Chatham University

Prior Learning Assessment

Chatham University recognizes that life learning may provide a knowledge base equivalent to college-level learning outcomes. As such, degree-seeking students have an opportunity to be awarded academic credit for post-secondary knowledge gained prior to matriculating at Chatham University. Knowledge gained from employment, job training, independent study, open courseware, volunteer and civic duties, military service and travel are just some examples to contemplate when considering opportunities to earn credit through prior learning assessment. Moreover, PLA credit may be earned through credit by examination or portfolio development, a process that includes written narratives along with documentation detailing how your life learning meets the learning outcomes of select Chatham courses. Students interested in applying for PLA credit may do so under the direction of the Director of Prior Learning Assessment.

Undergraduate Prior Learning Assessment

Degree-seeking Chatham undergraduate students may earn a maximum of 60 PLA credits. No more than 50% of credit-by-examination, portfolio and transfer credits may be applied towards the major or minor. The remaining 50% must be completed at Chatham. Students may additionally earn PLA credit towards Chatham University's General Education requirements as well as electives. As many as 6 credits earned through the portfolio development program may count towards Chatham University's residency requirement. Each academic program determines the number of PLA credits which may count towards a major. PLA credit may not be granted for Physical Education (PED ) or Student Development (SDE ) courses. Additional courses may also be exempt. Please inquire with Office of PLA for a complete list of exempt courses. Fees for credit earned through PLA are charged at a significantly reduced rate relative to Chatham's University undergraduate per-credit tuition rates.

Graduate Prior Learning Assessment

Graduate Degree-seeking Chatham University graduate students may earn no more than 20% of their degree requirements through the use of PLA or transfer courses. PLA credit may be awarded either through the development of a portfolio or by attaining a passing score on a challenge exam. All requests for PLA credit must be made in writing to the appropriate program director. Credit may only be awarded for learning acquired prior to matriculation. Per each program director, PLA may be unavailable or restricted. Please consult with each program director or the Director of Academic Support and PLA for a complete list of approved courses. Any PLA credit assessed will incur a fee in the amount of 50% of the graduate per-credit tuition rate plus college fee. Students will be billed at the time that credit is awarded. The awarding of credit for prior learning occurs upon review of a successful portfolio or other appropriate means and does not coincide with the scheduled offering of a course.

Click here to download the Prior Learning Assessment PDF