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					           Thinking about Transferring to Another College or University?
                          Doing it Right Begins with You

Here are 10 tips to make it easier.

1.     Understand How Courses Transfer

       Transferring courses is easier in Texas than it is in many other states because
       Texas has a Common Course Numbering System. That means similar
       courses that are taught at public colleges and universities in the first two years of
       college are identified by common numbers (although the numbers may not be
       used on your campus). Each college and university catalog identifies
       freshman- and sophomore-level courses that have common course numbers. If
       you are planning to transfer, these are often the best courses to choose.
       However, sometimes your college may have a special transfer agreement with
       another school for other courses to transfer. See an advisor, who can help you
       sort out the information and make the right choices.

2.     Get Advising!

       Most students want to transfer from one school to another painlessly, without
       losing credit they have already earned. Luckily, this can be done if you follow a
       few important steps. Your college or university has advisors who are trained to
       help you make the right decisions about what courses to take when you are
       preparing to transfer. Be sure to contact an advisor at the school you’re planning
       to transfer to as well. Getting help from both your current school and the new
       school is the best way to make your transition as smooth as possible.

3.     Make a Transfer Plan

       Start by identifying a major that corresponds with the career field you wish to
       enter. Plan carefully if you can; changing majors can result in course hours lost
       in transfer. There are many courses that transfer from one college or university
       to another, but your ability to apply those courses to your degree program will
       depend on whether or not they fit into your transfer school’s degree plan.
       Transfer works best for students who get information about the degree plan they
       want to follow at the school they want to attend and then match the required
       course work as closely as possible prior to transferring. The earlier you identify a
       plan, the better chance you have of transferring without losing a single credit
       hour toward your degree plan. An advisor who understands the transfer process
       can help you put your plan together.

4.     Shop Around

       Sometimes students make decisions about where to attend college without
       looking at all the options. Of course, the first priority is to find a college that
       offers the degree program you want and has the other qualities you prefer in a
       school. As a transfer student, you may also want to look for a university or
       college that has a strong transfer relationship with the college you attend now.
     Similar programs at different universities may be structured very differently.
     Shopping around can help you find a program and a school that are most
     compatible with your needs.

5.   Take the Core Curriculum

     If your goal is to receive a bachelor’s degree from a public university, Texas law
     requires you to complete a core curriculum ranging from 42 to 48 semester credit
     hours. Each college or university identifies which of its courses fit into the core
     curriculum. If you complete the core curriculum with grades of “C” or better and
     transfer, the entire core curriculum transfers and substitutes for the core
     curriculum you would have taken at your new school. You may have to take
     additional course work if your transfer school has a larger core curriculum than
     the school you came from. If you complete only part of the core curriculum
     before you transfer, each course you completed should apply to the transfer
     school’s core curriculum. Caution: In some bachelor’s degree programs,
     students take requirements for the major as part of the core curriculum. If you
     know what you want to major in, it’s best to follow Tip 2 and make a transfer plan
     so you do not have to take extra course work to satisfy your degree plan.

6.   Check into Field of Study Curricula

     In addition to the core curriculum, Texas law authorizes the state to create field of
     study curricula. A field of study curriculum consists of freshman and sophomore
     courses that apply to a specific major. A student who successfully completes all
     or part of a field of study curriculum prior to transferring will receive degree credit
     for the field of study curriculum course work (as long as the student stays in a
     degree program in that discipline). Some of the disciplines for which there are
     field of study curricula are nursing, computer science, engineering technology,
     music, early childhood-grade four teacher certification, middle grades teacher
     certification, criminal justice, engineering, business, and communication. More
     field of study curricula will be added over time.

7.   Special Articulation Agreements

     If you are transferring from a community or technical college to a university, it’s a
     good bet that your school has articulation agreements for transfer of credit. An
     articulation agreement is a contract that spells out exactly which courses will
     transfer to which degree programs and how the credit will be applied. Many
     schools have articulation agreements that will allow you to apply a complete
     associate’s degree program to a bachelor’s degree at your transfer school.
     Check with your college’s advising staff for specifics about articulation

8.   Know Which Courses and Programs are Designed to Transfer

     If you attend a community or technical college, you need to understand that there
     are several types of college credit. Academic transfer courses are the common
     courses (see Tip 1) that transfer to most public universities. Workforce
       education courses are designed to give you skills for immediate employment;
       many of these courses may not transfer to universities. Workforce continuing
       education courses are also technical in nature but do not result in college credit
       at all; these are the most difficult courses to transfer. If you are a degree-seeking
       student at a two-year college, the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science (AA
       and AS) degrees are designed to transfer. Applied associate degree programs
       (the AAS or AAA) contain some transfer courses and also technical courses that
       may transfer to certain kinds of applied bachelor’s degrees (BAAS or BAT).
       Again, an advisor can help you identify courses and programs that will work best
       if transfer is your goal.

9.     Transfer Dispute Resolution

       If you transfer to a public college or university in Texas and you believe you were
       entitled to more transfer credit than you received, you have the right to ask for
       transfer dispute resolution. Procedures for transfer dispute resolution should be
       published in every public college and university catalogue. Most transfer credit
       disputes can be worked out by talking to your new or previously attended college.
       Start with the institution to which you are transferring; then, if your question is not
       settled, discuss it with the college where you earned the credit. If the dispute is
       not resolved after the two colleges or universities have worked together, the
       issue can be referred to the Commissioner of Higher Education for a final

10.    “Reverse Transfer”

       If you transfer from a two-year college to a university after you have accumulated
       30 or more credit hours but before you complete an associate’s degree, many
       two-year colleges will be happy to transfer courses completed at the university
       back into your program and award an associate’s degree. This is a win-win
       arrangement; you can continue working on the bachelor’s degree, but meanwhile
       will have a college degree until you can finish the four-year program. Talk to
       someone in the transfer office of your two-year college to work out this kind of

For more information about specific colleges and universities and their degree programs,
visit the College for Texans Web site at .

                                        Prepared by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
                                                               Transfer Issues Advisory Committee
                                                                                        April 2004

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