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"Degrees & Programs"

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credit for work & life experience

The skills you’ve gained from work and life may count as credit toward your degree. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) gives you the chance to apply those credits as you start school so you can:

  • Reduce the overall cost of your education
  • Earn your degree faster


of undergrad students, on average, were eligible to receive PLA credits.

PLA Benefits

Earn credits, graduate faster, and save on tuition

Accelerate your degree

For every 3 credits you earn for PLA, you’ll graduate 5 weeks faster.

Save on tuition

For every 3 credits you earn for PLA, you’ll save almost $1,200 in tuition.

Get a custom plan

Call an enrollment representative today to see how your experiences can impact the path to your education.

Have your credits evaluated

Explore potential credits for your work portfolio, experience journal, or both.

Professional portfolio

Your professional portfolio reflects certificates and licenses as well as on-the-job training that may count as credit toward your education.

Some examples of applicable experience include:

  • IT certificates
  • Police academy training
  • Real estate licenses

Experience journal

Complete journal entry style essays on approved topics that show what you have learned from your career and life experiences.

You may qualify for credit including:

  • Stress management
  • Parenting
  • Communicating in a virtual workplace

How to complete your Prior Learning Assessment

  1. New students
  2. Current students

Apply to the University of Phoenix

Apply to the University of Phoenix before you apply for PLA.

Want to get a head start?

Save time while you wait for your application to be processed. Use the PLA search tool to find work and life experiences that are already approved. For more information on how PLA works, select "Current Students" above.

Discover opportunities to earn credit

Find work and life experiences that have already been approved. You can save items that you'd like to apply for and download a report to share with your academic advisor.

Gather your PLA documents for submission

Upload these documents through MyPhoenix. Click on the Prior Learning Assessment page, found in the “Services” section in the bottom right corner of your home page. Once at the PLA page, select “Apply for PLA.”

Receive your evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated by the PLA team. You can check the status in MyPhoenix at any time. We’ll let you know what credits may be applied towards your degree.


was saved on tuition per PLA student, on average, in 2020.


Our enrollment representatives are here to help.

Already a student?

Contact your academic counselor at (866)440-4707 for more information.

Discover PLA Opportunities

Use the search tool below to find the most popular ways students have earned credits for on-trainings certifications, or life experience.

Frequently asked questions

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an evaluation of your learning experiences outside of the classroom.  Upon evaluation, the review of these experiences can lead to credits earned toward a degree.  For every 3 credits earned through PLA you can graduate 5 weeks faster and save $1200 in tuition.

Have your relevant work and life experience evaluated for potential credit through our Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process — at no cost to you.

Examples of experiences that may qualify for credit include:

Work Experiences

  • IT certificates
  • Policy Academy Training
  • Real Estate License
  • Review the full list of work experiences

Life Experiences

  • Interviewing
  • Communication and Management
  • Parenting
  • Review the full list of life experiences

While the PLA categories are separated between the nature of the experience (work versus life), students have the option of submitting for any and all experiences that might qualify.  In fact, submitting documents for both work and life experiences provides the greatest opportunity to earn credit.

The information provided within the work and life experiences resources represents experiences that have previously been evaluated and deemed eligible for college credit.  If you don’t see your experience listed, we encourage you to speak with an advisor to see if it makes sense to have your experience evaluated for possible credit.

You must first be admitted to the University and be enrolled in a program that is eligible for PLA (a limited number of programs are not eligible. Please speak with your Enrollment Representative to learn more. If you’re already student, you can visit the PLA page on your student portal to start the process.

If you are not yet a student, please speak with an Enrollment Representative to determine if your experiences might be eligible for credit.  If you are an existing student, your Academic Counselor can help you determine if PLA can help you save time and money toward your degree.

Access the support you deserve today

Access the support you deserve today

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