Transfer Credits and Courses Taken Outside of the College | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Graduate Program - University Of Maryland

School of Library and Information Science

Graduate School

Masters Degree

Information Studies

Transfer Credits and Courses Taken Outside of the College

Twenty-four (24) of the thirty-six (36) credit hours of course work required for the Master of Library Science degree must be LBSC or INST courses taken in the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies.

Twenty-four (24) of the thirty-six (36) credit hours of course work required for the Master of Information Management degree must be INFM or INST courses taken in the iSchool.

A student may include up to 12 credit hours earned for their degree through the various alternatives described below.  The eligibility and limitations for each situation is described and this section is concluded by an outline of the procedure by which students obtain permission to enroll in these outside courses. Outside courses refer to any courses taken outside of the LBSC or INST courses for MLS students, or INFM or INST courses for MIM students.

Transfer Credit Earned Prior to Enrollment

Students can transfer up to 6 credits taken at another institution prior to enrollment at the iSchool. Up to 12 credits taken as Advanced Special Student may be transferred. To be eligible for transfer, courses must have a grade of B or better, be graduate-level, and cannot have been applied to a previous degree. The content of the course must not duplicate the content of an iSchool course in which the student is currently enrolled or has completed. The course must have been taken at a regionally accredited U.S. institution. Credits in library science must have been earned from an ALA-accredited program. Transfer credits cannot be more than five years old at the time of the request (e.g., fall 2013 would be the last semester in which a course from fall 2008 would be considered eligible). 

It is recommended that students request for the acceptance of transfer credits in their first semester.  Transfer credit grades are not included in the student’s grade point average.  The procedure for requesting a transfer of credit is located at the end of this section.

Transfer Credit Proposed while at the iSchool

If a current student wishes to take a course that is outside of both the University System of Maryland and the D.C. consortium, that student should follow the procedure of requesting a transfer of credit, except the request should be made prior to enrolling in the outside course.  Additionally, the Transfer of Inclusion of Credit form is not needed for the initial petition. If approved to take the course, the student should submit the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit form to the Student Services Office after completing the course with an overall grade of ‘B’ or better.  Transfer credit grades are not included in the student’s grade point average.

Taking Courses at Other University System of Maryland (USM) Institutions

A student may take courses on any other campus of the University System of Maryland. Such credits are considered resident credits (not transfer credits). See http://www.usmd.edu/institutions/ for Universities that are part of the University System of Maryland.

Requesting to take a course at another USM institution follows the same procedure as requesting the transfer of credit, which is described below, except that the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit form is not needed.

Taking Courses at Consortium Institutions

The University of Maryland is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Students enrolled in these institutions are able to attend certain classes at other member institutions and have the credit considered "residence" credit at their own institutions. A student may not take a course through the Consortium if that course is part of the curriculum of the student's home institution (this is a policy of the Consortium). This opportunity applies to degree-seeking iSchool students only. Advanced Special Students are NOT eligible. More information about Consortium registration, eligibility, and restrictions is available through Testudo.

NOTE: Other Consortium schools often have varying semester schedules that do not necessarily coincide with the UM schedule.

Petitioning to take a consortium course follows a similar procedure to requesting a transfer of credit, which is described below. After receiving approval from the iSchool to take a consortium course, pick up the Consortium Registration form and the Consortium Registration Permission form from the University of Maryland, College Park Consortium Coordinator in 1113 Mitchell Building. You can also contact this office by email (dcconsortium@umd.edu) or by phone (301-314-8239). All forms must be signed by the Assistant Dean, not the advisor, before being submitted to the Consortium Office.

Registration and payment for Consortium courses are completed at UM and at UM's credit hour rates. Courses and grades will appear on the UM transcript. Grades in Consortium courses will be averaged into the UM grade point average.

Taking Courses in Other UM Departments

Students may take graduate level courses relevant to their degree from other departments at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is the only situation where taking a non-iSchool course does not involve Master’s Committee approval. The procedure for taking a course in other UMCP departments is the following:

  • Student consults advisor and receives written approval to move forward.
  • Student contacts host department and obtains their approval to take the course. If approval is given, student may register for the course.

Procedure for Requesting Transfer of Credit, Courses at other USM institutions, and D.C. Consortium courses

Start this procedure only after reading the relevant information earlier in this section, which outlines eligibility requirements and limitations for each outside credit situation. The student’s advisor and the Master’s Committee must approve transfer of credits, courses taken at other USM institutions, and D.C. consortiums. The Graduate School must also approve transfer of credits.

  • Write a petition (½ page to full page) describing why this class would fit into your program and career goals.
  • Obtain course description and syllabus. For transfer credits, obtain transcript (if it wasn’t previously submitted with your application to the program).
  • Consult advisor and receive written approval to move forward.
  • If applicable, complete the Transfer or Inclusion of Credit form with approval from your advisor. This form can be found on the Graduate School’s website.
  • Submit written petition, advisor approval, any required forms, and supporting documents to the Student Services Office. The office will then submit these documents to the Master’s Committee.
  • Allow 2-4 weeks after all required documents have been received for review of your petition.