Student Guide to Transfer Among Maryland Colleges & Universities

Students who enter higher education institutions in Maryland should have every opportunity to continue their learning throughout their lives. Some students will begin their college careers at a community college and transfer to a four-year college or university. Others will transfer between four-year institutions or from one community college to another. The purpose of this guide is to provide students with information to make the process of transferring from one college or university to another--not only from a community college to a four-year college, but from any college to any other in Maryland--an easier one. By following the advice in this guide, you can minimize (and hopefully avoid altogether) any loss of credit during transfer.

The guide contains information on:

  • Principles of Student Transfer in Maryland 
  • Steps to a Successful Transfer 
  • Elements of a College Degree
  • Maryland’s General Education Program 
  • Transfer Programs and Career Programs 
  • ARTSYS: An Electronic Tool for Transfer Students 
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities 
  • What a Transfer Coordinator Can Do For You 
  • Contacting Your Transfer Coordinator
  • Commonly Asked Que​stions 
  • A Glossary of Terms Relating to Articulation and Transfer

If, after reading this guide, you still have questions, you will find the phone numbers of knowledgeable transfer counselors in the section called Contacting Your Transfer Coordinator. Please call them. They are there to help you.​



In Maryland, a student may be able to progress from one segment of the public higher education system to another without loss of time or duplication of courses. To help accomplish this, Maryland’s public colleges and universities follow certain statewide policies. Several of the key policies are:

  • Maryland community college students who have completed the associate degree or students who have completed 56 semester hours of credit with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 shall not be denied direct transfer to a Maryland public four-year institution, unless the number of students seeking admission exceeds the number that can be accommodated.
  • Courses taken at a Maryland community college as part of a recommended transfer program will ordinarily be applicable to related programs at a Maryland public institution granting the baccalaureate degree.
  • The General Education Program a student takes at one public college or university will transfer without further review to another public institution without the need for a course-to-course match. That is, courses that are designated as general education by a sending institution will transfer as general education even if the receiving institution does not offer that specific course or has not designated that course as general education.
  • Courses designated as meeting the general education requirements at any Maryland public college shall be applicable to the general education requirements at any other Maryland public college or university.
  • Credit earned in or transferred from an associate degree-granting institution shall be limited to approximately one-half the baccalaureate degree program requirement, not to exceed 70 credits, and to the first two years of the undergraduate educational experience.​


  1. Seek advice on transfer from your academic advisor or campus transfer coordinator during your first semester or as soon as possible after earning 15 credits. (See "What A Transfer Coordinator Can Do For You!" )
  2. Choose as early as possible the institution to which you wish to transfer and your intended major program.
  3. Make use of ARTSYS, a computerized method of determining the transferability of your courses to your intended transfer institution. Check out the transferability of your courses before registration, not after. (See "ARTSYS, An Electronic Tool for Transfer Students" )
  4. Map out your course work in accord with the recommended transfer program you and your advisor find in ARTSYS or in other resources.
  5. Become familiar with Maryland’s regulations on General Education and Transfer. These are printed in all college catalogs and/or student handbooks.
  6. Determine transfer application and admissions procedures and deadlines of your intended transfer institution. Each institution sets its own deadlines for application, admissions, housing, financial aid and scholarships. So, the sooner you apply, the greater your options will be.
  7. Be aware that courses and program requirements may change as colleges attempt to keep their programs current. Therefore, be sure to consult frequently with your advisor and transfer coordinator due to potential changes in courses and program requirements.​



A college degree -- whether a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor's degree -- has three basic components: general education, major program requirements and electives. The distribution of courses among these three components varies from college to college, from major to major and from institution to institution.

The Maryland general education program, as implemented by public colleges and universities, is designed to introduce undergraduates to the fundamental knowledge, skills and values that are essential to the study of academic disciplines, to encourage the pursuit of life-long learning and to foster the development of educated members of the community and the world.

For students in public colleges and universities, the general education requirements are as presented in the following table. Independent colleges and universities each set their own general education requirements, and these can best be determined by consulting both the independent institution’s catalog and academic advisers.

