Transfer of Credits

The CAA establishes the procedures governing the transfer of credits for students who transfer from a North Carolina Community College to a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina. The CAA does not address admission to a specific institution or to a specific major within an institution.

Eligibility. To be eligible for the transfer of credits under the CAA, the student must graduate from the community college with an Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree and have an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale and a grade of C or better in all CAA courses. Students who do not complete the degree are eligible to transfer credits on a course- by-course basis.

Definition of the General Education Courses and Pre-Major Courses. The Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degree programs in the North Carolina Community College System require a total of 60-61 semester hours credit for graduation and are transferrable to any UNC institution. The overall total is comprised of both lowerdivision general education and pre-major courses. This curriculum reflects the distribution of discipline areas commonly included in institution- wide, lower-division general education requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

The Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degree programs include general education requirements that represent the fundamental foundation for success and include study in the areas of English composition, communications, humanities and fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences. Within these discipline areas, community colleges must include opportunities for the achievement of competence in reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental mathematical skills, and basic computer use. Students must meet the receiving university’s foreign language and/or health and physical education requirements, if applicable, prior to or after transfer to the senior institution.

The AA and AS degree programs of study are structured to include two components:

  • Universal General Education Transfer Component comprises a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, and
  • Additional general education, pre-major, and elective courses that prepare students for successful transfer into selected majors at UNC institutions and bring the total number of hours in the degree programs to 60-61 semester hours.

To ensure maximum transferability of credits, students should select a transfer major and preferred transfer university before completing 30 semester hours of credit. Additional general education, pre-major, and elective courses should be selected based on a student’s intended major and transfer institution.

Each receiving institution will identify community college course equivalencies and publicize an equivalency course crosswalk to ensure transfer of credit uniformity and transparency.

The specific number and distribution of courses used to fulfill the requirement in each of these areas will be identified by each community college as meeting its own general education requirements. The Universal General Education Transfer Component and Other Required General Education courses will be drawn from those courses designated in the North Carolina Community College Combined Course Library as being transferable general education. This will preserve the autonomy of each community college to develop its own general education program, including those aspects that make its program unique. Students are directed to the pre-majors for specific courses and distribution.

Transfer of Associate in Arts and Associate in Science Degree Program.

  1. The CAA enables North Carolina community college graduates of two-year Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degree programs who are admitted to constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina to transfer with junior status.
  2. Universities cannot place requirements on students transferring under the CAA that are not required of their native students.
  3. A student who completes the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree prior to transfer to a UNC institution will have fulfilled the UNC institution’s lower-division general education requirements.
  4. Due to degree requirements in some majors, additional courses at the UNC institution may be required beyond the general education courses and pre-major courses taken at the community college.
  5. Community college graduates of the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree programs who have earned 60 semester hours in approved transfer courses with a grade of C or better and an overall GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale will receive at least 60 semester hours of academic credit upon admission to a UNC institution.
  6. Requirements for admission to some major programs may require additional pre-specialty courses beyond the premajor taken at the community college. Students entering such programs may need more than two academic years of course work to complete the baccalaureate degree, depending on the requirements of the program.
  7. All courses approved for transfer in the CAA are designated as fulfilling general education or pre-major/elective requirements. While general education and pre-major courses may also be used as electives, elective courses may not be used to fulfill general education requirements.
  8. CAA courses taken beyond the 60-61 SHC of credit in which the student received less than a C will not negate the provisions of the CAA.

UNC Minimum Admission Requirements (MAR) and Minimum Course Requirements (MCR).

  1. A student who completes the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree will satisfy UNC’s minimum admission requirements (MAR) and minimum course requirements (MCR).
  2. A transfer student will also be considered to have satisfied (MAR) and (MCR) if he or she has:
    1. received the baccalaureate, or any higher degree, or
    2. completed at least six (6) semester hours in degree-credit in each of the following subjects: English, mathematics, the natural sciences, and social/behavioral sciences, and (for students who graduate from high school in 2003-04 and beyond) a second language.

