Credit for Prior Professional Learning

The credit for prior professional learning (CPPL) offers an opportunity for Towson University graduate students to receive graduate credit for abilities they may have acquired through non-credit courses, structured, non-credit professional development programs, and professional work experiences. CPPL does not apply to coursework completed by the student for which credit previously was granted. To receive CPPL the student must demonstrate mastery and application of knowledge and skills commensurate with graduate level academic expectations and the graduate program’s student learning outcomes. The student can demonstrate mastery and application of knowledge and skills by successfully completing the graduate program’s challenge exam or individualized assessment process.

A student can earn a maximum of nine graduate units for prior professional learning acquired through non-credit courses, structured, non-credit professional development program, and professional work experiences to fulfill required or elective courses, if approved by the graduate program. The number of units accepted by the program for prior professional learning also cannot exceed 30% of the total units required for graduation from that program. Students must be graduate degree candidates with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA to have the units recorded on the TU transcript. To be accepted as CPPL, the dates for the non-credit course work and professional development programs must abide by the seven-year time limit for degree completion for master’s programs and the ten-year limit for degree completion of MFA and doctoral programs.

Some graduate programs do not accept CPPL; others may accept a lower maximum number of units or have additional restrictions. Students are to check whether their graduate programs grant CPPL and if additional restrictions exist.

Students will be assessed $30 per unit for assessment for CPPL and $30 per unit for posting of units to the transcript. Departments should contact the Registrar's Office when students apply for CPPL to determine billing procedures.

Graduate Program Challenge Exams

Graduate programs can offer challenge exams that have been approved by their department and college curriculum committees to assess students’ mastery and application of graduate level knowledge and skills and to grant course credit for prior learning.

Individualized Assessments 

Graduate programs that do not have standardized challenge exams may appoint a committee to conduct an individualized assessment of the student’s abilities acquired through non-credit courses, structured non-credit professional development program, and professional work experiences. Such an assessment is to be based upon department and college criteria for demonstration of mastery and application of graduate level knowledge and skills. This type of assessment may include portfolio review, oral or written examination, performance-based assessment, and demonstration.