Transferring Coursework

A student may petition to transfer up to six hours of graduate-level credit for coursework taken at another institution. Courses may not have been used toward another degree.  Students should submit a petition to the Graduate Advisor as early as possible after the student is enrolled.

Master's Students

Master’s students must submit the “Petition to Transfer a Graduate Course From Another Institution for Use on a Master's Degree at The University of Texas at Austin” form. The petition should be accompanied by:

    • an original transcript
    • course numbering system
    • grading system
    • the official course description from the institution's catalog.

Complete instructions may be found at

Doctoral students

Doctoral students must submit the Petition to Transfer Graduate Courses from Another Institution for Use on Doctoral Program of Work form accompanied by an original transcript and the official course description from the institution's catalog.  Doctoral students must first obtain their program advisor’s approval before submitting the petition to the Graduate Advisor.

Guiding Principles Approved by GSC approved by GSC on January 22, 2021

General department policy:

    • Students may be allowed to transfer 6 credits from their master’s program to their ELP doctoral program, even if those credits were applied already to a master’s degree (in other words, students may be allowed to “double dip.”)
    • However, it is up to each individual doctoral program to decide as to whether to allow students to do this.

Program policy:

For the programs that decide to permit the 6 credit transfer, the following guidelines apply:

    • Students will not be allowed to waive out of our departmental core classes (even if the content was similar from their master’s program.)
    • Students will not be allowed to waive out of the total number of methods hours required in their program of work. They may waive out of intro methods courses if they have already taken those courses; but they will simply need to take more advanced methods courses instead.
    • Beyond this, programs can come up with additional guidance/policies about where credits can be applied in students’ program of work (POW)s.
    • Our existing policy will continue for continuing students (given that most decisions have already been made for existing students).
    • The new policy and approval procedures will begin with incoming students in summer/fall 2021. These students will be notified within admissions letter/email and/or by advisor upon admission that this is an option for them.
    • If students are in a program that permits the 6 credit transfer, all incoming students within the program will be allowed to take advantage of this policy as long as the course aligns in some way with the requirements that they are being substituted for.

Approval Process

    • The process for requesting the course credit transfer must be initiated by the student.
    • It is recommended (strongly) that students get approval their first year in their program.
    • The procedure for review/approval will involve the following steps:
      1. The student first requests a meeting with their faculty advisor to discuss where the credits should be applied in their POW
      2. The student then submits the application with supporting materials:
        • DocuSign Link: 
          • Official course description from the university
          • Rationale from student for the fit of the course to the program of study
          • The class syllabus (if available)
          • The university transcript with evidence of grade received
      3. Their request is then routed via DocuSign through a three-stage approval process: the faculty advisor, the program head, and then the Graduate Advisor. The approval process should take no more than 3-4 weeks.
    • For a course to count:
      • The grade received should have been a B or above. No “pass/no pass”.
      • The course must have been taken no longer than 6 years prior to entry into our program.
      • The course content must align with the requirements that they are being substituted for. Alignment will be reviewed in the process previously described for quality control.