Student not completing the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees.

A North Carolina community college student who satisfactorily completes, with a grade of C or better, courses identified in the Universal General Education Transfer Component will receive credit applied toward the university’s lowerdivision general education course requirements, subject to the following distribution limit: maximum of 6 hours in English Composition, 9 hours in Humanities/Fine Arts/Communications, 9 hours in Social/Behavioral Sciences, 8 hours in Mathematics, and 8 hours in the Natural Sciences.

A North Carolina community college student who satisfactorily completes a transfer course that is not designated as a Universal General Education Transfer Component course will receive transfer credit for the course. The receiving institution will determine whether the course will count as general education, pre-major, or elective credit.

Certification of University General Education Transfer Component Courses, Associate in Arts Degree, or Associate in Science Degree Completion. Certification of completion of the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree is the responsibility of the community college at which the courses are successfully completed. Transcript identification of Universal General Education Transfer Component courses is also the responsibility of the community college at which the courses are completed. The transcripts of students who transfer before completing the degree will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis by the receiving university. The transferring student who has not completed the degree must meet the receiving institution’s general education requirements.

Four-Year Degree Plan for Community College Transfer Students. Beyond the Universal General Education Transfer Component courses, a program of study leading to the associate degree contains courses related to a student’s major or program emphasis. Pre-major course tracks prepare students to succeed in their chosen field and provide students with clear pathways to completion. Each UNC institution will develop, publish, and maintain four-year degree plans identifying community college course that provide pathways leading to associate degree completion, admission into the major, and baccalaureate completion. Students who complete the AA or AS degree and the degree plan tracks published by a UNC institution, and who are accepted into that institution and into that major within four years of initial enrollment at the community college, will continue into that major at the UNC institution with all courses fulfilling lower-division general education and other degree requirements.

Transfer of courses taken in other associate degree programs. Upon admission to another public two-year institution or to a public university, a community college student who was enrolled in an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) or Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree program and who satisfactorily completed the courses with a grade of C or better in all courses that are designated for college transfer will receive credit for those courses. AAS or AFA students completing courses designated Universal General Education Transfer Component will receive equivalent general education course credit for those courses at the receiving institution. For courses not designated as Universal General Education Transfer Component, the receiving institution will determine whether the course will count as general education or premajor/elective credit. Students in these programs who transfer must meet the general education requirements of the receiving institution.

Articulation of Associate in Fine Arts or Associate in Applied Science degree programs may be handled on a bilateral articulation agreement basis rather than on a state-wide basis. Under bilateral agreements, individual universities and one or more community colleges may join in a collaborative effort to facilitate the transfer of students from AFA or AAS degree programs to baccalaureate degree programs.

The TAC encourages the development of new bilateral articulation agreements among institutions; however, TAC will not maintain a current inventory of bilateral articulation agreements for AAS degree programs.

Transfer of courses not originated at North Carolina Community Colleges. Transfer courses that do not originate at a North Carolina community college or UNC institution may be used under the CAA with the following stipulations:

  1. Courses must be completed at a regionally accredited (e.g., SACS) institution of higher education;
  2. Courses must meet general education requirements; and
  3. Courses may total no more than 14 semester hours of general education course credit.
  4. For courses not originating at a North Carolina community college, if the courses are used to complete the AA or AS, the courses will transfer as part of the degree. Otherwise, if 14 hours or less are presented without completion of the AA or AS, then the receiving institution will consider the courses on a course-by-course basis.

Transfer of Advanced Placement (AP) course credit. Advanced Placement (AP) course credits, awarded for a score of three or higher, are acceptable as part of a student’s successfully completed Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree under the CAA. Student who receive AP course credit at a community college but do not complete the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree will have AP credit awarded on the basis of the receiving institution’s AP policy.