Receiving Graduate School Credit Thru Online Courses

Graduate students who are looking to earn credits online can enroll in online courses, which may lead to fully online degrees or be transferred to on-campus degrees.

Graduate School Credit Through Online Courses

Students may receive graduate school credit through online courses in several fields, including:

  • Education
  • Business management
  • Health care
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Communications

Many technology-based fields like computer science offer entire online graduate programs that result in a degree. Some college and university graduate schools, as well as certain continuing education and extension departments, offer stand-alone online courses that may award graduate school credit. Some of these online graduate degree programs, however, may require in-person residencies or internship experiences.

Admission Requirements

Colleges and universities usually require that students seeking graduate credit through online courses hold at least a bachelor's degree. To start online graduate classes, applicants may have to submit the following materials:

  • Undergraduate transcripts, demonstrating a minimum GPA
  • Standardized test scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Application fee

Technology Requirements

Students also must meet the needed technical requirements for taking programs and courses online. These requirements can vary by program, but they often include access to a computer with the following features:

  • A recent operating system
  • Internet access and a current web browser
  • Office software
  • Antivirus software
  • A certain amount of RAM and memory
  • Web camera
  • Speakers/headphones

Common Credit Policies

Policies for approving graduate school credit through online courses may vary widely, depending on the college or university. Some schools don't accept credits from comparable courses that have fewer hours. For example, an institution that requires four credit hours for a class may not accept a similar class with three credit hours from another school.

Some colleges accept credit for courses in which students receive high grades. Most colleges and universities typically require that students complete online courses for graduate school credit through an accredited institution. It's best to make sure that a course qualifies for graduate school credit before enrolling. Check a college's online catalog for its credit transfer and acceptance policy or speak with an academic counselor in the department.

Graduate students can earn credits toward degrees in a wide range of fields online, as long as they meet minimum admission requirements and have the right computer technology, and as long as the credits have been approved by the school that awards the degree.

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