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Credit for Prior Learning

If you served in the military, you may be eligible for credit that will transfer to the CSU, helping you to earn your degree faster.


Once you’ve been admitted to a CSU campus, you should first submit your DD 214/Separation Documents if you didn’t upload these when applying to the CSU through Cal State Apply. (You can apply for a copy of your DD 214 at the National Archives.)

Veterans are also encouraged to submit their Joint Services Transcript (JST) to the Office of the Registrar of their CSU campus for review.

Work You Can Receive Credit For

Generally, students are granted credit for:

  • baccalaureate-level courses that were successfully completed at a regionally accredited two- or four-year college or university
  • academic units when the non-collegiate instruction or experience is determined to be appropriate to the baccalaureate degree and meet American Council on Education guidelines
  • external exams such as DSST and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

How Credit is Determined

CSU campuses use the American Council on Education (ACE)'s Online Military Guide when reviewing course equivalency recommendations. ACE provides quality assurance and policy guidance for the JST by the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. (Request your JST.

The JST includes consolidated educational and experiential information for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard. The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) issues its own transcript for educational courses completed by Air Force personnel.

Also, Veterans Affairs contacts at every CSU campus can tell you about specific campus policies related to credit for prior learning, as well as academic credit for external exams.

CSU systemwide policies regarding academic credit for examinations, experiential learning and instruction in non-collegiate settings are detailed in Executive Order 1036.