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AA/PPS 02.02.13 - Transfer and Award of Graduate Academic Credit

Transfer and Award of Graduate Academic Credit

AA/PPS No. 02.02.13
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 9/27/2023
Next Review Date: 5/01/2025 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Dean, The Graduate College


Texas State University is committed to maintaining a well-designed, effective process for evaluating and awarding graduate transfer credit.


    1. This document defines the policies and procedures relating to both the transfer and award of graduate academic credits from other post-secondary institutions to Texas State University and the award of graduate academic credit from prior learning assessment (PLA).

    2. Transfer and awards of graduate academic credit from another institution to Texas State involves consideration of accreditation, comparability of course work, and applicability of that course work to a Texas State degree program. Every reasonable effort is made to reduce the gap between credits accepted for the purpose of transfer and the applicability of credit toward the degree.

    3. The Graduate College operates in accordance with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) rules and regulations regarding transfer and award of graduate academic credit policies and procedures.


    1. Regional Accreditation – Texas State considers for transfer credit (subject to other provisions outlined below) course work completed at degree-granting institutions that have been granted membership or candidacy status by one of the regional institutional accrediting organizations as approved by the Department of Education.

    2. No Regional Accreditation – Course work from an institution that is neither regionally accredited nor a candidate for such accreditation is normally not recognized for admission or transfer purposes. Texas State does not accept credits from institutions with accreditation solely from national career-related accrediting organizations, national faith-related accrediting organizations, or professional and specialized accrediting organizations.

    3. Credit from Abroad – Course work completed at foreign institutions is evaluated on an individual basis. Foreign institutions must be officially recognized by their Ministry of Education for transfer credit to be considered. Guidelines in publications and databases, such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, are used to assist in the evaluation of these credentials. Credit for non-Texas State sponsored study abroad is granted in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Education Abroad Transfer Credit form.

  3. ROLES

    1. Graduate College – A degree auditor in The Graduate College evaluates each applicant’s academic record and:

      1. checks that the institution at which each course pending transfer credit was taken (or will be taken) is properly accredited according to Section 02.;

      2. collects official transcripts and ascertains that courses pending transfer credit were taken (or will be taken) at the appropriate level (master’s or doctoral);

      3. if all requirements are met in the amount and type of applicable coursework, may award graduate transfer credits; and

      4. if a student seeks to earn credit at another institution after the student is admitted to The Graduate College or enrolled in a graduate degree, the dean of The Graduate College issues a letter of good standing prior to enrollment in the courses to be transferred back to Texas State (see Section 04.02).

    2. Graduate Advisor – The graduate advisor (who is a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the graduate program of the major department) evaluates each applicant’s academic record and:

      1. reviews student requests for transfer courses and provides a recommendation to the dean of The Graduate College;

      2. obtains each student’s transfer transcript from The Graduate College; and

      3. may require the student to provide such materials as catalogs, course descriptions, syllabi, class assignments, or textbooks to assure proper evaluation of each course for which transfer credit is requested.

    3. Dean of The Graduate College – The applicability of transferred credit toward a degree at Texas State is the decision of the dean of The Graduate College, upon the recommendation of the graduate advisor. The applicability of the transferred credit is made on a course-by-course basis. Specifically, the dean:

      1. reviews student appeals for re-evaluation of transferred credit; and

      2. authorizes approved changes on the degree audit.

    4. Student – Graduate students requesting transfer of credits from external graduate programs must participate fully in the request and approval process and

      1. provide requested materials from external institutions on a timely basis;

      2. respond promptly to queries from The Graduate College or graduate advisor;

      3. request application for transfer of graduate credit via the graduate advisor; and

      4. request letters of good standing (as applicable) prior to enrollment at an external institution.


    1. Transfer of Graduate Credit Earned Prior to the Student’s Admission to Degree or Certificate Program – If the credits to be transferred were earned prior to the student’s admission to their degree or certificate program within The Graduate College, the student must have their program graduate advisor submit a written request to the dean of The Graduate College asking for acceptance of the transfer work toward the student’s Texas State degree.

