School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Academics > Office of Prior Learning Assessment

Office of Prior Learning Assessment

​​​Save money, graduate sooner with Prior Learning Assessment!

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) recognizes that college-level learning can occur outside of the college classroom. Professional and life experiences are valuable for demonstrating high level learning. PLA also describes the process in which college credit is awarded for prior experience.

Contact DePaul's Office of Prior Learning Assessment at for more information about using prior learning toward completing your degree.

Students demonstrate college-level learning through a PLA project. This PLA project typically includes an academic paper in which the student explains how their experience is college-level. This explanation is supported by scholarly sources.

Undergraduate SCPS students in the Business Administration, Computing (BAPS), Decision Analytics, Healthcare Administration, and Nonprofit Management degree programs and DePaul undergraduate students outside of SCPS will complete course match PLA projects. For more information on course match PLA, follow this link.

Undergraduate students in the Individual Focus Area (or other competence degree programs scheduled to end 2023) will complete competence-based PLA. For more information on competence-based PLA, follow this link.

Certain trainings and certificates have been pre-approved for PLA credit. For a list of pre-approved PLA, follow this link.

Students who would like to use PLA credit to advance their degree progress should consider completing RPL 101. This class helps students construct PLA projects and develop a plan to complete future PLA projects independently. Read the current syllabus, here.

Students may also contact the PLA Advisor ( with questions about using PLA in their degree plans and/or for assistance with creating and submitting PLA projects.

OPLA also recommends that students completing course match and competence-based PLA projects schedule sessions with a writing tutor at the University Center for Writing-based Learning. In particular, OPLA recommends that students ask for help reviewing integration and citation of academic sources. Online appointments are available. For more information, follow this link

Schedule a consultation with the PLA Advisor at to discuss your options.

Contact OPLA ( for guidance.