Transfer Credit

Transfer of credit applies when you would like to transfer a course, or courses, from one program to another. All transfer credit must meet the following eligibility criteria to be approved:

  • Must be graduate-level work from an accredited institution.
  • Must have a grade of B or better.
  • Must have been taken no more than five years prior to admission (see exception for PhD students below).
  • Must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree (see exception for PhD students below). Combined degree students are also exempt from this. 
  • Must have approval from your Department.
  • An official transcript showing completion of the course work must be on file in the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies before the request can be considered (for non-GW courses only).

The following rules apply to all transfer credit:

  • A maximum of one-quarter of the credit hours of graduate course work required for a degree may be approved. These credits may come from enrollment in non-degree coursework at GW, or from another degree-granting school of GW, or another accredited college or university. Consortium credits are not included in this calculation. The only exception to this rule is students enrolled in a graduate certificate that is wholly a subset of a masters program will be permitted to transfer up to 18 credits as long as the credit meets the minimum GPA requirements of the masters program.
  • Grades from transfer credit are not included in calculating your degree GPA unless they were taken as a GW non-degree student in which they will be moved to the graduate transcript and count towards the degree GPA. This only applies for grades of B or better.

You are not permitted to transfer coursework taken outside the University once you have enrolled at GW, except under extraordinary circumstances; permission must be sought from your DGS and the Associate Dean in advance of registering for the course.


Ph.D. students with “Advanced Standing”

If you hold a master’s degree in a related field, you may request to transfer up to 30 credit hours, called Advanced Standing. The five-year time limit does not apply. If you do not hold a master’s degree then you may apply to have up to 30 credit transferred as long as all of the conditions above are met.


Double Counting Credit

Double counting credit are courses taken for more than one degree program simultaneously. Students must have been approved to be in a dual program before applying for double counted credit. All courses have not yet been taken or are in progress (ungraded). Double counted credit must follow the criteria below:

  • Students must apply for double counted credit in advance. Double counted credit will not be approved for courses already completed. Transfer credit rules will apply;
  • Doubled counted credit will count towards the program requirements and program GPA;
  • Students are not permitted to double count more than 25% of the credit required for the program;
  • Double counted credit only works one-way (i.e., you cannot double count courses from program 1 to program 2 and program 2 to program 1).

For example Program 1 is a 36 credit Masters program and Program 2 is a 12 credit Graduate Certificate program. Students have the option to double count 9 of the Graduate Certificate program into the Masters program OR 3 credits of the Masters program into the Graduate Certificate program. Should option 1 be used then all 9 credits may count only if the courses have not yet been completed. If some of the graduate certificates courses have been completed then only 3 credits (25%) will be accepted and it must be a grade of B or better.


Consortium Courses

GW is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium of Universities, which allows you the opportunity to enroll at other member institutions for courses that are not available at GW.

Participation in this program is open only to students who are located at the Foggy-Bottom or Mt. Vernon campuses (with the exception of Corcoran students). You must be in good academic standing in order to participate. With prior approval, up to 9 credits toward a master's degree. may be taken through the consortium. In all cases, at least one-half (50%) of the hours counting toward your degree must be taken at GWU. For example, if you receive 7 transfer credits to a 30 credit hour program, then you may only take 8 consortium credits.

Access to Consortium courses is not guaranteed as priority is given to students enrolled at the home institution.  DGS approval and the GWU equivalent course number on the Consortium Registration form are required for the Associate Dean’s review. Please visit the Office of the Registrar to obtain the form and for more information on Consortium courses.


Limits on Undergraduate Courses Counted Toward Graduate Programs

No more than 25% of the credits completed for a graduate program may consist of upper-level (2000+) undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit. Graduate students may still take such courses for graduate credit, provided they complete additional, graduate-level coursework and have the instructor’s permission to do so. But students who wish to fulfill more than 25% of their degree requirements via undergraduate courses will need to petition the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for permission to do and provide an academic justification for this requested exception.