Transfer Credit

Students are eligible to transfer credit from one program to another as long as the requirements below are met.  

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 Ph.D. students below.)
  • Must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree. (See exception for Ph.D. students below. Combined degree students are also exempt from this.) 
  • Must have approval from your Department.
  • An official transcript showing completion of the coursework 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 coursework required for a degree may be approved. These credits may come from enrollment in non-degree coursework at GW, 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 that students enrolled in a graduate certificate that is wholly a subset of a master's program will be permitted to transfer up to 18 credits, as long as the credits meets the minimum GPA requirements of the master's 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 credits 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 must not have been taken yet or be 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 Master's program and Program 2 is a 12 credit Graduate Certificate program. Students have the option to double count 9 credits from the Graduate Certificate program into the Master's program OR 3 credits from the Master's program into the Graduate Certificate program. Should option 1 be used, all 9 credits may count only if the courses have not yet been completed. If some of the Graduate Certificate courses have been completed, then only 3 credits (25%) will be accepted, and they must be a grade of B or better.


Transferring Programs

If you are contemplating a transfer to another school or program within GW, you must consult with your current Director of Graduate Studies as well as with the Director of Graduate Studies of the program to which you are considering transferring. Transfers to another program within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences require the submission of a Petition Form signed by both Departments, which then must be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for review by the Associate Dean. It is not guaranteed that prior completed GW courses will transfer to your new program. If you have a graduate award, it is not guaranteed that any awards or assistantships are transferable to a new program of study. All transfer requests must be a part of your petition to transfer.

Transfers to a program at another school within the University require a formal graduate application to that particular GW school. Current master’s students who wish to apply for a Ph.D. program must do so through the online graduate application system.