Prior Learning Assessment

Prior learning assessment (PLA) is an assessment of non-formal education. You may seek a maximum of 9 PLA credits at Emily Carr for what is considered to be knowledge attained through significant work, life experience, or non-formal learning equivalent to Emily Carr courses. Not all courses are available for PLA.

Knowledge gained through significant work, life experience or non-formal learning is defined as a minimum of five years of professional experience after high school graduation related to the applicant's visual art practice demonstrated by a curriculum vitae that includes at least one of the following:

  • Professional public and/or commerical art gallery exhibitions of work that has received critical attention.
  • Art direction or senior level professional design or media related experience in the field of visual art, media arts, communication design or industrial design.

Knowledge gained through institutions of higher learning offering non-articulated, non-degree certificates and diplomas are not eligible for prior learning assessment.

Preparing a Portfolio

You'll need to prepare a portfolio directly related to the outcomes of a course(s) for which you are seeking credit. Qualified faculty assessors review each formal application and assess the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities to determine if course credit may be granted.

Your knowledge must be current, verifiable, and of sufficient breadth and depth to equate with University level outcomes. You'll receive credit for demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities, not for experience alone.

PLA Policy for Emily Carr University of Art + Design

In order to be considered for PLA, you must have been admitted to the University through the regular admissions process.

  • Normally, no more than 50% of the credit required for a degree can be transfer credit and PLA.
  • PLA credit awarded at other provincial post secondary institutions in accordance with provincial standards and guidelines will be accepted as transfer credit.
  • Assessor recommendations for PLA credit will be subject to the approval of the Dean.
  • Successful assessments will be assigned a letter grade, be calculated in your grade point average, and recorded on your academic record. Unsuccessful assessments will not be recorded on your academic record.
  • PLA will not be considered for courses previously failed.

For the 2013/2014 academic year, the cost to PLA each three credit course is as follows:

Domestic Students:
Assessment: $185.00
Transcripting: $185.00
Total: $370.00

International Students:
Assessment: $650.00
Transcripting: $650.00
Total: $1,300.00

PLA Contact
Academic Advising Office
Phone: 604.844.3899