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At Metropolitan State University, we value the college-level knowledge you may have acquired outside the traditional classroom. Earn credit for what you already know!

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Work & Life Experiences

College-level knowledge can be acquired from work and life experiences such as:

-Employer Training Programs
-Independent/Self Study
-Military Service
-Non-Credit Courses
-Volunteer and Community Service

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Prior Learning Assessments

MSU Denver offers the following types of prior learning assessments:

-National Standardized Tests (College-Level Examination Program, DSST, Advanced Placement Examinations, International Baccalaureate)
-Evaluation of Military Training and Occupations
-Departmental Credit by Examination
-Portfolio Assessment

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Is Prior Learning Assessment a good fit for you?

-Complete the Prior Learning Assessment Questionnaire (below) to find out!
-Meet with your Academic Advisor in your program to determine how much, if any, credit for prior learning may apply to your particular degree.

Prior Learning Questionnaire

National Standardized Exams

You may earn college credit through subject-specific testing upon receiving a satisfactory score:

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • DSST (formerly DANTES)
  • Advanced Placement (AP) – For current high school students. 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) – For current high school students. 

Credit for Military Training and Occupations

To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.

MSU Denver may grant college credit using the American Council of Education Military Guide. We are happy to provide guidance to military students and student veterans in selecting a program of study and in optimizing the use of credit for prior learning. Below are course equivalency sheets for your reference.

Departmental Credit by Exam

Credit by Exam Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled in good standing within a degree or certificate program.
  • If registered for a course for which this course is a prerequisite, the exam must be completed within the first three weeks of the semester.
  • No previous collegiate enrollment for a similar course
  • Not completed or been enrolled in a more advanced course unless the course is a designated gtPathways course. This restriction includes courses designated at a higher level (i.e. 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 within the same subject prefix (e.g. HIS, ENG)).


Contact [email protected] for further eligibility questions. 

Credit by Exam Process

1) Meet with Prior Learning Specialist to determine eligibility.

2) Complete the Credit by Examination form (be sure to review the policy and procedures on the first page prior to seeking approval).

3) Upon review, Prior Learning Specialist will provide initial signature on form.

4) Student must secure additional approval from the appropriate instructor, department chair, and dean.

5) Students can pay for this online at the following link and choosing Departmental Credit by Examination.

6) Proof of payment must be sent to the appropriate department.

7) Department will make testing arrangements with the Testing Center.

8) Department will grade the test(s) and the result(s) are sent to the Office of the Registrar for processing.


Refer to the MSU Denver Catalog for more specific information about Departmental Credit by Exam. 

Portfolio Assessment

Do you have experience that may quality as college-level learning? Try submitting a portfolio!

Published Guides, Licenses and Certifications

Published guides include credit recommendations made by reputable third party organizations for certain trainings and/or credentials.

Professional Licenses and Certifications that may be evaluated for college credit include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Department of Labor Apprenticeships
    • FAA Licenses
    • Firefighter and EMT Certifications