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Course Substitution or Transfer

Eligible students may substitute or transfer a maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit earned at another institution. Further,
  • Students must have earned this credit at an accredited graduate institution within 10 years of the date on which the graduate program requirements are completed.
  • The earned credit must have been acceptable as credit towards a comparable program at the institution from which the transfer is sought.
  • Students must have completed each course with a "B" or better.

Students with coursework that meets these conditions can and should submit a Graduate Program Course Substitution or Transfer Request Form for each course they seek to transfer. Each substitution/transfer form must be accompanied by an official transcript documenting the date the course was completed and the grade earned. Should the need arise, the English Graduate Coordinator (and/or the Associate Dean) will request more information, such as graduate catalogue course descriptions, course syllabi, etc. 

Completed course substitution/transfer forms, official transcripts and other supporting documents (if necessary) should be emailed to the English Graduate Coordinator at


Additional Criteria and Pointers Regarding Course Substitutions/transfers

  • No coursework can be substituted until the student has successfully completed 3 hours of graduate English credit at MSU.
  • Students need not include Social Security numbers, even if the form requests it. Only the MSU ID is required.
  • A separate form must be completed for each course the student is seeking to transfer. Failure to submit individual forms means the transfer will not be processed.
  • In applying for transfer credit, students do not have to designate a specific class in the MSU program for which the substitution is sought. Rather, students need only note the requirement covered by the transfer credit. (For example, a transferred course in screenwriting from an accredited school could count toward MSU’s 3-hour writing requirement in the English MA.)
  • Only one official transcript is necessary when submitting multiple course substitution forms. In such cases, requests for multiple substitutions must be submitted with the transcript, as one packet.
  • Students must ensure the Graduate Coordinator receives official transcripts. If students are not able to submit official transcripts with completed transfer request forms, they must contact the department to guarantee official transcripts have been received.
  • Students must submit any supplementary supporting materials in a timely fashion upon request. Failure to do so means the transfer will not be approved.

Ultimately, students must be able to justify why a course from another institution should count toward degree completion at MSU. Submitting a request for substitution/transfer credit and official transcripts only begins the course substitution/transfer review process; it does not guarantee transfer credit. The Graduate Coordinator and Associate Dean will evaluate the application and supplementary materials and render an appropriate decision regarding course substitution/transfer.