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Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired.

Credit may be earned in a variety of ways: challenge exams, competency exams, portfolio assessment through the English exit portfolio, and credentials from certifications and trainings.

Students interested in any of the Credit for Prior Learning programs may contact academic advising to set up an appointment to discuss the best match between their prior learning and MassBay courses for credit.

Your Options

Competency Exams

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
    Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam, which is administered by the College Board. Students have generally taken the exam prior to applying to MassBay.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    Credit for certain courses may be earned by scoring 50 or higher on the CLEP exam, which is administered by the College Board. Students may have taken the exam prior to applying to MassBay, or during their time at MassBay.
    The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) helps service members and veterans pursue their educational goals and earn degrees or certifications both during and after their service. DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), administered by Prometric, allow students the opportunity to receive college credit for prior learning. The cost of these exams may be subsidized for active service members.
    College credit for prior leaning can be earned in some subject areas by passing a UEXCEL exam. UEXCEL is a credit by examination program offered in a computer-based format at many test centers.
    In order for credit to be granted, an official examination transcript report from UExcel showing the test results needs to be sent to MassBay.
    • Coming Soon: Online List of UExcel exams MassBay accepts and how credit is granted toward a student’s degree. UExcel Exams Credit in MassBay Programs
    Credit for certain courses may be earned by showing competency by passing a Departmental Challenge exam. MassBay currently offers Challenge Exams for Computers and Technology (CS 100) and Critical Thinking (CT 100). Students interested in taking the challenge exams should contact the Office of Academic Advising.
    • CS 100 - Computers &Technology Fee: $50
    • CT 100 - Critical Thinking Fee: $50

MassBay is committed to veterans seeking postsecondary educational opportunities. In accordance with the VALOR ACT, Massachusetts Bay Community College evaluates credit earned for military education, training, experience, or coursework using the same standards as those applied to coursework from accredited colleges and universities. Students receive accurate and complete academic counseling from the Veterans’ Coordinator in collaboration with the Academic Advising Center. For more information:

The Joint Services Transcript
The Joint Services Transcript (JST) provides veterans and active service members the opportunity to receive college credit for their relevant military experience. There is no cost for a MassBay evaluation of the official JST.

For more information about the program, visit:


Graduates from the Commonwealth’s Career and Technical High Schools may be eligible for credit for prior learning through an articulation agreement between the Massachusetts Community Colleges and select Chapter 74 Approved Secondary Career/Vocational Technical Programs. Students in participating programs must present an official high school transcript documenting completion of the program to the Office of Academic Advising. Credits are awarded as transfer credit. For more information about the program, visit:

Academic Division Contact Information

Automotive Technology

Dean Robert Lilley, Ed.D.

Business & Professional Studies

Dean Susan Maggioni, Ph.D.

Health Sciences

Dean Lynne Davis, Ed.D.

Humanities& Social Sciences

Dean Christopher La Barbera, Ph.D.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Dean Chitra Javdekar, Ph.D.


Important note when reviewing your transfer credits: not all courses accepted for transfer may be applicable to every program, or at every institution. If you have any questions concerning credits that may or may not apply to a program, you may contact the advising center at 781-239-2775 or