Life + Work = Credits

Earn Undergraduate Credits for Life & Work Experience

What is Prior Learning Credit Assessment (PLCA)?

The knowledge that you have gained outside the classroom is extremely valuable. At Carlow University, we have a process for turning this learning from professional experience into academic credit. You can save time and money as you earn your degree while earning up to 30 undergraduate credits at Carlow for your previous experiences.

The Basics  

  1. A small, 6-week class
  2. Taught online
  3. Worth 3 undergraduate credit hours, plus any additional undergraduate credits that you earn through portfolios

What You'll Do 

  • Complete weekly graded assignments.
  • Identify areas of college-level knowledge-such as several years of experience in marketing. 
  • Match those areas with courses in our catalog, such as Marketing 101.
  • Create a Learning Portfolio for that area of knowledge. In our example, you may be able to show that you already know as much as a student who takes the Marketing 101 course.

What types of prior learning can be evaluated?

  • Work experience and job skills
  • Employer training programs
  • Military service
  • Independent study
  • Volunteer or community service
  • Open source courseware study or other self-study
  • Other training or skills 

How does PLCA work?

Carlow University offers an online course that provides you with the guidance and structure needed to prepare Learning Portfolios that reflect the knowledge and expertise you have learned outside of the classroom. Your completed Portfolio will then be assessed and undergraduate credits will be awarded based on whether your knowledge matches what you would have learned in college courses. The undergraduate credits you earn may be directly applied to your degree credit count. 

How to Get Involved 

If you'd like to learn more click here or contact the Admissions Office at or by calling 412.578.6059.