Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a community college transfer student?
What is a bachelor's degree?
What makes up a bachelor's degree?
What's the difference between the Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees?
Is it necessary to finish the associate's degree before transferring to a university?
Is a placement test needed when transferring to a university?
When should I apply to transfer?
Will an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), Associate in General Education (A.G.E.) or Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree transfer?
When should I select a major?
May I change majors?


Community College transfer students are those who wish to transfer from a community college to another community college or to a senior-level college or university.

A bachelor's degree is a four-year degree granted by a college or university. Typically, the community college student completes two of the four years of work at his/her community college and transfers that work to the senior-level institution where he/she completes the last two years of work. Agreements that govern the transfer of coursework from community colleges to four-year colleges and universities are called "articulations."

A bachelor's degree consists of three parts. The first is "general education," which consists of courses in English composition, humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics designed to give the student a broad academic foundation. General education classes are typically taken during the freshman and sophomore years.

The second part of a bachelor's degree is a "major." This set of courses is designed to make the student knowledgeable in a particular field of study. Typically, these courses account for one to two years of study and are usually taken in the junior and senior years.

The third part of a bachelor's degree is "elective" coursework. Electives allow students to broaden their academic horizon and explore subjects of interest. These courses may be taken at any time.

The A.A. degree is designed for students who want to pursue a four-year degree in one of the liberal arts disciplines or at a professional school that requires a strong liberal arts background. The mathematics and science requirements for the A.A. degree are usually fewer than for an A.S. degree.

The A.S. degree is designed for students who want to pursue a four-year degree in areas of study such as computer science, engineering, mathematics, the sciences, or professional programs that require strong mathematics and science backgrounds.

Completing the associate's degree before transferring is not necessary, but it is advisable. Students should talk with an admissions representative of the institution they are interested in attending to determine if they meet its admission requirements.

Admissions deadlines vary from institution to institution. Students should contact the admissions office or consult the catalog of the particular institution to which they are applying to find out application deadlines. In general, students should begin the application process two semesters before they intend to transfer. Students applying for financial aid and/or scholarships are strongly encouraged to begin the application process as soon as applications are available.

At present, the CAA does not articulate the A.A.S., A.G.E. or A.F.A. degrees for college transfer. Individual universities and community colleges have very specific program articulations, which govern the transfer of credit earned in these degree programs. Information on these programs is available from an academic advisor or the college catalog.

As early as possible. Some students may not be ready to select a major in their freshman year; this is not unusual. However, the longer a student takes to decide on a major, the more likely it is that some of the courses taken may not apply to the major. This could result in the student having to earn more than the maximum number of semester credit hours transferable to a four-year college or university.

Yes. However, changing majors may lengthen the time it takes to earn a degree and may also result in the accumulation of more community college semester credit hours than will transfer to a four-year college or university.