Credit for Life Experience

Pacific Oaks understands that what you learn on the job can be as valuable as what you learn in the classroom, and we offer you a way to use the real-world experience that you have accumulated along the way to accelerate your degree completion and advance your career.  Pacific Oaks has two options for students with 5 to 10 years of relevant, verifiable work experience to earn credit for their life experience. 

The first option is the Bachelor Completion Option, which allows a student to earn up to 30 transfer credit hours to be applied toward the completion of a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development.

The second option is the Bachelor Waiver Option, which allows students to waive the bachelor degree requirement for admission into one of the two designated Pacific Oaks masters programs:  the Master of Arts in Human Development or the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy.

For both options, students are required to be admitted into the Bachelor of Arts in Human Development prior to seeking the Bachelor Completion or Bachelor Waiver. Student must complete HD 489 Reflections on Life Experience and HD 499P Writing for Empowerment, prior to submitting a Request for Bachelor Completion or Request for Bachelor Waiver application. Students seeking a Request for Bachelor Waiver must also complete one of the following courses prior to submitting an application; HD 341 or HD 411.

CLE Fees
CLE Procedure for Pasadena and Online
CLE Procedure for Instructional Sites

CLE Acknowledgement Form

For further details, click below: 

Bachelor Completion Option

Qualified students may receive up to 30 transfer units toward completing the Human Development bachelor's degree based on faculty review of a portfolio of student work samples and previous learning. Students must have a minimum of five years of relevant, verifiable work experience, successfully complete "Reflections on Life Experience" coursework, and meet all other unit waiver application criteria to qualify.

Bachelor Completion Unit Waiver Application

Bachelor's Degree Waiver Option

The bachelor's degree requirement for application to the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy or the M.A. in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College may be waived for students who have a minimum of 10 years of relevant, verifiable work experience (including at least 5 years in a leadership role), qualify for the full 30 units of unit waiver credit by portfolio review including successful completion of "HD 489 Reflections on Life Experience" and HD 499P lab coursework.

Bachelor's Degree Waiver Application


"Through in-depth reflection and rigorous analysis of personal experience, students gain insights that transform how they perceive themselves and have profound ramifications for the work they do with children, families and communities." 

—Tim Sundeen, Ph.D., Human Development Faculty

Contact an admissions counselor to learn more about Credit for Life Experience:


Pacific Oaks' Credit for Life Experience option conforms with policies set forth by our accrediting body, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).