Credit for Prior Learning
Portland State University 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. Click HERE to learn more about current CPL options at PSU.
PSU CURRENTLY OFFERS THREE TYPES OF CPL CREDIT:
- PSU Departmental Challenge Exam
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Military Credit
- Prior Learning Portfolio (The portfolio option is not available at this time)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CPL POLICIES?
Credit for Prior Learning Policies can be found in the PSU Bulletin. Fees for CPL assessment vary by the kind of credits earned. The fee for each CPL exam is $200.
WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY CPL FEES?
Fees for CPL exams are paid at the Cashier's office before the exam can be administered.
CAN I USE FINANCIAL AID TO COVER MY CPL?
No. Financial aid is for enrolled courses only. You are not enrolled in a course you are challenging by the CPL process.
IF I DON'T PASS, WILL I GET MY MONEY BACK?
No. After you commit to CPL, you will be required to pay CPL fees, which are non-refundable.
IS THERE A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CPL CREDITS I CAN EARN AT PSU?
Technically, no. However, no more than 45 credits of PSU Exam and Portfolio credit can apply toward a PSU degree/credential. However, 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.
DO CPL CREDITS COUNT TOWARD MY PSU DEGREE?
CPL credits may count toward your degree. Speak with your academic advisor to learn more.
DO I HAVE TO BE ADMITTED AND/OR ENROLLED TO EARN CPL CREDIT?
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.
HOW ARE CPL CREDITS GRADED?
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 your academic advisor for more information about CPL-Pass grading in your major.
HOW WILL CPL CREDITS SHOW UP ON MY TRANSCRIPT?
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.
WILL OTHER SCHOOLS TAKE MY 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.
WILL I BE REGISTERED FOR THE COURSE I'M CHALLENGING WITH CPL?
You are not registered for the course, and so you will not see it in your schedule of classes.
DO CPL CREDITS COUNT AGAINST THE 45-HOUR CREDIT LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF PASS GRADED CREDITS THAT MAY APPLY TO A PSU DEGREE?
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.
CAN CPL CREDIT BE USED TO REPEAT A COURSE AND IMPROVE MY GPA?
No. 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.
WILL CPL CREDIT APPLY TOWARD THE NECESSARY PSU RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS?
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.
HOW DO CPL CREDITS FACTOR INTO MY PLACEMENT INTO THE UNIVERSITY STUDIES (UNST) GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM?
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.