Earning your master’s degree is a major accomplishment that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. If you need to transfer credits to a new college or university to complete your degree program after relocating, or you simply have a desire to earn a degree from a more prestigious school or one you feel has a better career focus, it is important that you start planning early. Each university carefully crafts their master’s degree programs, so transferring credits from one program to another could be tricky.

Compare the programs of the two universities. To successfully transfer credits, you will need to transfer into very similar or identical degree program. For example, you will have an easier time transferring master’s courses from one MBA program to another, but transferring from a master’s teaching degree to an MBA degree program would be difficult or impossible. Make sure there is at least some overlap in the course of study before attempting to transfer program credits.

Talk with your academic adviser at your new school to see what your options are. Depending on the school, there may be a limit to the amount of credit hours you are permitted to transfer. Work with your academic adviser to determine which credits you are allowed to transfer and which would be most beneficial to transfer if the limit prevents you from transferring all of them. Also determine if you have to pay tuition on the credits you transfer.

Collect the necessary paperwork you need to complete and turn it in before the deadline. Depending on the new school’s policies, you may have to work with both schools before approval. For example, you may be required to transfer your official transcript to a number of individuals within your new school’s academic department. You may also have to acquire letters of recommendation from your current school’s professors. You may have to present the syllabus from the classes of which you wish to transfer credit.

Wait for the new school to approve your master’s program transfer credits. Keep in mind that this could take up to one semester and depend on factors like your GPA and the time that has elapsed since you took the courses, especially if they are in a time-sensitive field like medicine or Internet technology. If the new school requests any additional information, provide it to them in a timely manner. Once the results of their decisions come back, enroll in the appropriate courses that will allow you to complete your master’s degree in the shortest amount of time.

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