Earn an Online Bachelor Degree with Berklee

Berklee Online's bachelor degree program is the most affordable and flexible option for earning your music degree from Berklee College of Music.

Prior Learning Credit

We recognize that our students often have considerable previous learning, work, and life experiences in their chosen area of study. Through prior learning credit, you can earn up to 30 credits toward the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program.

To be eligible for prior learning credits, you must be enrolled in our degree program. You will be asked to create a portfolio that describes and demonstrates how your previous learning equates to the learning outcomes of specific courses within the degree program. If your prior learning experiences cover multiple courses, you can submit all requested credit in a single portfolio.

Here's how it works:

  1. Review the course descriptions and learning outcomes for the courses that will satisfy the degree requirements for your major. The learning outcomes are the bulleted list of items that appear at the end of the course description in the course catalog.

  2. Choose the course(s) that best matches your prior learning experiences. Match what you know to the learning outcomes of the course you selected.

  3. Contact a Berklee Online Academic Advisor at advisors@online.berklee.edu or 1-866-BERKLEE (US) / 1-617-747-2146 (INTL) to register for the Prior Learning Portfolio course. This course will allow you to submit your portfolio for review.

  4. Develop a written statement about your prior learning and how it aligns to the outcomes of the course(s) you have selected for your portfolio. The statement should include the following:

    Introduction: Describe your background and professional experience. Briefly touch on areas such as your training, personal life, volunteer experiences, military service, or career. Introduce the course(s) for which you will be seeking credit. The introduction should be no more than one page long.

    Learning Outcomes: For each course, list each learning outcome and provide supporting information on how you have mastered it. You can include a mix of your experiences and training. Note that academic credit will not be awarded for simply stating your experience, but showing what you have learned as it relates to the learning outcomes of the course(s). Use the following questions as a guide to describe your learning for each outcome:

    • What do you know?
    • How did you learn it?
    • How did you apply this learning through experience?

  5. The learning narrative for a three-credit course should be a minimum of four to six pages in length.

  6. Provide documentation that supports your written statement. You can use professional letters of support or verification, training certificates, transcripts, video demonstrations, work samples, etc. Make sure that professional letters of verification speak to your skills and knowledge, identify the title and company of the person writing the letter (preferably on their letterhead), and include their relationship to you.

Timeline and Costs

The deadline for submitting your portfolio is Sunday of the third week of each semester. Your portfolio will be reviewed by the Prior Learning Committee, comprised of Berklee Online's Academic Dean, Director of Online Learning, Director of Admissions, and faculty members. You will receive notification of awarded credits during week six of the semester.

There is a $150 charge for the Prior Learning Portfolio course and a $75 fee per credit ($225 per course) awarded. For questions, contact the advising team at advisors@online.berklee.edu or 1-866-BERKLEE (US) / 1-617-747-2146 (INTL).

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