Prior Learning includes knowledge, competencies, and skills acquired through formal or informal education outside a traditional academic environment or at the initiative of the individual learner, including through participation in employer training programs, military service, and independent study.
Credit for Prior Learning is assessed by a proven, validated process through which faculty subject matter experts evaluate a student's previously learned competencies in a particular field and grant college credit when appropriate.
Accepted forms of prior learning assessments include:
Advanced Placement Credits
Students who present Advanced Placement examination scores of 3, 4, or 5 may receive 3 to 10 University credits for each exam.
Learn more about awarding credit from AP exams.
Credits may be acquired through the CLEP examinations. These credits may be used to fill General Education Requirements, and may also be accepted as equivalent to specific courses. USU will accept a maximum of 30 total credits from CLEP, DANTES (DSST), and cooperative education/internship credit combined.
Learn more about awarding credit from CLEP exams.
Credit for Military Service
USU may grant credit to students currently enrolled at the University who have served in the Armed Forces. Applications for credit are made by submitting the DD-214 or DD295 forms or any other military transcripts (e.g. AARTS) to the Admissions Office. After admission they must contact the Articulation Office to request these be posted their account at (435)797-1081.
Learn more about credit awarding from military service.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
DSSTs provide an opportunity for people to obtain college credit for what they learned in nontraditional ways. USU will accept a maximum of 30 total credits from CLEP, DANTES (DSST), and cooperative education/internship credit combined.
Learn more about awarding credit from DSST.
International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)
Credit by Advanced Coursework (Language Credits)
Where basic skills in a language have been acquired by means other than college courses, up to 16 lower-division credits may be earned by special examination. Students are encouraged to contact the Languages, Philosophy, and Speech Communication Department for more information.
Learn more about awarding credits from language credits.
Credit by Departmental Exam
Undergraduate matriculated students may challenge a course for credit by taking a departmental examination. Because departments will determine if a course is appropriate for challenge, students should contact the instructor and/or department for more information.
Learn more about awarding credits from departmental exams.
Testing Services at USU
Students who need to take an exam for admission, placement, certification, or other purposes including GED and CLEP, can contact Testing Services to make an appointment at 435.797.1004.
Note: Excessive PLA credit can impact Federal Aid. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to find out how PLA will affect your eligibility at https://www.usu.edu/financialaid/contact.