Course Transfer Credit or Waiver

Appendix D

Request for a course waiver waiver via petition

Scholars may petition to receive course waiver for graduate courses taken at another institution up to a maximum of 9 credit hours. An approved waiver may reduce the usual six-credit course load required for candidacy based on prior coursework at the graduate level.

The scholar should submit the Petition for Course Credit and/or Waiver form as supporting documentation with a petition to the graduate program. Petitions will be forwarded to the Graduate Committee for review and the scholar will receive a response as a program letter from the DGS.

Coursework petitions must be submitted by the end of the first semester of coursework.

All petitions will be reviewed. However, scholars should be advised that in most cases, it benefits the scholar to take a full slate of courses at Emory.​​​​​​​

Provide syllabi related to the request

Petitions for a course waiver should be accompanied by the syllabus for the course at the previous institution and for the Emory course the scholar feels is equivalent. The scholar is expected to have compared the previous course and the Emory course to determine that the waiver request is appropriate.

Courses taken at Emory for credit must be distinct from waived courses

If a course waiver is approved, the scholar will be advised that they may not receive credit again for the same course at Emory. Therefore, if the scholar has additional courses to complete following the approved waiver, the scholar must complete new courses distinct from the approved course to fulfill any remaining course requirements.

Example: A three credit waiver is approved for CHEM 521 because it is judged to be substantially similair to a course completed at another instituion. The scholar must complete five additional courses at Emory to enter candidacy – none of these courses may be CHEM 521.

Support from primary research mentor

Support from the primary research mentor significantly strengthens requests for a course waiver. Therefore, scholars are encouraged to submit these requests after group selection has concluded so that their request may be accompanied by a letter from the primary research mentor. The mentor should address:

  • The relevance of the previous work to the PhD degree
  • The scholar’s mastery of the previous work and method via which mastery has been judged
  • How the waiver will support the scholar as they pursue training related to the PhD degree (That is, will they take more classes in a different area? Fewer classes to avoid repetition of effort that will free up time for laboratory work?)

Transfer credit versus waiver

In almost every case, it is most appropriate for a scholar to request a course waiver rather than transfer credit.

Course transfer credit may be given only for courses that were not used to satisfy the requirements of any previous degree. When you request course credit, you are requesting for a specific course taken elsewhere to be included on your official Emory transcript. Transfer credit may also reduce the number of courses required at Emory by an equivalent amount. It is more common for students to be eligible for a waiver than for transfer credit.

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