UNC Charlotte Academic Policy: Transfer Credit and Credit by Examination

I. Executive Summary

This policy describes the transfer credit and credit by exam accepted for graduate students.  Graduate programs may consider a limited number of internal transfer credit hours from UNC Charlotte and external transfer credit from a college or university accredited by an accepted accredited body.  Graduate students currently registered may request an examination for course credit in a course whether enrolled in that course or not.

II. Policy and Procedure Statement

Transfer Credit

Students enrolled in a graduate degree program at UNC Charlotte may transfer graduate credit appropriate to their program earned at UNC Charlotte or other institutions, subject to the conditions stated below. Students may request transfer credit through a Graduate Academic Petition.  Students are held to the policies published for the Graduate Catalog year reflected on their degree audit.

Graduate Credit Earned at UNC Charlotte
Students may transfer graduate credit earned at UNC Charlotte under the following conditions:

  • The course credit is appropriate to the degree program in which the student is enrolled and subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate School
  • The credit earned is within the published program time limits as outlined in the Catalog
  • The student received grade of C or above for the course and the overall GPA remains at or above 3.0 (See Academic Standing and Grading and Related Policies in the applicable Graduate Catalog)

Restrictions:

  • The capstone requirement for a master's program cannot be transferred
  • Up to 9 hours of master’s capstone or thesis credit may transfer into a doctoral program as elective credit
  • Undergraduate coursework is not transferable for graduate credit
  • Coursework taken as part of an earned master's or doctorate degree is not transferable to a degree at UNC Charlotte at the same or lower level

Graduate Credit Earned at Other Institutions
Master's students may transfer up to 30% of the total credit hours required for a master's degree or certificate program, and doctoral students may transfer up to 30 credit hours from other institutions under the following conditions:

  • The course credit is appropriate to the degree program in which the student is enrolled and subject to approval by the Graduate Program Director and the Graduate School
  • The credit earned is within the published program time limits as outlined in the Catalog
  • The student received a grade of B or above as defined by UNC Charlotte; coursework that has been graded on a Pass/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis will be accepted for transfer if equivalent to an A or B grade at UNC Charlotte (See Grading and Related Policies in the applicable Graduate Catalog)

Restrictions:

  • Coursework taken as part of an externally earned master's or doctorate degree is not transferable to a degree at UNC Charlotte at the same or lower level
  • The capstone requirement for a master's program cannot be transferred
  • Graduate credit from other institutions may not be applied to Advanced Standing Tracks for doctoral programs. (See Ph.D. Degree Requirements in the applicable Graduate Catalog)
  • Credit taken under the quarter system will be converted to semester hour credit; partial or fractional credits cannot be not awarded
  • Graduate courses that appear in the undergraduate section of a transcript are only transferable if they were not counted toward the student’s undergraduate degree
  • Up to 9 hours of master’s capstone or thesis credit may transfer into a doctoral program as elective credit

Credit by Examination

A student currently enrolled in a certificate or degree program at UNC Charlotte may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the required coursework.  The student contacts the program in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination.  Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the program.  If the graduate program authorizes an examination, the student is instructed to pay the fee for credit by examination and to bring the receipt of payment to the examination. Credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded.  The grade will appear as a Pass or Unsatisfactory grade.  Failure on such an examination will incur no grade-point penalty.  No student may challenge a course for which either a passing or failing grade has been received at UNC Charlotte.

III. Definitions

  • Accepted Accrediting Body - The following are accepted accrediting bodies: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Credit Hour – An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
    • One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
    • At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
  • Degree – Diploma or title awarded to a student who completed a prescribed course of study.
  • Early Entry - Accelerated program for students who begin graduate study during their undergraduate senior year.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

  • Established: TBD
  • Revised: September 21, 2017 [Substantive changes made to transfer credit]
  • Revised: March 31, 2022 [Approved by Faculty Council; revised Graduate Transfer Credit policy]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this policy referenced?
    The policy is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website and in the Degree Requirements & Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog.
     
  • Which students are covered under this policy? 
    This policy applies to all graduate students at UNC Charlotte.
     
  • May I transfer credit from previous graduate study toward graduate study at UNC Charlotte?  
    While policies differ from program to program, most will accept up to six credit hours of coursework taken from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body.   See the Graduate Catalog Glossary for a list of accrediting bodies.  Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for more information, and consult with your Graduate Program Director.