    2. Transfer of Graduate Credit Earned After the Student’s Admission to Degree or Certificate Program – If the credits are to be earned after the student is admitted to The Graduate College or enrolled in a graduate degree, the student must initiate a request for a letter of good standing well in advance of the time of anticipated enrollment at another university. Transfer credit cannot be permitted if the student fails to obtain a letter of good standing from the dean of The Graduate College prior to enrollment in the courses to be transferred. In order to obtain a letter of good standing, the student will need to

      1. receive permission from the departmental graduate advisor to take a course elsewhere;

      2. have the graduate advisor submit a written request to the dean of The Graduate College so that the dean of The Graduate College can issue an official letter of good standing. The request from the graduate advisor should identify the courses by name and number and should state what terms and where the courses will be taken. If the dean of The Graduate College approves the request, a letter of good standing will be sent by the dean of The Graduate College to the university where the student will enroll; and

      3. have an official transcript of the work forwarded to The Graduate College as soon as the grades post to the transcript at the other institution.

    3. Transfer Credit GPA – In computing the grade point average (GPA) for transferable course work, all grades are computed with grade and hour value. The grade earned at the sending institution is the grade transferred to Texas State, except that a plus or a minus is disregarded. Number grades are converted to the A-F (four-point) grading scale. Transfer work will be accepted only if it bears a letter grade of “B” or higher, or a numerical equivalent. A grade of “credit,” “pass,” “satisfactory,” etc., is unacceptable. Transfer work will not be accepted for graduate degree credit from another institution if such courses are designated as non-degree, background, preparatory, etc. No credit will be awarded until an official transcript showing the course work to be transferred is on file in The Graduate College. Courses taken at another institution to fulfill background requirements at Texas State will be accepted only if such courses are at the same level as those specified on the official degree audit.

      Courses completed in units other than semester credit hours are converted to semester credit hours using information from the sending institution’s transcript or catalog. Quarter hours are converted at the rate of one to two-thirds (e.g., five quarter hours = 3.335 semester credit hours; four quarter hours = 2.668 semester credit hours; and three-quarter hours = 2.001 semester credit hours).

      Texas State transcripts will separate transfer course work from Texas State course work. On the transcript, transfer course work will be listed first, followed by Texas State course work. In each section, course work will be listed chronologically. The transcript will show the number of hours transferred, Texas State hours attempted, Texas State hours passed, Texas State grade points, and Texas State GPA.

      Courses taken at other institutions will not be included in the GPA at Texas State. The Texas State GPA will be the only GPA calculated toward graduation (for maximum number of credit hours accepted, see Section 06.).


    1. Per THECB expectations for graduate degree programs that students be given the opportunity to earn credit if they have already acquired the competencies required in their graduate degree, graduate programs can, under certain circumstances, award course credit for specific knowledge and skills the student has acquired outside of an institution of higher education, prior to beginning the student’s program of study at Texas State through a PLA process. Students must provide evidence, as determined by the academic program, that they have mastered the content and student learning outcomes for the courses for which they seek credit. PLA is program-specific, not all programs have approved PLA processes, and requirements may differ from program to program. Each program’s PLA processes must be approved by The Graduate College and regular curriculum approval processes prior to its use. For programs that allow PLA credit, specific requirements are described on the overview section of those programs’ catalog entries. Should a student change major, the validation of extra-institutional credit will be re-evaluated by the new department, school, or program and by the dean of The Graduate College (for maximum number of PLA credit accepted, see Section 06.).

    1. Maximum Hours Accepted:

      Texas State applies acceptable transfer credit and PLA credit to a graduate degree as follows:

      1. up to six semester credit hours for degree programs that require 30-35 credit hours;

      2. up to nine semester credit hours for degree programs that require 36-41 credit hours; and

      3. up to 12 semester hours for degree programs that require 42+ credit hours.

      On a case-by-case basis, the dean of The Graduate College may approve more than the hours of transfer credit or PLA credit listed; however, under no circumstances will the combination of transfer credit and PLA credit in excess of 49 percent of the required degree hours be approved.

      Courses can only be used for transfer credit if the courses have not been, and will not be, used for credit toward another degree.


    1. Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:

      Dean, The Graduate CollegeMay 1 E2Y

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Dean, The Graduate College; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs