Frequently Used Transfer Terminology


Colleges and universities strive to have programs approved by national, state or regional associations.  Make sure that your coursework is accredited by an association that your school of transfer will accept. 

An award granted to students who have met the requirement of a prescribed set of courses that often prepare students in certain vocational fields that require training beyond high school. A certificate can be earned while also gaining an associate's degree.


A specific course of study that becomes the focus of the undergraduate degree. This is the emphasis of one specific discipline.

The counselors and staff often evaluate all transcripts. Students receive a formal evaluation of transfer credit following the offer of admission. Students who have questions about their transfer will need to contact this office. Most colleges and universities are dedicating space to a counselor who helps transfer students.   
An official notice, either on a transcript or on a certification form provided by a community college, verifying that a transfer student has completed courses satisfying all or a portion of the lower division general education requirement.
Extra coursework in another discipline than the declared major. It could be related to the major, but doesn't have to be. This could be an extra interest or a supplemental track that aids in rounding out the major.
Agreements between community and four-year colleges and universities indicate that courses transfer toward meeting specific degree requirements. An articulation agreement is an officially approved agreement that matches coursework between schools. These are designed to help students make a smooth transition. It is up to you as the student to check coursework and labels to make sure the courses move from school to school.
Depending on the college or university, you might have a semester hour of credit 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. Remember, some colleges and universities may use the term unit so check in the college catalogue to see how credits or units are defined. This can also be found under the course equivalency on some campuses.
This is the label given to students who enter a college or university as a freshman and graduate from the same college or university at  the end of completing their course requirements for a bachelor's degree.
A degree granted by the community college to students who complete a specified program, usually totaling 60-64 units. Associate degrees are awarded in arts and sciences and are sometimes called two-year degrees. In contrast to the four-year or bachelor's degree awarded by a college or university.
Grants, loans, and funds provided for financial aid by the government. these resources, such as for work study, are used to pay fees or tuition and sometimes the living costs for students. Such aid comes in many forms and a variety of sources.
Official record of all classes for which a grade is received. A transcript includes withdrawals but excludes drops.

A level of education marked by the completion equivalent of four or more years of full-time education. Colleges and universities differ on how many credits make up a completed college education, but most are about 124-128.

Part-time employment that lets a student earn money toward a college education either on or off campus. Most work-study is assigned as part of the financial aid package. Many transfer students seek employment to offset college costs. 
This refers to students who have moved from one four-year school to another.