NOTE: Students should be aware that they are responsible for the loss of credits due to changes in the individual’s selection of the major program of study, the need for remedial course work or exceeding the limit of credits accepted in transfer as allowed by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students shall be held responsible for meeting all requirements of the academic program at the degree-granting institution. Please see an academic advisor for the course lists for each category and for specific general education information at your institution. The complete text of the regulations concerning general education appears in the catalog of each public college and university.​


Distribution Areas Associate of Applied Science degree

(in credits)

Associate of Arts / Science degree

(in credits)

Bachelor of Arts / Science degree

(in credits)

English Composition 3 minimum 3 minimum 3 minimum
Mathematics - at or above the level of college algebra 3 minimum 3 minimum 3 minimum
Arts & Humanities - one course from each of two disciplines, may include speech, foreign language or composition & literature courses 3 minimum 6 minimum 6 minimum
Social & Behavioral Sciences - one course from each of two disciplines 3 minimum 6 minimum 6 minimum
Biological & Physical Sciences - two courses, including one laboratory 3 minimum 6 minimum 6 minimum
Interdisciplinary & Emerging Issues - not required, will be transferred as part of General Education Program Optional

(8 maximum)


(8 maximum)


(8 maximum)

Additional credits - may be assigned by each institution from English, Mathematics, Arts & Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences and Biological & Physical Sciences to complete the number of credits required for the General Education Program. 5-21 credits 0-12 credits 8-22 credits
TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM 20-36 credits 30-36 credits 40-46 credits


10-16 credits


Not Applicable

EXCEPTION: Since St. Mary's College of Maryland offers a curriculum based on four-credit courses, the total credits required for general education at St. Mary's College will be 48 credits. Remaining general education requirements for the Bachelor's Degree after completion of the Associate of Applied Science Degree will be 10-28 credits maximum and after completion of the Associate of Arts/Science Degree will be 10-18 credits maximum.​​​​​​​​



Maryland community colleges grant three associate-level degrees: the Associate of Arts (AA), the Associate of Science (AS) and the Associate of Applied Science (AAS).

Transfer or Pre-baccalaureate degree programs (AA, AS) are aimed at meeting the needs of students who intend to earn a bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university. These programs are specifically designed so that all course work will transfer to a four-year institution. In fact, optional course offerings are available to students taking transfer programs which can be tailored to the specific major fields students plan to pursue in their junior and senior years (and can also be tailored to the requirements of specific four-year colleges and universities). Students should consult ARTSYS as well as academic advisors or transfer counselors at both the sending and receiving institutions for current transfer information.

Career degree programs (AAS) are designed for students intending to seek employment upon graduation from a community college. Many programs designated as AAS degrees are in fields which also offer a baccalaureate degree. Some of these courses may transfer; students should consult ARTSYS as well as academic advisors at both the sending and receiving institutions for information. Other career programs include specific occupational courses not normally offered by four-year institutions. These courses generally are not accepted as transfer credit by four-year institutions. However, all general education courses designated as such on the transcript will be accepted by receiving public four-year colleges and universities.​



An Electronic Tool for Transfer Students

ARTSYS is a computerized data information system which informs students and advisors at a community college about the transferability of each community college course. It indicates whether the course is transferable and, if so, indicates the four-year institution's equivalent course number. It also indicates the general education area(s), at both the sending and receiving institution, applicable to the course.

It is a system, developed and maintained by the University of System of Maryland (USM), which is available both as a PC-based version on campuses and on the World Wide Web at system is presently in use at all Maryland public institutions and many independent colleges and universities.

In addition to providing information on course transferability, the program provides, in community college course numbers, the recommended courses for transfer to specific programs of study at the participating four-year institutions.

The ARTSYS program permits the student to enter his or her transcript into ARTSYS to determine the transferability of courses he or she plans to take. ARTSYS also allows the analysis of the courses taken against a recommended transfer program. This may be done for a single program at a single institution or for multiple programs at several institutions. The ARTSYS program computes a transfer grade point average, a grade point average for a particular program, as well as an overall grade point average.

