Office for Prior Learning Assessment


The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) helps USM students earn credit for college-level learning gained outside of the classroom through work and life experience. Whether it be a second (or first) language, skills you acquired on the job or through military service, or ways you’ve grown from engaging with your community, demonstrating this prior learning could save you time and money as you earn your degree.**

 Standardized Examinations

Credentials and certifications issued by outside agencies may be eligible for college credit if they include verifiable college-level learning.

Academic Portfolios require that students engage in a self-reflective writing process, connecting their learning from work or life experience to specific departmental or university outcomes. 

UMF students wishing to use USM's PLA process should use this link for more information on the policy.

For more information contact the PLA Office at or 207-780-4663.

**University of Southern Maine Prior Learning Assessment processes are available to current USM students and USM alumni.  PLA credits earned through USM are not necessarily transferable outside the University of Maine System.

Military Credits - Important Information

Official military transcripts are reviewed by USM's Veterans Services Director. Please direct inquiries about military transcripts and any credits posted from military transcripts to: 

Lorraine Spaulding 
Director of Veterans Services
235 Luther Bonney Hall 
P.O.Box 9300
Portland, Maine  04104-9300

USM's Office for Prior Learning Assessment reserves the right to revise, amend, or change items set forth in our policies, procedures, and equivalencies at any time.