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Non-Traditional Ways of Earning Credit

Please contact our office for additional information with this form.

Portfolios of Prior Learning Experience

American institutions of higher learning have been assessing experiential college-level learning for over 30 years.  By assessing experiential learning portfolios for nontraditional students, JMU recognizes that learning takes place throughout life and that college-level learning is not limited to the institutions of higher education or to classroom settings. The rationale for portfolio assessment is that adult life and work can offer learning equivalent in substance and complexity to that offered in our classrooms. Unless what we teach is fundamentally irrelevant to real human lives, the rationale is sound.

College Board Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP is a national program that offers students credit by computer-based examination. This allows students to have the opportunity to obtain recognition for achievement in specific college courses. ADP students are able to use course equivalents earned through passing scores on CLEP exams to fulfill general education requirements, as electives, or to meet prerequisite requirements for upper level courses.

ADP staff members administer CLEP exams at their offices in the Ice House, 127 W. Bruce St., Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For additional information visit the CLEP website at or call the ADP office at 540-568-4255.

- For a full listing of accepted CLEP tests for ADP students and the complete process for registering and scheduling go to the ADP Website at

Departmental Reviews

Courses taken at other institutions may or may not appear to be equivalent to those taught at JMU. During the Transfer Credit Evaluation, The Registrar may recommend departmental reviews on subject specific courses that are in question. Other times, a course may transfer into JMU, as an “Elective” with a course number of 000 that you may feel should be equivalent to a course taught here.

Students may submit materials through the ADP office for departments to review for specific credit equivalents. Depending on the department’s preference, these materials may include a copy of the catalogue description and/or a copy of the course syllabus.

Independent Study and Internships

ADP students who are near completion of their degree may run into issues getting the classes they need. An Independent Study or Internship course is possible to keep you enrolled and completing requirements. Please contact the ADP office for details.

Transfer Credit

ADP students may take program requirement courses at a local community college to save time and money. You must contact the ADP office first to obtain permission.

JMU students must submit a “Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit” form to the Registrar for approval before registering to take classes at a Virginia Community College System school.