The Pennsylvania State University The Graduate School at Penn State

Transfer Credits

Transfer of Credits from a Penn State Undergraduate Transcript

In certain cases students may apply credits they earned in 400-, 500-, and 800-series courses while undergraduates at Penn State toward a graduate degree at Penn State. After a student has been admitted to the Graduate School, and with the approval of the graduate program head, a maximum of 15 credits relevant to the graduate program of study that were not used to satisfy undergraduate requirements may be applied toward a graduate degree. Time limitations on the completion of the respective graduate degree program apply to these as well as to other credits.

Forms for transfer of credit may be obtained from the graduate program.

Transfer of Credit from an External Institution

  • A maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work done at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an officially recognized degree-granting international institution may be applied toward the requirements for a master's or doctoral degree. However, credits earned to complete a previous master's degree, whether at Penn State or elsewhere, may not be applied to a second master's or doctoral degree at Penn State.

  • Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School.

  • Transfer credits must meet the following criteria:
    • Must have been earned at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an officially recognized degree-granting international institution;
    • Must be of "A" or "B" grade value ("B-" grades are not acceptable; pass-fail grades are not transferable unless substantiated by the former institution as having at least "B" quality);
    • Must appear on an official graduate transcript;
    • Must be earned within the five years prior to the date of registration to a degree program at Penn State. 
       
  • If transferring credits from a university/college that is on quarter hours, you must convert the quarter hours to semester hours. In order to convert quarter hours credit to equivalent semester hours credit, multiply the number of quarter hours by two-thirds.

Forms for transfer of credit may be obtained from the graduate program.

Transfer of Nondegree Graduate Credits

Approval to apply nondegree graduate credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School. A maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree student may be applied to a degree program.

  • The credits must have been earned within 5 years preceding entry into the degree program. Requests to transfer graduate work taken more than 5 years prior to admission into a graduate degree program must be accompanied by a letter justifying the validity of the course work.
  • Only 400, 500 and 800-level graduate courses may be transferred.
  • Any courses taken by a graduate student in non-degree status that are not transferred into the degree program (as requested by the student and approved by the graduate program) will be coded as "credits not applied toward the degree" (NDC) and, therefore, will not count in the total credits earned towards the degree and the degree grade-point average. (Revised by Graduate Council, December 2010; implemented, Fall 2011.)
  • Only A, B, and C grades will be transferred. D and F grades will be marked "NDC."

Forms for transfer of credit may be obtained from the graduate program.

Transfer of Penn State Law Credits

Graduate students wishing to take 900-level (law) credits may apply a maximum of 10 credits towards a graduate degree program. Approval to apply Penn State Law credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School.

Courses approved to be transferred will be marked "*L" (Penn State Law Credit) on the graduate transcript and will count towards the total credit count, but will NOT be calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Forms for transfer of credit may be obtained from the graduate program.

Transfer of Penn State College of Medicine Credits

Graduate students wishing to take 700-level (medical) credits may apply a maximum of 10 credits towards a graduate degree program. Approval to apply Penn State College of Medicine credits toward a degree program must be granted by the student's academic adviser, the program head or graduate officer, and the Graduate School.

Courses approved to be transferred will be marked "*M" (College of Medicine Credit) on the graduate transcript and will count towards the total credit count, but will NOT be calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Forms for transfer of credit may be obtained from the graduate program.

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