Portland-State-University 2021-2022 Bulletin

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Portland State University recognizes that adults entering or returning to college bring with them a wide variety of prior learning experiences including work, travel, volunteering, activities in professional organizations, or self-study. CPL allows qualified undergraduate students to earn credit for college-level learning outside of the classroom. 

PSU offers four types of CPL credit:

  1. PSU Departmental Challenge Exam
  2. Prior Learning Portfolio (The portfolio option is not available at this time)
  3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  4. Military Credit

CPL Academic Policies

  1. Student Eligibility:
    1. PSU Challenge Exam and Prior Learning Portfolio review requires students to be formally admitted to PSU as an undergraduate and to be enrolled in or have completed one PSU course. Students enrolling in Prior Learning Portfolio must also be in Academic Good Standing.
    2. CLEP and Military Credit is evaluated and awarded as transfer credit at the time a student is formally admitted to PSU, prior to matriculation/enrollment .
  2. Grading: CPL credit is limited to Pass-only grading and, as such, will not have a GPA effect. A "No Pass" assessment is not recorded on the PSU transcript and will have no impact on the GPA calculation.
  3. Pass/No Pass Limit: PSU Exam and Portfolio credit are included in the calculation of the 45-hour limit on Pass credit. CLEP and Military Credit are exempt from the 45 P/NP limit.
  4. Transcripts:
    1. Credit earned by PSU Challenge Exam and Prior Learning Portfolio will be included and appear as institutional credit on the PSU official transcript.  It will be identified as CPL credit.
    2. CLEP and Military Credit awards are not included on the PSU Official Transcript. CLEP and Military Credit awards are treated like transfer credit and may apply towards PSU degree requirements and appear on the PSU Degree Audit. 
  5. CPL Limits: No more than 45 credits of PSU Challenge Exam and Prior Learning Portfolio credit can apply toward a PSU degree. CPL can be used to complete degree requirements unless it is restricted in a major by a particular academic unit.
  6. Repeat Policy: CPL is not eligible for the PSU Repeat Policy. Earning CPL credit for a course in which a student had previously earned a D or F does not remove the prior grade from the GPA calculation.
  7. Residency Requirement: CPL credit will not count toward the PSU credits in residence requirement.
  8. University Studies Placement: CLEP and Military Credit will be combined with the transfer credit to establish placement into the University Studies general education program.  PSU Exam and Portfolio credit will not be used to establish placement.
  9. CPL can be awarded in courses that have been approved by academic departments. Not all courses in all departments are open to challenge. Each academic unit decides which of its courses are available to undergraduates for CPL credit. No courses numbered 199, 299, 399, or 401 to 410 inclusive are eligible for CPL credit.
  10. Credit earned by CPL may not be received in a course which:
    1. Duplicates credit previously earned by a student, or
    2. Is more elementary, as determined by departmental, college, or school regulations, than a course in which the student has already received credit.
  11. Department permission is required in order to re-attempt CPL credit for the same course, after a non-passing prior attempt.