Education Commission of the States has researched transfer and articulation policies in all states to provide this comprehensive resource. For a two-page infographic highlighting key findings click here. Click on the questions below for 50-state comparisons showing how all states approach specific transfer and articulation policies. Or, choose to view a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profiles page.

This database reviews four transfer metrics in all 50 states. The metrics include transferable core of lower-division courses, statewide common-course numbering, statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree and statewide reverse transfer. A state received a “yes” if their policy requires all public four-year and two-year institutions to comply. Policies needed to be found in state legislation or Board/Commission policy. Sources do not include state programs, individual institution policies or state initiatives. States who utilize the latter three sources are highlighted in the descriptions.

Metric Definitions

Transferable core of lower-division courses: A set of general education courses agreed upon across all public postsecondary institutions. The core must be fully transferable at all public institutions. Institutions may have different naming conventions, however if that is the case then there is a crosswalk for institutions to use in the transfer process.

Statewide common course numbering: A uniform numbering convention used at all public postsecondary institutions for lower division courses.

Statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree: Guarantees students awarded an associate degree before transfer to a four-year institution can transfer all of their credits to the four-year institution and enter at the junior standing level. The majority of policies state that students are then not required to complete any further general education courses.

Statewide reverse transfer: Require all public institutions to implement the process of retroactively granting an associate degree to students who have not completed the requirements of an associate degree before they transferred from a two- to a four-year institution.

Key Takeaways

  • Thirty plus states have policies requiring transferable core lower-division courses and statewide guaranteed transfer of an associate degree.
  • Fifteen states have reverse transfer policies with another state proposing it in legislation in the 2016 session. This shows a growing change in the way we think about transfer of credit and conferring degrees where credit is earned.
  • States continue to make transfer a priority in their state. These policies aim to ease student transition between institutions and honor credit earned.

50-State Comparisons

  1. All data points for all states
  2. Transferable Core of Lower-Division Courses
  3. Statewide Common Course Numbering
  4. Statewide Guaranteed Transfer of Associate Degree
  5. Reverse Transfer

Related Resources

Staff Contact
Lexi Anderson

 PUBLISHED: April 18, 2016




 STATE(S): Nationwide

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