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At Pierce College, we accept various forms of credit to support your degree/certificate completion. Our goal is to support your career advancement through maximizing your previous learning while preparing you for advancement in service and entry into the civilian workforce. Please see below to learn how to get started and learn about the various ways we appreciate your previous learning.

Follow these Three Easy Steps to Get Started

If, you are transferring in coursework, military service training, and college-level exams, please follow these steps to make it a stress-free process.

  1. Complete our getting started steps.
  2. Request your official transcripts from all prior institutions including your military service transcript
    1. Air Force: Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)
    2. All other services: request your Joint Service Transcript.
      (Unofficial transcripts will be used for advising purposes only).
  3. Once official transcripts have been received, please request an official transcript evaluation at

Contact Us

To understand how best to use your transfer credits, please work with our student success coaches. We will discuss your transfer credits including those obtained through military service during your initial advising appointment and throughout your journey with us. We will also use your previous credit to build your personalized career pathway plan.

Military Service Credits

We accept your military training and military service credits:

  • Up to 15 credits awarded as General Elective where applicable in the degree
  • Academic Credit for Prior Learning (ACPL) Assessment for General Education (math/English) and Degree Distribution other than General Elective
    • To get started with ACPL, please visit our ACPL website and complete the PLA Accelerator
  • Ask our student success coaches about our new Associate in Technology  and Military Leadership (ATML) program.
    • While available to all servicemembers, great advancement opportunity for career servicemembers with extensive leadership training
    • Complete at least 20 credits (usually 4 courses) at Pierce College
    • May use up to 70 quarter credits from Joint Services Transcript to satisfy degree requirements
    • May combine one year of transfer (45 quarter credits) with military advancement
    • Coursework includes English Composition, Mathematics, Social Science, Ethics, Critical Thinking, Intercultural Engagement, Project Management and more!

Transfer Credits From College or University

We accept transfer credits from other colleges and universities. Transfer course requirements are as follows:

  • College/university must be regionally accredited
  • Where applicable, course grade requirements are as follows:
    • 2.0 to be used as prerequisite
    • 1.5 or better to be used in General Education (English/Math) and Core/Distribution
    • 1.0 or better to apply to professional/technical core and general elective
    • Transferred courses may be used once in degree/certificate
    • Semester credits are converted to quarter credits at a 1.5 ratio (3 semesters = 4.5 quarters)
    • Specific grade, degree and credit requirements are outlined in our academic catalog

CLEP and DSST (National Standardized Tests)

CLEP and DSST testing is available through the Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis-McChord National Test Centers. Administrative registration and testing fees may apply. CLEP exams assess learning outcomes for course content in composition and literature, world languages, history and social sciences, science and mathematics and business. DSST exams assess learning outcomes for course content in business, humanities, math, physical science, social sciences and technology. For additional information on which examinations are offered, which exams are accepted for credit, testing hours, fees and test preparation, visit the Pierce College at JBLM National Test Center web page.

Credit by Examination (Course Challenges)

Students may receive Pierce College credit for up to two courses per quarter by successfully completing an examination on the course subject matter. Credit by examination may be attempted only once for any given course and may not be used to improve a grade earned at Pierce College or to challenge a course prerequisite for a course successfully completed. Credit by examination does not satisfy the graduation residency requirement. A per-credit fee is charged. Students should contact the department from which they are seeking credits for examination information. Please contact Pierce College at JBLM advising for further exploration of this option.

Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge International (CI) and International Baccalaureate (IB)

Pierce College grants credit for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level (HL) and Cambridge International (CI) exams in accordance with standards set by the Washington State Instruction Commission (IC) for Community and Technical Colleges. Credits will be awarded as “P” grades on the Pierce College transcript and may be used to fulfill prerequisite and degree requirements. For a list of tests and required scores refer to the testing page. Students must be admitted to Pierce College and must submit an official transcript to the Evaluations Office for credit evaluation.

Professional Certifications and Licenses

College credits may be awarded for professional certifications and licenses earned by the student if the organization providing the training program is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE), international, federal, state or local agencies, and the appropriate Pierce College academic department determines that the certification/license is college-equivalent learning. Students should contact the department from which they are seeking credits for professional certification and license for information.

Defense Language Institute (DLI) and Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPT)

Pierce College grants credit through DLI/DLPT. Please visit the DLI web page to order your official transcripts and submit them to Pierce College at JBLM for review. These credits are reviewed by our Arts, Humanities, and Communications Department and credit may granted according to the recommendations from the American Council on Education (ACE).

Education Completed Outside the United States

Pierce College may grant credit for education obtained outside the United States. To be considered for review, please submit your official transcript to one of the member organizations of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). NACES is an association of US-based, independent, nongovernmental organizations that provide credential evaluation services for individuals who have completed education outside the United States.