Credit for Prior Learning Services


Up to 30% of undergraduate program credits and 6 graduate program credits may be earned through evaluation of learning outside the classroom. Earning credit for prior college-level learning (CPL) saves time and money. These webpages provide procedural guidance on the five approaches to CPL, reflecting Andrews University undergraduate and graduate prior learning policies.

Undergraduate Program Advanced Standing 
Up to 32 credits may be awarded to countries following European or equivalent advanced high school curriculum.

  • See if your high school study is eligible for advanced standing by looking up your country in the by-country Undergraduate Entrance information.

Undergraduate Program Advanced Placement
Qualifying scores on the following national/international examinations will be articulated as transfer credit.

For undergraduate students, completing a national or standardized exam listed as assessing outcomes for a particular college or university course is an efficient way to earn college credit for what you have learned through personal study, work or life experience. Other national or international exams may also qualify.  

Steps to Taking Exams and Getting Credit Recorded:

  1. Discuss credit options with your academic advisor before or during your first semester at Andrews University. 
  2. Look up exams using the links above. Be sure you have prior learning to be able to score high on an exam. Then review the equivalency table (links above) to see which course would be articulated for a qualifying score.  
  3. Register online to take an exam at any recognized testing center.  CLEP exams may be taken at the Andrews Counseling and Testing Center in Bell Hall 123 (phone: 269-471-3470).
  4. Use the official review materials and other sources such as  or free online classes (e.g. Modern Alliance courses listed with each CLEP exam). 
  5. Request an original transcript sent directly to Undergraduate Admissions, 4150 Administration Drive, Berrien Springs, MI 49104.  Scores at or above the Andrews University minimums (see tables linked above) will be articulated with a passing grade.

A limited number of undergraduate or graduate credits may be earned through departmentally constructed written, oral or skill assessments, or nationally formed professional examinations administered by the department. For example, modern language proficiency and biblical knowledge may be assessed to earn credits or waive a general education requirement.

For both graduate and undergraduate studies, some program requirements may be waived or credit awarded in recognition of prior learning through credentials, documented professional development, unaccredited college transcripts or training program certification.  Validation is the process by which a faculty evaluator reviews appropriate and substantive evidence, including interview or observation of skill performance to determine whether outcomes for a class have been met in alternate learning modes. Contact the Prior Learning Director or department chair to learn more or present documentation for prior learning validation.

Andrews University may also recognize college-level learning through professional development and training which led to certification, classes or testing recognized by entities such as:

Students may apply for prior learning assessment of personal achievements and professional expertise where no standardized or departmental examination is available. For both graduate and undergraduate programs:

  • Credit may be granted for on-the-job training, community-service activities, non-credit classes, and/or special accomplishments which provide evidence of learning aligned with specific class outcomes.
  • Evaluations are done on a course-by-course basis through portfolios including reflections on what was learned and documentation of college level learning aligned with specific class outcomes.
  • Talk with your academic advisor first, then work with the Prior Learning Director to determine whether an Andrews University faculty evaluator is available or working through CAEL is best.
  • A portfolio may be submitted after completing twelve or more college credits and prior to completing the last twelve credits in a program of study. 
  • Use the learning narrative checklist and more tools to prepare your portfolio available here.

Personal and professional development is assessed externally through advanced placement or standardized exams most commonly.  Internal assessments are possible through departmental challenge exams, validation or proficiency assessments, and through course-specific portfolio assessment.

Are prior learning credits transferable?  As the decision to accept credit for prior college-level learning is determined by each college or university in the context of a specific program of study, be aware that any internally evaluated CPL credits (departmental challenge exams, validations, portfolio assessments) on your Andrews University record may not transfer.  Externally evaluated credits earned through advanced placement and standardized exams, while still subject to each institution's CPL policies, are more readily transferable.