Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) | Webster University

College Credit for What You Already Know

Prior Learning Assessment at Webster University

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Many adult students have gained the equivalent of college-level learning through work, military or other non-academic experiences. Undergraduate students can have their learning evaluated for credit as part of their college degree program through prior learning assessment.

Download the PLA Brochure »

student testimonialWhat is PLA?

Prior learning assessment documents learning you have achieved through your nonacademic experiences. You must be able to show how these experiences demonstrate mastery of learning outcomes for a specific course. This is most often done through a formal portfolio, but it can also include approved equivalencies for military or corporate training, as well as specific subject matter examinations.

What are the Benefits of PLA?

1 - Save Time

Applying PLA credit to your degree plan can significantly shorten your degree-completion process. A recent study by the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning found that students who earned PLA credits earned an average of 17.6 of those credits—that’s more than five 3-credit courses. The rate was even higher for students who earned a bachelor’s degree.

2 - Save Money

Fees for exams or portfolio completion are considerably less than the cost of tuition.

3 - Gain Understanding

The PLA process can help you discover and better understand the many ways you learn and the ways you can apply learning throughout your life, in your jobs, your community involvement, or other activities outside the classroom.

4 - Develop Your Resume

You can demonstrate to employers how your prior learning adds value to your skill set.

Are there PLA Options?

Webster University Portfolio Course

Learn how to create your first portfolio to document your college-level learning. Webster faculty will then assess the portfolio for potential college credit.

After that, you may create other portfolios for additional credit.

Third-Party Portfolio Course is an endorsed organization that assists students with documenting prior life experiences for college credit in a six-week online portfolio course. Portfolios from this organization are then submitted to Webster as transfer credit.

Credit by Examination

Webster grants credit for corporate and military training, based on recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE). The University also awards college credit for passing scores on nationally recognized exams, including CLEP and DSST/Dantes.

Get Started

First you will need to apply for admission. We are ready to assist you in your enrollment. Once you are admitted, talk to your academic advisor about your career goals and how you might qualify for PLA credit.

Contact the Office of Admission

314-246-7800 or 1-800-753-6765 |


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