See for yourself if your previously earned credits will transfer to Concordia by checking out our Transfer Equivalency Lookup. If you already have a college degree, we may have an Articulation Agreement with your school, this makes for a smooth transition. For detailed information regarding transfer credits, be sure to read the Credit Transfer Policy.

Other approaches to earning credits

These options may not be applicable within all academic programs. Prior approval by a department level official must be obtained before enrolling in any of the options listed below. All official transcripts must be on file at Concordia to ensure there will be no duplication of coursework.

Advanced placement / Dual Credit / CLEP, DSST/DANTES

The University will recognize secondary school work by means of advanced placement and dual credit courses and will grant credit to those who have taken especially enriched or accelerated courses before entering college or who have appropriate vocational or professional experience. Applicants qualify for such credit by satisfactory achievement on college-approved placement examinations, including the College Board Advanced Placement Tests, CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DSST(formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) or faculty-authored challenge examinations. A maximum of 30 college credits may be earned by satisfactorily completing such examinations. Learn more about Dual Credit here.

Retroactive credit for foreign languages

Retroactive credit is available in foreign languages, wherein credit may be given for pre-college foreign language study if the student takes the next highest level of the foreign language at this University and achieves a C or better. The student must request credit for the lower-level course(s) that were by passed.

Military credits (JST / CCAF)

Military Credits are granted based on the evaluation of an Official Joint Service (JST) transcript or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript. Concordia accepts up to 63 credits applied towards; electives, lower and upper level core, and/or major requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior Learning Assessment of experiential learning allows accepted students to seek credit by documenting real-world performance, college-level knowledge and outcome-based competence acquired outside a classroom setting. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Workshops are conducted monthly via Zoom.

Prior learning credits, if awarded, may apply either toward the academic major or required elective coursework within the bachelor’s degree. The “physical development” requirement within Concordia’s elective core may also be met through the prior learning credit pathway. A maximum of 21 prior learning credits can be awarded and these credits may not be included within the thirty-six residency credits which must be completed at Concordia University in order to be awarded a bachelor’s degree.

All official transcripts for any credits to be transferred to Concordia should be on file prior to submitting a Prior Learning Assessment portfolio to avoid duplication of credits. Prior Learning Assessment portfolio submissions may also not duplicate any coursework completed at Concordia. The Prior Learning Assessment Committee reviews submissions monthly. Petitions should be submitted for only the number of credits needed. Students will be notified by university email of the committee’s decision. Credits denied may be resubmitted for reconsideration in certain cases. If the Prior Learning Assessment Committee requests a revision to a submitted proposal, there is no new fee assessed.

A per credit evaluation fee ($75) is charged for Prior Learning Assessment portfolio submissions and is due at the time of submission. This evaluation fee is not returned if credits are not awarded. This fee is also ineligible within the university financial aid process. Credits awarded through Prior Learning Assessment are extremely unlikely to be transferrable to another school.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) evaluation criteria at concordia

College course model

The PLA model in use at Concordia is the College Course Model, which involves the student petitioning for an appropriate number of semester credits using college-level course descriptions that match the learning the student has accomplished and seeks to demonstrate.

Students equate their previously acquired knowledge or skill to the learning outcomes and course description of a specific college course from a regionally (institutionally) accredited college or university in the United States.

The course descriptions, to which students compare their learning, used in the Prior Learning Assessment process

  • must be from college-level courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities in the U.S.;
  • should be in semester rather than quarter hours, or need to be transferred into semester hours;
  • may not overlap with the academic content of other courses or experiences accepted in transfer, or credits for courses already taken or required to be completed within the Concordia degree. This does not apply to courses not yet completed but required in the major when the petition is to fulfill a major requirement;
  • for a major or the physical development core requirement, the course description used should be the required Concordia course, or must be approved by the department overseeing the major and the course as equivalent to the required course;
  • are limited to five credits, regardless of what a course description states. The maximum number of semester credit hours which may be awarded for a given course is five (5). This means that if the course description used is for eight (8) credits, only five (5) credits may be sought and granted through this process. The student may, however, petition for fewer credits than any course description states.

Prior learning contexts

The prior learning experiences for which petitions are developed may include knowledge gained through experience, seminars and workshops through employment, through supervised volunteer experiences in a non-profit organization, or learning completed at non-accredited institutions which did not transfer.

Experience used as support of learning must be outside the context of secondary school learning experiences, whether curricular or co-curricular

If a student submits a petition related to learning which was partially acquired in a course at a non-accredited institution, the student may submit a transcript from that institution as one form of documentation, but the student must demonstrate application of that learning in further contexts, and must provide a letter from someone in a position to evaluate that learning as the second form of evidence (see Materials to Submit to Demonstrate Prior Learning)

The amount and level of learning

The learning used for the PLA process must be college level.  The student must be able to demonstrate an amount of college level learning which is appropriate to the credits sought, using the Concordia Credit Hour Policy formula of at minimum 42 hours of learning per credit. For example, a student seeking three credits in PLA would be demonstrating between 126 and 144 hours of total work, including application of the learning. 

Materials to submit to demonstrate prior learning

For each petition for credit, the student must provide all of the following:

  • A petition form showing the number of credits sought, the dates during which the learning occurred, the course name and number including the university or college and the catalog year of the course description being used
  • A list of learning outcomes they write, called stated learning outcomes, that describe their college-level learning as it relates to the course description being used;
  • A copy of the course description to which they are comparing learning, which shows the institution and the catalog year
  • A narrative description of the learning and the context in which it occurred
  • Two evidentiary documents that support the learning, one must be a letter from an individual who was in a position to evaluate their work
  • A review fee of $75 per credit, which is not refundable if the credit is not awarded.
Cambridge assessment

A and AS levels for credit will be reviewed based on course content per a review of the syllabus. A grade of C or better is required for credit. These credits may be awarded toward general education requirements, degree requirements, or elective credit. In order to grant the credit, an official copy of the Exam Certificate or the Statement of Provisional Results from the examination board will be required. Course transfer equivalencies will be determined by the registrar upon admission to the university.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB focuses on personal, professional and academic development and is globally recognized by universities for the holistic and rigorous education it provides. Click here to learn more about IB Policy development.

American Council on Education (ACE) and National Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI)

ACE and PONSI are organizations which validate for-credit coursework completed through non-collegiate education and training programs. The student must have official copies of the educational transcripts sent to Concordia.

Life Office Management Association (LOMA) and American Institute of Banking (AIB)

LOMA and AIB provide means to receive college credit for company training professional development programs through an employer. The student must have official copies of the educational transcripts sent to Concordia.