Available Degree Programs and Requirements Achieving Credit for Your Coursework

Rushmore requires you maintain a Journal listing the total hours you devote to reading, writing, editing, and fulfilling the requirements of each course. Your Journal will list the time you read and research to prepare for developing your course papers. It will detail the time that you devote to reading books for the course, research collateral references, writing your course paper and revising your paper in response to comments from the Editor.

A Journal is not edited, and should not be sent to the Editor for review. Only your paper is edited. You will submit your Journal to your reviewing Professor when you submit the paper for his or her review. Generally, students earn one credit hour for each 20 (clock) hours that you devote to a course. For example, if you spend 60 hours on a course, it is possible to receive three credit hours, or more, depending upon quality for that course against your degree requirements.

Rushmore is pleased to accept the transfer of earned credits from other graduate degree programs or the equivalent, but only if the credits have not been applied toward earning a graduate degree at another institution.

You may receive credits for major projects, such as books, articles and other written works that you have completed or are in the process of completing. For an assessment of the number of credits that you may receive for your relevant projects, please email to with a copy of the paper, article, or project abstract.

Master’s Programs

Applicants to our Master's program must demonstrate that any previous educational studies or work experiences are a relevant complement to a Bachelor’s degree and that he or she can demonstrate the potential to successfully pursue an online Master's program.

Students who may have not received a formal Bachelor’s Level Degree--- as long as the relevant complement standard may be applied--may be considered for admission to the Graduate School.

Most students elect to pursue one of the following four Masters degrees:

To earn any Master’s degree, you must complete 30 credit hours plus a one credit hour Capstone Paper. The Capstone Paper is a paper in which you summarize your learning experiences at Rushmore at the end of your program, which conveys one credit hour.

Accordingly, you should expect to expend at least 600 hours of study, writing, editing and posting on your Master's program. Rushmore appreciates and credits students who develop a website for the posting of their work. Although your work will be posted online (unless you specifically request us not to do so), the artful development of a website to showcase the work of the student almost always serves as a positive career attribute.

Early in the Rushmore experience, students were required to develop a website and all papers were required to be posted to this website. Although in the last ten years or so, this has become less of a focus; it has not become any less of an important part for individuals to represent themselves to the world through a website. A student can point with pride to the level of work created and exposed to the world for peer review and assessment. We encourage our students to create a website.

In the Master’s programs, all students are required to concentrate in a specific field of study, called a Major. Students may concentrate in a variety of fields relevant to their vocation and goals.

The most popular Majors for the Graduate Program at Rushmore University include the following:

If you are pursuing a non-Certified Degree, you may also develop your own unique Major in an area not listed above.

To concentrate in a Major, at least 40% of the credits required for the degree must be in that specific area. For a Master’s degree, this would imply that at least 12 credits must be earned in courses devoted to the Major subject.

When you finish your degree, your transcript will list your Major areas of study.

Doctoral Programs

Doctoral program acceptance without having a proven Master’s degree is possible, but only if we conclude that your previous educational studies, published work, or work experiences present a relevant substitute to a Master’s degree and that you have the potential to successfully pursue an online Doctoral program.

Any candidate applying for a Doctoral Degree without a prerequisite Master’s Degree must contact the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss the reasons for pursuit of a Doctoral Degree.

Most Doctoral candidates pursue either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). To earn a Doctorate, you must complete 60 credits plus a one credit hour Capstone Paper upon completion of your program. The Capstone Paper highlights the learning experience you have enjoyed at Rushmore University. You should expect to expend at least 1200 clock hours of study on your Doctoral program. Doctoral candidates are also expected to maintain a parallel Journal of their activities, which is not edited, but presented with any and all work presented to your Professor or Instructor for grading. The Learner Journal assists in establishing the number of hours invested in the learning program, and the activities related thereto.

For a Doctoral degree, you must concentrate in a Major of your choice. At least 21 credits must be devoted to your area of concentration. You may also have dual Majors provided that 21 credits are derived from each area of concentration.

Additionally, for the PhD degree, you must complete a major project that is original, significant and relevant to your goals. The project may be a book, dissertation, business plan, seminar, published paper (in a professional, industry, trade or academic journal) or other endeavor that is of comparable importance.

With the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies, you may collaborate on the project with a Rushmore Professor or student or an approved third party.

Rushmore also offers specialized Doctorates tailored to the needs of the student.

Examples include:

As with the PhD, all of the foregoing Doctorates require a significant project or projects.

Rushmore does not offer Masters or Doctoral degrees in Engineering, Dentistry, Psychotherapy, Psychology, and specific fields in the practice of medicine requiring clinical experience or practices, including hospital rounds or practice oversight. These are specialized fields requiring study beyond that available through online sources. There are degrees in various peripheral fields to these degrees that are available, and if you have interest in these degrees, you should contact the Dean of Graduate Studies at

Next Start Date

You can apply anytime and your classes will start on the 1st of the following month


You can register for any course during the month. Your classes will start on the 1st of the month following the month of your enrolment to the course

Learn about online college admissions at Rushmore.