Standards of Scholarship for Master’s Degrees

The following standards apply to all students seeking a master’s degree at Seattle Pacific University:

  • You must satisfactorily complete the approved program of study.
  • You must complete at least a 3-credit graduate course in Christian faith and values.
  • You must maintain a cumulative SPU grade point average of 3.0 or higher. If your cumulative SPU GPA falls below 3.0, you will be placed on academic probation.
  • You must maintain the professional and personal standards expected of graduate students stipulated for each program. Failure to maintain these standards may result in removal from the program of study and degree status. 
  • No course for which a grade less than a C (2.0) is earned may be accepted toward a master’s degree. Higher standards may be required by specific programs.
  • All courses applied toward master’s degrees must be taken within the six-year period immediately preceding the granting of the degree.
  • Generally, no more than 9 credits taken at SPU before admission to a specific degree program will apply toward a master’s degree, though some programs, at their discretion, may allow more credits.
  • To earn any SPU graduate degree, you must complete no fewer than 33 credits, at least 27 of which must be completed after you are admitted to any specific degree program.
  • The last 15 credits toward your degree must be earned at SPU.
  • Credits accepted in transfer toward your degree must be from a regionally accredited institution or an international institution with comparable government recognition, unless catalog pages for your degree program itemize specific policies and standards for the acceptance of credits from non-regionally accredited institutions.
  • No more than 12 credits earned at other universities can be transferred toward a specific master’s degree program (see program section for specifics). The credits must be in classes that are functionally identical to courses required by the SPU program and are accepted at the discretion of the specific program.
  • The number of credit-by-examination courses and workshops that may be applied toward a master’s degree are determined by the individual graduate program, but in no case may more than 6 such credits be applied toward a master’s degree. Only admitted students are eligible for the credit-by-examination option, and examinations may be taken only in quarters in which the student is enrolled at SPU. See additional information about credit-by-examination in this catalog.
  • No more than 15 credits in independent study and research — including thesis, practicum, or project credit — may apply toward a master’s degree.
  • All graduate Internship, Thesis, and project courses must be completed within three years of initial enrollment in the course. Students enrolled in such courses will receive a master’s in-progress grade of “G” until the course is completed. After a lapse of three years the “G” becomes permanent.
  • No graduate work taken at another institution during the time a student is working on a master’s degree at SPU may apply toward an SPU degree, unless the student has the prior written approval of the graduate director.
  • One-credit courses (semester- or quarter-based) are not transferable and may not be applied toward a master’s degree.
  • SPU does not award credit for prior learning.
  • You may work toward two master’s degrees at SPU simultaneously.
  • You must make application for any required comprehensive examination at least four weeks before the examination is scheduled and pay the comprehensive examination fee at Student Financial Services (SFS).
  • You must pay the cost of binding the requested copies of the thesis/project (if applicable) to the appropriate graduate office. 

Note: Graduate courses may not be taken for a pass/no-credit option, with the exception of your thesis, dissertation, research, practicum, internships, and projects. Any exceptions are determined at the discretion of the graduate programs.