Prior Learning Assessment

Did you know that you can earn many of your credits toward your associate or bachelor’s degree at less than half the cost per credit? University of Phoenix allows you to apply relevant learning, work and life experiences toward college credits through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process.

PLA credit may apply towards both the lower division and upper division credit requirements of the University's undergraduate degree programs unless specified otherwise in policy or limited by the state or jurisdiction of a student's residence.

Save time and money—apply your past experience toward a degree

You may be able to fulfill some elective, interdisciplinary and/or general education courses by going through the PLA process. To be eligible for PLA credits, you must be an undergraduate student who has already been accepted into University of Phoenix. In addition, you must have submitted your transcripts to the University, and you must have remaining general education or elective credits required to earn your degree.

Before submitting an application, we suggest that you contact your Academic Advisor to discuss whether PLA would be beneficial to you and how credits can be applied to your degree program.

PLA credits cannot be applied to associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Education.

PLA credit costs

There is a one-time submission fee and a fee per credit assessed applied to your program. The one-time submission fee is $150, and the fee per credit assessed is $75.

Application to the PLA process does not guarantee credits will be applied, so please read the qualifications carefully. Speak with your Academic Advisor about whether your experience can qualify for university credit.

How to qualify for credits

There are two ways to qualify:

  1. Create a Professional Training Portfolio.
    This portfolio will include a description of an institutional or corporate training course, the date it was completed, number of hours of training and other essential information, such as a course description. More information, including the type of training that qualifies, is available on the professional training portfolio page.
  2. Write an experiential learning essay on an approved topic.
    Experiential essays must be selected from a list of approved topics and written in Kolb’s experiential learning model, which shows how knowledge has been gained from concrete experience, reflection, theory and application. Review the experiential learning essay topic list and Kolb’s learning model to find out more.

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