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Prior Learning Assessment

Earn credit for your professional and work experiences. 

At Loyola University New Orleans, we recognize the value of knowledge gained both inside and outside of the classroom.

Our students bring unique perspectives and professional experiences that help enrich our learning environment and inspire new ideas. If you’re coming to Loyola with previous training and professional experience, we want to hear about it! You may be eligible for exemptions from certain academic requirements and coursework by completing a Prior Learning Assessment. 

What is a prior learning assessment? 

Credit can be attained through one or more Prior Learning Assessment pathways: 

  • College Level Examination Program
  • Departmental Credit by Exam
  • Credit by Industry Credentials
  • Portfolio Assessment 

Using a combination of these pathways, a student can earn a maximum of 30 credits toward their degree.

Review more detailed information on the Undergraduate Bulletin

What are the benefits of a prior learning assessment? 

  • Save money: Earn credit for your existing training and skills to make your education more affordable.  
  • Earn your degree faster: Reduce the amount of coursework you need to complete by earning credit for what you already know.
  • Validate your existing skills: Gain recognition for the knowledge you've gained through work and professional experiences.

Do you have learning experiences outside the traditional classroom?

Complete this form to learn how you can take advantage of this opportunity

Prior Learning Assessment

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Credit by College Level Examination

You can validate your existing knowledge through successful completion of two different types of college-level standardized examinations: the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). Eligible students may earn up to 30 credits at Loyola through these testing methods. Students must achieve the minimum passing score to be eligible for credit at Loyola.

College Level Examination Program Logo

CLEP exams contain multiple choice questions on a variety of introductory topics, including business, science and math, world languages, composition and literature, and history and social sciences. Administered by the College Board, students may take CLEP exams at official testing sites or online with remote proctoring.


The DSST exams are a great option for post-traditional learners and military personnel with professional knowledge. Exams cover more than 30 different topics, from human resources to criminal justice to finance, plus many others. Students must register and take the multiple-choice exams at an official testing center.

Credit by Departmental Examination

Students with extensive experience and knowledge in particular fields may ask the Associate Dean of a subject area for an exam on the content of a specific course, or they may request an evaluation of an academic experience related to a specific area.

Credit by Industry Credentials

Working professionals may have received training for knowledge or skills equivalent to those taught at Loyola outside a formal academic framework and have credentials documenting this training. Business and industry training credit can be awarded based on recommendations by the American Council on Education (ACE) National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training. ACE transcripts can be requested through Credly or from the appropriate training organization for evaluation by the Prior Learning Assessment Program Coordinator and the Associate Dean of the subject area.

Portfolio Assessment

Building a portfolio to showcase your work experience is another great way to earn credit toward your degree at Loyola Online. Portfolio assessments are conducted by trained Loyola faculty members, who will match your portfolio against the learning objectives outlined for Loyola courses.

For students seeking undergraduate degrees, Loyola will award up to 24 portfolio credits. Graduate students can earn up to 6 portfolio credits. Undergraduate students can earn an additional 3 elective credits for completing CITY 1000, Loyola's Prior Learning Portfolio Development Course.

Start your Prior Learning Assessment today by completing this short form