Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies – Credit for Prior Learning

Alumni Spotlight

Lauren Busener explains how credit for prior learning benefited her.
Read More

You may be closer to earning a degree than you think! The NYU School of Professional Studies Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies recognizes that "prior learning"—through previous study, work, or personal experiences—may be equivalent to college-level credit. Students may be able to earn up to half of the credits toward their degree through our Prior-Learning Assessment (PLA) program, significantly expediting degree completion and reducing tuition costs.

Academic advisers work closely with students to determine which of the following prior learning assessment pathways to pursue:

Evaluation of Prior Learning by Portfolio. In this method, you have the opportunity to register for a two-credit seminar in which you develop one or more portfolios that demonstrate that certain life experiences are equivalent to college-level study. These experiences can then be converted into credits and applied toward your course of study. Students do not pay tuition for credits earned through the portfolio process.

Evaluation of Transfer Credits. Another way to earn credit towards your degree is to have credits earned at another accredited college or university transferred to the NYUSPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies. Your previously earned credits will be carefully evaluated to ensure that they meet our criteria for transfer. Please speak with an admissions counselor for more information on this process.

College-Level or Proficiency Exams. Subject exams also may provide a path toward credit for prior learning. An academic advisor will be assigned to determine if an exam you have taken is accepted by the NYUSPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, and how much that exam will count towards credits for degree completion.

Foreign Language Proficiency. You also can receive credit for tests that measure your proficiency in a foreign language. Tests in listening, reading, and writing for more than 50 languages are available.

Note: Credit is not awarded for exams in a student’s native language.