Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Guidelines for Graduate Degrees


The academic guidelines for a graduate degree are located in the University Bulletin.  A student may graduate under the requirements of the current University Bulletin during the initial enrollment or any Bulletin thereafter that includes enrollment.  A Bulletin is valid for six years under the initial Bulletin they entered APSU or any Bulletin thereafter, which includes enrollment.


Residency for Academic Purposes

The graduate student must earn a minimum of one-third of the number of hours required to complete a degree or certificate at Austin Peay State University. The maximum number of combined hours of transfer credits, credit by examination, course validation, and experiential learning that can be used to fulfill degree or certificate requirements is no more than two-thirds the number of hours required for degree completion at Austin Peay State University.

Completion of the Admission to Candidacy/Program of Study/Committee Assignment Form

A program of study will be generated for each student based on the program selected during the application process. This Program of Study will be reflected in Degree Works (i.e., student degree evaluation) and will be used during the verification process before the student’s degree is conferred.

 Change of Major or Concentration

Students who are requesting to change their major and/or concentration can 1. complete a readmit application for the new program and submit the required materials for the new program, or 2. complete the “Request to Add or Change Graduate Program” form and submit the required materials to the department of the new program. Either option requires official admission into the program. This will trigger a new Program of Study to appear in Degree Works.

Transfer Credit

The maximum amount of combined hours of transfer credits, credit by examination, course validation, experiential learning, and earned credit through agreement that can be used to fulfill degree and certificate requirements is no more than two-thirds of the number of hours required for degree completion at Austin Peay State University.  All intended transfer courses must be earned with a grade of “B” or better from a regionally accredited institution. The official transcript from the transfer institution must be submitted to the Transfer Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office for further verification of courses. After the Graduate Dean’s approval, the transfer credits must be submitted by completing the Program of Study (or Change of Program of Study) form, with appropriate notation as instructed on the form. To be acceptable, the transfer credit must fall within the time limit governing the completion of requirements for the degree. The Program of Study (or Change of Program of Study) form must be electronically scanned (at the departmental level) and sent to the Graduation Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office. The Program of Study and Change of Program of Study forms can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website at https://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/current-students/graduate-student-forms.php .

The College of Graduate Studies sets minimum standard to which all graduate programs across the University must follow. Individual colleges, schools, and graduate programs are encouraged to set more stringent requirements as necessary to meet their accreditation and student needs. Acceptance of transfer credit is determined by the student’s graduate committee and the College of Graduate Studies. Please refer to the individual program for more details.

Prior Learning Credit

Austin Peay State University understands and recognizes that learning occurs in various manners. We have several options through which we recognize our students’ prior learning experiences by awarding prior learning credit. On this page, you can learn more about our three prior learning credit processes. 

Three Prior Learning Processes
  1. Prior Experience Assessments
    Many students come to Austin Peay with knowledge, certifications, or licensures.When certificates and licenses are aligned with programs of study, academic departments may award credit to the student. Students can also receive credit based on prior knowledge of specific subjects through standardized examinations of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Please visit Prior Experience Assessments for additional information. 
  2. Portfolio Development
    Austin Peay State University recognizes that our adult-learners bring a unique set of skills and experiences to campus when they enroll. These experiences often align with courses required for a student’s program of study. To best recognize these prior-learning experiences as course credit, we encourage students to consider Prior-Learning Credit through Portfolio Development. Please visit Portfolio Development for additional information.
  3. Military Transcripts
    Students who are serving or have previously served in the military are awarded credit based on military experiences reflected on their official military transcript, such as the Joint Service Transcript (JST) or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214). Military experience is evaluated using the appropriate ACE Guide recommendations. Read more about receiving credit from current or prior military service by visiting military transcripts.


Austin Peay also awards students credit for standardized examinations of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). A complete list of CLEP exams offered at Austin Peay can be found and details on how to register for CLEP exams can be found on the CLEP Examination page. Questions related to CLEP examinations can be answered by APSU’s Testing Center.

Time Limit for Completing the Degree

The requirements for a graduate degree must be completed within six calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in graduate courses at Austin Peay. This includes all required course work, research, and comprehensive examinations. Appeals to extend the time limit for completion of the degree must be submitted in writing to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies using the Graduate Academic Appeals form. Written supportive recommendation(s) from the student’s Graduate Committee Chair, Graduate Coordinator, or the Department Chair must accompany the request for a time extension. The Graduate Dean then presents the appeal to the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee for review and a final decision. When a decision has been made, the Graduate Studies Office will notify the student  via the student’s campus e-mail. The Graduate Academic Appeals form is located on the College of Graduate Studies web site at http://apsu.edu/grad-studies/current-students/graduate-student-forms.php.

Earning Double Master’s Degrees

A student who pursues two distinct master’s degrees at APSU, either simultaneously or consecutively must adhere to the following:

  • the courses being double counted are perceived as reasonable substitutions for courses in the graduate program(s) by all academic departments;
  • written approval of the Department Chairs and Graduate Coordinators of both programs and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies;
  • all degrees earned from APSU must meet Residency conditions as stated in Residency for Academic Purposes; and
  • the course work for each degree falls within the prescribed time limits.
Applicants for a Gradaute Degree (or certificate) must:
  1. A student must file a formal application for a degree online through AP One-Stop, according to the published University Calendar at the beginning of the semester of completion.
  2. A student must complete a minimum of 30 hours for a graduate degree program.
  3. A student must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their program of study in order to graduate.
  4. All students must notify the Office of the Registrar through the online application, even if they do not plan to participate in commencement ceremonies.
  5. After the application for degree is filed, the student’s record is audited against his or her Program of Study/Admission to Candidacy on file. The Office of the Registrar will notify the student of his or her graduation status.