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Seven Steps to Transferring

Learn more by following these seven steps to transferring
Step 1 – Meet with a counselor/advisor each semester before registering for classes

Make an appointment using Starfish to meet with a counselor. It’s important to register for the right classes each semester.

During your meeting, be ready to discuss:

  1. Possible major(s) that interest you
  2. Possible transfer schools that you are considering
  3. Review MC degrees that may best fit your transfer needs.
  4. Map out how many semesters it may take to finish requirements to transfer
  5. Choose General Education Program courses carefully depending on your transfer goals. All colleges have General Education Requirements - these are the classes that are required for all majors with the goal of making you a well-rounded person.  For transfer to a Maryland public college or university (ex. Towson, UM College Park, Morgan State, UMBC, Frostburg, etc), all courses on the MC General Education Program course list will transfer without the need to meet the transfer school’s specific requirements.

If you are undecided about a major, or unsure of a transfer school, or if you are considering applying to out-of-state or a private four-year institutions, then choose General Education courses carefully.  Out-of-state and private schools may have a more traditional approach to General Education (also called Core) requirements, for example, an out-of-state school may prefer science courses from disciplines of Biology, Chemistry or Physics only.  Look closely at the MC General Education Program Course List 2021-22 (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) to see courses that appear in Bold, these courses are known to be somewhat more transferable to private and out-of-state schools. 

Make a transfer advising appointment now.

Step 2 – Review Transfer & Credit for Prior Learning webpages

MC has multiple resources to provide you information about transferring and earning credit.

MC has multiple websites to provide you information about transferring and earning credit.

The MC Transfer website is the ultimate destination for transfer information. Review MC’s Transfer Agreements and Information to see what interests you. Check Transfer Events to see which institutions will be visiting campus and when the transfer fairs are being held.

Have prior college credit? AP or CLEP credit? Already have a national credential? Are you current in the military, or a veteran? Visit the Credit for Prior Learning website to learn about how your experience may earn college credit.  Transfer schools may have different AP score requirements – review this chart to see how your AP scores may be accepted at MD state institutions and discuss with an MC counselor/advisor:  AP Comparison Chart – MD.

If you are interested in transferring to a school in Maryland, work with your counselor to review ARTSYSnew window, the Maryland State Articulation Database.

Step 3 – Explore majors and search for colleges

Knowing where and what you want to study can help make the transfer process easier. Unsure about a career? Montgomery College has resources to help you with decisions.

Explore Majors

Choosing a major will help you narrow down choices for transfer schools and help you pick courses that meet requirements. Taking “Introduction” courses at MC can help you determine if you’re interested in a particular field, for example, BSAD101 - Introduction to Business, PSYC102 - Introduction to Psychology, etc. MC offers a two-credit course, STSU120 - Career Development, to help students develop career goals and create a plan of action. Emphasis is placed on academic and occupational exploration, resume writing, interviewing, and effective job search strategies.

Use Career Coachnew window to find careers that match your interests, and to learn about wages, employment, job postings, and education and training needed for jobs.

Search for Colleges

Selecting the four-year institution where you’ll earn your bachelor’s degree is a big decision, financially and personally. Take your time and do your research. Read about the factors you should consider when choosing a transfer schoolnew window. Helpful websites to learn about four-year schools and majors are College Navigator and College Board.

Considering a major not offered in Maryland? The Academic Common Market allows students to study specialized fields at out-of-state colleges while paying in-state tuition rates.

Attend MC’s Transfer Fairs. There are three transfer fairs in the fall and spring, one on each campus. This is a great opportunity for students to talk to representatives from more than 50 schools about admission requirements, application deadlines, scholarships, on-campus housing, etc.

It’s imperative to visit the colleges and universities that interest you. Go to an open house or schedule a tour. You won’t know whether you’ll be happy at a school until you’ve walked the campus and envisioned yourself as a student there. View these tips for getting the most out of your college visit. You can also take a virtual campus tour of many schools.

Transfer Advising for Selected Maryland Institutions

UM College Park (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)  
UMBC (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)
Towson (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Step 4 – Research admission requirements & apply to schools, and include residency forms!

Every institution has a different process and deadline for applying. It’s important to know when and how to apply; it could be the difference between guaranteed admission and having your admission deferred to later semester.

