Academic and Career Advising
General Transfer GuidelinesHow Credits Transfer
- College-Level Credits
- Articulation of Courses
- Acceptability vs Applicability
- Pass-through Credits
- Grade Requirements
- Course Repeats
- Maximum Number of Transfer Credits Allowed
- Will my Utah AS/AA clear General Education requirements?
- Will my classes transfer as major courses or electives?
- What can I do to help my transfer go more smoothly?
How Credits Transfer
Transcripts: Official transcripts are required to transfer credits between schools. These official records are usually kept by the Registrar's Office and copies can be requested there. Colleges and Universities have different policies about accepting hand-carried transcripts for official evaluation; some will accept them in a sealed envelope, and some want them sent directly from one school to the other. If a school accepts sealed-envelope transcripts they will not accept them if the envelope has been opened prior to arriving in their office. Students who have attended several colleges will need an official transcript from every college, even if the transcript credits show on the most recent transcript. SLCC transcripts may be requested from Enrollment Services.
Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.
Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.
Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052
College-Level Credits: SLCC credit from college-level courses (numbered 1000 or above) is accepted by most colleges and universities in the United States. (Many states use a 3-digit system; college-level courses would be numbered 100 or above.) Utah’s public colleges and universities have established policies that outline how credit will transfer within the state system. SLCC courses numbered 1000 or above are accepted as general elective, general education or major credit by Utah’s public colleges and universities. Most private and out-of-state institutions also accept SLCC courses numbered 1000 and above. There may be exceptions, however. Students should check with the institution to which they plan to transfer to determine exactly how SLCC credit will be accepted.
Articulation: Schools that have articulation agreements have agreed that transfer courses have essentially the same goals; similar content, rigor, standards, and names; common course numbers where possible; and equal amount of credits for transfer. Schools review standards of skills and content to assure that students who complete the coursework are prepared to successfully complete upper-division coursework. Students are advised to keep course syllabi for all courses taken in case an institution requests more information than a transcript or course description provides.
Acceptability vs. Applicability: Acceptance defines the comparability or equivalency of transfer credit to that offered by the receiving institution. Applicability determines the appropriateness of transfer credit earned to specific academic programs and/or degree requirements at the receiving institution. Students should check with SLCC advisors and the institution to which they plan to transfer to determine exactly how SLCC credit will be accepted and applied. While it is possible that all credit may be accepted, some may be applied as elective credit rather than in fulfillment of a major requirement.
- Will the credits/courses you completed at your previous institution satisfy requirements for the institution that you want to transfer to after SLCC?
- How many more courses/credits can be completed at SLCC before transferring to another university?
- Which specific courses can be completed at SLCC before transferring?
Grade Requirements: A minimum standard of admission, generally an accumulated grade point average of 2.00 or higher, has been established at each institution within the Utah System of Higher Education. Individual institutions may require a higher minimum GPA or have other admission requirements which exceed system-wide minimums. In addition, some departments or programs within institutions may have departmental grade requirements. Some institutions and departments may also have a time limit on how old credits can be for transfer or applicability to major requirements. Students should consult the appropriate campus department or program directly for specific information.
Course Repeats: Some 4-year majors have a specific limit on how many times a course can be repeated. While SLCC uses only the higher grade from a repeated course, some institutions use the second grade even if the first grade was higher when considering transfer of courses and GPA.Maximum Number of Transfer Credits Allowed: Check with the institution about the limit on the number of hours a school will transfer. This is usually about 72 or higher.
Transfer Degrees and General Education Certificate of Completion:
Salt Lake Community College offers three transferable degree programs:
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Pre-engineering (APE)
These degrees include both general education and program-related courses, providing the first two years of college for most bachelor degree programs. Each two-year program has been specifically designed to prepare students to pursue a bachelor degree at a four-year college or university. Students who earn SLCC’s AS or AA degree will be considered as having satisfied all of the lower-division general education requirements for a bachelor degree at Utah’s public colleges and universities. This policy does not apply to the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or the Associate of Pre-Engineering (APE) because these degrees do not contain all of the general education requirements.
(AAS) Associate of Applied Science degree course credit will transfer to four year schools. Students will just need to complete the rest of the general education requirements.
Completing an AS or AA degree does not guarantee automatic acceptance into any specific major at other colleges and universities. Some four-year programs are restricted and require a separate application as well as a competitive GPA. Talk to an advisor at SLCC or your target transfer school to learn more about selecting courses and applying for your desired four-year degree.
