Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing
Transfer Credit means applying courses taken at another institution towards your MS program. Advanced Standing means applying part of a previous MS degree towards your current MS program. Both involve transferring courses taken elsewhere into your MS program here, but the application process is different.
The University requires that a minimum of 24 credits be taken in resident graduate study (this includes online courses). In our MS programs, you may apply for up to six graduate credit hours to your program through courses taken at other institutions either prior to or during the M.S. program. The rest of the program must be completed at UAlbany, including required practicum courses. If you want to transfer credit for courses taken prior to entering the M.S. program, make the request immediately after admission. In the course of the program, if you wish to take a particular course from another university, submit a transfer of credit form in advance. In both cases, a Request for Transfer of Credit Form must be completed.
The Reading Department will only accept, for transfer credit, graduate courses that are functional equivalents of the courses it offers. Courses that meet for less than a month, require few if any extended readings or written assignments, involve little or no library study, or are on topics that do not integrate theory with practice, cannot be transferred into our program, regardless of whether they carry graduate credits.
There are several strict requirements for courses to be eligible for transfer:
- Required practicum courses have to be completed at the University at Albany, and cannot be transferred into the program.
- Undergraduate credits cannot be transferred into the graduate program.
- Proper documentation has to be provided including an official transcript, a course syllabus, and a copy of the course description.
- You must have a grade of "B" or above for the course in order for it to qualify for transfer credit.
Before filing a Request for Transfer Credit, discuss it with your Advisor to determine if the courses are appropriate and which program areas they fit. All requests for transfer of credit must be submitted, with all required documentation, directly to the Reading Department. Once all the paperwork is filed, it usually takes between 2-4 weeks to process and approve/disapprove the application. Each student is notified via email. If the credits are approved, the student will receive an updated program plan.
If you are coming into our MS program and already have a master’s degree, you may be able to transfer in more than six credits. The University’s policy states: "Applicants for admission to a master's degree program who have already completed one master's degree program may apply for admission with advanced standing. The award of advanced standing to a successful applicant for a second master's degree program is governed by the following conditions:
- Up to 30 percent of the credits required for a second master's degree may be allowed for advanced standing by the application of appropriate courses from the first completed master's degree program (in a 30-hour program, that translates into 9 credit hours). All remaining course requirements must be completed satisfactorily in resident graduate study at the University at Albany.
- Courses applied to a second master's degree program from a completed first master's degree program must be approved by the faculty responsible for the second program. In our department, this approval will depend on how well the proposed courses fit into the course distribution requirements of the new admitted program.
- Courses accepted for advanced standing may not be used normally to satisfy a second master's degree program's requirements of such key courses as research seminars, theses, field courses, clinical courses, student teaching internships, and practicums. In our department, this means required practicum courses.
- Courses allowed for advanced standing status must be graduate courses completed with a B, or better, or S grade at accredited institutions authorized to grant graduate degrees. In our department, the policy of only accepting courses that are the functional equivalent of courses we offer, also applies here.
- All courses, both those qualifying for advanced standing status and resident study, must be completed within the six-year statue of limitations applicable to the second master's degree.
- A graduate student may not apply both conventional transfer credit and advanced standing credit to the second master's degree program: the former or the latter, but not both, can be applied to a single program. Exceptions to criteria governing advanced standing may be approved by the Graduate Academic Council. If you believe you qualify for an exception, you have to make a formal written request to the Department. The Department will forward its recommendation to the GAC.
To submit a request for Advanced Standing, you need to make an appointment with your advisor. In consultation with your advisor, you work out which courses are transferrable and into which program areas, and then your advisor submits an Advanced Standing Application to the Department Chair, who forwards it to the Graduate Office. When approved, you'll see these courses listed on your transcript. DO NOT use the transfer credit application form for Advanced Standing--it will not be accepted for this purpose.
If you are applying for Advanced Standing at the time of admission, your request will be forwarded to your advisor as soon as he/she is assigned to you. Make sure that you bring this to your advisor's attention.