It’s recommended that you apply no later than February for fall admission and no later than October for spring admission. Applying earlier than the published application deadlines gives you a better chance of getting in. Apply for financial aid and scholarships by the stated deadline or March 1.

Take your application essays seriously, and view these essay writing tips. Be sure to have someone review and edit your essay before you submit it. MC offers essay writing help through the Writing Centers.

When seeking letters of recommendation, ask current or recent professors who know you well enough to write them. It’s helpful if you provide them with a list of your current activities and interests. Give the people you ask for letters of recommendation at least two weeks’ notice. Not all schools ask for letters of recommendation–don’t ask your professors to write them unless they are requested.

Transfer institutions may request information about your disciplinary history as part of the admissions process.  The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs is responsible for those records and requires that you complete the online Authorization for Release of Information formnew window before disciplinary history can be shared.

In general, you’ll need two copies of your transcript sent for each college application: one that is sent along with the application, and a second one at the end of the semester showing your final grades. There’s a $10 charge per MC transcript sent. You can request them by going to MyMC. Don’t hand-carry or include a paper copy of your transcript with your application, let MC send it electronically (when possible). You will also be required to submit transcripts from all previously attended institutions.

Maryland public institutions require you to complete a residency form as part of the application. This form is REQUIRED to get in-state tuition at the four-year institution. 

Step 5 – Complete your associate’s degree

Earning an associate’s degree not only saves you time and money, but may help you get a job or a promotion.

Thinking of transferring in your first year? Most institutions require students who transfer with less than 30 credits to submit their high school grades and SAT scores. Completion of an associate’s degree guarantees that you will not be denied to a Maryland public institution, as long as you have a 2.0 GPA or higher and the institution has space for you. Getting an associate’s degree does not guarantee you admission to competitive majors, or to schools that have filled up transfer spaces with qualified students with higher GPAs.

At some Maryland public schools, you'll need a 2.5 - 3.0 GPA or higher to be considered admissible into highly selective or in demand majors. You may also need to have completed specific classes. Discuss this with an MC transfer counselor. Don’t forget to apply for graduation.

Step 6 – Paying for your bachelor’s degree

Everyone should file the FAFSA, and everyone should look for scholarships.

Apply for financial aid prior to the posted deadline. If you filed the FAFSA previously and didn’t get aid at MC, that doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for aid at your next school–apply to find out, it’s free. If you’re not sure which school you’ll transfer to, have your FAFSA report sent to all the schools you’re considering.

Closely examine the financial aid package you receive. If there are unusual circumstances in your situation, let the Financial Aid Office of the school(s) know about them. For example, if income information has changed since filing the FAFSA, bring this to the Financial Aid Office’s attention in writing.

Applying for scholarships takes effort, but earning a scholarship makes it all worth it. View the MC Transfer Scholarship website for information on making yourself a strong scholarship candidate, and click on ‘See Scholarship List’ to find transfer scholarships. The financial aid website of each transfer school you’re considering can be a great source of scholarship information.

Step 7 – Make the transition to a college or university

Know what to do after you are admitted, and prepare accordingly.

Letters of admission typically come with a request for a deposit. Be sure to pay the deposit by the deadline. If you’re still waiting to hear from other schools, contact the Admissions Office of the school by email to ask about extending the deadline to make the deposit. Sometimes your decision will be made when you compare the financial aid packages sent by each school. If you have questions about the aid package, discuss them with the Financial Aid Office of the school making the offer, and/or ask for an opinion from a financial aid counselor at MC.

If you weren’t accepted, see a counselor at MC to discuss your situation. The Admissions Office of the school that denied your admission may not be specific about why you were not accepted. There may be an appeals process where you can add new information about your situation. A counselor at MC may be able to help you see why you were not accepted, and help you discover alternate options.

Schedule orientation at the school you will attend. Most schools have a very specific orientation process to help new students register for classes. The key to a good schedule is to register on the first available orientation or registration session. Once you hear that you’ve been admitted, be persistent about finding out how to register for classes.

Where will you live when attending your transfer school? Check the school’s website for housing options. At many schools, on-campus spaces are limited for transfer students, but their housing office can help you find off-campus housing. When considering off-campus options, research them carefully.