Transfer Credits

Student Services
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

280 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

U-Wide Policies related to Graduate Education

Application of Graduate Credits to Degree Requirements

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Plans Approved by the Board of Regents

Note: “University” (capitalized) means “University of Minnesota”

I. Applying credits from a baccalaureate degree

Graduate credits taken before the award of a baccalaureate degree may not be counted toward a graduate degree or certificate.

II. Approval

All credits used to fulfill degree or certificate requirements are subject to the approval of the faculty advisor and Director of Graduate Studies.

III. Credits in common between master’s and doctorate

Approved graduate course credits may be counted in common between a doctoral and master’s degree.

IV. Non-degree status

A maximum of 12 graduate course credits taken in non-degree seeking or non-admitted status may be considered for use in a degree or certificate program, whether they are transferred from outside or taken within the University subject to the limitations in VIIA.

V. Graduate level coursework

All University coursework for use in Humphrey School programs must be taken for graduate credit, listed on a graduate transcript, and at the level of 5000 or above. Coursework being transferred from outside the University must be taken for graduate credit as documented by the transferring institution.

VI. Dual degree/early admission programs

Approved dual degree and early admission programs will formulate more specific requirements to regulate the situations covered by this policy.

VII. Applying credits from other programs to a masters, certificate, or doctorate

A. Masters and Certificates

A minimum of 60% of total course credits (excluding thesis credits) required for a specific master’s degree must be taken while at the University.

1. Applying credits from other programs within the University
  • A maximum of three graduate course credits may be counted in common between two University post-baccalaureate certificate plans.
  • A maximum of eight graduate course credits may be counted in common between two completed University master’s degrees.
  • A maximum of nine graduate course credits may be counted in common between a master’s degree and a JD, MD, PharmD, DVM, DDS, or LLM.
  • Approved graduate course credits may be counted in common between a University doctoral and master’s degree in the same program, subject to the limits described below.
    • Plan A thesis (PA 8777) and doctoral degree thesis (PA 8888) credits can be counted toward either the Plan A master’s or the doctoral degree thesis credit requirement, but not both.
    • A maximum of three Plan A thesis (PA 8777) credits may be used to meet the Plan B master’s project credit requirement.
    • Plan B project credits may count only toward the Plan B master's degree requirements.
  • Earned master’s thesis credits (PA 8777) and doctorate thesis credits (PA 8888) in one University graduate program cannot be applied toward the thesis credit requirement for another University graduate program.
2. Applying credits from outside the University
  • A maximum of three graduate course credits that have been used to fulfill requirements for another certificate or degree may be used to fulfill post-baccalaureate certificate requirements.
  • A maximum of nine graduate course credits that have been used to fulfill requirements for another completed graduate degree or post-baccalaureate certificate may be used to fulfill master’s degree requirements.
  • Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.
  • In the case of a transfer from a non-U.S. institution, graduate course credits to be transferred must have been earned in a program judged by the University graduate program to be comparable to a graduate degree program of a regionally accredited institution in the United States.
  • For MPA students only: A maximum of eight graduate course credits may be considered for transfer from outside of the University and applied to the Master of Public Affairs (MPA), if these credits have been taken within the past 10 years and are aligned with the student’s self-designed concentration. The MPA Director of Graduate Studies may approve the transfer in of more than 8 graduate credits, if they were taken from the University of Minnesota.

B. Doctoral

Faculty advisor, with approval of the DGS, will determine, on a case-by-case basis, how many course credits doctoral students may apply toward degree requirements from programs other than the PhD in Public Affairs, subject to the limits described below. Doctoral students must take a minimum of 12 course credits at the University and 24 thesis credits (PA 8888) while registered in the PhD in Public Affairs.

1. Applying thesis credits from other degrees within the University
  • Plan A thesis (PA 8777) and doctoral degree thesis (PA 8888) credits in the same program can be counted toward either the Plan A master’s or the doctoral degree thesis credit requirement, but not both.
  • Earned master’s thesis credits (PA 8777) and doctorate thesis credits (PA 8888) in one University graduate program cannot be applied toward the thesis credit requirement for another University graduate program.
2. Applying credits from outside the University
  • Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.

In the case of a transfer from a non-U.S. institution, graduate course credits to be transferred must have been earned in a program judged by the University graduate program to be comparable to a graduate degree program of a regionally accredited institution in the United States.