Admission with Non-Traditional Credit

You may be admitted to Youngstown State University with credits from non-traditional educational sources.

Prior Learning Assessment Credit

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an option that enables students to demonstrate what they have learned outside the classroom and translate that learning into college credit. Prior Learning Assessment validates learning acquired through corporate training programs, extensive volunteer activity, military service, workplace experience, civic engagement, individual readings and studies, training sponsored by professional organizations, and training sponsored by governmental agencies. Credit is awarded for college-level learning (knowledge, skills, and competencies) that students have obtained as a result of their prior learning experiences.

Students must demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge in a subject area in order to earn college credit. Prior learning can be verified by one or more of the following:

  • performance on standardized tests or department challenge exams
  • demonstration of military service learning
  • obtainment of professional certifications

Some certifications awarded by accrediting organizations are given automatic academic credit at YSU once proper paperwork is completed and proof of certification is presented.  Please visit the Prior Learning Assessment Crosswalks webpage and look at crosswalks.  If you feel as though you have life experiences that warrant Prior Learning Assessment credit, please reach out to your academic advisor or department chair to discuss the credits in which you may qualify.  If you are uncertain if you are eligible and what type of documentation you will need, please contact the Coordinator, Kim Verdone at for assistance.

For more information regarding PLA credit and guidelines, please see the Prior Learning Assessment website.


The US Military is considered one of the finest training institutions in the world.  Every Veteran or currently serving military student is entitled to a review of his or her military training to determine if college credit can be awarded. 

Military Veterans, current service members (Active, Reserve and Guard) and certain qualified dependents often arrive at the university with various Department of Defense (DOD), Veterans Administration (VA) or State of Ohio Education benefits.  The Office of Veterans Affairs located at the Carl A. Nunziato Veterans Resource Center, 633 Wick Avenue, Youngstown State University helps these military connected students make sense of their education benefits.  Youngstown State University will not engage in unethical recruitment practices of this protected student population.  Unacceptable practices include offering inducements to any individual for the purpose of securing enrollments of Service members, providing commission, bonus or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on securing Service member enrollments, or engaging in high-pressure recruitment tactics.

Student Veterans at Youngstown State University are afforded certain benefits in recognition for their service to country.  The benefits include but are not limited to:

  •  waiver of application and orientation fees
  •  advocacy services
  •  disability services
  •  weekly communications relative to veterans
  •  student veterans group
  •  military friendly deployment practices
  •  special recognition at graduation
  •  access to the Veterans Resource Center
  •  evaluation of military transcripts

Courses taken through the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) or the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) as well as certain formal service school courses will be considered for transfer toward the student's degree program. USAFI or DANTES courses must be evidenced by an official transcript, and service school courses through the (JST) Joint Service Transcript (Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard) or the (CCAF) Community College of the Air Force Transcript.

An individual who has served or is serving in the United States Armed Forces and has completed Basic Military Training will receive appropriate credit for that training. Credit may also be granted for "military job skill training" obtained while a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. A copy of the applicant's DD Form 214 and JST or CCAF must be supplied to the Office of Veterans Affairs in order to validate and award such credit.  Be advised that credit awarded for various military education may not relate, or be applicable to the student's chosen field of study and as a result may not fulfill specific degree requirements.  Every effort will be made to maximize the amount of college credit awarded for military training.

In addition, current military members (Active, Guard and Reserve), when called away to official duty during the semester, will be given special consideration as it applies to late withdrawals, and re-admission to programs in which they satisfactorily participate.

In accordance with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, Youngstown State University will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a fully covered Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover the individual's inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of a payment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Note: proper documentation of eligibility for these VA benefits must be on file at the YSU Office of Veterans Affairs.

Questions should be addressed to the Office of Veterans Affairs, (330) 941-2503. See the Office of Veterans Affairs website for more information.

Credit By Examination

Credit by examination is available to students who satisfactorily complete the appropriate subject examination.

The three available credit-by-exam opportunities include:

  • Advanced Placement Program (APP) - available only through student's high school.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Departmental Examinations - Call the specific department for a list of available exams and registration information.

Guidelines for students taking credit by examination:

  • Students may not take a CLEP test, department challenge exam, or other credit by exam opportunity for any course in which they are currently enrolled or have previously been enrolled and earned an evaluative grade.
  • Students who have already received credit for coursework for a subject in which the courses are sequential may not receive academic credit by means of CLEP, department challenge exam, or other credit by exam opportunity for an earlier prerequisite course.
  • Students pursuing a baccalaureate degree may use a maximum total of 30 semester hours of credit by exam applied to their degree; an associate degree may have a maximum total of 15 semester hours of credit by exam applied to their degree.

Online Credit

The University will accept online work taken in connection with a regionally accredited institution under the same circumstances as provided in the section titled "Transfer Credit."

Transient Applicants

A student seeking a degree at another institution may ordinarily take one semester of course work at YSU as a transient student. The student must apply for admission to the University and provide a statement from the registrar from the student's current institution indicating the student is in good standing or a copy of their current transcript showing a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (out of 4.00) or higher. Only students in good academic standing and eligible to return to their institution will be permitted to enroll as transients. Students who wish to remain as a transient student for a second consecutive semester should contact Admissions.

Former Student Applicants

All students who have interrupted their attendance at Youngstown State University for three consecutive semesters must reapply. Information regarding readmission can be found at undergraduate readmission. Students who have attended any accredited college or university since last attending YSU must contact the Office of Admissions, submit a Former Transfer application and provide all official documentation described under, "Credentials for Transfer Students."

Non-Matriculated Admission

The option of non-matriculated admission provides an opportunity for adults out of high school two or more years to enroll in undergraduate courses without completion of the regular admission process. High school or previous collegiate transcripts are not required until the non-matriculated student completes 18 credit hours or decides to seek admission to a degree program. Coursework taken in the 18 semester hours as a non-matriculated student can be applied to a degree program at Youngstown State University. Non-matriculated students are able to register only after current students have registered.

Applications for non-matriculated admission can be obtained through the Office of Admissions.

Suspended Students

A former student who was academically suspended must apply for reinstatement to the dean of the college he or she wishes to attend. Reinstatement procedures may vary with the college. For details, consult either the Office of Records or the appropriate dean's office.

See Academic Eligibility under Academic Policies, Rights and Responsibilities for rules regarding suspension and reinstatement.