Prior Learning Assessment

What Is Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?

An opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge in a number of content areas for course credit. Lone Star College faculty assess employment, industry certification/licenses, non-credit workforce training, workplace training, exams and military service for content matches to available courses. Students benefit from lower costs and avoid repetition of material mastered outside the traditional college experience.

How Does It Work?

  1. Students meet with an advisor to request a credit assessment 
  2. Advisors/Counselors verify eligibility and submit assessment requests for evaluation
  3. If students meet all eligibility criteria, credit is awarded
**Attention Recent CFISD and SISD Graduates** If you are requesting credit for MATH 0308, MATH 0310 and/or HUMD 0330, visit the College Prep page for criteria and guidelines. The page is accessible by link under PLA options. 

PLA Criteria and Guidelines

Access the Prior Learning Assessment Manual for detailed information on policies, procedures and eligibility requirements.


  1. Must not request prior learning assessment (PLA) credit for previously taken or attempted courses
    • Previously Taken - Record of the course appears on  LSCS or transferring institution transcript
    • Attempted - Course dropped after official day resulting in a “W” on the transcript
  2. Enrolled in the current semester
  3. Meet eligibility requirements specific to the PLA option
  4. Provide official documentation (transcripts, license/certification, etc.) supporting the request for PLA credit


  1. Requests must be processed with an LSCS advisor or counselor.
  2. PLA credit is awarded after official day of every semester. 
  3. PLA credit is only awarded when it applies to the Lone Star College System program(s) of study.
  4. PLA credit posts as "CR"  on transcripts.
  5. Other academic institutions may not accept PLA credit awarded through Lone Star College System. Students are responsible for verifying credit acceptance with the receiving institution before deciding to pursue PLA credit.
  6. No more than 50% of credit certificate or associate degree coursework may be earned through PLA. See an advisor LSCS graduation requirements.
  7. If necessary, pay assessment fees at the campus business office.

Fees for PLA

PLA Option Fee
Advanced Standing No Fee
Internal Challenge Exam $25 Each
External Challenge Exam Fee may apply*
Portfolio Credit $60 per assessment
Military Transcript Evaluation No Fee
High School Articulated Credit/Advanced Technical Credit No Fee
Continuing Education Articulation No Fee
Articulated credit from a non-regionally
accredited college or university
$25 per transcript

Note: Fees must be paid prior to taking exam or submitting portfolio for credit evaluation

*A fee of $25 per assessment will be charged for any additional faculty assessments needed.

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