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Credit for Prior Learning (Policy 3040)

University Policy 3040

Download a Printable Version of Policy 3040

Effective Date

July 1984

Last Revision Date

January 22, 2021

Responsible Party

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (208) 426-1202
Dean of the Graduate College, (208) 426-3647
Academic Departments

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all credit for prior learning requests for undergraduate and graduate credit.

Additional Authority

  • Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Section III.L.
  • University Policy 3210 (Credits to be Taken at Boise State University)

1. Policy Purpose

To establish policy for University students to receive credit for prior learning.

2. Policy Statement

This policy allows Boise State University to award credits for knowledge acquired from external study or experience that is equivalent to the learning outcomes of traditional college courses. Sources of this validation may include the following:

  • Testing to be determined by the department including but not limited to Advanced Placement Examinations (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Proficiency Examination Program (PEP), and DANTES
  • Military or other training programs
  • Course challenges/examinations
  • Credit for pre-requisites not taken, and
  • Prior learning portfolio as determined by the individual academic department (e.g., work, life, and non-credit bearing college learning experiences that demonstrate course content mastery)

3. Responsibilities and Procedures

3.1 Responsibilities

a. Academic departments determine specific course equivalencies, evaluation procedures, and credits awarded.

b. Boise State University generally follows the guidelines provided in The ACE Guide to Educational Credit by Examination and The ACE Guide to Military and Other Training Programs.

c. A department may choose, with justification, to award credit in a manner different from that recommended in the guides and will publish a current listing of credit equivalencies.

3.2 Evaluation of Credits

a. Credit for prerequisites not taken, credit awarded for testing, military, other training programs, and for prior learning portfolio evaluation is possible only at the undergraduate level, contingent upon department approval.

b. Credit for challenge exams is possible at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, contingent upon department approval.

3.3 Maximum Number of Credits Allowed

3.3.1 Portfolio

The maximum number of credits cannot exceed one-fourth (1/4) of the total credits required for a degree or certificate.

3.3.2 All Prior Learning Combined

The maximum number of credits from all forms of prior learning, including portfolio credit, cannot exceed one-third (1/3) of the total number of credits required for a degree or certificate.

3.3.3 Graduation Residency Requirements

Credits awarded for any form of prior learning cannot count towards the credits to be taken at Boise State University (See University Policy 3210 – Credits to be Taken at Boise State University).

3.4 Recording Prior Learning Credits

3.4.1 Timeline

A student must be enrolled at Boise State University when applying for prior learning credits. The Registrar will transcript credits awarded through this policy after the 10th day of the semester in which the student is enrolled.

3.4.2 Grades

All credits passed will be awarded a grade of PASS; however, certain challenge credits, at the discretion of the appropriate academic department, will be awarded a letter grade of C or better. Grades of D or F will not be transcripted, nor will the credits associated with them.

3.4.3 Limitations

A course cannot be challenged to improve the grade.

3.5 Fees for Prior Learning Credits

a. Fees for credits applied for through prior learning will be set by the individual departments and must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College (graduate-level credit for prior learning) or the Provost (undergraduate level).

b. Department fees are limited to the cost of evaluating the credit, to include human capital and/or cost of the exam.

c. Transcription fees may not be charged per Idaho State Board of Education Policy.

Revision History

July 2001; January 2008; January 22, 2021