Undergraduate Degree Admissions Information

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 Arts 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. We encourage you to apply for course(s) that will satisfy the degree requirements for your major. If you need help selecting the right course(s), please check with your advisor.

  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. Complete the Prior Learning Credit Registration Request (on our Policies and Forms page) with the courses for which you are planning to apply for Prior Learning Credit. A member of the Registrar Team will review your request and, if approved, you will be registered 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, which consists of the Associate Dean and faculty members. Once your portfolio has been submitted and reviewed, any changes you wish to make to the coursework you are seeking credit for or the supplementary documentation provided will be at the Committee’s discretion. You will receive notification of awarded credits during week six of the semester. If you have any questions regarding the prior learning evaluation process, please reach out to priorlearning@online.berklee.edu.

There is a $150 non-refundable charge for each registration of the Prior Learning Portfolio course and a $75 fee per credit ($225 per 3-credit course) awarded. Keep in mind that Financial Aid is often not an option to cover the cost of the prior learning credit award. For questions, contact the advising team at advisors@online.berklee.edu or 1-866-BERKLEE (US) / 1-617-747-2146 (INTL).

Coursework Ineligible for Prior Learning Credit:

  • Berklee Online courses the student withdrew from or failed
  • Berklee Online's Internship Course (OLINT-200)
  • Program Capstone courses or Private Lessons
  • Berklee Online courses similar to ones the student transferred from previous programs

A note regarding transfer credit: Due to the uniqueness of our curriculum, external credit is rarely equated to a specific Berklee Online course. Therefore, students are encouraged to review the syllabus of the Berklee Online course they intend to seek credit for to ensure that it does not overlap with any of the courses they transferred. If the student is unsure of what they received transfer credit for, they are welcome to reach out to the Transfer Team at transfer@online.berklee.edu to receive a Transfer Credit Explanation Report. For additional information, please reference the Transfer Credit Policies