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Earning a Second Master's Degree

When an individual seeks to earn a second certificate or degree in a discipline closely related to that of their first Villanova degree or certificate, it is not uncommon for the individual to request that they 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 certificates and degrees reflect a significant immersion of the individual in a relevant, concentrated course of study. To this end, no more than 25 percent of the credits of a certificate or degree may be earned with credits from a previously awarded Villanova graduate program. 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 course(s) to be "accepted" from the other certificate or degree because certain course credits (e.g., internships) may not be sufficiently relevant to the second certificate or degree. That is, the second program will determine which course(s) from the first program will be accepted toward the second certificate or 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 approval of the second program’s director, if the time frame is acceptable. If a student completes a 30-credit graduate degree, and then returns to Villanova for a 15-credit graduate certificate, only 3 credits from the first program can be used from the first program towards the second.

This policy also applies to students pursuing certificate programs with or without simultaneous enrollment in a degree program.  

Should a student decide to pursue a third credential at Villanova, no course may be triple-counted.


[Revised, September 24, 2019]