At University of Maryland University College, our students bring a wealth of experiences—from the workplace and community and volunteer activities—to the classroom. We value the learning you've acquired outside of the classroom, and we offer ways to turn those experiences into credit by demonstrating what you know.

Benefits of Prior Learning

  • Save time: Successful completion of a Prior Learning assessment can trim years off of your degree.
  • Save money: Credits awarded through the Prior Learning assessment are evaluated for a fee that is lower than the cost of tuition.
  • Gain understanding: The Prior Learning assessment process helps you understand the many ways you have acquired learning through your full- or part-time jobs and community and volunteer activities outside the classroom.
Jeep Fortuna Student Alum Education Teaching

While I was in construction for 15 years, I reached out to UMUC, was enrolled as an undergrad, and went through Prior Learning, which is a great program that gave me credit for all of that experience I had outside of the classroom.

Jeep Fortuna

Distance Education and E-Learning Master's Degree with Distance Education Technology Specialization

How to Earn Prior Learning Credit

UMUC provides two Prior Learning programs designed to translate experiential learning into college credit: Portfolio and Course Challenge.


You can enroll in Portfolio to identify and document the college-level learning you have gained from your life experiences—through work (paid and volunteer), community or political activities, and other experiences outside the classroom—and earn credit for it.

Course Challenge

With a Course Challenge, you can earn credit by taking the equivalent of the final exam for a UMUC course. You can earn academic credit for any UMUC undergraduate course for which an exam can be prepared and administered.

Course Challenge exams are comprehensive tests of the material that is normally presented through a semester-long course. The exams provide you with an opportunity to earn academic credit for knowledge and skills gained outside the classroom.

Explore Prior Learning for Current Students

You'll need to apply and be accepted to UMUC before your can participate in Prior Learning. Learn more about Prior Learning in the Current Students section.