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Prior Learning

At Ferris State University, we understand that learning happens in various contexts and environments. We understand that not all learning happens in the classroom. We value the knowledge and skills you've acquired through your prior experiences, and we offer a variety of options for you to earn college credit for what you already know. Whether you're a seasoned professional, a military veteran, a high school student with advanced coursework, or someone with industry credentials, we provide opportunities to translate your knowledge and skills into college credit. Explore the following pathways to accelerate your academic journey.

Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) Portfolios

The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) may help you identify and present learning from your experiences in a way that can help you earn credits, which means you may spend less time earning your degree and incur less student debt.

APL portfolios provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate college-level learning gained through work experience, military training, volunteer work, and other life experiences. Through a structured process, you can compile evidence of your skills and knowledge to be assessed for college credit. Learn more about APL portfolios here. 

Credit for Credentials

Ferris State University recognizes the value of industry certifications and credentials. If you've earned certifications in various fields such as criminal justice, education, healthcare, manufacturing, military training, or others, you may be eligible to receive college credit. Explore our list of recognized credentials and learn how they can translate into college credit here. 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you have completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and exams in high school, you may be eligible for college credit at Ferris State University. Our IB credit policy allows you to leverage your IB diploma or individual IB subject examinations to earn college credits. Discover how your IB achievements can count towards your degree here. 

Advanced Placement (AP)

Students who have successfully completed Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams in high school may be eligible for college credit at Ferris State University. Explore how your AP scores can translate into college credits toward your degree requirements. Learn more about our AP credit policy 

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers you the opportunity to earn college credit by demonstrating mastery of college-level material through exams. Ferris State University accepts CLEP exam scores in various subjects, allowing you to accelerate your degree completion and save on tuition costs. Find out which CLEP exams we accept and how they can fulfill your degree requirements 

Course Competency Assessment and Testing

Ferris State University offers test-out options for certain courses, allowing you to demonstrate your proficiency in a subject area without having to enroll in the course. By passing a proficiency exam, you can earn college credit and move closer to your degree. Explore our test-out options and see if they align with your academic goals here. 

For more information or to get started on your PLA journey, please contact our PLA coordinator, Deedee Stakley at [email protected].  

Start your PLA journey today and unlock the possibilities of your prior learning!