Core Curriculum

Prior Learning, test credits and the USM Core

Test credits and the Core

For information on how AP, DSST and CLEP and other tests may be used to satisfy Core requirements, see the information provided by the Office for Prior Learning Assessment.

Other Prior Learning

Students may also be eligible to have prior-learning of a non-academic/non-credit-bearing nature applied to a specific Core requirement. 

PLA assessment requires that students submit a written portfolio which includes a narrative with respect to the learning outcomes and formal documentation of the alternative learning experience (e.g. copies of a resume, job descriptions, certification, etc.) Students submitting a portfolio are required to complete a relevant assigned reading associated with the requirement in question.  Narratives must involve application of the assigned reading to the students alternative learning experience and the learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes for individual Core requirements may be found on the USM Core Learning Outcomes page.

Requests for review of prior-learning of a non-academic/non-credit bearing nature should concretely address the learning outcomes of the core requirement in question.  Students should submit a written narrative which explains how this prior learning has allowed them to achieve the learning outcomes of the requirement, and should document this appropriately (e.g., with copies of a resume, job descriptions(s), certifications, etc.).  The narrative should explicitly indicate how specific non-academic learning experiences allowed the student to achieve the outcomes, and the documentation should back up those claims, and should be explicitly referred to in the narrative.  Submit requests via e-mail attachment, with documentation, to

Sample PLA proposal

Required reading for Ethical Inquiry PLA proposals

Other required readings will be assigned depending on the requirement in question.