"Having an opportunity to obtain credits by writing a portfolio of my life experience and creating my own degree plan were key for me."

-UWW student

credit for experience

because what you've done in life matters.

You've seen a lot. You know a lot.  You've done a lot. You may not have a college degree (yet), but we bet you could teach a course on life. At UMass UWW, we respect the prior learning and experience you bring into our program. We believe the experiences you have had, and the knowledge, skills and wisdom you have gained over the years matter and are worthy of up to 100 academic credits. 

what counts as prior learning and experience

  • prior course work
  • your prior learning portfolio
  • professional or military trainings and certifications
  • credit evaluations and exams

how this works

Of the 100 credits you have the opportunity to bring in for your prior learning and earn for your experience, up to 75 are transfer credits and up to 30 are UMass Amherst residency credits.  75 + 30 = (about) 100

up to 30 UMass Amherst credits

As a UMass UWW student, you will take a course called Writing About Experience. In this course, you will be supported in writing a portfolio of essays about what you have learned through your life and work experiences. This portfolio is then evaluated for academic credit.  You will be eligible to receive up to 30 credits towards your degree, with the average student earning 15 credits. And the credits you earn this way are counted as residency credits (UMass Amherst credits) and not transfer credits, making it easier for you to fulfill the university's degree requirements. 

up to 75 transfer credits

UMass Amherst has a generous transfer credit policy, allowing up to 75 credits from prior coursework, professional or military trainings and certifications, and credit evaluations and exams. Learn more about transferring credits

  • professional trainings and certifications- In your first semester as a UWW student your advisor will ask you to dig up and put together documentation of any professional trainings and certifications you have that are directly related to what you're studying. This documentation is then submitted with a one-time fee of $75 to be evaluated for conversion to credit. The ball-park rule of thumb is 16 seat hours equals about one credit. The best part is the credits you are able to earn this way help fulfill your degree concentration. Even better? There is no per-credit cost for the transfer credits you earn this way which can mean huge savings for you- savings of time and money.
     
  • credit evaluations & exams (CLEP, ACE, DANTES, UExcel, AP, SAT ll)- There are a number of organizations that offer credit by examination or conduct official evaluations of professional trainings. You may be able to transfer in your CLEP, ACE, DANTES, UExcel, AP and SAT ll credits. CLEP exams are 90 minute standardized tests offered through the College Board that help you earn college credit for what you already know for a fraction of the cost of a college course. UMass Amherst accepts CLEP tests in select subject areas and brings them in as transfer credits. View the list of CLEP/DANTES exams that are accepted.
     
  • credit for basic training- All U.S. veterans and active duty service members receive 3-4 credits for completing basic training. 

graduate in less time. save money. 

By providing you with real opportunities to bring in and earn credits for your prior learning and experience, UMass UWW helps you accelerate your degree and saves you money. For example, let's say you earned 15 credits for experience. That's 5 courses you don't have to take at 1/5 the cost. Check out our tuition and fees page for a breakdown of cost savings.   

get credit where credit is due. 

We're steadfast in our commitment to helping you graduate as quickly and affordably as possible with a great education from a world class university.