For additional information, contact the transfer coordinator on your campus.​



A student is held accountable for the loss of credits that result from changes in the student’s major program of study, were earned for remedial course work or exceed the total course credits allowable in transfer from a community college to a baccalaureate institution (e.g., one-half of the credits required for graduation at the receiving institution--generally 60 credits for the bachelor’s degree and in no case more than 70 credits).

A student has the right to question any denial of transfer credit by a public college or university. The steps to appeal a denial of credit will be printed in the college's catalog and/or student handbook.

There are time limits set on each step of the appeals process to protect the student by ensuring that an appeal is dealt with quickly. The steps in the process are summarized below. To receive a full description of the appeal process, see your college catalog, student handbook or the transfer coordinator on your campus.

Steps in the Process Time limit
1. The receiving institution notifies the student of denial of transfer credit. Under normal conditions, notification must be made no later than mid-semester of the first semester of enrollment
2. Appeal to the receiving institution by the student. 20 working days (4 weeks)
3. Response by the receiving institution. 10 working days (2 weeks)
4. If transfer credit is still denied, the student may ask his/her sending institution to intervene on the student's behalf. 10 working days (2 weeks)
5. The sending institution and the receiving institution consult. The sending institution informs the student of the result. 15 working days (3 weeks)​



Each Maryland public institution of higher education has a designated Transfer Coordinator. The Transfer Coordinator interprets transfer policies for students, faculty and administrators.

The Transfer Coordinator:

  • clarifies information for transfer students at either the sending or the receiving campus regarding course or program transfer.
  • works with transfer counselors and academic advisors to assist students in selecting courses which are transferable.
  • assists a transfer student who wishes to appeal a decision regarding the evaluation of transfer credit. Policies and procedures for appeals for students enrolled in public colleges and universities are stated in the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s regulations concerning general education and transfer.

You may contact the Transfer Coordinator at your college or on the campus to which you wish to transfer by calling the appropriate telephone number listed below.​


Community Colleges Participating 4-Year Institutions
Allegany (301) 724-7700  
Bowie (301) 464-6089  
Anne Arundel (410) 541-2634 
Coppin (410) 383-5990 
Baltimore City (410) 333-5905
Frostburg (301) 687-4201 
Carroll (410) 386-8435
Salisbury (410) 543--6161 
Cecil (410) 287-1000
Towson (410) 830--2114 
College of Southern MD (410) 870-3008 
Univ. of Baltimore (410) 837-4806 
Chesapeake (410) 822-5400 
Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore (410) 706--3171 
CCBC Catonsville (443) 840-4382 
UMBC (410) 455-3799 
CCBC Dundalk (443) 840-3816 
Univ. of Maryland College Park (301) 314-8758 
CCBC Essex (410) 840-1973 
Univ. of Maryland Eastern Shore (410) 651-6411  
Frederick (301) 846-2475 
UMUC (301) 985-7930  
Garrett (301) 387-3011 
Morgan State University (443) 885-3585  
Hagerstown (301) 790-2800 
St. Mary's College (301) 862-0336 
Harford (410) 836-4301 
*College of Notre Dame of MD (410) 532-5330 
Howard (410) 992-4856 
*Hood College (301) 696-3500 
Montgomery Coll. Germantown (240) 567-7734 
*Johns Hopkins University (410) 516-7186 
Montgomery College Rockville (240) 567-5063 
*Stevenson University (410) 486--7001 
Montgomery Coll. Takoma Park (240)  *Washington College (410) 778-7700 
Prince George's (301) 322-0834
*McDaniel College (800) 638--5005 
Wor-Wic (410) 334-2800

* Indicates an independent (not a public) institution.

NOTE: For information regarding higher education institutions not listed, contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission for a Student Guide To Higher Education in Maryland.​



Q: How do I get a transcript sent from one college or university to another?

