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Transferring from Community College

This article is meant to help you gain a better understanding of the community college transfer process. Use the image below to guide you through this understanding. Watch the videos below to gain a wider understanding of this process, as well as save the community college transfer checklist. 

Is your mentee considering attending a community college before transferring to a four year university? Nearly 11 million students each year attend community college. Some choose community college to save thousands of dollars on tuition for the first two years of schooling, while others opt to attend community college to determine which major interests them most. 

First of all, go into community college knowing your 2 main options:

  1. Earn your Associate’s Degree (2 years at community college) and be ready to enter your career
  2. Earn your Associate’s Degree and then transfer to a 4-year college to complete your Bachelor’s Degree

1. Entering your Career with an Associate’s Degree

If you want to be ready to enter your career immediately after earning your Associate’s Degree, it’s important to choose a major or vocation that will equip you with the skills you need. Check out these options to get some career ideas:

  • 20 Highest Paying Associate Degree Jobs in 2018
  • Focus on “Career Programs”
  • Not all colleges divide majors into “Career Programs” and “Transfer Programs”
  • Get to know your advisor! It’s vitally important to have a good relationship with your academic advisor to make sure you are taking the correct classes each semester, so that you can stay on track and graduate on time!

2. Transferring to a 4-Year College to Complete your Bachelor’s Degree

Many students begin at community colleges and then transfer to 4-year colleges to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. The key to success is planning your transfer far in advance! These steps will help:

  • Research Articulation Agreements: Easy ways to automatically transfer to 4-year colleges!
    • Check out the next section to find out where and how to start researching articulation agreements
  • Get to know your advisor! It’s vitally important to have a good relationship with your academic advisor to make sure you are taking the correct classes each semester, because you want all your credits to transfer with you when you change to a 4-year college. Whether you are planning to transfer through an articulation agreement or do the college application process again, your advisor is the person who can help you stay organized and on track.

Transfer Options

Want to start at community college and then transfer to a 4-Year school? Make a plan!

Articulation Agreements

Within the CUNY and SUNY networks, specific schools have specific agreements and partnerships with each other to make it very easy for students to automatically transfer between them, usually within certain programs. Sometimes CUNYs and SUNYs partner with private colleges, too, for these agreements. These are “articulation agreements,” which are your easiest transfer options.

For example:

If you start at Bronx Community College (BCC) and study Psychology, after 2 years you can automatically transfer into any of the following programs at 4-year colleges, because of BCC’s articulation agreements:

  • CUNY Lehman’s psychology program
  • SUNY Stony Brook’s social work program
  • College of New Rochelle’s psychology program

How to Find Articulation Agreements

Every college lists their articulation agreements a little differently, but you can usually find a list of options most easily by doing a Google search with a college name + articulation agreements.

  • For example: Googling “Hostos Community College articulation agreements”

Where should I start my search? 

You can approach this research from 2 different directions:

1.  Where do you want to start?  This is a good place to start if you know what you want to study, and/or which community college(s) you want to start at. Search for articulation agreements at the community colleges where you are interested in beginning your studies, and start developing list of the 4-year colleges where you could finish.

– OR –

2.  Where do you want to finish?: This is a good place to start if you already have a preference for which 4-year college or program you transfer into after 2 years of community college. Search for articulation agreements at the 4-year colleges that you want to graduate from, and figure out where you could begin your journey.

To compare community colleges, click here.  For more details about transferring, click here.


Path from 2 year to 4 year college


Transferring from Community College


Transfer Checklist

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