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NC College Transfer Guide for Students

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.

The CAA defines a 44-semester credit hour general education core which, if completed at the community college, is fully transferable to UNC institutions and will satisfy general education requirements. This means that a transfer student who completes the general education core at a North Carolina community college will not be required to take other general education courses at a UNC institution, even if his/her 44-semester credit hour core does not completely match the university’s. Students should be aware that some universities have graduation requirements that transfer students must satisfy — such as physical education or a foreign language.

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 64- 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.

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 a 44-semester hour general education core and 20 additional semester hours of transfer credit. In the North Carolina Community College System, the Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate in Science (A.S.) degree programs are included in the CAA as college transfer programs.

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 does two of the four years of work at his or her community college and transfers that work to the senior-level institution where he or she completes the last two years of work. Agreements that govern the transfer of coursework from community colleges to 4-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.

The general education core is a set of 44-semester hours (S.H.) of courses which when completed will meet the freshman/sophomore general education requirements at all UNC institutions.

The core specifically includes the following for the A.A. degree:

  • English Composition 6 Semester Hours
  • Humanities/Fine Arts 12 Semester Hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 12 Semester Hours
  • Mathematics 6 Semester Hours
  • Natural Sciences 8 Semester Hours
  • Total 44 Semester Hours

The core specifically includes the following for the A. S. degree:

  • English Composition 6 Semester Hours
  • Humanities/Fine Arts 9 Semester Hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 9 Semester Hours
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics 20 Semester Hours (Includes a minimum of 6 Semester Hours in Mathematics and 8 Semester Hours in Natural Sciences)
  • Total 44 Semester Hours

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.

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.

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:

  • Admission is not assured to a specific campus or specific program or major.
  • Students must have graduated from a NC community college with an A.A. or A.S. degree.
  • Students must meet all requirements of the CAA.
  • Students must have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the college from which they graduated, and a grade of “C” or better in all CAA courses.
  • Students must be academically eligible for re-admission to the last institution attended.
  • Students must meet judicial requirements of the institution to which they applied.
  • Students must meet all application requirements at the receiving institution including the submission of all required documentation by stated deadlines.No, the CAA does not guarantee admission to a UNC institution or to a particular major. Admission requirements may vary among UNC campuses.

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:

  • received the A.A., the A.S, the A.F.A, the baccalaureate or any higher degree, or
  • completed the 44-hour CAA General Education Core, or
  • completed at least six semester hours in degree-credit in each of the following subjects: English, mathematics, the natural sciences, social/ behavioral sciences, and (for students who graduate from high school in 2003-04 and beyond) a second language.

The North Carolina Community College Common Course Library lists 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.

No, under the CAA, only courses in which a grade of “C” or higher is earned 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 else-where that may permit the transfer of additional credit hours.

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 the academic advisor/counselor or the college catalog.

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.

The following NC private colleges and universities endorse the CAA: Barton, Belmont Abbey, Bennett, Brevard, Campbell, Catawba, Chowan, Gardner-Webb, Johnson C. Smith, Livingstone, Louisburg, Mars Hill, Montreat, Mount Olive, NC Wesleyan, Pfeiffer, Queens, St. Andrews Presbyterian, Saint Augustine’s, Shaw, Warren Wilson, and Wingate. The admissions office of the private institution of interest can be contacted for information.

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.

Yes! It is a good idea to speak with an academic advisor/counselor.

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.

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.