A: Make a written request to the Records/Registrar's office on your campus. There may be a fee required. All USM institutions, most community colleges and many other Maryland institutions have the ability to send and receive electronic transcripts from one another.

Q: How can I know if the courses I am considering will transfer to the four-year campus I want to attend?

A: ARTSYS indicates the transferability of courses from each community college to each participating four-year college. If ARTSYS is available at your institution, consult your transfer coordinator about its use. If ARTSYS is not available at your institution, consult your academic advisor, transfer counselor or the transfer counselor at the four-year institution regarding the transferability of courses, or access ARTSYS on the Web at

Q: What courses should I take to major in my chosen field?

A: Before registering for courses, you should consult your academic advisor or transfer counselor and/orARTSYS to determine the transferability of courses you wish to take. The advisor may be able to provide a recommended transfer program for your major.

Q: How do I access ARTSYS?

A: Generally, ARTSYS is available both on PCs at your institution as well as on the World Wide Web.

Q: May I earn the associate degree at a community college while taking courses needed for transfer for a recommended transfer program at a specific four-year college?

A: Yes, with adequate pre-planning in consultation with your academic advisor.

Q: Is it better to get the associate degree or to transfer early?

A: In general, it is preferable to have a completed degree program on your academic record and on your resumé.

Q: How many credits will transfer?

A: Transfer credits from a community college normally are limited to half the baccalaureate degree program requirement, not to exceed 70 credits.

Q: How many requirements for graduation at my chosen four-year college will I have met when I receive my associate's degree?

A: In order to answer this question, you must consult an academic advisor or transfer coordinator at the four-year college?

Q: How long will it take to complete a degree after I transfer?

A: This will depend on your personal circumstances. For example, will you be a part-time or full-time student? If you change majors, it could well take longer than if you do not change.

Q: What class standing will I have?

A: This will be based on the credits accepted in transfer. Consult the receiving college's catalog for specific definitions of class standing.

Q: Will the college to which I am transferring do an evaluation of my transfer credit before I enroll at that college?

A: Many institutions provide an unofficial evaluation of transfer credits prior to enrollment. Your advisor, usingARTSYS, should be able to provide a clear indication of the transfer credits you will receive.

Q: Will I get an advisor at the college to which I am transferring?

A: Yes. An advisor will be assigned to you after you have enrolled.

Q: Will grades of "D" be accepted in transfer?

A: "D" grades will be accepted in transfer if the college to which you are applying also accepts a "D" for native students. A "D" grade earned in a general education course that meets a general education requirement at a sending institution, which has designated that course as meeting a general education requirement, will transfer and meet a general education requirement at the receiving institution.

Q: Which institutions have the major I want?

A: Consult ARTSYS and your academic advisor or transfer counselor, or access individual campus home pages or the Maryland Higher Education Commission web site at Under the "Colleges and Universities" section, the "list of higher education institutions" links to each available campus home page (see the "Contacting Your Transfer Counselor" section for campus web site addresses). The "academic programs" link lists campuses and approved programs offered by institution; programs can also be found under "Publications".​



Credit hour - One semester hour of credit is awarded for a minimum of 15 hours (50 minutes each) of actual class time; for 30 hours of laboratory time; or for 45 hours of instructional situations such as a practicum, internships and cooperative education placements. (For example, a 3-credit lecture course meets for 45 hours - usually three times per week for 15 weeks.)

Native student - A student whose initial college enrollment was at a given institution of higher education and who has not transferred to another institution since that initial enrollment.

Receiving institution - The institution of higher education at which a transfer student currently desires to enroll or has enrolled.

Recommended transfer program - A planned program of courses, including both general education and courses in the major, taken at a community college which is applicable to a baccalaureate program at a receiving institution; ordinarily the first two years of a baccalaureate degree.

Sending institution - The institution of higher education of most recent previous enrollment by a transfer student at which transferable academic credit was earned.

Transfer student - A student entering an institution for the first time with academic credit earned at another institution which is applicable for credit at the institution the student is entering.​​


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