Transfer Credit in the Graduate Program

Students who have completed coursework at other accredited colleges or universities may be eligible to apply credit toward master's degree requirements at SJSU. To be transferable, the coursework must have been taken at an accredited university, including foreign institutions, whether through regular session, special session, online programs, or extension. In the case of extension or online courses, the graduate advisor must petition the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies on behalf of the student and provide documentation that the courses have been approved for degree credit at that institution. To be transferable, courses must not have been in professional development courses. They must have been at the upper-division or graduate level and must have been taken within seven years from the time of posting of the grade for the course to the date of award of the graduate degree from SJSU.

As stipulated in university policy S13-8, not less than 70% of course work required for the master's degree must be completed in residence. Therefore, for example, a maximum of 9 units can be transferred into a 30-unit graduate program. This total includes all transferred classes, including those from Open University and the SJSU undergraduate career. Transfer work from any source may be applied toward the degree program only if it is approved by the graduate advisor. Those taken at SJSU, whether through Open University or as a matriculated undergraduate, may be revalidated in accordance with the rules on revalidation if surpassing the 7-year limit on course viability. Those taken at any institution other than SJSU cannot be revalidated.

No courses may be transferred if taken during a graduate (master's, PhD, or other) degree program in which the degree was awarded, whether used to satisfy requirements for those degrees or not. The only exception to this rule is that letter-graded courses from previous master's degree programs taken at SJSU (only) may be included up to a total of one third of the current degree total (i.e., 10 units in a 30-unit program) if approved by the graduate advisor. If a course was taken as part of a prior graduate degree program that was not finished (thus there was no award of degree), then the courses qualify for transfer credit.

For university approval of transfer units up to the 30% limit, the courses are entered on the Petition for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy in the Transfer Course section. The graduate advisor has full authority to allow or disallow transfer credit for those courses that meet the university requirements of eligibility. The signature of the graduate advisor on the candidacy form is sufficient to indicate departmental approval of the courses without additional forms. If the courses meet all of the requirements stipulated above, the university will accept the courses for advancement to candidacy and for graduation requirements. Credit is awarded for transferred courses of all category, but grade points are not included in the cumulative GPA for transferred courses other than those from the SJSU Open University program; therefore, the cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) calculation will not include those units nor will the GPA calculation for advancement to candidacy or graduation.

Official transcripts for all courses transferred from another university, if taken prior to application to the SJSU graduate school, must have been submitted via CSU Apply during the application process. Failure to have provided those transcripts precludes the later transfer of the courses. If the courses were taken or grades for them were posted after the application process, then the transferred courses must subsequently be verified by official transcripts sent to GAPE from that university at the time of transfer; failure to provide transcripts will result in a denial of advancement to candidacy and/or award of degree.