Earn Credit for your Experiences

UW Oshkosh gives you the opportunity to earn college credits by demonstrating that your professional and life experience have given you the same level of topic knowledge that you would learn in a classroom.

Contact us at admissions@uwosh.edu or (920) 424-3164 for more information on any of these options.

What is Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for Prior Learning (sometimes called Prior Learning Assessment) is a set of policies and processes for awarding university credit for the knowledge and skills that students bring with them when they first enroll at UW Oshkosh. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a process for evaluating and rewarding appropriate credit for learning that takes place outside of a college or university setting. This sets it apart from Transfer Credit, in which students transfer credits awarded at another college or university.

CPL can result in the awarding of university credit for learning that takes place:

  • within the workplace.
  • through military experience and training.
  • through non-credit education or training.

CPL is not awarded for EXPERIENCE but for college-level LEARNING gauged by an assessment of the knowledge, skills and competencies resulting from the student’s prior learning experience.

Common Types of Credit for Prior Learning

  1. Advanced Placement – credit awarded based on the student’s score on an Advanced Placement test taken in high school.
  2. Departmental Exams – credit awarded based on a predetermined score on an exam administered by an academic department at UW Oshkosh.
  3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Exam – credit awarded based on a predetermined score on a nationally recognized CLEP exam.
  4. Portfolio – student develops a portfolio that details knowledge and/or skills gained through work experience and/or any other experience source outside of college or university coursework.
  5. Military Service Experience and Training – credit granted for military training and experience, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE).
  6. Other ACE Credit Evaluations – In addition to credit recommendations for military training and experience, the American Council on Education (ACE) also provides recommendations for university credit for a variety of other training opportunities offered by the government, non-profit organizations and private companies. Students can search the ACE National Guide to see if any of their previous education or training carries ACE recommendations for credit.
  7. Other training and licensure programs, often administered by a corporation, an industry trade group or a state or federal agency.

OCE Credit for Prior Learning

Portfolio Assessment

Adult students may be able to earn credit for learning gained through years of experience at work, in military services, as volunteers or in settings outside of the classroom.

Earning Credit for Prior Learning consists of two parts: the classroom and the learning portfolio. Through the development of a learning portfolio, UW Oshkosh provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate the college-level learning and theory that they have acquired through informal learning.

Course: Students will first enroll in Interdisciplinary Studies 145, a one-credit, seven week, pass or fail course designed to help them identify knowledge, skill and theory acquired through in-formal learning. In this course, students will learn how to construct an academic learning portfolio, arranging their knowledge, skill and theory in a way that can be assessed for parallels in the learning and theory achieved in the classroom. This course is only taken once and does not need to be retaken for each learning portfolio submission. Students will pay regular, online tuition for this one-credit course.

Learning Portfolio Assessment: Students will be paired with an Assessor either before or during Interdisciplinary Studies 145 course. The Assessor is an instructor or faculty member who has extensive knowledge in the subject area for which the student is seeking credit. The student will use the techniques learned in Interdisciplinary Studies 145 to create a learning portfolio based on the guidelines provided by the Assessor. Credit will be awarded based upon how well the student meets the learning objectives established by the Assessor. A maximum of 24 credits can be earned through Credit for Prior Learning. There is a nominal fee for each learning portfolio submission and it is advised that all learning portfolios be submitted prior to the student’s senior year.

For more information about the Credit for Prior Learning process or to find out if you are a candidate, please contact the Admissions office at admissions@uwosh.edu or (920) 424-3164.

CLEP Exams

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know by earning qualifying scores on examinations. Earn credit for knowledge you’ve acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, cultural pursuits or internships.

General Information: There are 34 CLEP exams currently available. Any student who feels he/she has the required knowledge of these areas, may take these tests. There is a nominal charge to take the exams

Students who complete an exam with a high enough score can request credit at the college level. To find out which exams UW Oshkosh accepts for credit or for more information about the exams in general, visit the UW Oshkosh CLEP website. UW Oshkosh advises that college students meet with their academic advisor prior to taking these exams.

Military Service Experience

Your military service is valuable. Your official military transcript can be evaluated and with other military documentation, you may be able to earn credits for your military experience.

This documentation includes:
• DD-214
• Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
• Army / American Council on Education
• Sailor / Marine American council on Education Registry Transcript (SMARTS)

Military basic training may qualify students to receive two credits in Kinesiology and two health elective credits. To check on other military evaluations that may qualify, students must bring in their official military transcript.

The UW Oshkosh Veterans Resource Center is located in Dempsey 130. Veterans may contact the Veterans Resource Center for additional information at veterans@uwosh.edu.



800 Algoma Blvd.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.





Phone: (920) 424-3164