Transfer credit policy
Ordinarily 6 semester credits of graduate work at an accredited institution, for which a student has not already received a degree, can be accepted as transfer credit toward a degree at the Athenaeum. In some circumstances more than 6 semester credits can be accepted; this constitutes advanced standing. No more than half of a program’s required number of credit hours can be granted through transfer credit. Course credits more than ten years old are not accepted. In any degree program, a minimum of one year of academic work must be undertaken at the Athenaeum.
Decisions regarding transfer credit are made on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of the Seminary or the Dean of the School of Theology. Courses eligible for transfer credit must be of a comparable academic level (i.e. undergraduate level for certificate courses, graduate level for graduate certificates or master’s programs). Additionally, the course scope and content must closely align with a course offered at the Athenaeum. Transfer credits earned with a grade of “D” or lower are not applicable to a degree unless the student later has taken more advanced work in the same subject and earned a higher grade.
Students must see to it that complete credentials from all institutions attended are filed with the Registrar. These credentials must include an official transcript of graduate credits showing the entire scholastic record.
School of Theology students should notify the registrar of any potential transfer credit after submitting their transcripts. The registrar will communicate students’ previous coursework to the Dean of the School of Theology, who will decide any transfer credit to be awarded. The dean will communicate this credit to the registrar, who will note the credit on the student’s academic records.
Seminary students should have their vocation director contact the Office of the President to submit an application. The Dean of the Seminary will review all applications and will decide any transfer credit to be awarded. This will be communicated to the registrar, who will note the credit on the student’s academic records.
The rector and the Seminary Dean assign each new seminary student to a cohort based on clear and consistent internal standards of academics (particularly progress in accepted philosophical studies according to the norms of the Program of Priestly Formation) as well as priestly formation components such as college seminary or a formal house of formation, intentional communal life in an unofficial house of formation, etc. Incoming seminary students without prior college seminary formation may be placed in Pre-Theology I, Pre-Theology II, or Theology I. In these cases, former studies are not marked as transfer credit in a student’s academic record, but are used as a means to determine the student’s preparedness for seminary studies and his entry cohort.
Information on the requirements to enter formal theological study in the seminary (Theology I) is outlined in the Program for Priestly Formation. Applicants not meeting these requirements must complete one to two years of propaedeutic study and formation through the Pre-Theology program. Information on Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Pre-Theology program can be found in the Catalog.
Articulation and transfer agreements
Seminarians may be awarded advanced standing for studies completed at another seminary or pontifical university. In all cases, advanced standing transfer credit follows the policy and procedures outlined above.
Students may be able to transfer graduate credit from an international institution. The student’s official transcript must be sent to the appropriate dean for review. Awarding of credit is done on a case-by-case basis by the dean. International transfer credit is subject to the following stipulations:
• The institution must be accredited or otherwise formally approved by an appropriate educational department or ministry.
• The courses must be comparable to courses offered at the Athenaeum in content and academic level.
• Credit hour and grade conversions can vary according to country and institution. However, some institutions provide conversions to U.S. grades and credit hours in their catalog. These conversions are followed when available.
• If necessary, the Athenaeum may request a credential evaluation of the transcript by a professional service through NACES in order to determine equivalency for coursework, credit, and/or grades. Students will be charged for the cost of the credential evaluation.