Credit for Prior Learning

There are two main ways you may earn credit for your previous experience—academic and non-academic:

Transfer your academic credits. JIU students are welcome to transfer relevant college credits from any college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Up to nine credits can be transferred in our master’s programs, and up to 90 credits can be transferred in our bachelor programs.

Transfer non-academic experience into credits. Students who wish to have their personal and professional experiences assessed for equivalence to university-level learning can compile a Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio. This portfolio contains detailed evidence of learning outcomes, supporting documentation, essays, and descriptions of personal and professional experience. Prior learning documented by the portfolio must match the learning outcomes for specific JIU courses. Students are required to work closely with their Student Solutions Advisor to determine which specific course requirement(s) they would like to fulfill through this option. Students will be charged a per credit hour tuition rate (see tuition and fees) for approved portfolios. The Credit for Prior Learning option is available to students who have been admitted to one of JIU’s degree programs.

CPL is available for bachelors and masters students only with the following limitations:

For bachelor degrees, a maximum of 15 credit hours (equivalent to five JIU courses) may be awarded through CPL. Fifteen credit hours is the cumulative maximum for both lower and upper-level credits. These credits are included in the 90 credit-hour maximum transferable from another university or received by examination. A maximum of 90 undergraduate credit hours can be earned toward a JIU degree through credit transfer, credit by examination and CPL.

For masters programs, a maximum of nine credit hours (equivalent of three JIU courses) can be awarded for prior learning. Nine credit hours is the cumulative maximum for credit transfer and CPL. The masters level CPL portfolio should include original work products, such as business projects, publications, and reports. It also may include scholarly works such as articles, formal presentations, or other work that constitutes primary and direct evidence of the student's academic achievements. Masters credit will be granted only for demonstrated learning at a level substantially above the baccalaureate level, and never for the work or life experience alone.

JIU cannot accept CPL credits awarded by another institution unless these are a part of a completed degree awarded by a given institution.  Students who have previously completed a CPL course at another institution are encouraged to submit a Portfolio of Learning Experiences to be reviewed by JIU.

Doctoral candidates are not eligible for credit for prior learning.