PhD Degree Completion Program

Transfer up to 40 doctoral credits to complete your PhD degree.


Join a student-centered learning community.

Students transfer into our doctoral programs from a variety of fields, psychology, education, and leadership studies, to name just a few. Within in the School of Leadership studies, students can choose to enter two different programs:

Contact us to discuss your interests and previous education, and how they can match up to your chosen Fielding doctoral program.

Fielding Graduate University is a long-standing WASC accredited institution.

Let’s finish what you started.

We understand life can get in the way of achieving personal goals. We’re ready to help. For 45 years, Fielding Graduate University has been helping adult students achieve their graduate degree goals. In fact, many successful Fielding alumni started their graduate education somewhere else but chose to finish at Fielding.

Choose to finish your doctoral education at Fielding. Thrive in your desired profession and become a part of the Fielding international alumni network. 

FAQs for Fielding’s Degree Completion Program

The PhD Degree Completion Program is designed for people who have completed significant doctoral work and are ready to complete their doctoral studies at Fielding Graduate University.  Accepted students will complete either the Human Development (HD) PhD or the Organizational Development and Change (ODC) PhD at Fielding. 

Degree Completion students work with the Program faculty to customize a unique learning plan, supported by up to 40 transfer credits.  The HD PhD and ODC PhD programs are flexible, self-directed, and designed to support all students throughout their doctoral studies.
The program is designed to be completed within two years, depending upon the number of eligible transferred credits and other factors.
You will receive support throughout the program. Even before you apply, you are encouraged to contact to discuss the HD and ODC programs. From there, you will be referred to the Program for preliminary discussions on eligibility and ways to we can help you customize your program. As a student, you will select your Faculty Mentor, members of your dissertation committee, the other faculty, and student colleagues with whom you will work. Support and guidance are available throughout your studies – as well as after graduation when you become a Fielding alum.
Applicants who are accepted into Fielding’s Human Development (HD) PhD or Organizational Development and Change (ODC) PhD program may be eligible for the Doctoral Completion program if they have completed relevant doctoral courses, with grades of B or higher (including CR) from regionally accredited institutions within the eight years prior to enrollment in doctoral studies at Fielding. Transcripts from non-US accredited universities need to be officially evaluated for course by course equivalencies, unless the HD/ODC program has an articulation agreement with the university. Contact for more information.
Applicants who are accepted into the HD or ODC PhD program and are eligible for the PhD Degree Completion program may receive up to a total of 40 transfer credits.
The following courses will not be eligible for transfer: HOD-699 Foundations of Doctoral Study, HOD-801 Doctoral Competencies Seminar, HOD-810 Portfolio Review, HOD- 890/891 Comprehensive Assessment, HOD-892/893 Dissertation Seminar, HOD-896 Dissertation Pilot Study, and all associated dissertation step courses, including IRB approval.
Applicants are encouraged to contact for a referral to the Program for a customised assessment of the number of transfer credits and the equivalent Fielding courses. Once applicants are accepted into the HD PhD or the ODC PhD program, they will work directly with the Program’s Doctoral Faculty Lead, prior to enrollment, to develop a customized plan to meet all doctoral requirements.
Doctoral completion students with 40 transfer credits often design their learning plan for completion within 2 years.
Contact for a referral to the HD PhD or ODC PhD Program to assess eligibility for the Doctoral Completion Program.

Apply for the HD PhD or the ODC PhD program and complete an Admissions Interview with an assigned doctoral faculty member.
If accepted into the HD or ODC PhD program, contact the Program’s Faculty Lead for the next steps, which will include:

Finalize which courses from prior graduate work are eligible for transfer credit
Email copies to the Faculty Lead of:

Syllabi and/or detailed course descriptions for all eligible completed courses.
Three academic papers completed in prior graduate studies
Additional material may be requested

Complete one or two additional Admissions interviews with assigned doctoral faculty members.
Work with the Faculty Lead to finalize the application for transfer credit.
When approved by the Faculty Lead, the completed application is reviewed by one or more administrators.
When there is full approval, the transfer credit outcome is sent to the Registrar for finalization.

Every effort is made to complete the doctoral transfer credit review and approval process in a timely manner, so that it is completed prior to the due date for submission of all enrollment documents. Applicants who anticipate applying for doctoral completion transfer credit should complete their applications at least several weeks prior to the admissions deadline.
All new students in the HD PhD and the ODC PhD programs are required to participate in a two-week virtual (online) pre-orientation before the start of their program and a five-day residency, the New Student Orientation (NSO), at the start of their studies. The NSO is the only in-person residency that is required, although there are many optional opportunities for in-person learning.
Contact to discuss the admissions process and to receive a referral to the Program’s Faculty Lead for Admissions for the next steps in applying for the Doctoral Completion Program.
All HD PhD and ODC applicants follow the same application process, available online at Applicants must request an official transcript of at least one conferred degree be sent to Fielding.

In addition, applicants with graduate work completed within the past 8 years, should have those official transcripts sent to Fielding, whether or not the degree was conferred.

Fielding is one of the first colleges and universities to earn the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.