Center for Degree Completion and Adult Learning

Motivated to succeed and advance your career? The Center for Degree Completion and Adult Learning is designed to reinforce your personal motivation and help you achieve that goal!

Our flexible academic pathways help working professionals earn their bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields, offering accelerated, flexible course schedules with online options. We provide the following degree programs: Communication Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Health Studies, Leadership and Professional Studies, Liberal Studies, ManagementMarketing and Psychology.  

We also have available an accelerated professional track in Criminology and Criminal Justice for adults who have completed the police academy and are police or corrections officers.

If you are interested in our traditional programs visit: Academic Programs - William Paterson University.

The Center is here for your support and guidance to help you navigate your academic journey until degree completion.

You can build upon your professional experience to earn additional credits towards your degree through each of the following methods of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA):

  • Portfolio Assessment - Students can complete a portfolio for assessment of prior, non-college learning that includes work experience, corporate training, professional licenses, or certifications that may equate to college credit.
  • Transfer Credits - Students can transfer up to 90 credits, but must take 30 institutional credits totaling 120 credits to graduate.
  • Credit by Examination - Students can demonstrate their knowledge and gain credit through standardized national exams such as the CLEP, AP, IB, TECEP, CPEP, challenge examinations, and credits through transfer (to a maximum of 90).  Each CLEP examination costs $77.00 and a university administration fee of $25.00 totaling $102.00. The examination(s) may be paid for by check, money order, or credit card (Master Card or Visa).
  • Military Credits - Students can earn degree credit for military training and experience by providing transcripts from ACE, CCAF, AART, JST, SMART, and the U.S. Coast Guard Institute. They will need to provide the Registrar's office or the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs with their official transcripts, which can be ordered through Joint Services Transcript (JST), along with a copy of their DD214 (military discharge document).

  • Course Challenge Exams - These exams are developed by faculty for students wishing to "test out" of a course. They address learning outcomes other than taking the specific course. Challenge examinations may consist of the final exam for the particular course, or an exam comparable to it. In courses that culminate in a final paper, the challenge exam may consist of comparable writing assessments.

  • Professional Training - Students may earn credit for professional training programs they have completed that have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service. Professional training examples include but are not limited to CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, CCNA certification, Human Resource Management (SHRM/PHR/SPHR), Project Management certification, Supply Chain Management certification, Digital Marketing certification, Certified Medical Assistant CCMA, and Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT). Students should expect to submit proof of their training completion.

Prospective Student FAQ's

  • What are the requirements for admission?

    Students with at least a 2.0 GPA during their time in school, and who have completed pre-requisites for their intended course of study.

  • Can I gain credit for life experience?

    Students can submit a portfolio with life/work experience for course credit in their program of study. We will work with the department of that course to determine if your experience meets equivalent learning outcomes. If so, you could be granted credits and complete your degree more quickly. Check out our Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio page for more information.

  • What is a typical schedule of a WP Online student?

    WP Online students typically take 12 credits per semester. Many courses in the major are scheduled in accelerated 7-week sessions to permit students to take 2 courses at a time during a semester. With prior learning credits, degree completers can typically earn their bachelor's degree in 18-24 months.

  • Do I qualify for financial aid?

    Yes. Adult students will take 12 credits a semester, so they can apply for financial aid.

  • How do I apply?
    For Degree Completers seeking online classes only complete the application at

    For Degree Completers seeking the traditional route, complete the online application at and select the transfer application. Be sure to select the appropriate term you would like to begin classes.

    If you have any credits from another college or university, please be sure to request your official transcripts and have them sent directly to William Paterson University.

  • I previously went to WPU. How many credits can be applied?

    All credits obtained at WPU are usually applied to your degree. Exceptions do exist depending on curriculum changes throughout the years.

    We can also apply additional credits towards your degree. See Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) above.

  • How many credits will I need to complete my degree?

    120 credits are necessary to complete a Bachelor’s Degree. 

  • What type of financing is available for me?

    Please be sure to apply for financial aid at:

  • How much will this cost?

    WP Online tuition and fees:

    Traditional undergraduate tuition and fees:

  • How long do you expect this to take?

    Depending on how many credits you can apply it can take anywhere from a year and a half to two years!

  • Are all classes online?

    All WP Online classes are online.  

    Traditional undergraduate courses are offered in-person, online, Saturday's and in the evenings. 

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