Prior Learning Credit Policy

A student may obtain required credit hours toward graduation from prior learning credit unless otherwise required by an accreditor, state, or other external agency. Prior learning includes:

  1. Experiential learning or portfolio credit awarded by NAU
  2. Evaluated corporate training certificates
  3. Non-transcripted military training
  4. National testing

Letter grades are not assigned to prior learning credit awarded by NAU and are generally not transferable to another institution. Residency requirements are not satisfied through prior learning credit.

  • Undergraduate students may apply up to 50% of the required credits hours toward graduation from prior learning credit unless otherwise required by an accreditor, state, or other external agency.
  • Master’s degree students may apply up to 30% of the required credits hours toward graduation from prior learning credit unless otherwise required by an accreditor, state, or other external agency.
  • Doctorate degree students may apply up to 20% of the required credits hours toward graduation from prior learning credit unless otherwise required by an accreditor, state, or other external agency. A combination of awarded transferred credits and prior learning credits cannot exceed more than 20% of the total degree requirement and are subject to the relevant doctoral credit review process.

Experiential Learning and Portfolio Credit

Students possessing college-level knowledge and skills resulting from their learning experiences through their trade, business, profession or community involvement are encouraged to apply for portfolio credit. Students are required to write a separate portfolio for each college course for which they are requesting credit. The courses must be NAU courses. A $50 per credit hour portfolio fee is charged for each portfolio at the time of submission.

Credit is granted on the student’s permanent record as portfolio credit. Interested students should contact their student services advisor to obtain a copy of the portfolio guidelines.

Corporate Training Certificate Credit

National American University’s corporate training certificate evaluation program is based upon sound education practices for colleges and universities designed in granting academic credit for high-quality educational courses offered by extra institutional learning providers, provided that the courses are appropriate to an individual’s academic program.

NAU’s program is founded on the principles and evaluation criteria established by the American Council on Education (ACE http://www.acenet.edu) as recommended by the Carnegie Commission on Nontraditional Study. The criteria and procedures that ACE established in 1945 for evaluation of military courses were adapted and extended for use in civilian organizations and are currently administered through the Council’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT). NAU uses the ACE recommendations to grant credit to students for learning acquired from approved organizations.

Guidelines for awarding credit are as follows:

  1. The training must be documented by a signed original certificate or a dated listing from the company training or education officer with an original signature and must include the following:
    1. Title or description of the training.
    2. Date(s) the training was held.
    3. The number of contact hours.
    4. Name of the company conducting the training.
  2. The certificates will be evaluated by the university and credit may be granted as equivalent to specific NAU courses or for specialty core credit for the management degree.
  3. Students interested in earning credit through the certificate evaluation process should contact the student services advisor for more information.

Military Training Credit

Transcripted military courses are treated the same as courses transferred from a higher education institution. Military course completion certificates which are not recorded on official military transcripts may be evaluated separately and used to complement other military records.

National Testing

Students enrolled at NAU may receive credit for specific courses by satisfactorily completing appropriate College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) examinations. Exam scores must meet or exceed the minimum qualifying scores established by these testing agencies to be accepted. If minimum scores are not met, students must wait for a time period specified by the testing agency before attempting the same standardized exam again.

In order to receive credit, students must be enrolled at NAU and have an official score report submitted to the registrar’s office. Academic credit awarded through these standardized testing programs will be applied to the NAU degree requirement. Grades are not assigned on the academic transcript, and exam results are not included in grade point average calculation.

Students may contact their student services advisor for further information about testing procedures and fees.

Credit for standardized tests will not be awarded if the student has received prior credit for the same course or an equivalent course.

Each college and university reserves the right to accept transfer credits on a course-by-course basis and will determine the number of hours to be accepted from transfer students. Results from standardized examinations may not be accepted in transfer by other institutions.