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Credit by Examination and Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment

Adult students are likely to have acquired college-level learning outside of the academic classroom. In addition to evaluating transfer credit from prior college work, Pace University offers assessment of prior learning, including credit by examination and experiential learning assessment, and accepts ACE/PONSI-recommended credit.

Experiential Learning Assessment (ELA)

Pace University recognizes that adults often come to school with a great deal of experience and knowledge gained outside of a formal academic setting. Students interested in exploring the possibility of earning college credit for that knowledge should meet with an Adult and Continuing Education adviser to explore the options available. When an adviser determines that a student may be eligible for experiential credit, the student will be encouraged to enroll in a prior learning assessment course (INT 196B Prior Learning Assessment). This course will guide the student through the process of writing a portfolio that will be submitted for evaluation to the appropriate academic department. A faculty evaluator reviews the portfolio and, if college-level learning is demonstrated, approves the granting of credits. Credit earned through portfolio assessment is entered on a student’s transcript as transfer credit. Students must be enrolled in a degree program; up to 36 portfolio credits1 may be applied to the following degrees: bachelor of science in professional studies, bachelor of arts in liberal studies, bachelor of science in professional computer studies, and bachelor of business administration in business studies. Students may also apply up to 15 portfolio credits1 to the other bachelor degrees with permission of the advisers of the school in which the degree is offered. The portfolio process may not be completed once the student has obtained 96 credits towards a degree.


Note there is no guarantee of earning 36 or 15 portfolio credits. The number of portfolio credits earned depends on the individual student’s experience and the extent to which that experience is deemed to be equivalent to comparable learning achieved in Pace University coursework.

Challenge Examinations - Undergraduate

Students who believe they have knowledge comparable to what would be gained by successful completion of a particular course at the University may in some cases obtain credit for that course by passing a “challenge examination.”  Normally such examinations are standardized examinations available through such testing centers as the Education Testing Service (Pace is a participant in both the New York State College Proficiency Examination Program and the College-Level Examination Program). In the absence of a standardized examination, a department may arrange for a special examination. Not every course may be “challenged,” but many can be. Please consult the appropriate academic department for details and further information.

Students who receive credit through a Pace University “Challenge Examination” will be charged one credit of tuition for administration of the examination, whether or not credit is earned. Credit earned through a “Challenge Examination” does not satisfy the residency requirement for graduation or apply to enrollment status verification.

CLEP Exams

With CLEP a student can earn college credit for what he or she already knows by passing a 90-minute examination. CLEP examinations measure knowledge of the material usually covered in various classes during the first two years of college. Visit the CLEP website to find an open test center near you.

Click to view a list of Pace University's Required CLEP scores and the course credits awarded for each CLEP exam.

Other Prior Learning Assessment Options

  • Pace University may accept or waive credit earned through additional exams, which include: DANTES (DSST- DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), Pace University challenge exams, and Pace University proficiency exams.
  • Pace accepts credit recommended by PONSI (Program on Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction) and ACE (American Council on Education). ACE and PONSI evaluate courses and in-service training sponsored by corporations, unions, and other non-collegiate organizations, and they issue program guides which recommend credit for training deemed equivalent to college courses. Pace also accepts military training program evaluations as listed in the National Guide to Educational Credits, Directory of the National Program on Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI), and Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.
  • Specific professional licenses or certificates may be accepted as prima facie or conventional credit.