General Education Certificate of Completion: Students who complete all general education requirements, but not the entire AS or AA degree, will also be considered as having completed the lower-division general education requirements for a bachelor degree by Utah’s public colleges and universities. In this instance, students should request a “General Education Certificate of Completion” from the Graduation Office to be sent with their transcripts to the institution to which they intend to transfer.
Transferring with 30+ Credits: Typically if you transfer to another institution with 30 or more college-level credits (#1000 or higher), institutions will no longer require your high school record and ACT/SAT scores. Credits will transfer on a class-by-class basis rather than as an AS/AA/APE or General Education Certificate of Completion transfer package. Developmental courses numbered below 1000 will not transfer.
Transferring with Fewer than 30 Credits: If you transfer to another institution with less than 30 credits the admissions process may require your college transcript as well as the same information as a freshman applicant: your high school record and ACT/SAT scores.The college credits will transfer on a class-by-class basis. Developmental courses numbered below 1000 will not transfer.
Transferring Course-by-Course: Students who opt to transfer without a degree or certificate of completion will find that their credits are transferred on a class-by-class basis into the receiving institution. Typically institution general education and program formats are individualized and when classes transfer individually they may not align with general education formats or program formats efficiently; additional courses may be required to fill gaps. Students are advised to keep course syllabi for all courses taken in case an institution requests more information than a transcript or a catalog course description provides.
Will an out-of-state school honor a Utah AS/AA to clear General Education?
Out-of-state institutions of higher education typically accept SLCC courses on a class-by-class basis. Most out-of-state schools will not automatically accept the AS or AA degree as clearing their general education requirements as a whole. Instead, the schools will evaluate each SLCC course to determine how it satisfies their general education requirements. For example, the University of Wyoming may accept all of SLCC college-level courses but it will evaluate each course to see how it applies to the U of Wyoming’s particular general education requirements. Students with an AS or AA degree from SLCC may have additional general education requirements to complete at the out-of-state school.
The Utah Board of Regents' policy guaranteeing that a Utah AS/AA will clear all lower-division GE requirements is only valid at the public institutions in Utah. Private institutions such as BYU and Westminster honor the policy but there may be some exceptions and conditions.Will out-of-state schools transfer classes as major courses or elective hours?
Academic departments at out-of-state schools will evaluate a student’s major courses from SLCC on a class-by-class basis to determine whether they are equivalent to the major coursework at their school. An SLCC major course that is not accepted toward the major will typically be accepted as an elective. Major programs and degrees vary in their requirements because they are usually designed around the needs of the communities/cities in which they are located.
What can students do to better their chances of a smooth transition?
- Students need to review the general education and program requirements at the out-of-state school. They should get in touch with the school they want to attend and ask about their transfer policies. Students should also visit the school/department web site where transfer articulation is sometimes available on line. Although SLCC's college-level credits will typically be accepted by most out-of-state institutions, there is no guarantee that they will meet specific general education or major requirements. SLCC advisors can only help students intending to transfer out-of-state with a 'best guess' on transfer course possibilities. The receiving school ultimately decides which credits will transfer and how they will be applied.
- Students would be well-served to keep a notebook including syllabi for every class they have taken at SLCC so they can provide that information to their new school for a fair credit evaluation. Many times a transcript and a three-sentence catalog course description don't indicate enough about the course content for schools to transfer credit. Students should give a COPY of the syllabus and KEEP the original. Some SLCC departments have syllabi on their web sites, or students can contact SLCC Division Chair offices for copies of current syllabi. Schools prefer a syllabus from the semester in which the student took the course, however, and departments & faculty generally do not archive old syllabi.
- Students might ask the out-of-state school about having the SLCC credit evaluated before they take the class but many offices are so busy dealing with their own students that they don't have time to go through the evaluation process for a potential transfer student. It doesn't hurt to ask though!
- Students should keep a copy of the SLCC catalog where regional and departmental (if any) accreditation is indicated. Departmental accreditations are not noted on the SLCC transcript but accreditations vouch for the quality of the program and are included in the program requirements pages.
- Access as many transfer resources as possible:
- Participate in transfer activities listed in the Calendar of Transfer Events. The calendar includes major-specific transfer workshops, 4-year college admission representatives visits to SLCC, and transfer advisors visiting SLCC.