Transferring from M State

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Transferring from M State

If you are thinking about transferring from M State to a four-year college or university, stop in and visit with an academic advisor to make sure you are on track to transfer to your college or university of choice.


Transfer Guideline

Transfer Guideline - When and what you should be doing:

0-24 Credits: Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your transfer plan. Browse college websites and explore major options.

24-30 Credits: Visit prospective colleges and look into transfer scholarships.

30-45 Credits: Review degree audit (DARS) and see your academic advisor.

45+ Credits or no later than your final semester:

  • Send application to the college or university you plan to attend.
  • Apply for financial aid.
  • Apply for graduation from M State by completing the Graduation Application.
  • Send final transcript to the college or university you plan to attend.
  • If you are completing your M State degree at your transfer college or university, you will want to get registered for your courses. Once you are registered, you will want to make sure the courses will complete the requirements for your degree. We suggest you verify this through Transferology and by talking with your M State advisor.

Check out the transfer planning timeline worksheet below which details what you should be doing each semester.


How does the college decide what credits transfer?

The most important thing you should know is that the receiving college or university decides which credits transfer and whether those credits meet its degree requirements.

  • Within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system - A course that meets a Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) goal at M State will meet the same goal at a MnSCU institution.
  • Colleges and universities outside of the MnSCU system - A course can meet an MnTC goal at M State and yet may or may not be considered equivalent to a course at the receiving institution. The accreditation of both the sending and receiving institution can affect the transfer of credits earned, but it is not the only factor in determining transfer of credits. Institutions accept credits from courses and programs like those they offer. They look for similarity in course goals, content and level: "like" transfers to "like." The name of a course is not sufficient to determine equivalency. Not everything that transfers counts toward graduation. Bachelor's degree programs usually count credits in three categories: general education, major/minor courses and prerequisites/electives. The key question is, "Will your credits fulfill requirements of the degree or program you choose?"

Since all colleges and universities are unique and differ in how they accept courses and other types of college credits (CLEP, AP, IB, international credits, etc.), it is important to talk to an M State academic advisor, consult college catalogs and websites, and talk to advisors at the four-year institution.


AA degree, AS degree, AAS degree - What makes these degrees different?

To ensure a smooth transfer from M State to a four-year college or university, it is important to understand the types of degrees offered at M State:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) degree: The Associate of Arts (AA) degree is designed for transfer and offers flexibility in terms of the variety of colleges to which a student can transfer and in the variety of majors that can be chosen. The AA degree requires completion of the MnTC, which is what gives it more transferability. Completion of the MnTC includes a minimum of 40 credits from the MnTC, meeting the specified requirements in each of the 10 MnTC goal areas and achieving a minimum 2.0 GPA within the MnTC. These requirements will meet the general education requirements at other MnSCU institutions. Several public and private colleges also honor the AA degree. Some four-year majors require specific general education courses referred to as premajor requirements. Note: Course requirements may vary depending on the major and transfer college, so it is important to talk to an academic advisor at M State and to the appropriate person at the transfer college or university.

For students who are undecided about their major and who are interested in a four-year degree, the AA degree is a good program to follow until deciding.

  • Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree: The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree is intended to transfer in its entirety to a related fine arts bachelor's degree program. An AFA degree requires a minimum of 24-30 credits of MnTC courses.
  • Associate of Science (AS) degree: The Associate of Science (AS) degree is intended to prepare students for immediate employment; however, students can transfer to complete a bachelor's degree when they transfer to colleges with which M State has articulation agreements. The AS degree requires a minimum of 30 credits of MnTC courses. Additional MnTC courses may be required to complete a bachelor's degree, particularly if students transfer to a college or university where an articulation agreement does not exist.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees are intended mainly to prepare students for direct employment. Students who are following an AAS degree and who are interested in transfer are strongly advised to talk to an M State academic advisor as transfer options are more limited. Students can transfer to complete a bachelor's degree when they transfer to colleges with which M State has articulation agreements.The AAS degree requires a minimum of 15 credits of MnTC courses. Additional MnTC courses typically would be required to complete a bachelor's degree for students who transfer, particularly to colleges or universities with which articulation agreements do not exist.


What is the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC)?

The MnTC curriculum was designed to help standardize general education requirements, enabling students to transfer from one MnSCU institution to another without losing credits. Ten goal areas were developed, based on subject areas or themes. More detailed information about the MnTC is available on our website.


I am an AS or AAS degree student; what are my transfer options?

An AS has a minimum of 30 MnTC credits, and an AAS degree has at least 15 MnTC credits required. All MnTC courses will transfer to a four-year college or university. Investigate if your particular program has any articulation agreements. These agreements guarantee acceptance of part or all of your AS or AAS credits. Otherwise, if you transfer to a college or university without an articulation agreement, technical courses are reviewed on a class-by-class basis. Typically, technical credits do not transfer to a four-year college or university without an articulation agreement, although some may be transferable as elective credits, depending on your declared major.


What is an articulation agreement?

An articulation agreement is an agreement between M State and a four-year college or university. This agreement specifies that all or some credits from a particular technical diploma or degree will be accepted toward a specified four-year degree program/major of study.


What are the 20 credits of elective courses for the Liberal Arts & Sciences AA degree?

The 20 credits can consist of additional MnTC courses or other elective college credit courses, including technical courses. M State will count up to 20 technical credits transferred from another institution. If you have not completed technical credits prior to your enrollment in the AA program, it may be in your best interest to take additional MnTC or other courses that are fulfilling major requirements for your bachelor's degree program of choice.


Are there transfer resources on the Web that I can use? is a resource for students, academic advisors, and educators to locate information to guide in transfer planning - including transfer policies and procedures, articulation agreements, student services and transfer contact information. Most information is specific to the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU system.

Transferology is a multi-state Web-based database of course equivalency and transfer information that provides program information, course descriptions and equivalencies, and links to schools' student services websites. It also offers a degree planning option to view how your courses transfer to other participating schools and universities.


Can I transfer to another college prior to completing my M State degree?

Yes, but we encourage students to complete their M State degree as this may result in a smoother transfer process. Students can actually transfer back credits from another college or university to finish their M State degree. The following steps will help to ensure a smooth experience in completing the degree requirements:

  • Visit with an academic advisor about your plans while you are still a student at M State.
  • Upon leaving M State, enroll in courses at your transfer institution. Refer to Transferology to verify the courses in which you enrolled will meet the requirements remaining for your M State degree and talk with your M State advisor.
  • When you have completed all courses needed for your M State degree, request an official transcript to be sent from the transfer institution to M State. If you are attending an institution that is part of the MnSCU system, you may use the eTranscript Request Form.
  • Apply for graduation at M State by completing the Graduation Application.

Check out the Transfer Credits Back to Complete Degree checklist, located below, which details the steps you should take.

Last modified: September 1st, 2015 at 02:26pm