If you have developed considerable expertise related to your job or have completed extensive reading in a specialized area, it is possible that you have acquired knowledge that is college-level.

Portfolio assessment may provide some students with the opportunity to present evidence of learning for evaluation by a faculty member. It is designed for those with extensive, documented knowledge from work experience, travel, independent study, or other out-of-class experiences. Through portfolio assessment, these experiences are evaluated to determine their appropriateness and applicability for university credit.

Credit awarded through portfolio assessment must conform to specific course titles in theUndergraduate Catalog(i.e., no credits will be awarded for general areas of knowledge) and will only be awarded for undergraduate courses. Only currently enrolled students are eligible to request portfolio assessment, and any credits awarded must be intended for use as part of a degree or certificate program.

Before portfolio assessment credits can be awarded, approval must be obtained from the faculty assessor, chairperson of the department offering the course, the dean of the appropriate IUP college, and the director of enrollment engagement and partnerships. Once approved, the title of the course, the credits, and indication that credit was earned through portfolio assessment will be recorded on a student's academic record.

If a related examination is available through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or if a departmental examination has previously been established for the course, a portfolio assessment of those credits will not be accepted.

In order to be eligible to participate in this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must currently be enrolled at IUP and must be able to use the portfolio assessment credit as part of a degree or certified program.

  • Must have graduated from high school or completed the GED. Individuals over 25 years of age may waive the GED requirement upon completion of 30 college credits.

  • The subject content of the portfolio to be assessed may not duplicate college credit already earned.

In addition, the following policy points must be met:

  • Credits awarded through portfolio assessment must conform to specific course titles listed in the IUP Undergraduate Catalog. Credit awards for broad general areas (block credit) are not permitted.

  • No more than one-half of the credit hours of the major may be earned through CLEP, departmental challenge examinations, or other forms of prior learning assessment.

  • Credits earned through portfolio assessment may not apply as residency credit.

To Apply

  1. Download and complete the application. Pay the $15 application fee. You can email the completed application as a PDF file to kaohara@iup.edu. Be sure to indicate the course for which you would like credit. If you have questions, please contact Kristen O'Hara at kaohara@iup.edu or call 724-357-2789 for assistance.

  2. Upon approval of the application, a faculty member will be assigned to meet with you to review the requirements that must be fulfilled to earn credit for the selected course(s).

  3. Complete and submit your portfolio to Kristen O'Hara and pay the assessment fee (one-half regular tuition) for credits to the Office of Student Billing in Clark Hall.

  4. The registrar will list the course title, number of credits, and an indication that credit was earned upon completion of the program.


Download the Portfolio Instructions and Application Form