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Prior Learning Portfolio

Document life experiences that may qualify as college credits through UMGC's Portfolio program.

Document life experiences that may qualify as college credits through UMGC's Portfolio program.

Portfolio enables you to identify and document the college-level learning you have gained from your life experiences—through work (paid and volunteer), community or political activities, and other experiences outside the classroom—and gain credit for it.


To be eligible for Portfolio, you must  

  • Complete a Portfolio application.

  • Have completed a college writing course

  • Be in good academic standing at UMGC (not on academic warning or probation).

  • Have completed at least 3 credits at UMGC (with a GPA of 2.0 or higher) or have 30 transferred credits

  • Have submitted all transcripts, exam scores, and military documents related to coursework and experience to the Registrar's Office for a review of transfer credit.

Applying for Portfolio

To apply, go to the student portal of MyUMGCand click on Student Center. Go to My Academics in the left panel (not the menu bar on top; above the dropdown menu) and scroll down to Experiential Learning. Choose Apply for (3 Credits, EXCL 301) (or Apply for EXCL 001, if you have already completed EXCL 301 successfully). Applications must be received no later than two weeks before the beginning of the semester to allow time for processing.

Portfolio Courses

Enrollment in (3 Credits, EXCL 301) is required. In this 3-credit course, you prepare a portfolio describing and documenting college-level learning gained from past experiences. Because (3 Credits, EXCL 301) is a demanding and complex course, you should not register for more than one other course during the session in which you are enrolled in (3 Credits, EXCL 301).

If you successfully complete (3 Credits, EXCL 301) with a grade of S (satisfactory) and submit a portfolio for evaluation, you may enroll in a supplemental class (EXCL 001) to complete additional portfolios. EXCL 001 confers no credit and may not be applied toward degree completion. If you take this option, you may not target courses for which you were denied credit in (3 Credits, EXCL 301).


(3 Credits, EXCL 301) is graded on an S/D/F basis. If the quality of work in the portfolio merits a grade of C or higher, a grade of S is awarded and the portfolio is forwarded for credit evaluation. Faculty members from the appropriate disciplines assess the portfolio and recommend whether to award credits. Credit earned as a result of portfolio evaluation also earns a grade of S. The S grade is not computed in the grade point average and is not applicable toward honors.

If the quality of work in the portfolio merits a grade of D or lower, the portfolio will not be forwarded for credit evaluation.

Credit Awards

Experiential-learning credits may be awarded at both the upper and lower levels. Awarded credits are considered resident credit. These credits are considered UMGC resident credit. However, they do not fulfill requirements for standard graded coursework and so may not exceed half the total credits for a major, minor, or certificate.

Tuition and Fees

Credit for (3 Credits, EXCL 301) is charged at the current tuition rate. Federal financial aid and employee tuition remission can be used toward tuition for (3 Credits, EXCL 301) only. Fees are also charged for enrollment in the program, portfolio evaluation, any additional evaluations, and credits awarded. Visit the tuition archive and select a semester to view Prior Learning fees. Those receiving financial aid must pay all Portfolio fees.

Students should carefully review the requirements, rules, and procedures for Portfolio.  

Prior Learning Quick Links

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