How to Transfer from Community College

If you're wondering how to transfer from community college, here's a timeline to help you plan. Transferring from a two-year community college into a four-year program, requires early preparation. This timeline is based on an associate's degree (about 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits).

Transfer Timeline by Credits

0-12 Semester Credits (0-18 Quarter Credits)

  • Work closely with your advisor to plan your coursework to meet academic goals and transfer goals. If you know your major, get a transfer guide for that major so you can match required coursework to that required by your transfer institution. (You don't need to have a major to transfer.)

  • Attend transfer workshops and transfer events.

  • Identify four-year institutions that interest you, especially those with articulation (credit-transfer) agreements with your community college.

13-30 Semester Credits (19-44 Quarter Credits)

  • Explore available resources for researching articulation agreements. Contact the transfer offices of four-year institutions.

  • Research colleges and universities that offer academic programs and activities that interest you. Request admissions guidelines; a catalog; financial aid information; and all deadlines for housing and so on.

  • See if there are any tests such as the SAT/ACT that you will need to take. International students might need to take the TOEFL examination.

  • Attend a College Transfer Fair; speak with a transfer advisor or arrange a meeting with an advisor at the four-year college to discuss transfer goals and plans.

31-45 Semester Credits (45-74 Quarter Credits)

  • Attend a transfer workshop; speak with an adviser at both the community college and your proposed four-year institution to make sure you can transfer credits!

  • Focus on when you plan to graduate and when you plan to start classes at your transfer college. Speak to an academic advisor and be sure you're on track with required coursework for graduation.

  • Focus on the colleges where you plan to apply; email or phone the admissions office or transfer office with your questions. Contact your prospective major department to see if there are departmental admission requirements.

  • Get your application materials and know the application deadlines for the transfer college(s). Begin to complete and mail your applications (remember transcripts, letters of recommendation, and so on).

  • Research financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Apply for scholarships, especially transfer scholarships.

  • Arrange for your transcripts to be sent, as well as those from any other college you have attended. High school transcripts might be necessary.

46-61 Semester Credits (75-89 Quarter Credits)

  • Make sure you're on track to graduate.

  • Mail those applications if you haven't already!

  • Remember: Financial aid is awarded on an academic year basis. Complete the FAFSA between January and March for the next academic year. Check out the transfer college's deadlines for scholarships. Many deadlines will be in the fall of the year before you transfer.

  • Wait to hear from colleges; accept or reject their offers by the stated date (around May 1 for fall admittance). Confirm your intention to enroll; submit any required deposit to the college or university.

Have your transcript with your final grades sent to your transfer institution. Have your transcript evaluated by the four-year college for the number of credits that will transfer.