Prior Learning Assessment 

Student works at internship in Chattanooga's Co.Lab

Prior learning assessments (PLA) are credits students 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 total semester 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

  • Portfolio 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

    • Students may be awarded up to 60 hours of PLA credit for Military Service. Military Service courses and/or experiences are evaluated and equated following the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. Office of the University Registrar personnel evaluate the Military Service work with the support of ACE guidelines and the appropriate academic department. Credit not equated by ACE may be awarded departmental elective credit or Military Service Elective credit as appropriate. Students should submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) for evaluation.

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

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, Dept 5105.