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Change of Graduate Program

Transfer to Another Program within the Graduate College:

If a student classified as a continuing graduate student in one of the Graduate College's degree programs is interested in changing to another degree program instead of, or in addition to, finishing the first program, s/he must:

  • Meet with the director of graduate studies (or designee) of the new program to discuss departmental procedures for review of the previous academic record and admission deadlines.
  • Provide credentials requested by the new program.
  • Meet with the director of graduate studies (or designee) of the current program to have a photocopy of the original application, OAR admission referral form/foreign credential analysis, and transcripts sent to the prospective new program.

If the new program is willing to approve the transfer, the completed Request for Change of Graduate Program form must arrive in the Graduate College at least two weeks before the start of the term in which the transfer is to become effective. The form must have the signature of the receiving program Director of Graduate Studies and, if the student is holding an F-1, J-1, or J-2 visa, the approval of the Office of International Services. A petition for transfer credit for the courses accepted by the receiving degree program should be included, if applicable.

If the student at the time of application is on probation s/he must be admitted to the new program on limited status. The program must clearly specify the conditions that must be met prior to admission to full status.

The Graduate Degree GPA will be calculated on the basis of grades earned since acceptance in the new program only. With the approval of the new program advisor and DGS, students may transfer UIC courses and grades from the previous program provided that the grade point average of the transferred courses is at least a 3.00/4.00 (B).

If the student will not be considered a continuing student for the term of transfer, s/he should file an application to the new program using the regular application process.

Change from Master's to Doctoral Program:

Students enrolled as master's candidates who intend to continue as doctoral students should apply for the master's-degree evaluation as soon as they have met all requirements for the degree, and must do so within the deadline for master's degree completion. If they have accumulated course credits beyond the required minimum for the master's, they may request that the Graduate College apply the excess credit to the doctorate. The student should fill out the Request for Change of Graduate Program form and submit it to the department. If the program accepts the student as a doctoral candidate, the form should be forwarded to the Graduate College during the term in which the master's degree will be awarded for the change to be processed for the next term. The Request for Change of Graduate Program form must be received by the Graduate College no later than two weeks before the start of the term in which the student intends to begin doctoral studies.

At the time of the graduation evaluation for the master's degree, the program should submit a petition for transfer credit for any courses not needed for the master's and which are to be used for the doctoral degree, if this was not previously done. These courses must meet program and Graduate College requirements for use toward the doctorate degree. All other courses taken while registered in the program will remain counted towards the master's program.

Change from Doctoral to Master's Program:

If a doctoral student and program decide that the student will pursue the master's degree rather than a doctoral degree, a Request for Change of Graduate Program form should be submitted to the Graduate College at least two weeks before the start of the term in which the transfer is to become effective. A petition for transfer credit should be attached listing all courses taken as a doctoral student that are to be applied to the master's degree.

Transfer between Graduate Programs Not in the Graduate College:

The following Graduate Programs are not part of the Graduate College: Doctor of Public Health (DrPH); Master of Business Administration (MBA); Master of Engineering (MENG); Master of Public Health (MPH); and Master of Social Work (MSW). The MD, DDS, DPT, MD, and PharmD are coded as "Medical Professional" rather than graduate, and are also not part of the Graduate College. All other Graduate Programs are governed by the Graduate College.

A student classified as a continuing student who wishes to transfer between, or work on a joint or concurrent program with, the Graduate College and any of the programs listed above must meet the admission requirements of the proposed new program and college. The student should follow the steps listed under Transfer to Another Program within the Graduate College. However, in addition to the submission of the Request for Change of Graduate Program form, a photocopy of the current file submitted to the new program must also be forwarded to the new college (Graduate College) for review, if the new program recommends admission.

Joint and Concurrent Degrees:

Students classified as having continuing student status who wish to pursue a joint or concurrent degree must obtain approval from both programs. Procedures described under Transfer to Another Program within the Graduate College or Transfer between Graduate Programs Not in the Graduate College above should be followed. Both programs must agree to the addition of a second program.

Due to headcount and tuition differential issues, joint degree programs have developed agreements to switch the first and second programs in Banner (the recorded first program gets the headcount and assessment) at some point in the student's enrollment in the program. (There are some joint programs, eg. MD/PHD, where this does not occur due to other factors.) However, programs with students working on concurrent degrees (i.e. student not in a prescribed joint-degree program) are not bound by such agreements, and it is the right of the first program to remain as such until the student obtains that degree. This must be negotiated at the time of admission into the second program.

See complete instructions and the form.