Step by Step Transfer Planning


Step 1

Choose a Major

Many college students are undecided about a major and use their first year of college to explore career possibilities. This is a part of the community college experience, and advisors are available to help students with decision-making. Remember that students who decide on a major and a transfer institution early in their college experience are more likely to graduate on time and to transfer successfully.

The Advising Center and the Student Services office at the Bedford Campus offer career advising services to students who need assistance with career planning. The career advising services offers assistance in the following areas:

  • Selection of a major field of study
  • Self-assessment of interests, values, and aptitudes
  • Understanding the world of work using career and occupational information
  • Career decision-making

Visit the Advising Center website for more information.



Step 2

Select a Transfer College

With over 2,700 four-year colleges and universities to choose from, selection of a transfer college can be a daunting challenge. Each college provides a unique setting and its own educational opportunities as well as general education and major requirements and transfer credit policies. Students should look for colleges offering their major, but should also consider other characteristics.

  • Location- far away or close to home, warmer climate or near ski resorts, big cities or rural.
  • Online or residential- while complete degree program may be offered online, other programs may require partial or full residency at the college.
  • Size- small with the personal touch, big and many activities available, mid-size and personal with many activities.
  • Affiliation- private, church-affiliated; private not church affiliated, public or semi-public.
  • Social climate- quiet or many activities.
  • Athletics-Division I football to only intramurals.
  • Accreditation- Is the college accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies or by a specialized accrediting body, and is the program accredited by a national association?
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY Cost-The cost of attending some colleges can be extremely high. Financial assistance may be abundant or be limited.

Campus Transfer Coordinators

Transfer advisors are available to assist with the selection of colleges and education planning.


College Search Links

Try one or more of these free sites to search for potential colleges and universities.


Other College Search Links

  • A listing of US colleges and universities by state
  • A listing of Maryland community colleges and four-year universities




Step 3

Develop an Educational Plan

Once students select on majors, they should develop a term-by-term educational plans for your entire program. The educational plans should combine general education requirements with major course requirements. The catalog models for ACM transfer programs may serve as a guide for developing individual student plans.

Students should consult their advisor, the Advising Center, or a transfer advisor prior to attending ACM or early in the first semester to establish an educational plan. Careful planning is critical to ensure graduation from ACM and a smooth transfer. Unfortunately, students do not always plan or are unsure as to where they want to transfer and in which major. Additionally, some students are under-prepared and must complete developmental courses or do not consider course prerequisites.

The educational plan is an opportunity for students to evaluate their experiences and to chart a road map for completion of an associate degree. A student's plan may change, but having a plan in place at the beginning of the college experience will provide an anchor for thinking about subsequent course work, career objectives, or personal commitments.


Step 4

Monitor Your Degree Audit

Students may view their degree audit or graduation evaluation through WebAdvisor. Students with specific transfer plans should also consult their advisor or a transfer advisor to ensure that they are meeting both the graduation requirements and recommended transfer requirements. 

Student WebAdvisor offers students the opportunity to monitor their progress toward graduation. While tracking progress toward graduation, students should also monitor their progress toward transferring. Completion of an associate degree may be beneficial in transferring. Students may be eligible for guaranteed admission, waiver of application fees, waiver of specific general education requirements, or eligibility for scholarships. An example of such a benefit is Towson University which offers guaranteed admission to the university for anyone who has completed an associate degree at a Maryland community college. Completion of the degree does not guarantee admission to competitive, space-limited programs. Another such benefit is conferred by Frostburg State University. Any student who graduates with an Associate in Arts or Associates in Science degree or from selected Associates in Applied Science degrees with a 3.0 or higher is automatically awarded a scholarship equivalent to half of the in-state tuition.

Students who do not graduate from ACM prior to transferring should be aware that colleges classify transfer students by the number of college credits completed and their overall grade point average. To be considered as a transfer student, colleges generally require the completion of between one to 60 credits with most colleges requiring between 24 and 30 credits. Minimum grade point averages to be admitted as a transfer student generally range from 2.0 to 3.0. To determine the requirements, students should visit the Transfer College Notes section [link to that section] for requirements of the more popular colleges and universities or visit the transfer college's admissions webpage.

Students who do not have the minimum number of credits completed will be considered for admission at the freshman level. Students must supply high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. In most cases, freshman admission is more competitive than for students classified as transfers.


