You can earn credit for prior college-level learning and apply it toward your associate or bachelor's degree. Your faculty mentor will help you determine what relevant college-level learning you already have.

Transfer credit from other institutions is one source of prior college-level learning. Other sources include:

  • Licenses and training, from the military, law enforcement, real estate profession
  • Standardized exams, such as CLEP, DANTES, and DSST
  • Other college-level learning, such as:
    • Noncredit courses
    • Seminars
    • In-service trainings
    • Volunteer work

For more information about credit for prior learning, including learning that already has been evaluated by Empire State University, the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Services (National CCRS), view our student degree planning and prior learning assessment guides.

Credit For College-Level Learning

Empire State University awards credit to degree-seeking students for verifiable college-level learning (knowledge or skills) acquired through life or work experience. 

This learning can come from many sources, including:

  • Courses at other colleges and universities
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Training programs or in-service courses
  • Military service
  • Community activities
  • Independent reading and study

To develop your prior-learning credit requests, you will work with your mentor to determine:

  • If the learning is college-level
  • If the learning is appropriate for the degree plan you're developing
  • The best way to demonstrate your learning

Empire State University uses the following standards to determine whether learning is college-level:

  • The learning should be theoretical and practical. If you seek credit for supervising employees at work, you should prove understanding employee motivation, management styles, and job evaluation techniques, as well as day-to-day-operations.
  • You should be able to identify the principles involved.
  • The learning should be identified as college-level when evaluated by an expert in the field. This means you should be able to convince an expert evaluator through description or demonstration that your knowledge or competence is at the college level.

Not all learning will qualify as college-level. Examples include maintaining the family budget, putting up bookshelves, buying a house, or surviving a serious illness.

Credit derived directly from transcript learning, examinations, and in some cases, from licenses and certifications is easily translatable into Empire State University credits.