Graduate Transfer, Cross-Registration, and Evaluated Credit Policy

Graduate Transfer, Cross-Registration, and Evaluated Credit Policy


School for Graduate Studies and School of Nursing and Allied Health


Director of Graduate Student and Academic Services


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

Originally implemented 7/2011, revised September 2019, January 2021, June 2022 and approved by Senate


Graduate, Transfer, Six Years Old, Transcript, Cross-registration, Evaluated Credit, and Shared Credit

Background Information:


To define requirements for the acceptance of graduate transfer credit and the total number of graduate transfer, cross-¬registration, and evaluated credits that may be applied to a graduate program.


Degree Programs: Academic programs in which the end result is a graduate degree. This definition applies to degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels.

Advanced Certificates: A post-baccalaureate certificate composed of graduate level coursework. Advanced certificate study is separate from that of study in preparation for a degree in that a student must apply separately for degree program study.

Certificates of Advanced Study: Post-master’s certificate that permits students to further their knowledge through detailed study.

Cross Registration: The act of enrolling in a course(s) at a different institution of higher education while matriculated at Empire State University via the approved cross registration process.

Evaluated Credit: At the graduate level this is credit earned via assessment or prior learning assessment. The ability to earn/use evaluated credit is limited to those graduate programs that permit evaluated credit.

Shared Credit: Credit earned in one Empire State University graduate program that can be used in a different/subsequent Empire State University graduate program.

Transfer Credit: Credit earned at an institution of higher education other than Empire State University used in a SUNY Empire graduate program.


Students may transfer, cross register, and/or earn evaluated credit for up to a combined total of 12 credits into master's programs, 6 credits into doctoral programs, and up to 3 credits into advanced certificate programs and certificates of advanced study. Students must complete at least 50% of credits toward a degree or certificate of advanced study while a matriculated student in a degree or certificate of advanced study in the School for Graduate Studies or School of Nursing and Allied Health.

To be eligible for consideration, transfer or cross-registration credits must:

  • be graduate level, and 7000-level or above for doctoral programs;
  • be from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • have a final grade of B or better;
  • be related to the student's program/content area; and
  • be no more than six years old at the time of the student's admission to the graduate program.

A student begins the transfer request process by having an official transcript sent to the university and course syllabus of all credit they wish to be considered sent to the appropriate school:

  • For master's programs that require an approved formal degree program (DP), the student discusses transfer credit during degree planning with their advisor. Transfer credit approval is at the discretion of the program faculty.
  • For all other programs, requests for transfer credit must be discussed with the student’s advisor. Transfer credit approval is at the discretion of the program faculty per the procedures of the relevant school.

Before cross-registering for a course, students should receive approval. Approval is at the discretion of the student's advisor in the School of Nursing and Allied Health. In the School for Graduate Studies, approval varies by division:

  • Business, Management and Leadership – At the discretion of the program coordinator, or division chair for programs without a coordinator, in consultation with the advisor.
  • Education – At the discretion of the advisor.
  • Graduate Liberal Arts and Science – At the discretion of the advisor.

The ability to earn credit by evaluation is determined at the program level. Individual programs that allow for credit by evaluation are identified in the graduate catalog.

See the Graduate Subsequent Programs at the Same Credential Level Policy for specific rules on the use of shared credits from a previously awarded graduate credential.

Schools and individual programs may set lower limits for transfer, cross registration, nonmatriculated, and evaluated credit. See the graduate catalog for individual program limits.

Students may appeal any decision made about transfer credit as outlined in the academic appeals policy and procedures.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Graduate Evaluation and Grading Policy

Graduate Subsequent Program of the Same Credential Type Policy

Cross Registration Procedure

Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures