Prior Learning Assessment and CbE

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a way for students to earn UC credit for knowledge gained outside of the traditional classroom. PLA involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of learning acquired through formal and informal study. This may include work and life experience, training, independent study, military experience, volunteering, travel, hobbies and family experiences. There are different ways to earn PLA credit.

How can I earn PLA credit?

There are several ways to earn PLA credit:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB): This option does not require a PLA Application. AP and IB scores are typically submitted to UC during the application process. Please visit the UC Admissions web page for additional information.
  • External Certification: This option does not require a PLA Application. External (non-UC) Certifications should be submitted directly to your program office. Please contact your Academic Advisor regarding External Certifications.
  • Portfolio Review: This option requires a PLA Application Fee of $184.00. A portfolio is a collection of documents that demonstrates evidence of knowledge gained by the student. This documented evidence of knowledge must be aligned with the learning outcomes of the course for which the student is seeking PLA credit. The following types of documents may be used to demonstrate the student's prior learning: letters from employers clearly stating skills learned from job duties, certificates of completion of workshops or trainings or of industry competencies, lists and documentation (links, screenshots, etc.) of completed projects and/or any other documentation required by the student's program or examples that the student feels demonstrates their knowledge of the course learning objectives. 
    • If you work with proprietary software and cannot submit screenshots, please ensure you submit a signed letter from your employer (on letterhead) corroborating your knowledge base.
    • Have your advisor check your portfolio before submission to ensure you are ready to submit before uploading your documents.
    • For more specifics on portfolio submission, click here.

Which UC courses are eligible for PLA credit?

Please click on the "Submit Your Application Here" button to see a list of PLA eligible courses. Once you click on the link select "Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio Review" from the drop down menu.

If you do not see your course listed email our office for possible course updates.