Transfer to Another Community College

Although this information was written for students transferring to four-year colleges or universities, students often elect to transfer to another community college. They may be relocating, returning home, or looking for an associate degree program that ACM does not offer. Transfer to a community college generally does not require a particular number of credits to be completed or a specific grade point average but usually involves providing both high school and ACM academic transcripts. Community colleges may require that half of a degree program's requirement be completed at that college. Some two-year colleges may require a minimum grade point average for admissions, especially for out-of-state students. Courses in which a student earned a D grade may or may not transfer. In Maryland, community colleges are required to accept courses that ACM identifies as general education. Developmental credits do not transfer, but the new college may recognize that the student completed developmental courses at ACM. This is especially true for Maryland community colleges.






Step 5

Apply for Admission

Application deadlines vary by institution, so a student should consult the admissions office of the prospective college. Some colleges recommend that students apply one year prior to the semester they plan to attend. Others are more liberal, allowing transfer students to apply up to the first day of classes. Generally, students who plan to transfer in the fall should apply between October 1 and March 1, while spring transfer should apply between September 1 and October 15. In Maryland, March 1 is an important deadline for state financial aid and scholarships.

  • Complete an Application
    Most applications are available online on the transfer college's homepage. If the application is not easily found, click on the Admissions or Prospective/Future Student buttons or do a search.
    Here are few local links to applications:
  • Request a Current ACM Transcript
    At the time a student applies, the transfer school will need a current academic transcript from ACM and one from any other college attended. Transcripts may be requested through the ACM Admissions/Registration Office or by completing the electronic form. A nominal fee is charged for each transcript requested.
    For a first semester student, the ACM transcript will be blank, so a student will need to request a transcript be sent at the end of the semester. Likewise if the current semester is nearly completed, it is best to request that a transcript be sent at the end of the semester. ACM will not release transcripts for students who owe an obligation to the college. The obligation may be an unpaid bill, overdue book at the library, or a bill or fine from campus housing.
    The ACM Admissions/Registration Office cannot forward transcripts from high schools, other colleges, or credit by exam (such as CLEP) to another college. This information must come from the original source.
  • Complete the FAFSA
    Students who plan to apply for financial aid at the transfer school should request that the FAFSA information be forwarded to the new school. To add a college to a FAFSA list, students may use the FAFSA username and password to access your financial records and enter the code for the new college. For assistance, students should visit the ACM Financial Aid Office.
  • Apply for Scholarships


Step 6

Complete the Transfer Process

Applying to transfer can be confusing. Most institutions prefer students to submit admissions applications electronically through the transfer college's webpage. Additionally, students will be required to submit transcripts from ACM and from any other colleges they have attended. High school transcripts and SAT or ACT score reports may also be required, especially if fewer than 30 college credits have been completed. Transfer colleges may request additional information, including health records and proof of vaccinations. All will request a final ACM transcript.

  • Send a Final ACM Transcript
    After students complete their last courses at ACM, they request a final academic transcript be sent to the new college or university. Transcripts may be requested through the ACM Admissions/Registration Office or by completing the electronic form. A nominal fee is charged for each transcript requested. When students request a final ACM transcript be sent to the new school, they should ask for a personal copy. Students should keep the personal copy in a secure file for future personal or job references. In addition to keeping a copy of the transcript, students should keep directions and access codes for ACM Student Webadvisor.
  • Application received but...
    After submitting the application, a student will receive a notification from the transfer school. The notification may be electronic or may come through the mail. The notification should acknowledge the receipt of the application and may request any missing information or possibly ask for additional information or payment of fees. If a notification is not received within a reasonable time span (several week, for early application or a few weeks or days, for late application depending on the closeness of the entering semester), the student should call or email the admissions office at the new school.
  • Acceptance
    Since the admission process varies, the admissions letter may be mailed quickly or received after what may seem like a long wait. Colleges may follow a rolling admissions policy, meaning as students apply and are recognized as satisfying admissions requirement, they are admitted. Other colleges may wait until a certain date to review applications. After reviewing a stack of applications, they will admit the best candidates. Colleges with competitive admissions may place students whose academic credentials are at the lower end of their acceptance level on a wait list. A decision for admission will be made at a later time.
  • More information and fees
    After offering admission, the college may request additional information such as health records and/or proof of vaccinations. Additional fees may be assessed at this time.

