At UMGC Europe, our students bring a wealth of experiences—from the workplace and community and volunteer activities—to the classroom. We value the learning you've acquired outside of the classroom, and we offer ways to turn those experiences into credit by demonstrating what you know.

Benefits of Prior Learning

  • Save time: Successful completion of a Portfolio (a written description of your college-level learning and a collection of documents that verify your college-level learning) or course-challenge examinations can cut years off of the degree-completion process.

  • Save money: Credits awarded through Portfolio assessment are evaluated for a fee that is much lower than the cost of tuition.

  • Gain understanding: The Portfolio process helps you understand the many ways you have acquired learning through your full- or part-time jobs and community and volunteer activities outside the classroom.

  • Value knowledge: Earning credit through Prior Learning programs helps you find value in lifelong experiential learning.

How to Earn Prior Learning Credit

UMGC provides two Prior Learning programs designed to translate experiential learning into college credit: Portfolio and Course Challenge.


Portfolio provides a unique way for you to document your college-level learning through previous experience. You are guided through the process in two classes:

  • Learning Analysis and Planning (3 Credits, EXCL 301) During this 3-credit course, you create a portfolio describing and documenting your learning experiences. The portfolio is evaluated by faculty members who determine the amount of credit you should be awarded.

  • EXCL x001 If you want to target more courses after completing Learning Analysis and Planning (3 Credits, EXCL 301), you may enroll in this noncredit course, which is offered online twice each semester. You are given access to Learning Analysis and Planning (3 Credits, EXCL 301) course materials and work at your own pace to develop additional portfolios for faculty review. Note: No more than 30 credits may be awarded through Portfolio in both classes combined.

Please read prior learning portfolio before applying for these courses.

Course Challenge

Through Course Challenge, you can earn credit by passing the equivalent of a final exam. Credit can be earned for almost any undergraduate course for which UMGC can prepare and administer a suitable examination or assessment. (Some courses are excluded.) Read the course challenge criteria to see if you qualify.