Prior Learning Assessments (PLA)

What is a PLA?

The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program is designed for undergraduate students who have previous professional experience (4 or more years) in a particular subject area.

You must first identify a specific course that matches your professional experience. Once you have found a course, you must obtain approval to complete as a PLA. This approval includes prior approval from the Registrar's Office that the course is eligible for a PLA. Your Student Success Counselor can upload the PLA Program Application form to the Document Center of your portal for you.  Please be sure to identify how your experience directly relates to the course objectives. You can review a Sample Syllabus to assist you.  

If approved, you would complete a portfolio project to earn credit for the course.  Specific assignment requirements and grading rubric would be provided to you upon approval for the PLA.  The cost of the PLA portfolio would be $150 which would be paid after submission of the project. Once you have paid your PLA fee, your project will be sent to a faculty member to be graded. Once registered for the PLA, you will have 16 weeks to complete and submit your portfolio project.

Am I eligible to Take a PLA?

To be eligible for the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in good standing with the university. See What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)? for more information.

  • Be fully admitted and seeking a bachelors degree with the university.

  • Have successfully completed at least three courses totaling nine (9) credit hours at CSU-Global with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. See the grading scale for more information.

  • Not have already attempted or received a grade for the course(s) to be targeted in the PLA program.

  • Have fewer than the 90 semester hours of allowable transfer credit from prior institutions. Credit earned through PLA is not considered residential credit and will count toward the maximum credit transfer limit (90 credits) for a combination of all sources (previous institutions, PLA, etc.). Students must have the credit allowance for the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit to count towards the 90 semester hours of transfer credit. 

    • A total of 10 courses (30 credits) can be earned in any combination of the following areas:
      • Up to five 3-credit courses in major degree requirements (no more than 50% of total required major courses).
      • Up to three 3-credit courses in specialization degree requirements.
      • Up to ten 3-credit courses in elective degree requirements.
    • See transfer credits for more on transfer limitations.
  • Have at least four years of experience in a CSU-Global Campus course related field.

If you meet all the requirements then continue reading below for how to register for a PLA. If you have further questions please reach out to your Student Success Counselor.

How do I register a PLA?

First, you will want to review the courses in your program to determine if you meet all the necessary requirements.  See above under Am I eligible for a PLA? to review what the requirements are. 

If you are eligible to take one or more PLAs, you will want to reach out to your Student Success Counselor so they can upload the PLA Application Form into your student portal documents. This will be in the My Documents section of the portal.  Students are required to submit a resume/CV in the PDF application.  Please be prepared.

Once you have submitted your application and supporting documents, you will be notified within 3-5 business days if you have been accepted into the PLA course.  At this point you will be registered  within PLA001 in Canvas where you will have access to the Portfolio Project sorted by Department.   You will also submit your final portfolio project within this course.

When you upload the PLA Portfolio Project in Canvas, the $150 PLA fee should be charged to your student account within 48 hours.  The non-refundable $150 Portfolio Project review fee must be paid before your PLA project will be graded. Your project will be graded within 2 weeks by a faculty member approved to teach the course assuming payment has been received.

If you pass your PLA project (grade of 70% or higher) you will receive an "S" (for Satisfactory) and the appropriate credits, which will be applied to your student account and is seen on your official transcript. The credit for this PLA is considered transfer credit and does not impact your GPA. If you do not pass your PLA project, you will have one additional chance to submit the project at no charge.

Students have 16 weeks from course registration to complete their approved PLA Portfolio Projects.