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Credit for Prior Learning

Your Knowledge and Experience Can Work for You

Capella helps you find savings for the knowledge you’ve gained from previous work and training, or as demonstrated by your industry certifications, through Credit for Prior Learning.

How Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Works

Our CPL program, designed around the CAEL Standards for CPL, allows you to earn credit when you demonstrate relevant, college-level knowledge gained through formal and informal work training, continuing education, self-instruction, professional certifications, and other learning.

Two primary ways to earn credit through CPL:

Option One | Documented credit [for certifications]

  • Submit required documentation for your specific industry certifications.
  • We’ll apply credit as applicable to your program.  

Option Two | Petition [for all other prior learning]

  • Use the CPL petition to describe how you’ve mastered the concepts of a specific course and how you apply that knowledge.
  • A Capella faculty expert reviews the petition to determine if credit should be awarded.
  • Use the CPL lab, a free resource, to develop your petition(s).

View Capella's Credit for Prior Learning policy and CPL Fees

See what you could save

Capella helps you maximize savings for the knowledge you’ve gained from previous work or training, or experience as demonstrated by your industry certifications, through credit for prior learning.

Explore potential savings on your bachelor’s or master’s in business.

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Explore potential savings on your bachelor’s or master’s in IT.

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Explore potential savings on your bachelor’s or master’s in human resources.

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*Additional fee of $50 assessed each quarter you request documented credit. Petition evaluation fees in undergraduate programs are $75 per credit and $125 per credit in graduate programs. All learning being submitted for assessment must be completed prior to starting in FlexPath.

Not sure if you’re eligible or how to proceed?

Talk with an expert who can answer your questions and guide you to the next best step.

Eligible Programs

The following programs are eligible for CPL credit. Your enrollment counselor can guide you through the options for each program.

  • BS in Business
  • BS in Health Care Administration
  • BS in Information Technology
  • BS in Nursing
  • BS in Public Health
  • BS in Psychology
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • MEd in Teaching and Learning
  • MS in Analytics
  • MS in Education
  • MS in Education Innovation and Technology
  • MS in Higher Education
  • MS in Human Resource Management
  • MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • MS in Information Technology

CPL Eligibility

CPL petitions are available only to current students who meet the requirements. Documented credit can be applied once you’re admitted.

GuidedPath Eligibility

You are eligible for the CPL process if:

  • You are currently enrolled in a CPL-eligible program at Capella (you must remain enrolled throughout the CPL process).
  • Your course is CPL eligible.
  • Your course meets the requirements of your program.

FlexPath Eligibility

  • You can only submit CPL within 12 weeks of starting your first FlexPath course.

We accept more than 50 certifications including:

  •  CISSP®
  •  PMP®
  •  Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)

Find funding options

We’re here to help you find ways to pay for college. Capella’s financial aid advisors are available to guide you, or you can download our step-by-step Financing Guide.