Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
Earn credit for prior skills, courses/transfer credits and professional experience.
What is PLA?
The University of Memphis recognizes that learning occurs in many places. Therefore, we allow students to earn credit for prior learning by demonstrating college-level knowledge they have gained outside the classroom using a variety of methods known as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) outlined below.
Credit By Exam
Credit by examination is awarded based upon standardized examinations and upon examinations administered by departments of the University for specific courses and for placement.
CLEP - The University of Memphis awards credit for standardized examinations of the College-Level Examination Program of the College Board. Credit awarded is based upon credit recommendations and minimum scores recommended by the American Council on Education.
DSST -The University of Memphis awards credit for standardized examinations of the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. Credit awarded is based upon credit recommendations and minimum scores recommended by the American Council on Education.
See fees, testing dates and a list of exam options >
Departmental Examinations - Almost all courses in the undergraduate curriculum with the exception of those with laboratory, research, or performance requirements, are available for credit by examination. For more information contact the appropriate college/department.
Advanced Placement (AP) - The University of Memphis participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Credit is awarded for scores of 3, 4 or 5. Learn more about AP credit >
International Baccalaureate - The University of Memphis recognizes students' participation in the International Baccalaureate Program and awards college credit for completion of selected courses. Review information on credit awarded >
Experiential Learning Credit/Credit By Portfolio Assessment
We believe students achieve college-level learning through experiences outside of the classroom, including professional development training, earning licenses or certifications, completing military training and volunteering in the community. Our ELC Program allows you to demonstrate the academic merit of your experiences.
Convert your previous work/life experience and transfer credits to Experiential Learning Credit (ELC) to save time and money. ELC credits are awarded at a reduced fee of only $75/credit hour. There is a limit to the number of ELC credits that can be placed toward different degree programs, so be sure to consult your advisor for more information.
Students without pre-assessed learning experiences are able to seek academic credits by developing a portfolio. The portfolio serves as a reflective narrative of the student's previous learning experiences and includes supporting documentation.View additional information on portfolio assessment >
Licenses & Certificates
ELC Pre - Assessed - Certain professional and standardized training, licensure, and certification experiences
whose content is equivalent to offerings from the UofM have been evaluated by faculty
for credit hours. Examples of such education credit include Microsoft Certifications
and Paramedics License.
Review the current list of evaluated experiences >
Military Training and Experience
An official evaluation of armed services instruction is made after a student is admitted
to the university. Credit awarded for completion of services schools will be governed
by recommendations at the baccalaureate level from the current Guide to the Evaluation
of Educational Experience in the Armed Services from the American Council on Education.
Review the ACE Military Guide >