If you have college-level learning from work, volunteer, or life experience, you may be able to use Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) to earn academic credit at University of Southern Maine. Below you will find information on specific CPL options for certain majors at our University.

Please contact the CPL office at priorlearningusm@maine.edu or 207-780-4663 for more information on these or other majors not listed below.

Credential Review

Credential review credit is posted to student transcripts at no charge. Students must submit proof of the credential to the CPL office.

  • Students who have completed Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLETP) at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy can earn 6 credits of LOS 3XX (LOS elective), in addition to 9 credits of GEL 1XX (general elective).

    Students who have completed full-time law-enforcement training in other states should contact the CPL Office to have their program reviewed for credit.
  • Students who have passed the SHRM-CP or the SPHR exam can earn credit for LOS 312 Human Resource Management (3 cr). Credit will only be granted for either the SHRM or SPHR, not both.

Dantes Standardized Subject Test (DSST)

Students may take standardized multiple-choice exams on the Portland campus for the following courses:

  • LOS 302 Organizational Behavior
  • LOS 312 Human Resources Management
  • MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics (equivalent to LOS 120 Statistics for Informed Decision-Making)

Academic Portfolio

Students with appropriate learning from experience can gain Leadership faculty approval to complete up to 6 hours of LOS elective credit through a written portfolio process.

Before beginning a portfolio, students must meet with the CPL office to enroll in the required, free, non-credit bearing, online portfolio workshop in Brightspace. Students must complete LOS 300 and 350 with a grade of B- or better and must pass LOS 299 before beginning academic portfolio work within the LOS major.

Students will also need to access the textbooks listed on the relevant course syllabi. Undergraduate portfolios are charged $50.00 per credit hour for the final LOS faculty evaluation.

Current students can learn more about the academic portfolio process on the MyUSM CPL page.

Please Note:

LOS 299, 300, 350, the LOS practicum and the LOS 400 Capstone may NOT be completed through CPL.

Standardized Exam

Students may take standardized multiple-choice exams remotely or on the Portland campus for the following required courses:

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    

        CHY 113 Principles of Chemistry I
        HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development
        PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
        SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology

  • Dantes Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)
    

         HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development
         MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics 

Challenge Exam

Students with the appropriate background in Genetics and/or Pharmacology may be offered a faculty-designed challenge exam for NUR 424 Clinically-Applied Genetics and/or NUR 302 Pharmacology.  Students who feel they have the necessary learning to pass either or both of these exams (for example, if they have successfully earned credit for BIO 201 Genetics or have successfully completed previous Pharmacology courses) should fill out the Prior Learning Review form at the following link: 

https://sites.google.com/maine.edu/usm-undergraduate-nursing/students/prior-learning

Students who have been approved for a challenge exam will be charged $100.00 prior to taking each exam.

Current students can learn more about the challenge exam process on the MYUSM CPL page.

Academic Portfolio

Students in the traditional Nursing program with appropriate learning from experience may gain School of Nursing faculty approval to complete some degree requirements through a written portfolio process.  Most often, School of Nursing portfolios are completed for one of two required Community Partnership courses (NUR 339 and 341).  This process is reserved for students who have extensive learning from community-based work or volunteer projects.  Experience as a CNA or EMT is not sufficient.  Accelerated Nursing students are not eligible for Community Partnership portfolios.  Before beginning a portfolio students must meet with the CPL office to enroll in the required, free, non-credit bearing, online portfolio workshop in Brightspace.

Students who wish to complete a portfolio for Nursing degree requirements should contact Netty Provost at netty.provost@maine.edu.

Undergraduate portfolios are charged $50.00 per credit hour for the final Nursing faculty evaluation.

Current students can learn more about the academic portfolio process on the MyUSM CPL page.

Standardized Exam

Students may take standardized multiple-choice exams remotely or on the Portland campus for the following courses:

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development
    • PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
    • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • Dantes Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)
    • MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics (equivalent to LOS 120 Statistics for Informed Decision-Making)
    • SBS 302 Organizational Behavior
    • SBS 343 Substance Abuse

Academic Portfolio

Students with appropriate learning from human services experience may be able to gain Social and Behavioral Science faculty approval to complete some SBS requirements through a written portfolio process. Students must complete PSY 100, SOC 100, ANT 101, and SBS 210 before beginning academic portfolio work within the major. Students wishing to complete a portfolio for SBS 447 Internship must also have at least 84 earned credits. 

Before beginning a portfolio students must meet with the CPL office to enroll in the required, free, non-credit bearing, online portfolio workshop in Brightspace. Undergraduate portfolios are charged $50.00 per credit hour for the final SBS faculty evaluation. You will also need to access the textbooks listed on the relevant course syllabi.

Current students can learn more about the academic portfolio process on the MyUSM CPL page.

Standardized Exam

Students may take standardized multiple-choice exams remotely or on the Portland campus for the following courses:

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • ACC 110 Financial Accounting for Decision-Making – ATL and Tech Management majors
    • BIO 101/102 Biological Foundations/Experiences – Science Exploration (SE) core for CYB and Info Tech majors
    • ECO 101/102 Introduction to Macro/Microeconomics
    • MAT 108 College Algebra
  • Dantes Standardized Subject Tests (DSST)
    • ITT 181 Computing and Information Technology
    • ITP 250 Management Information Systems
    • MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics 

Credential Review

Industry credentials such as A+, Security+ and CCNA do not result in course credit through credential review.  They can be used as a significant part of an academic portfolio (see below).

Academic Portfolio

Students with appropriate learning from experience may gain Dept of Technology faculty approval to complete up to 9 credits of ITP/ITS/ITT requirements.  Before beginning a portfolio students must meet with the CPL office to enroll in the required, free, non-credit bearing, online portfolio workshop in Brightspace.

Undergraduate portfolios are charged $50.00 per credit hour for the final Dept of Technology faculty evaluation.

Current students can learn more about the academic portfolio process on the MyUSM CPL page.