Graduate Prior Learning Credit

Graduate students admitted to CMU in the Master of Science Administration programs are eligible to apply for prior learning credit. MSA students may use up to 12 hours of prior learning credit on their program, the maximum allowable prior learning credits and certification to credit is 12.

Master of Arts in Education students may use up to 9 hours of prior learning credit on their program. Your advisor may be able to help you identify the experiences that would be most applicable to your degree program if prior learning credit is awarded. Your advisor can advise you on the number of prior learning credits you can use in your degree plan.

Graduate students can include experiences from the completion date of their undergraduate degree or 7 years, whichever is most recent.  Individuals have had different experiences, for differing lengths of time, all of which can affect the amount of credit received. 

Certification to credit

MSA Certification to Credit MPA Certification to Credit MAED: Curriculum and Instruction Certification to Credit

Learn more about these programs

Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction Master of Arts in Education: Training and Development

The number of credits actually awarded depends on a number of factors:

  • the length and duration of the experiences submitted for consideration
  • the quality of the student’s self-assessment of learning
  • whether the learning is college-level (undergraduate)
  • whether sufficient and appropriate documentation has been provided
  • whether the portfolio is in the correct order and meets all requirements
The cost to submit a portfolio for review and determination of award is $125.  The cost per credit hour for the credits you will use in your degree plan is $125 (you only pay for the credits you need). The timeline for review and awarding of credits is approximately 6 – 8 weeks. The maximum number of credits: 12
Determine Number of Potential Credits

Graduate prior learning credit portfolio

These are documents that make up a graduate portfolio. Some documents are fillable forms.  The order of the documents listed here is the order of items that need to be in a submitted portfolio.  The documents listed that are not fillable forms are documents that you will also need to include in your portfolio.

This is an optional section that can be used for specific information regarding your portfolio that you wish to point out.

Cover Letter

In this section, you will outline your personal and education information.

Tabs I and II Personal and Education Information

Include your academic history which is available in your student account portal.

There are separate forms for Work, Training, and Life Experiences which all make up the Table of Contents.

Tab III Table of Contents

This section consists of four parts and you will complete all four parts for each job or position.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Tab IV Work Experiences

This section consists of four parts and you will complete all four parts for each course or training experience.

Tab V Training Experience

This is an opportunity to highlight your volunteer experiences.

Tab VI Life Experiences

Sign the signature block.


This section will help you organize and ensure that you have completed each section before you submit your Prior Learning Credit Portfolio to

Portfolio Checklist

Below are several resources to help you create a successful Prior Learning Credit Portfolio.

Grad Writing Resource

Sample Competency Titles

Blooms Taxonomy

Action Verb List Infosheet

Tips for Writing Competency

Sample Graduate Competency