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Ensuring a smooth transfer isn’t just about completing an associate’s degree.

It’s about establishing a clear plan from day one at AACC, and then choosing the right courses each term to position you for the major and the school you want.


Steps to Successful Transfer

Plan. Plan. Plan. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we really can’t stress enough how important it is to plan for a smooth transfer. Too many students think of “transferring out” as their last step at AACC, but really, your transfer goals should shape your entire AACC experience. Deciding what you ultimately want – and then taking steps every semester toward those goals – is the only way to ensure that every course you take, every skill you learn and every dollar you spend at AACC will bring you the best possible return.

From your first day as an AACC student, start working on these steps to ensure a successful transfer. 


STEP 1: DECIDE WHAT YOU ULTIMATELY WANT

There are three choices to make when deciding your ultimate goals: your career, your major and your four-year institution.

Your career

College is the first step toward your career, so begin your planning by thinking about what profession you want to pursue. Not sure, our Career Services team can help.

Your major

Sometimes, several majors can lead to the same career outcome. Once you have a career goal in mind, we can help you determine what majors at the four-year schools lead to those careers, and what degree paths at AACC lead to those majors. As you explore various majors, be sure to consider your strengths and interests.

Your institution

With a career and a major in mind, you can choose a college or university that’s the best fit for you, whether it’s a public or private in Maryland or beyond. Our advisors can help you find a school that suits you academically, financially, socially and otherwise.

Step 2: Make a Plan

With your ultimate goals in mind, you can choose the right courses to get you there. Meet with an academic advisor during your very first semester to develop your educational plan, and revisit that plan every semester to make sure you’re on track for the smoothest transfer possible.

There are two categories of courses to consider in your educational plan:

General Education Requirements

General Education requirements are courses required for most majors at all two- and four-year colleges and universities. Their purpose is to ensure that your educational experience is well-rounded.

All AACC’s General Education credits are guaranteed to transfer to any Maryland public institution, and many public and private schools inside and outside Maryland will accept them too. But that doesn’t mean the General Education requirements at AACC will necessarily meet all the General Education requirements at your four-year school of choice. That’s why choosing your desired institution early is so critical. Knowing your desired transfer school early on helps us ensure you meet not only AACC’s requirements, but that institution’s requirements as well.

Discipline (Major) Requirements

Discipline (or major) Requirements are courses within your specific major. Every four-year institution has slightly different Discipline Requirements, so depending on your desired institution, our advisors can help you plan the best course of study for you.

If you’re planning to transfer to a Maryland public institution, the process of choosing the best courses is relatively straightforward thanks to a resource called the Maryland Articulation System, or ARTSYS. ARTSYS indicates how your AACC courses will transfer to other Maryland institutions, and it also offers recommended transfer programs at AACC for a variety of majors.

Make an appointment with an academic advisor today.

Step 3: Apply to Your Four-Year Institution

Once you’ve defined your goals and planned your AACC journey around those goals, the last step is to apply for admission to your choice school.

Give yourself the best chance of admission by applying by the school's priority deadline.

It’s also important to plan ahead to complete the application. Consider the following questions:

Do you need an essay?

Usually four-year institution applications require an essay (sometimes called a personal statement). Ask an AACC professor to discuss topic ideas and/or review your essay before you submit.

The Writing Center  also offers free help with transfer essays and personal statements.

Do you need letters of recommendation?

Choose your reference providers carefully and give them at least three weeks to complete and submit your reference. Don’t forget to send thank you notes when they’ve completed the task.

Do you need to interview with admissions or a department chair?

Our Employment Services team can help you prepare for college interviews too.

Are you planning to apply for financial aid or scholarships?

Make sure to submit your FAFSA and understand any requirements for scholarship consideration.

Have you sent your final AACC transcripts after grades are posted?

Set a reminder to request an official AACC transcript after each semester following your application submission. After all, if you’ve completed more coursework or improved your GPA, you want your four-year institution to know.

Are you familiar with all your institution’s policies and requirements?

Build relationships with an admissions counselor at your four-year institution and ask their help to ensure you’ve fulfilled all requirements.

Still Have Questions?

Check out these frequently asked questions and if you still don’t find what you need, contact an academic advisor today.