Credit for Military Experience

Students who have completed any United States military training should request that an Academic Advisor discuss other types of non-institutional experience, such as military, business or government, which may qualify for credit. The Academic Advisor will make a preliminary evaluation of military training and service school records for possible credit. Recommendations will be considered by the home school or college for possible application to the degree program. (Note: Credit earned in military science and aerospace science offered through the Army and Air Force ROTC programs does not count toward the number of credits required for graduation unless the courses are cross-listed with regular University courses.)

Submit your military transcripts so they can be reviewed for credit for your military experience. Air Force members and veterans should submit Community College of the Air Force transcripts, and members of all other services should submit their Joint Services Transcript.  If you attended any specialty military schools that provide transcripts, send them as well.  Please send all transcripts to:

Enrollment Progressing – Undergraduate Admissions Center
400 Ostrom Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13244

You can do this from the following websites:

Transfer Credit

Academic Advisors work with the colleges and schools to determine if credits taken elsewhere can be applied to the student’s degree program. Submit official transcripts  for every college or university you attended. Official transcripts must have a raised seal. Do not send photocopies.

Prior Learning Assessment

What is PLA?

Syracuse University recognizes that learning occurs in many places. Therefore we allow students to earn credit for prior learning by demonstrating college-level knowledge they have gained outside the classroom using a variety of methods know as Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) outlined Below.  Credit for Extra-Institutional and Experiential Learning, and External Examination Programs. Click here for additional information

Prior Learning Assessment Background

In the U.S., there is no approved standard-setting body for the assessment of prior learning. Each institution sets its own standards, guided by the recommendations of regional accrediting commissions whose approaches vary. The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), while not officially approved by any governmental or accrediting body, provides a voluntary guideline, which is widely accepted and is the basis for Syracuse University’s prior learning standards.

Academic Standards

  1. Credit should be awarded only for learning, and not for experience.
  2. College credit should be awarded only for college-level learning.
  3. Credit should be awarded only for learning that has a balance, appropriate to the subject, between theory and practical application.
  4. The determination of competence levels and of credit awards must be made by appropriate subject matter.
  5. Credit should be appropriate to the academic context in which it is accepted.
  6. Credit awards and their transcript entries should be monitored to avoid giving credit twice for the same learning.
  7. Policies and procedures applied to assessment, including provision for appeal, should be fully disclosed and prominently available.

Is PLA an option for you?

Syracuse University allows students to earn credit for prior learning by demonstrating college-level knowledge they have gained outside the classroom. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process of earning college credit for college-level learning acquired from other sources, such as work experience, professional training and military training.

You are invited to meet with an Academic Advisor at University College to discuss a pre-review of your Extra-Institutional and Experiential Learning, including military training. The first step is to discuss your learning as it relates to your academic program.  The advisor and you will assess the feasibility of providing information, and what that might entail, of your prior learning that may be applicable to your degree program that may be evaluated for college credit.

Each degree program has specific requirements regarding prior learning. Contact an Academic Advisor for information on the availability of prior learning in your degree program.

You must be able to document a minimum of five years of professional experience and/or community service. You will be required to submit an application, resume, and narrative of what prior learning you believe you possess and how it is applicable to your degree program. You will also be required to document your training and include an annotated bibliography.

We ask that you complete the application form, attach a copy of your resume, and provide a one to two page narrative of what prior learning you believe you possess and how it is applicable to your degree program. If you feel the prior learning matches a specific course, please indicate that as well. This initial information will allow us to determine the additional documentation you will need to provide for your portfolio review of your prior learning.

Please return the completed application and documentation to your academic advisor at Syracuse University/University College, 700 University Avenue, Syracuse, NY, 13244-2530. Feel free to contact your advisor if you have any questions or concern, 315-443-3261 or

If you wish to avail yourself of this opportunity, contact University College to make an appointment with an advisor at a mutually convenient time. The phone number is 315-443-3261. Be sure to mention that you are interests in a Prior Learning Assessment appointment.

Should the pre-review reveal the potential for a full prior learning evaluation, you may be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds (if you are not already receiving your maximum award) through the U.S. Department of Education’s Experimental Sites Initiative. Syracuse University is a participant in its Prior Learning Experiment.

Standardized Tests

Following University rules and program requirements, SU schools/colleges and graduate departments may award credit for various external examinations and other types of extra-institutional and experiential learning. Such credit is evaluated only for the degree or certificate program to which you are admitted, and may change if you move into a different SU program. Credit is evaluated using the guidelines of the American Council on Education and the Council for Advancement of Experiential Learning, as well as our own institutional assessment.

See TABLES B, C, and D list undergraduate-level exams that may qualify, . For examinations or subject areas not covered in the listing, contact an Academic Advisor to assist you and your school/college or appropriate department to determine whether credit may be considered or if you are a candidate for an Advanced Credit Examination.

Undergraduate credit may also be awarded for some matriculation examinations and post-secondary educational experiences offered in other countries. Decisions about awarding such credit are made by the student’s school/college during the admissions process.

Undergraduate Students

  • A maximum of 30 credits from any combination of extra-institutional and experiential learning, external examinations, and SU Advanced Credit exams may be accepted.
  • A maximum of 66 credits from a combination of credit from a two-year college and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning) will be accepted.
  • If you subsequently take a course at SU for which credit was awarded for extra-institutional, experiential learning, or external examination programs, that credit will be removed.

Advanced Credit Examinations

Advanced Credit (AC) examinations provide matriculated students the opportunity to be tested on, and to receive credit for, knowledge and skills already achieved that would be covered by regular SU courses. You must petition the appropriate academic department for approval to take an AC exam; the department is under no obligation to approve the request. The exams are administered and graded by faculty. Each Advanced Credit exam carries a fee, at an amount published each year in Tuition, Fees, and Related Policies. For undergraduates, your school/college may accept a maximum of 30 semester hours from a combination of SU Advanced Credit exams and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning). Advanced Credit exams

  • must be associated with SU course subjects and numbers
  • are not appropriate for all courses, such as Selected Topics and those that require a Proposal for Independent Study
  • may not be applied to the residency requirement (see Residency Requirement)
  • may not be taken in a course for which credit was already earned
  • are not considered as retaken courses for flagging purposes [see Flagging (Removing courses from calculation toward the degree and GPA)]
  • will be removed from the official transcript if an equivalent course is subsequently taken at SU and passed
  • are recorded on the transcript by credit hours and grade, and contribute to total credit hours earned and cumulative degree GPA

Competency and Proficiency Examinations

Advanced standing, exemption, or placement examinations may be given by certain departments, e.g., mathematics; English; and languages, literatures, and linguistics, to determine where students should be placed in a certain sequence of courses.

No credit is given for these examinations, and no requirements are waived by successfully completing placement or advanced standing examinations. You may, however, be excused from prerequisite courses on the basis of these examinations.

Credit may be granted for studio work applicable toward professional degrees in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Architecture upon departmental evaluation of the portfolio.