Transfer of Credit
Students may request that six semester credit hours of graduate course work from another institution be accepted for transfer into the MSLS program. Students requesting transfer of credit must submit a completed transfer of credit form for each course; an official transcript issued to the school directly from the institution attended, and catalog descriptions of each course. The transfer must be approved by the department chair and the graduate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Guidelines for acceptance of credits are as follows:

  1. The student has already successfully completed 12 semester hours in the school with at least a 3.0 average.
  2. The courses were taken by the student after receiving a bachelor's degree.
  3. A grade of B or better was received in the course(s) for which the transfer of credit is requested.
  4. The course(s) taken are designated on the official transcript of the granting academic institution as graduate courses, and the transcript is on file in the office of Library and Information Science. (An official transcript is one issued by the institution attended that is forwarded directly to the school office and bears the seal of the university, the signature of the registrar and the date of issue.)
  5. The student is not already excused from six semester hours because the student holds a graduate degree in another subject area.
  6. Courses reviewed for transfer must be taken within the last 5 years.

Approval for transfer of credit involves a number of factors, including the accreditation status of the institution from which graduate courses are transferred, the specific content of the courses and their consistency with the program of study that the student is pursuing at The Catholic University of America. A primary consideration is that the transferred courses not duplicate the content of courses taken in the master's degree program at Catholic University.

Courses outside the field of library and information science may be approved for transfer. The purpose of allowing courses to be taken outside of the professional program of the department is to give students opportunities to gain competencies which are not available in the department, but which will substantially contribute to their education as information professionals. The student must demonstrate how the course will materially and specifically contribute to the student's professional education, make the student's program more cohesive, and lead to a specific educational attainment for the student. Students without previous library education courses or extensive experience are advised to confine their efforts to library and information science courses.

Process for Transferring Credits

Phase 1: Before taking a course from another institution
To be approved for “transfer of credit” into the program, a student needs to consult with his/her advisor who will determine whether the desired course from another institution is directly related and thus transferrable to the degree program at LIS. The student must provide a copy of the course syllabus that accurately shows the course contents in detail. In advising the student, faculty should examine the course with the student based on the guidelines described in the “Transfer of Credit” policy.  

Once the student has consulted with the advisor, the student needs to submit the request to the chair of the department. The request should contain the following information:

  • Submission Date
  • Student name and ID number
  • Student’s academic standing
  • Course Information
    o   Institution offering the course
    o   Course semester/date
    o   Instructor
    o   Syllabus (attachment)
  • Rationale: Explain in detail how this course is consistent with the student’s program of study
  • Advisor’s permission (a signature)

When the proposal is conditionally approved by the department chair, the student will receive a notification on his/her “transfer of credit” request.  A copy of the proposal and the notification will be placed in the student’s file in the department's office.

Phase 2: After taking a course from another institution
Transfer of credit will take place after the course is completed. The student must submit a completed transfer of credit form, for approval by the department chair and the A&S graduate dean. When the transfer of credits is approved by the Graduate Dean, the student will receive a letter verifying the transfer.

Waiver of Core Courses

Although no more than six semester hours can be accepted for transfer, some course work in library and information science may be acceptable in lieu of core courses in the school, but such acceptance of one or more course waivers will in no way result in a decrease in the number of credit hours required for the MSLIS.  An elective course must be taken for each course waived.

Students must petition for a waiver of core courses by completing a transfer of credit form. An official transcript and a catalog description must also be submitted. Waivers of core courses must be approved by the department chair and the Graduate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.