Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Transfer Credit

Policies  > Degree Requirements > Transfer Credit


Ordinarily, all work for graduate degrees must be completed at the University of Houston. Under some circumstances, graduate coursework in which the grade is B or higher may be transferred. Except in the case of coordinated inter-institutional programs approved in advance by the Graduate and Professional Studies Committee of the Faculty Senate, not more than nine semester hours of transfer credit from another institution may be applied to a graduate degree. In cases where credit is transferred from more than one institution, including from prior incomplete degree programs or hours taken in a non-degree capacity at the University of Houston, no more than a combined maximum of 9 credit hours is allowed. A transfer credit request is subject to faculty evaluation and must be consistent with the degree requirements and/or research plan as approved by the student’s graduate program faculty advisor. Only graduate-level courses may be transferred. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis are ineligible for transfer, except in cases where the equivalent UH course is graded on a pass/fail (S/U) bases, and upon faculty review and approval of the course curriculum. Advanced work completed at another institution prior to the time that institution offered graduate credit may not be transferred. Individual colleges, departments or academic units may elect to have transfer credit policies allowing for less than nine hours of transfer credit.

Exceptions to the nine-hour maximum may be granted with approval of the dean of the college and the dean of the Graduate School; however, exceptions are unusual and under no circumstances may more than one-half of the semester credit hours necessary for any graduate degree within the jurisdiction of the Graduate School be represented by credit transferred from other institutions.

Requesting Transfer Credit

A student seeking transfer credit must provide the graduate program faculty advisor in their academic unit with an official syllabus, catalog, calendar and/or bulletin with detailed course description, in addition to an official transcript including official explanation of the course numbering and grading systems at the school at which the credit was earned. The graduate program faculty advisor may request additional documentation to complete the transfer credit determination. If approved by the department and the college, a Graduate and Professional Student Petition is submitted to the Graduate School to have the credit posted to the transcript. All transfer credit petitions must be approved by department/college faculty and submitted to the Graduate School no less than sixty (60) calendar days prior to the end of the term in which the student is graduating. Students may not request transfer credit for courses taken during the same term in which they apply to graduate.

Grades earned for transferred courses from another institution are not calculated into, nor are they part of, the graduate or professional student’s grade point average at the University of Houston. The student bears the final responsibility for securing the department’s acceptance of transfer credit.

International Transfer Credit

For coursework completed outside of the United States, transfer credit may be awarded only for graduate courses completed with a grade equivalent of B or higher, as determined in a transcript evaluation by the Graduate School. For evaluation of a transfer credit request, the student must provide the graduate program faculty advisor with an official syllabus, catalog, calendar and/or bulletin, which must be submitted with a certified translation into English, if needed.

Time Limitations

Regulations concerning time limitations  for graduate and professional degrees also apply to transfer credit. Transfer credit will not be awarded in situations where the original date the student took the courses at another institution will be older than five years at the time of the awarding of a master’s degree or ten years for a doctoral or professional degree. These time limitations also pertain to courses taken at the University of Houston by a student prior to being admitted to the graduate program for which the transfer credit is requested.

Transient UH Students

Current graduate students are encouraged to seek approval before taking any coursework at another institution as a transient student, which they ultimately wish to then transfer back to UH. Students may not transfer courses taken at another institution during the term they apply to graduate.

Previously Earned Degrees

Work taken while in pursuit of an earned degree at the University of Houston or another institution cannot be transferred. This includes graduate work taken while the student was pursuing an undergraduate degree, except in the case of an accelerated pathway dual-degree program (Bachelor/Master’s) at the University of Houston where there is a pre-approved agreement to apply specific graduate-level classes taken during the senior year for use by the Master’s degree.

Course Waivers

Colleges and departments have the option to waive required courses and allow students to substitute alternate courses of equal credit to those that are waived. Please refer to individual degree program policies for more information. 

Colleges and departments granting masters degrees requiring more than 30 credit hours may waive up to 6 credit hours for students with especially strong academic backgrounds in subject areas covered in the degree program. In this instance, students are not required to substitute alternate courses for those waived. The remaining credit hours required for degree completion after such waivers cannot be less than 30. If a student being granted such a waiver is also a recipient of transfer credit, the combined total number of waived credit hours and transfer credit hours cannot exceed 9. 

Waivers of both types are subject to the policies of individual degree programs, and must be approved by the program director or department chair and the associate dean or dean of the college. 

Credit Earned as a Non-Degree Objective Student

Students who took graduate classes at the University of Houston in a non-degree seeking status (NDO or postbaccalaureate) and were later accepted into a graduate program, are allowed to apply nine semester hours from the NDO or PB status to the graduate degree, if the courses are applicable to that degree. Students in those colleges which have pre-grad programs may apply twelve semester hours taken in a pre-grad program to a future graduate degree.

Concurrent Degrees

Dual degree programs have established curricula which state if coursework can be counted toward both degrees. Enrolled doctoral students who are permitted to pursue a concurrent master’s degree must have an approved academic plan regarding coursework shared by the two degrees. Each college will determine how many credit hours earned at UH can be applied to a concurrent graduate degree within the academic department. A maximum of 9 approved credit hours may be applied to a concurrent degrees in this manner. Students must begin such discussions prior to their enrollment in the second graduate degree program.

Summary Table

  Master’s degree at UH Doctoral degree at UH
Incomplete graduate degree at UH - concurrent 9 credit hours¹ 9 credit hours¹
Incomplete Master’s degree at UH - prior 9 credit hours 9 credit hours
Incomplete Master’s  degree at other institution 9 credit hours 9 credit hours
Incomplete doctoral degree at other institution 9 credit hours 9 credit hours
Completed Undergraduate degree 0 credit hours2 0 credit hours
Completed Master’s degree at UH 0 credit hours 0 credit hours
Completed Master’s degree at other institution 0 credit hours 0 credit hours
Completed doctoral degree at UH 0 credit hours 0 credit hours
Completed doctoral degree at other institution 0 credit hours 0 credit hours
Graduate work taken as PB at UH 9 credit hours 9 credit hours
Graduate work taken as NDO at UH 9 credit hours 9 credit hours
Graduate work taken as pre-grad at UH3 12 credit hours 12 credit hours

1 if concurrently enrolled in both programs

2 applies to hours at the graduate or undergraduate level; exceptions are made for preapproved accelerated pathway dual degree programs (Bachelor/Master’s).

3 only applicable for colleges with such programs