Credit for Prior Learning


Temple University awards limited academic credit and course placement to students based on previous academic, employment, and/or other learning experiences not earned in a traditional classroom setting. 

Credit for Prior Learning (formerly Non-Traditional Credit) may be earned through courses approved for transfer from other institutions, Advanced Placement Tests, International Baccalaureate Exams, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), military experience, and prior work or life experience (portfolio).

Limitations on credit earned through Credit for Prior Learning are as follows: (1) the credit must be useful in a student's program of study; (2) duplicate credit in the same course is not awarded in any case; (3) credit is only awarded in academic subjects with a corresponding Temple department. Individual Schools and Colleges may have additional limitations. For an excel table of School and College specific policies click here or for a pdf version click here.

Credit for Prior Learning will not be awarded for a course in which a student is currently enrolled and/or have previously received a letter grade for the course (including, but not limited to, an F, W, AU, or I).

Official transcripts for courses from other institutions, military transcripts and official score reports should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The Undergraduate Admissions office determines which credits will transfer to the University, whereas the academic unit to which the student has been admitted determines how credits will be used to fulfill degree requirements in a student's program of study. Evaluation of Credit for Prior Learning is based on a student's major; transfer evaluations may change for students who change majors.

If Credit for Prior Learning is awarded, a student's university record will carry notation of credit, but no grade will be recorded. Credit awarded will not affect a student's grade point average at Temple University. Credits are expressed in semester hours. Courses evaluated for transfer from colleges and universities with different credit systems (quarter hours, units) are converted to semester hours (i.e., 2 quarter hour credits are equivalent to 1.5 semester hour credits; 3 quarter hour credits are equivalent to 2.0 semester hour credits; 4 quarter hour credits are equivalent to 2.5 semester hour credits).

Credit for Prior Learning does not apply to the minimum number of credits (60) required to earn Latin Honors at graduation. Credit for Prior Learning credits are not counted toward Academic Residency.

For information regarding AP, IB or CLEP equivalencies, see Equivalency Tables.


Advanced Placement (AP)

Temple awards college credits to students who in high school participated in the Advanced Placement program sponsored by the College Examination Board.

For a detailed listing of AP equivalencies and required scores, click here.


College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP provides a mechanism for students to meet the requirements of a class through examination. Credits brought in through CLEP exams are considered the same as transfer credits and therefore are subject to Policy 02.10.18 (Transfer Credit Policy for Matriculated Undergraduate Students).

Temple recognizes students' prior learning by accepting the CLEP tests indicated in the CLEP equivalencies chart. Colleges and Schools may have limitations on the type and number of CLEP credits that can be applied to a degree. For an excel table of School and College specific policies click here or for a pdf version click here.

For a detailed listing of CLEP equivalencies and required scores, click here.


DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)

Temple currently awards college credit for DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) completed prior to matriculation according to the ACE (American Council on Education) guide recommendations. Students should send official score reports directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For credit to be awarded, the credit must be useful in a student's program of study. Credit is only awarded in the academic subjects with a corresponding Temple department. Colleges and Schools may have limitations on the type and number of DSST credits that can be applied to a degree. For an excel table of School and College specific policies click here or for a pdf version click here.


International Baccalaureate (IB)

Temple awards college credits to students who in high school participated in the International Baccalaureate Program. Credit is awarded based on the score and the exam subject. Additionally, students who have earned the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and meet minimum eligibility requirements complete the International Baccalaureate General Education Program (IB GenEd Program) in place of the Full GenEd requirement International Baccalaureate transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Colleges and Schools may have limitations on the type and number of IB credits that can be applied to a degree. For an excel table of School and College specific policies click here or for a pdf version click here.

Detailed listing of IB equivalencies and required scores
Information about the IB GenEd Program


Study Abroad Credits

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

Currently, the European higher education institutions use the ECTS system to assist in the conversion to US semester hours. Students planning to travel abroad should be aware that Temple University uses conversion rate of 5 ECTS credits to 3 US credits.

FIVE (5) ECTS credits will be credited as THREE (3) Temple credits
Temple students, who wish to transfer ECTS credits, should refer to the following conversion table:

  • 1.667 ECTS credits = 1 Temple Credit
  • 5 ECTS credits = 3 Temple credits
  • 10 ECTS Credits = 6 Temple credits
  • 20 ECTS credits = 12 Temple credits
  • 25 ECTS credits = 15 Temple Credits

Notes:
1) Different US Institutions have different conversion ratios for ECTS credits.
2) When selecting your study aboard courses, indicate the number of ECTS credits on your "Request to Take Study Abroad Courses form".


Military Experience

Temple awards college credit for documented military experience according to the ACE (American Council on Education) guide recommendations. Examples of acceptable documentation for military experience include, but are not limited to: AARTS (Army/ACE Registry Transcript System), SMART (Sailor/Marine/ACE Registry Transcript), or Community College of the Air Force Transcript. For credit to be awarded, the credit must be useful in a student's program of study. Credit is only awarded in the academic subjects with a corresponding Temple department. Colleges and Schools may have limitations on the type and number of Military Experience credits that can be applied to a degree. For a pdf version of School and College specific policies click here.


Prior Work or Life Experience (Portfolio)

Decisions to assess prior learning experiences outside of the academic classroom are made by the individual schools and colleges. An evaluation of work experience for a specific subject area may be based on the submission of papers, presentation of a portfolio of completed work, and/or a demonstration of acquired skills. 

Credit so granted is based on a faculty evaluation of the respective learning experiences in terms of their identified relationship to the knowledge and skills required, either in the pursuit of educational programs in the college or in the performance of tasks related to the substance of study. Semester hours credited toward the minimum number for a degree are always granted relevant to a specific program. If students change their programs of study, semester hours credited toward an earlier program of study may not be recognized in the new program.

Credit for relevant prior learning outside of the academic classroom, if approved, will be posted only after the completion of a minimum of 30 credits of formal coursework at the university. 

Approval of relevant prior learning credit must be in writing over the signature of at least one sponsoring faculty member, the appropriate department or committee chairperson, and the dean of the college that is granting the credit.

The total number of semester hours granted through non-traditional means varies according to the individual colleges or programs; and individual colleges or programs may choose not to grant any credit for prior learning outside of the academic classroom. For an excel table of School and College specific policies click here or for a pdf version click here.  Grades are not assigned for credits earned through prior learning outside of the academic classroom. Each college engaged in the assessment of academic and work experiences determines its own procedures for review and testing; students should contact the appropriate advising office for information about the procedures for assessment.