4.0 About the Letter of Equivalency for Master's Degree
These questions and answers are based on current regulations as of September 1999, and are subject to change by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and/or the General Assembly.
4.1. What is a Letter of Equivalency for Master's Degree (MEQ)?
The Letter of Equivalency for Master's Degree is issued as verification that the candidate has earned at least thirty-six (36) hours of graduate-level credit in accordance with Chapter 49.191(1) State Board of Education regulations. It will not satisfy certification regulations, which require an earned master's degree.
4.2. Who qualifies for an MEQ?
The MEQ may be issued to those persons who hold a valid Level I or Level II Pennsylvania certificate and have completed the necessary credit requirements as stated below.
4.3. What are the credit requirements for an MEQ?
Candidates for an MEQ must have earned 36 graduate semester credits with a grade of "C" or better. On a Pass or Fail basis, Pass is acceptable. A minimum of 18 academic graduate credits must be earned in the content area of the applicant's primary teaching assignment at a college/university approved by its respective state department of education to offer graduate work. The credits may be in one of the following distributions:
- All graduate semester credits earned in a college/university approved for granting graduate credit;
- A minimum of 18 graduate semester credits earned in a college/university approved for granting graduate credit, with the remaining 18 credits earned through Pennsylvania in-service programs approved after October 1, 1972, by the Secretary of Education; or
- A minimum of 18 graduate semester credits earned in a college/university approved for granting graduate credit with the remainder being a combination of graduate college/university and Pennsylvania in-service credits.
4.4. Are Pennsylvania in-service credits acceptable?
A maximum of 18 of the credit requirement may be satisfied through in-service programs approved by the Secretary of Education for meeting master's equivalency requirements. Official in-service letters with raised seal are issued by the in-service coordinator at a Pennsylvania Intermediate Unit.
4.5. Are community college credits and continuing education units (CEUs) accepted toward the Letter of Equivalency for Master's Degree?
No. Community college credits and continuing education units (CEUs) are not accepted toward the Letter of Equivalency for Master's Degree.
4.6. Are correspondence courses and courses taken as independent study acceptable?
Credits from such courses may be acceptable only if they meet the criteria as outlined in Question 3.
4.7. Are quarter credit hours equivalent to semester credit hours?
No. A quarter credit hour is only equal to two-thirds of a semester credit hour.
4.8. May I use the credits which were accepted for issuance of the Level II toward the MEQ?
Yes, if they meet the criteria as outlined in Question 3.
4.9. How do I determine if my credits are graduate level?
Credits must be clearly listed as graduate level on the transcript.
4.10. How can I be certain that my school district's MEQ deadline will be met?
The Bureau cannot be responsible for meeting school district deadlines. Applications are processed in order of receipt by this office.
4.11. How do I contact the Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality?
You may contact us by mail at the following address:
Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333