    For students with disabilities or in need of special accommodations, this would be a good time to contact the disability office at your new school. The new school may require copies of your disability evaluation and/or IEP. Students should not expect to receive immediate assistance for accommodations requests made after the semester begins.
  • Transfer Credit Evaluation
    A written evaluation of transferable credits should be mailed within a month of acceptance to the college. If the evaluation is not received prior to registering for courses, the student should contact the admissions office at the new school.

    When the evaluation is received, the student should review it carefully. The evaluation may have been processed electronically or by hand, so the students should double check it to make sure that all of the courses that were expected to transfer have been accepted. Some courses may have been omitted, so the student should contact the admissions office at the new school to determine the reason. Liberal arts courses will transfer to most colleges, but many technical or career courses may not. New courses at ACM, special topics courses, and independent studies courses may not be evaluated and may be indicated as not transferable. To help with the process, the student should keep the syllabi for the courses and any major projects required by the courses. A petition will need to be submitted to the appropriate office or committee at the new school to have these credits accepted.
    If a student have questions about the evaluation and need some assistance in interpreting it, ask an ACM transfer advisor to help.
  • Registration
    The registration process, enrolling in classes, may be different at a new school. ACM students are accustomed to registering any day after the start of early registration though the first week of classes. Transfer colleges may have one or a few days set for registering transfer students. New students may need to register online and be faced an unfamiliar process. Other schools may have a special transfer registration orientation, and some schools may not register transfer students until the day before classes begin.

    To assist with the registration process:
    • Apply early
    • Provide all of the documentation the new school requires.
    • Make sure your accounts at ACM are all paid.
    • Attend the first registration session to which you are invited.
      • If the session is scheduled while ACM classes are being conducted, notify ACM instructors and make arrangements to make up missed class work.
      • The selection of classes may be lessened if you attend a later session.
      • Be familiar with the new college's catalog and have an idea of courses you plan to take. Develop a tentative education plan before going to register.
      • Since advisors may not have access to transfer credit evaluations, bring a copy.
      • If questions arise about what the advisors recommend, ask questions.

    Frostburg State University generally schedules five transfer registration days for the fall semester and two or three for the spring. The first session for fall is usually late April and subsequent sessions are offered in June, July, and August. The last session is conducted the business day before classes begin. Sessions for spring registration are held in late November or early December and on the business day before classes begin. In all cases, you must have been admitted at least two weeks prior to the session's date, meaning ALL of your paperwork must be completed. Registration on the last business day before classes begin is not recommended. Class selection will be limited, and the entire process may be complicated.
  • Self-Advocacy
    As was mentioned in the previous section, students should be somewhat familiar with their new schools requirements before attending. Students can accomplish this by reviewing the catalog, becoming familiar with the general education and major requirements, and having a general idea of the required courses. Most importantly, ask questions.

    These are some examples:
    • I think I have already taken an equivalent course, could you please check?
    • Do I have the prerequisite to take that course?
    • Why am I taking that course? Is it required of my major?
    • What is the process to appeal to have a course indicated as "non-transferable" to have it transfer?

    All four-year college advisors are not aware of the process for registering a transfer student. Transfer students have a greater degree of flexibility in satisfying general education requirements when transferring to a Maryland public four-year college. Admission and registration staff are knowledgeable about the flexibility, but a departmental advisor may not. For more details on transferring to a Maryland school, visit MHEC Student Guide to Transfer.
  • Begin Classes
    The first day of classes may be a challenge at a new school. The campus may be much larger than ACM and the buildings more confusing. Remember the first day of high school or the first day at ACM. It took time to become familiar with new surroundings, but after a short time, it became comfortable. Again, do not be afraid to ask questions. To help prepare for that first day, students should visit campus and wander the hallways and pathways before classes begin, find the restrooms, the best coffee on campus, advisor's and instructors' offices, the library, and other support services.

    Students often comment that a big university is not as friendly as a small community college. With careful planning, students can have most of their general courses completed at ACM, and they only need to complete their major courses at the large university. Students will often find that major professors are truly involved in educating the major's students. Advisors want the students in their major to succeed, and they enjoy discussing the theories and intricacies of the major with students. A student who enjoys one of your instructor's lectures should ask if they can stop by his/her office to discuss it. Students may find that the instructor becomes an important mentor.

Search for a program or interest