Credit Evaluation and Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment

Adult students come to college from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, some of which may involve college-level learning. Prior learning assessment (PLA) provides you with a path to attain college credit for learning you have already mastered outside the traditional college classroom. Equivalent credit is not awarded for experience, but for learning that is similar in content, depth, and breadth to college-level learning.


If you have questions about prior learning assessment, contact Michael Yard, IUPUI faculty coordinator of prior learning assessment, at or (317) 278-7600.

PLA Courses, Programs, and Options

  • IUPUI General

    The AP, IB, CLEP, and DANTES examination programs give traditional and non-traditional student the opportunity to earn transfer credit.

    Military Training Occupations


    Students who wish to "test out" of a math course are able to take a proficiency test or credit by exam in order to place into a higher level of math and/or gain credit for a course without taking it.

  • School of Engineering and Technology

    All students admitted to the School of Engineering and Technology (any program) who can demonstrate learning through professional prior learning portfolio assessment and/or ACE recommendations for military service (E5 or higher rank with honorable discharge) may be eligible to earn college credit for the following courses.

    Students admitted to programs outside of the School of Engineering and Technology who would benefit from earning prior learning credit for PLA eligible courses, must meet with Elizabeth Wager before enrolling in TCM 43500 Portfolio Preparation or gaining access to the ET Prior Learning Portfolio Preparation Canvas site. Call 317.278.0286 to schedule a phone interview or appointment.

    Students with extensive leadership or technical communication background, admitted to any of the programs listed below, should contact the TLC Department before enrolling in their first semester of coursework at IUPUI to ensure they are not eligible to develop a professional prior learning portfolio for other program level course requirements.

    • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS)
    • Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication (TCM)
    • Certificate in Human Resource Management (OLS)
    • Certificate in Leadership Studies (OLS)
    • Certificate in Technical Communication (TCM)

    Credit for Exam-based Credentials

    Students who hold a current (or recent) professional certification in any of the areas below with 5 or more years of work experience will be eligible to receive credit based on their demonstration of learning through successful completion of the professional examination. Students must provide evidence (documentation) of their credential(s) awarded by the organization providing the certification. Documentation can be submitted during the first year of academic studies at IUPUI. No portfolio or other documentation is required to earn credit based on professional certifications listed below. Please note that credit cannot be awarded to students who are not currently enrolled or are not in good academic standing.

    • Professional Human Resources Certification (PHR)
    • Senior Professional Human Resources Certification (SPHR)
    • OSHA 30/40
    • Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt or higher)
    • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)
    • Project Management Institute (PMI or Cap-M)

    Test Out (IUPUI Testing Center)

    Students who can demonstrate to have equivalent knowledge of the material have the option to test out of select courses at IUPUI. Passing the course test-out or equivalency exam means students will be waived the requirement of taking the course and will be able to choose another course to meet their overall required credits.

    Test Out of CIT 10600 Course, Using a Personal Computer

    Test Out of CIT 11200 Course, Information Technology Fundamentals

  • Kelley School of Business

    Business majors with extensive knowledge of computer concepts, databases, and spreadsheets may choose to take the Computer in Business (K201) waiver exam.

    The Computer in Business K201 Waiver Exam

  • School of Informatics and Computing

    Course credit can be awarded to a student if they pass a prior learning assessment. After reviewing the syllabus, if a student feels they already know the course content through life experience or other courses completed, the student can meet with the faculty of that course to discuss pursuing the prior learning option. The faculty can either do a portfolio review or give the student the course final. Credit is then awarded if the portfolio meets expectations or final is passed with a grade of C or above.

    Advisors review transcripts for veteran SoIC students coming in with military credit. All earned military credits are applied towards SoIC program, up to and not exceeding 64 credit hours.

  • School of Liberal Arts

    Credit may sometimes be granted for learning experiences acquired through means other than normal college course work. Credit is available for course-specific learning or for non–course-specific learning in (1) arts and humanities, and (2) social sciences.

    There are multiple options for obtaining credit for writing courses at IUPUI. Students may transfer direct or comparable credit from a previous institution, pass an approved examination, or complete a special credit portfolio. View the policies for specific information about each course and what is acceptable for transferring credit in this area.

  • School of Physical Education and Tourism Management

    Credit may be awarded for relevant and meaningful professional and or life experience outside of the typical university environment. A maximum of 15 credit hours can be awarded as self-acquired competency.

  • School of Public and Environmental Affairs

    Full time firefighters who are trained and employed by participating departments are eligible for up to nine undergraduate credit hours, which can be applied towards any of SPEA’s undergraduate programs.

    Sworn full-time police officers who have graduated from any of the five law enforcement academies in Indiana are eligible for up to 12 undergraduate credit hours, which can be applied towards any of SPEA’s undergraduate programs.

    The Graduate Admissions Committee of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs may grant up to a maximum of 12 credit hours toward the MPA degree for students who have had significant professional level work experience in management and policy development.

    Correctional Training Institute

    SPEA students who have completed the Correctional Training Institute through the Department of Corrections have the opportunity to earn 6 credits toward their degree. Credit is earned through Indiana State University (ISU). Applications are sent to ISU during the training sessions. The admission and registration process can take up to 6 months to process. Once processed, IUPUI students will need to request an official ISU transcript to be sent to IUPUI for transfer credit evaluation. At the Correctional Training Institute, state employees are given the opportunity to take ISU Criminology 210 and Criminology 298 for a total of 6 credits. CRIM 210 (Introduction to Corrections) will transfer to IUPUI as SPEA-J 331 (Corrections). CRIM 298 (Practicum in Criminal Justice) will transfer to IUPUI as SPEA UN 200 and will count as an elective. Learn more.

  • Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

    The Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program Committee of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, may grant up to a maximum of 3 credit hours toward the MHA degree for students who have had significant professional level work experience in management and policy development.

  • School of Science

    Students who wish to "test out" of a math course are able to take a proficiency test or credit by exam in order to place into a higher level of math and/or gain credit for a course without taking it.

  • School of Social Work

    Self-acquired competency (SAC) can be awarded for learning gained outside of the university setting such as learning derived from union activities and/or workplace experiences. Students must demonstrate and document that their learning is equivalent to college-level material.

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