Prior Learning Assessment

Did you know that you may be able to earn college credit for what you already know and have accomplished?

Prior learning assessments (PLA) are credits students may earn for college level learning gained outside of the traditional classroom setting.

PLA credit may include competency examinations, employer training programs, military service and other learning experiences. 

PLA credit is only awarded for college level learning.

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.


Types of Prior Learning Credit

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • College-Level Examination (CLEP)
  • DSST Credit by Exam Program 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Cambridge International Exam
  • Statewide Dual Credit
  • UTC 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.
  • Military Service Credit: Military Service and/or experiences are evaluated and equated following the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. Students should submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) for evaluation.
  • 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 process for awarding credit will vary with the type of PLA credit the student is seeking.

AP, CLEP, Military/ACE, DSST, CEU, & IB - Official score reports or transcripts must be sent from the testing agency or institution directly to the Admissions Office at UTC, 615 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37403.