toward the residency requirement of 45 credits at MCLA.

Must I be matriculated to MCLA to receive prior learning credit?

  • Yes. In order to participate you must be matriculated (admitted and enrolled in a degree program) at MCLA.

When should I begin the prior learning process?

  • Any student seeking credit for prior learning via PLC portfolio should initiate planning no later than achieving 60 credits
    towards graduation at MCLA. The student should plan to submit the PLC portfolio for credit review no later than achieving 90 credits towards graduation.

Is credit available to me outside of my major?

  • Yes. Prior Learning credit may be granted for learning experiences of all kinds, not just those in your major.

What is the cost for prior learning credit?

  • The fee for PLC portfolios is $100 per credit. The student must submit the completed portfolio to DGCE. The non-refundable, per-credit fee is due at the time the portfolio is submitted for review.

What are the due dates for the Credit for Prior Learning portfolio?

  • The due date for fall submission of the PLC portfolio is November 1. Spring submission due date is April 1.

How do I get started?

  • To initiate the PLC portfolio process, the student must contact the Coordinator of Advisement for Academic Pathways and Degree Completion (DGCE), Amanda Schuler for consultation on the application process at