Waiving and Transferring Courses

Waiver of required courses. In many cases, students enter our program knowing enough about a topic that the faculty agrees to waive a required course in that topic, allowing the student to substitute a different doctoral course. The substituted course may be one already taken, or it may be more advanced or on a different topic.

To apply for waiver of a required course, complete the checklist page of your study plan as follows:

  1. Write “Waive” in the appropriate column for the requirement.
  2. Write the number and title of the Rutgers doctoral course you want to substitute.
  3. Attach evidence supporting the waiver (syllabi for courses taken, lists of material studied independently, articles published, etc.). 

You may propose any Rutgers doctoral course as a substitute for a required course.  It may be a course you plan to take or one you have already taken.  It may be a scheduled course, or it may be independent study or additional dissertation credit.  It may not be an undergraduate course or a course from the MBA program.  It may be a course you took in a Rutgers masters program only if it counts towards a Ph.D. at Rutgers.

If you propose to substitute a course taken at a different university, please write “transfer proposed” instead of giving the name and number of the course.

Waiver does not by itself reduce the number of hours of credit required for the Ph.D. degree or the tuition the student must pay.  However, doctoral courses in other schools at Rutgers that we accept as elective courses or as substitutes for required courses do count towards the 72 credits required for our degree, no matter whether they were taken before or after the student entered our program.

Transfer of Credit from other universities

Credit for a course in another university, in which the student earned a B or better, may be transferred into our program with the approval of the faculty director and the Rutgers-Newark Graduate School.  A student may transfer at most 18 of the 72 credits required for the Ph.D. degree.  

Transfer of credit will be considered only for courses taken in a Ph.D. program or in a master’s program in a university where the course can count towards a Ph.D.  Students may not transfer credit from an MBA program or an undergraduate program.  Transfer is normally considered only for courses taught in English.

To apply for transfer of credit, submit a complete syllabus for the course you want to transfer, along with an explanation of its equivalence to a course in our program, to the program office.  The program office will ask the instructor who teaches our course to verify the equivalence.  The instructor may want to discuss the course material with you before making a decision.  After the instructor makes a recommendation, the program director will decide whether to ask the Rutgers Graduate School - Newark to make the transfer of credit.  Any credit transferred will count towards the 72 credits required for the Ph.D. and will therefore reduce the tuition the student must pay.

You may apply to the program office for transfer of credit at the beginning of your study in our program.  However, the application will not be forwarded to the Rutgers Graduate School until you have completed 12 hours of credit in the program with a B or better.