Credit for Experiential Learning

As part of its mission to educate working adults and part-time learners, Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies enables students to earn credit for learning that has taken place outside formal academic settings but through which students have mastered knowledge or skills equivalent to what would have been achieved in college-level courses.

There are several ways in which students can demonstrate this learning and be awarded credit toward the baccalaureate degree. These programs provide a substantial savings of time and tuition for students and recognize the experiences and accomplishments that they have already attained:

  • CLEP and DANTES/DSST Exams
  • ACE/NPONSI National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction
  • Life Experience Portfolio

For more information

Visit the webpage for receiving credit for experiential learning. 

Students are eligible for the experiential learning programs after successful completion of at least five courses in residence at Fordham, which must include the courses Composition II and Texts and Contexts.

Students who are in their last two semesters of the degree program are not eligible to participate in the Life Experience Portfolio Program.

A maximum award of 32 credits towards the undergraduate degree may be earned for work completed through any combination of the experiential learning options.

Credits earned through CLEP or DANTES exams, ACE/NPONSI, or the Life Experience Portfolio will be counted within the total number of 75 allowable transfer credits and will not, therefore, reduce the Fordham residency requirement of 49 credits.


Students can earn up to 18 credits for successful completion of exams sponsored by the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Support Subject Standardized Tests (DANTES/DSST). The exams are offered at the Rose Hill and Westchester campuses throughout the year. Information and a full listing of the subject exams and acceptable passing scores are available in the campus deans’ offices. There is a fee of approximately $90 per exam, payable online at the time of the test along with an administrative fee of $20.

Students who have taken CLEP or DANTES exams elsewhere can request that their scores be sent to PCS for transfer acceptance (school code #2259 for Rose Hill or #7280 for Lincoln Center or #2406 for Westchester).

ACE/NPONSI National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction

The American Council on Education and the New York State Board of Regents have reviewed many educational programs sponsored by corporations, governmental agencies, and the military and found some to be the equivalent of college-level coursework. Students who have completed such programs successfully should submit documentation of the courses and, generally, Regents or ACE recommendations will be honored.

Life Experience Portfolio Program

Students whose experiential learning is in an area of knowledge that cannot be verified by examination or ACE/NPONSI may register for a two-credit Life Experience Portfolio Workshop intended to assist them in articulating one or more areas of skill or knowledge.

In the workshop course, students will assemble the documentation or validations of their experience, will prepare one or more outlines of the essays they will produce, and will complete at least one such essay. Working with a course syllabus, the workshop mentor will work with the student directly or refer the student to a faculty supervisor whose expertise is necessary. The faculty supervisor will meet with the student, review the documentation, offer suggestions on the outline, critique a first draft of the essay, and review the final essay—usually at least 25 to 30 pages and including reference to standard work in the field, where appropriate. At least one such essay must be completed by the end of the semester for the student to earn a grade of pass for the workshop course and there is no maximum limit on the number of essays which may be included in a portfolio.

The faculty supervisor will work with the dean’s office in recommending either zero-credit, three-credits (lower level), or four-credits (upper level) per essay for the course-equivalent experiential learning which the student has demonstrated in the portfolio. Credits earned shall count as electives only and will not be charged the per-credit tuition rate; a posting fee per credited essay will be charged to the student’s tuition account.

Within one year, a student may register for a second Life Experience Portfolio Workshop on an audit basis, for the purpose of continuing in the development of essays in other areas of learning.