Policies & Procedures

Courses Counted in Graduate Programs

Courses at the 500 level and above are designated as graduate courses at Indiana University. Beginning master's courses are at the 500 level; advanced master's and beginning doctoral courses are at the 600 level; and advanced doctoral courses are at the 700 level. Some 300- and 400-level courses in the College of Arts and Sciences are also approved for graduate credit. These are listed in the University Graduate School Bulletin.

Not all courses listed in this bulletin are offered every year. Inquiries concerning the availability or suitability of a particular course should be directed to the appropriate departmental chairperson.

Transfer Courses

Some graduate course work completed at other universities may be transferred into degree and licensure programs at Indiana University. All course work transferred must be from an accredited college or university. No transfer credit will be given for a course with a grade lower than B. Courses graded P (Pass) may not ordinarily be transferred into education graduate programs. Courses graded S (Satisfactory) may be transferred only if a letter is received from the course instructor stating that the student's performance in the course was at or above a grade of B.

All transferred courses must be relevant to the student's program of studies. They must be approved by a program advisor and by the associate dean for graduate studies. An official transcript is required for course work to be transferred. A course description or syllabus may be required in order to judge the appropriateness of course work to be transferred.

Master's degree students must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours of course work at Indiana University. Beyond this, graduate course work may be transferred from other universities. Of the 27 credit hours required at Indiana University, a minimum of 15 credit hours must be earned through the campus awarding the degree.

Specialist degree students must complete 35 credit hours of course work at the Bloomington or Indianapolis campuses of Indiana University. Beyond this, course work may be transferred from other universities or from other IU campuses.

Doctoral students (Ph.D. and Ed.D.) in the 90 credit hour program must complete 60 credit hours of course work at the Bloomington or Indianapolis campuses of Indiana University (this includes dissertation credits). Ph.D. and Ed.D. students may transfer no more than 30 credit hours into an IU doctoral program. The form required for students to transfer courses is available in the Office of Graduate Studies. Ed.D. students in the 60 credit hour post­master's doctoral program must complete 42 credit hours (including dissertation credits) at the Bloomington or Indianapolis campus.

Licensure students are generally required to complete at least half of their course work at the Bloomington or Indianapolis campus of Indiana University.

Course Revalidation

Course work used in graduate degree programs must have been taken recently, or it must be revalidated. Revalidation is a process whereby a student demonstrates current knowledge of course material that was not taken recently. For all graduate degree programs, course work over seven years old must be revalidated. For master's programs, the seven years is counted back from the completion of program course work. For specialist programs the seven years is counted back from the date of approval of the student's program of studies. For doctoral students, the seven years is counted back from the date of passing the oral qualifying examination.

Several methods of revalidating old courses are available:

  1. Passing an examination specifically covering the material taught in the course (such as a course final examination).
  2. Passing a more advanced course in the same subject area, taken more recently (within the seven years).
  3. Passing a comprehensive examination (e.g., a doctoral qualifying examination) in which the student demonstrates substantial knowledge of the content of the course. (Ph.D. students may revalidate only two courses by this method.)
  4. Teaching a comparable course.
  5. Publishing scholarly research that demonstrates substantial knowledge of the course content and understanding of fundamental principles taught in the course.
  6. Presenting evidence of extensive professional experience that requires the application of material taught in the course. (This method may not be used in Ph.D. programs.)

Forms for course revalidation are available in the Office of Graduate Studies at Bloomington and in the Office of Student Services at IUPUI. Old courses must be revalidated individually.

The revalidation evidence for each course must be assessed by an Indiana University faculty member who teaches the course being revalidated. The revalidating faculty member must be personally convinced, based upon present evidence, that the student has current mastery of basic course concepts and principles.

If the course instructor is not available, a faculty member in the same program specialization area may be substituted. Permission to use a part-time faculty member or a faculty member at another university for course revalidation must be secured from the associate dean of graduate studies at Bloomington or the director of student services at Indianapolis.

Departments have the right to limit the amount of old course work to be included in graduate programs.


Workshop courses have the word "workshop" in the title. These courses are intended primarily as a mechanism for the professional development of teachers and other education professionals. The topics covered and the skills learned in workshop courses are generally of a very applied nature, with the intent of giving participants hands-on experience with models and techniques directly useful in school settings. Workshop courses are typically scheduled to meet on a very concentrated schedule (e.g., for one or a few continuous days, sometimes all day) and have little or no time between class sessions for studying or for out-of-class assignments. They may or may not generate credit hours. Workshop courses awarding credit require a minimum of 700 contact minutes per credit hour and require readings and papers or projects for each credit hour earned. (Papers are sometimes scheduled with a due date after the end of the workshop period.)

Up to 9 hours of credit gained through workshop courses (including conference and institute courses) may be used in master's, specialist, and Ed.D. programs. No workshop credit hours can be applied toward a Ph.D. program. If both undergraduate and workshop courses are to be used in an M.S. program, the total of undergraduate credit hours and workshop credit hours may not exceed 9.

Correspondence courses and activity courses may not be used in graduate programs. (Activity courses are courses for learning and practicing a nonprofessional skill, such as a sports activity or playing a musical instrument.)

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.