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. 


We assess credit for prior learning in five ways. Find procedural guidelines to undergraduate and graduate prior learning policies in these webpages, to discuss with your academic advisor early in your studies.

Undergraduate Program Advanced Standing 
Up to 32 credits may be awarded for specific high school completion programs with European or equivalent advanced high school curriculum. See if your high school study is eligible for advanced standing using our by-country Undergraduate Entrance credential evaluation guide.

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

For undergraduate students, completing a standardized exam with outcomes similar to 100 and 200 level classes may earn transfer credit for learning through personal study, work or life experience. Other national or international examinations may also qualify.  

How to Take Exams and Get 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 scheduled through the Andrews Counseling and Testing Center.
  4. Use free official review materials and othe rresources such as  or free online classes (e.g. Modern Alliance courses listed with each CLEP exam). 
  5. Request an official 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. Do this after your first semester but usually within your first year of study at Andrews. Then review passing grades with your academic advisor as petitions may be needed for core requirements that may allow transfer options.

A limited number of undergraduate or graduate credits may be earned through departmentally constructed written, oral or skill assessments, or professional examinations administered by the department. For example, modern language proficiency and biblical knowledge may be assessed to earn credits or waive a core or 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 certified training.  Validation is the process by which a faculty evaluator reviews substantive evidence, including interview or observation of skill performance. Contact the Prior Learning Director or department chair to learn more about how to 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 available here and meet with a prior learning portfolio coach to prepare, submit, and track your portfolio to credit award and payment of the portfolio fee.

How many credits might you earn? Use this free Credit Predictor tool. 

On average, adults who return to college earn 12 or more credits for prior college level learning, with a maximum of 38 credits at the bachelor's level, 17 undergrad credits for associate level, 12 credits at the graduate level. This saves adult students nine to 14 months, and thousands of dollars. Review CAEL's national research to learn more.

Are prior learning credits transferable?  As the decision to award credit for prior learning is determined by each college or university, internally evaluated CPL credits (departmental challenge exams, validations, portfolio assessments) may not transfer. Externally evaluated credits earned through advanced placement and standardized exams may be evaluated similarly by other universities.