Transfer Credits and Second Masters

  • PLEASE NOTE: The Philosophy and Theology PhD Programs have their own policies on credit transfer; PhD students should consult their department’s website for details.
  • FOR ALL OTHER PROGRAMS, see below.

Requests for credits already completed:

  • Requests for transfer credit must be made at the time of application. Requests will not be considered after the students first semester of enrollment.
  • Students accepted into a graduate degree program may receive transfer credit for up to a maximum of 6 credits (usually 2 courses) taken at another accredited higher education institution.
  • The courses must be graduate-level, and must have been taken within the past six years. A graduate course used to complete an applicant’s undergraduate degree at another institution may not be transferred and used to complete a graduate degree at Villanova.
  • Only courses with grades of B or better will be considered.
  • Only applicants accepted as matriculated students may be approved for transfer of credits.
  • Transfer credits are not accepted for a non-degree certificate program.
  • Transfer credits can be applied to only one degree program at Villanova. 
  • When requesting transfer credits, the applicant should submit the following materials to the director of the graduate program: 1). the relevant official transcripts (regardless of whether a degree was earned), and 2). course descriptions and syllabi.

Requests to take a course (or courses) elsewhere after enrollment:

Students already enrolled in a graduate program at Villanova University who wish to take a graduate course at another institution for credit toward the graduate degree here must obtain written approval from the Graduate Program Director and the Dean before the course is taken. No transfer credit will be approved for requests received after the course has been taken.

  • This policy does not apply to graduate courses taken at Villanova University by Villanova undergraduates.

Earning a Second Master's Degree

When an individual seeks to earn a second Master's degree in a discipline closely related to that of his/her first Villanova Master's degree, it is not uncommon for the individual to request that he/she be allowed to apply some of the credits earned in the first program toward the requirements in the second program. However, the University has an obligation to ensure that each of its degrees reflects a significant immersion of the individual in a relevant, concentrated course of study. To this end, a student may not apply more than 25 percent of the credit hour requirements from the first degree to the credits required for the second degree. Furthermore, the individual must formally apply and be accepted for admission to the second graduate program and must obtain that program's approval for the courses to be "accepted" from the other degree because certain course credits (e.g., internships) may not be sufficiently relevant to the second degree. That is, the second program will determine which courses from the first program, up to a maximum of 25 percent of the credits from the first program, will be accepted toward the second Master's degree. Finally, any specific requirements beyond coursework in the second program (e.g., comprehensive exams or a thesis) must be completed.  Any credits considered for the second program must have been completed within the previous six calendar years prior to the first semester of enrollment in the second program.


For example, if a student completes a 30 credit graduate degree, and then returns to Villanova for a second graduate program, s/he may apply up to 6 credits from the first program towards the second program, with the approve of the second program’s director, as long as the time frame is acceptable.  

[Revised, March 2, 2015]


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