Prior Learning Assessment Opportunities

Get college credit for what you already know! Save money and time through a combination of prior coursework, courses completed at Dominican, and demonstration of learning that has occurred outside the classroom.

Prior Learning Assessment Options

*Applicable to Transfer Students as well as Adult Degree Completion Students. 

1. Experiential Learning Portfolios

Students may earn up to 30 units of University credit for college-level learning which is documented through the satisfactory preparation of Experiential Learning Portfolios. A student is required to enroll in ENGL 3442: Critical Inquiry and Reflective Writing to prepare the Portfolios. In the Experiential Learning Portfolio a student documents the learning situations, describes and analyzes the learning experience, and demonstrates the knowledge and practical skill competencies as required by the awarding academic department(s). After completion of ENGL 3442 and the first Portfolio evaluation period, a second opportunity for Portfolio development is granted. (Not applicable to transfer students). 

2. Standardized Exams*

A student may earn college credit by way of standardized exams including Advanced Placement (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP)*, the Excelsior College Examination Program (formerly Regents PEP), DSST (formerly known as Dantes), and the NYU School of Professional Studies 12-Point Language Examinations (administered at Dominican). A student may earn 3 to 12 units (depending upon the specific test) for each examination passed with a satisfactory score if the student has not received full college credit for that subject area. A maximum of 45 units may be earned from the combination of these standardized exams. Students must submit an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office to receive credit.


The American Council on Education (ACE) and the National Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI) review courses offered through corporate, industry, government, and military organizations. These courses may receive lower- or upper-division transferable credit according to ACE/PONSI recommendations. These units may fulfill elective requirements with a limit of 30 units of transfer credit. 

4. Course Challenge*

If eligible, a student may earn up to 12 units of credit by challenging courses offered by the University, provided the student has not previously taken or audited the course. Not all courses can be challenged. An academic adviser will determine eligibility.

5. Military Credit*

Confirmation of active duty service must be made by either a DD214 (for retired military personnel) or a DD295 (for active duty personnel). Students must submit a DD214 or a DD295 to receive activity units for their basic military duty. (A maximum of 8 units, which includes physical education activity courses, will be applied toward graduation). Beyond credit for basic training, students may be able to receive credit for military coursework or training, if the American Council on Education (ACE) recommends it for credit.

Unit Requirements and Conditions 

A student can earn no more than 45 total units from PLA demonstration and the actual number and type of credits (General Education or electives) that can be earned will depend on the actual number and type of credits needed for degree completion as determined by the official transcript evaluation. To graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Dominican, students must complete a total of 124 required units.

For Prior Learning Assessment questions, please contact Lisa Haydon, Director of Prior Learning, at 415.257.1317 or [email protected]