I’ve Taken Some Graduate-Level Courses. Will They Transfer to a Master’s Degree Program?

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I've taken some graduate-level courses. Will they transfer to a master's degree program? The quick answer is, "maybe". Many factors need to be considered in order to ensure that your classes will transfer. Each individual university or program will vary in the types and amount of credits they may accept. The course of study you choose will also make a difference. Where you took the courses and how well you did will also be important considerations.

Every University is different

Every University will have different policies about transferring credit for graduate-level courses into a master's degree program. Many master's programs have requirements that specify the amount of coursework that must be taken at their institution. If the graduate-level coursework you have taken is from a different institution, you will likely have to obtain permission to transfer the credits. Take a look at the requirements of your specific program to assess how likely it is that your coursework will be accepted.

Not all Coursework is Equal

Master's degree programs are usually more specific than your undergraduate coursework. The whole point of graduate education is to delve deeper into a topic. The more closely the coursework you have taken matches that of your master's program, the more likely it is that the credit will be accepted. Some programs may be more flexible than others. For example, if you are looking at a master's degree in an engineering discipline it may be more difficult to transfer credits. These programs are more likely to have very specific requirements for the degree. Also, graduate coursework, by its nature, tends to be focused, so a course at one university may not cover the same material as a similar course at another university.

Grades Matter

The quality of the graduate-level coursework you have completed will also be a factor. The likelihood of credit being accepted will depend on where you took the course and how well you did. Credit from graduate-level classes taken at a similar university in which you got good grades is much more likely to be approved for transfer. Some universities, for example, may be willing to only accept coursework you completed with a final grade of B or better. Even if the coursework is not accepted toward your master's degree, doing well in graduate level coursework will help you get into the program of your choice. According to US News & World Report, your grades in any graduate-level courses are far more important to admissions counselors than any undergraduate grades you may have.

Before committing to a two or three year master's degree program, it makes sense to take some courses that are related to your field of study in order to make sure it is something that interests you. When taking graduate-level coursework, check with your master's degree program to see if the credit is likely to be accepted for transfer. If you do some upfront investigation, chances are your graduate-level coursework is likely to transfer to a master's degree program.