On this page you will find frequently asked questions about transferring
between North Carolina's colleges and universities. For information on:
When can I transfer, and when should I apply?Different schools have different policies in this regard. Some require a minimum number of completed transfer hours; others do not. In some instances, it may be necessary to complete certain coursework due to coursework that was not completed during high school. Admissions officers at the colleges can advise you in this regard.
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.
How can I determine if my credits will transfer? Does the CAA apply to NC private colleges and universities?If you are enrolled at a community college or a private two year college in North Carolina, you should review the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA), which guarantees that certain specified courses will transfer to any state university to which you are accepted, or to any of the private four year colleges and universities that endorse the Independent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (ICAA): Barton, Belmont Abbey, Bennett, Brevard, Campbell, Catawba, Chowan, Gardner-Webb, Johnson C. Smith, Lees-McRae, Livingstone, Louisburg, Mars Hill, Montreat, Mount Olive, NC Wesleyan, Pfeiffer, Queens, St. Andrews University, Saint Augustine's, Salem College, Shaw, Warren Wilson, and Wingate.
What courses should I take before I transfer?If you plan to transfer from a two year college in North Carolina to a four year college, it is generally best to take courses that lead to a college transfer degree. Within the college transfer programs, there are about two dozen pre-major articulation agreements which are designed to parallel the courses taken by students in similar majors during their first two years at a four year college.
If you are transferring from one four year college to another, or from a four year college to a two year college, you should contact the admissions office at the receiving institution to determine which courses you should complete prior to transfer.
Merely meeting minimum standards does not guarantee admission to any college, and you should check with the schools you are considering to determine your admissibility.
Students who are considering transfer to a UNC system campus who did not meet the MAR requirements in high school can complete a college transfer (AA or AS) degree at a community college, or can complete certain other course requirements at a two year or private four year college to gain admissibility. For details, you should contact the UNC system school you are considering.
What is the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement?The North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) is a statewide agreement governing the transfer of credits between N.C. community colleges and N.C. public universities and has as its objective the smooth transfer of students. This agreement has been approved by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina and the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges. The CAA provides certain assurances to the transferring student; for example, the CAA identifies community college courses that are appropriate for transfer as electives. Courses that will satisfy pre-major and general education requirements are also specified.
North Carolina community college students who earn an associate's degree according to the guidelines of the CAA will be treated as juniors at the receiving UNC institution. Students graduating from North Carolina community colleges under the guidelines of the CAA will have 60 semester hours of credit transferred to the UNC institution to which they are admitted. Because UNC institutions differ in their admission requirements, students intending to transfer should contact the UNC institution(s) of their choice to learn about specific admissions requirements.
What is a college transfer program?A college transfer program is a set of courses that has been designed to transfer to most four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina. The set of courses includes 45-sememster hour general education courses, consisting of 30-34 UGETCs and 11-14 additional general educational courses; and 15 additional semester hours of transfer credit which include ACA 122 and other transferable courses. In the North Carolina Community College System, the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degree programs are included in the CAA as college transfer programs.
Who is a community college transfer student?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.
What is a bachelor's degree?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."
What makes up a bachelor's degree?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.
What is the difference between the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees?The AA 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 AA degree are usually fewer than for an AS degree.
The AS 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.
What is the Universal General Education Transfer Component?The Universal General Education Transfer Component, also known as UGETC's are a set of 30-semester hours (SH) of courses that will meet some freshman/sophomore lower division general education requirements at all UNC institutions.
The core specifically includes the following for the AA degree:
English Composition 6 SH
Humanities/Fine Arts/Communications 9 SH
Social/Behavioral Sciences 9 SH
Mathematics 3-4 SH
Natural Sciences 4 SH
Total 30-31 SH
The core specifically includes the following for the AS degree:
English Composition 6 SH
Humanities/Fine Arts/Communications 6 SH
Social/Behavioral Sciences 6 SH
Natural Sciences 8 SH
Mathematics 8 SH
Total 30-31 SH
Is it necessary to finish the associate's degree before transferring to a university?Completing the general education core before transferring is not necessary but advisable. Students who do not complete the general education core as stated in the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement will have to complete the specific general education requirements of the college or university to which they transfer.
Is admission to a UNC institution guaranteed?Yes, the CAA includes a
Transfer Assured Admissions Policy (TAAP)
, which assures admission to at least one of the 16 UNC institutions with the following stipulations:
How do the UNC Minimum Admission Requirements (MAR) apply to transfer students?Transfer students will be considered to have satisfied the UNC Minimum Admission Requirements (MAR) in effect at the time of their graduation from high school if they have:
If you do not complete one of the above requirements, then your high school Grade Point Average (GPA) and SAT/ACT score will be used to determine eligibility.
How do the UNC Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) apply to transfer students?Transfer students will be considered to have satisfied the UNC Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) in effect at the time of their graduation from high school if they have:
Will "D" or "F" grades transfer?No, under the CAA, only courses in which a grade of "C" or higher is earned will transfer.
How many semester hours will transfer?If a student transfers to a University of North Carolina institution under the statewide CAA, a maximum of 64 semester hours will transfer. The student should consult an academic advisor/ counselor since special program articulations may exist between community colleges and four-year colleges or universities in North Carolina or elsewhere that may permit the transfer of additional credit hours.
What is a credit hour? What if my previous coursework is in quarter or trimester hours?A credit hour is the unit of measure that colleges and universities assign to courses. Most institutions in North Carolina utilize the semester system; other systems include trimester, quarter, and four-one-four. When transferring credit, a student's credit hours are adjusted based upon the systems used between the two institutions.
Will an Associate in Applied Science (AAS), Associate in General Education (AGE) or Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree transfer?At present, the CAA does not articulate the AAS, AGE or AFA 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 the academic advisor/counselor or the college catalog.
When is it best to select a major?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.
Should I speak with an academic advisor/counselor?Yes! It is a good idea to speak with an academic advisor/counselor. The information found on these pages is merely a guide, and does not replace the expert guidance that can be provided by an academic advisor or counselor.
Can I change majors?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.
Is a placement test needed when transferring to a university?The university will decide if a placement test is needed upon transfer. Most senior-level institutions will use successful performance in English and mathematics at the community college as proof of skill level and will not require additional testing.
What are pre-major courses?Pre-major courses prepare students for their intended majors. Each major has its own list of required and recommended courses. Some of these courses may also be used to meet general education requirements.
What courses will transfer to UNC institutions?The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) - Transfer Course List provides a list of courses that have been approved for transfer to the constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina. Transferring students must have earned a grade of "C" or better in a course in order to get transfer credit for the course.