Prior Learning Assessment Credit

Students may earn credit for college level learning gained outside the traditional classroom environment.  Prior Learning Assessment credit (PLA) may include competency examinations, employer training programs, military service, and other learning experiences. PLA credit is only awarded for college level learning.


Find out what college credit you may have already earned!


Types of PLA credit

There are several ways a student might earn PLA credit:

Examinations (UTC Testing Center)

Training Programs

Portfolio Credit

  • Work experience/practical training
  • Other experiential learning

Transfer Credit

  • International Baccalaureate
  • Cambridge International A and AS credit
  • PLA credit awarded at another institution

Other types of PLA may also be accepted.


How Do I Earn PLA Credit?

Students may earn up to 60 credit hours of PLA credit, with no more than 24 credit hours of any one type of PLA credit. PLA credit may satisfy general education, major, or minor requirements, or be granted as elective credit.

The process for awarding credit will vary with the type of PLA credit the student is seeking.

  • AP, CLEP, Military/ACE, DSST - official score reports or transcripts must be sent from the testing agency or institution directly to the Records Office at UTC, 615 McCallie Ave., Dept. 5155, Chattanooga, TN 37403.
  • Credit by Special Examination - these challenge exams are administered in the relevant academic department and must be arranged by the student; the student must pay fees for any credit awarded.
  • Portfolio Credit - evidence of acquired college-level learning must be provided by the student; evidence may include certificates, training program information, and other materials developed under the guidance of a faculty member or advisor; the student should consider enrolling in INTS 3010, Prior Learning Portfolio Development; complete this questionnaire to receive additional information about portfolio credit.
  • Transfer Credit - an official transcript from the originating institution must be sent to the Admissions Office, 615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 5105, Chattanooga, TN 37403.

See the Undergraduate Catalog  or call the Records Office at (423) 425-4416 for more details about how to earn PLA credit.