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Credit for Prior Learning

Stevenson University recognizes learning where it takes place. Many adult students have gained valuable knowledge and competencies outside of the classroom. Through Stevenson University’s Credit for Prior Learning Program, undergraduate students can earn credit for what they have learned through their previous work and life experiences.

Students are eligible to:

  • Earn up to 30 credits toward degree requirements
  • Use credits to fulfill core, program, and elective requirements
  • Benefit from significant savings on the total cost of earning your degree
  • Reduce the amount of time required to graduate

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies offers several options for assessing and awarding college credit for prior learning. Once accepted into a Stevenson University program, you will be assigned a Student Success Coach who will advise you on which credit options might work best for you.

Credit for Prior Learning Options

College-Level Examination Process (CLEP)

CLEP is a nationally standardized credit-by-examination program that offers 33 exams in five subject areas, covering content typically taught in lower-level courses. By passing a CLEP exam, students are eligible to earn credits.Visit CLEP's website for more information.

DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

DSST is nationally standardized credit-by-examination program that offers 30 exams as an effective method of providing universities with evidence of prior learning. Adult learners and military veterans are eligible to earn lower and upper-level credits through DSST. The first attempt on any DSST exam by an active duty, guard, or reserve military member is funded by DANTES and some veterans are eligible to be reimbursed for the exams.Visit DSST's website for more information.

Prior Learning Portfolio

A portfolio is an assessment of the knowledge a student has gained from work and other life experiences outside of the traditional classroom. Using guidelines provided by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, students create their prior learning portfolios following an academic model. To earn credit, students are required to write a narrative and to include documentation supporting the experiential learning presented within the portfolio. 

Departmental Challenge Exam

Departmental Challenge Exams allow students to earn credits for courses by demonstrating they have previously gained the necessary knowledge to complete the courses. These exams may include any or all of the following: a comprehensive exam, project, or research paper. Challenge Exams are administered by the course’s department coordinator or chair. 

American Council on Education (ACE)

ACE provides universities with credit recommendations for students based on military transcripts. In addition, ACE supplies offi cial transcripts to students who successfully complete a course, examination, or certification with an ACE recommendation. The transcript reviews are then conducted by Stevenson faculty or academic administrators for final approval. Visit ACE's website for more information. 

If you have questions about the Credit for Prior Learning options, please feel free to contact us at  or call 1-877-531-7118.

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School of Graduate & Professional Studies
Owings Mills Campus
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