Transfer 101

Transfer Terms & Guidelines

Transfer Terms

Transferring to a four-year college or university can be overwhelming and even confusing at times.  The following basic definitions will help you become familiar with transfer lingo and navigate the transfer process.

Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS)
ACTS contains information about the transferability of courses within Arkansas public colleges and universities.  Students are guaranteed the transfer of applicable credits and fair treatment in the application of credits for admissions and degree requirements.  ACTS contains General Education Core courses, as well as courses in a degree/major that have been pre-identified for transfer.  

Associate's Degree
An associate's degree requires completion of at least 60 college credit hours, and it is conferred by two-year community colleges.  Types include the Associate of Arts (AA), the Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and the Associate of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences (ASLAS).

Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor's degree requires completion of at least 120 college credit hours, and it is conferred by a four-year college or university. 

Course Equivalency
When a course at one college/university meets all the requirements of the same or similar course offered at another college/university.

Credit Hour
A measure of credit earned for course completion.  A credit is based on the number of hours of instruction per week required in the classroom and/or lab.  A course earning three semester credits will usually meet for approximately three hours a week.  Credit hours are sometimes called semester hours.

Degree Requirements
The list of courses you must successfully take to complete a program of study.

Elective
A course that is not used to meet specific major, general education, or graduation requirements but can be used to complete the total credit hours required for a degree.  An elective course may be in your major area of study or in other specified college departments.  

Gen Ed Core (General Education Core)
Gen Ed Core requirements are courses that give you a background in all major academic disciplines.  All state colleges or universities in Arkansas have a 35-hour minimum Gen Ed Core requirement with specified hours in each of seven academic areas:  English (6 hours), Fine Arts (3 hours), Humanities (3 hours), Mathematics (3 hours), Science (8 hours), Social Sciences (9 hours), and US History (3 hours). You usually take the Gen Ed Core courses in your first and second years, and doing so provides you with the opportunity to sample a wide range of courses before selecting a major.

Lower-Level Courses
Lower-level courses are typically taught in the freshmen or sophomore years of a bachelor's degree. These courses are usually completed at a community college and transferred to a four-year institution.

Major
A subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.

Minor
A secondary field of study outside of the major, often requiring less course work.

Receiving Institution
The institution you will attend after National Park College. Receiving institutions can grant transfer credits to individual courses or to entire degree programs.

Residency Requirement
The specific number of credits an institution requires you to complete at that institution in order to graduate and earn a degree.

Sending Institution
The institution where you have completed course work and from which you are transferring. If you transfer from National Park College, your sending institution is NPC.

Transfer
The process of completing course work at one institution and transferring credit to another.

Transfer (Articulation) Agreement
A formal agreement between sending and receiving institutions about how the receiving institution will accept the coursework from the sending institution and award course credit.  The transfer agreement guarantees if you complete a program of study from the sending institution, you will enter the university degree program as a junior.

Transfer Credit
The acceptance of course work by an institution other than the one where the course work was completed.

Undergraduate
You are considered an undergraduate until you complete a bachelor's degree.

Upper-Level Courses
Upper-level courses are taught at the junior and senior years of a bachelor's degree.

Transfer Guidelines

Before you begin the transfer process, it is important to understand the following:

  • You are responsible to determine what courses the receiving institution will accept from National Park College. Review the NPC transfer degree opportunities or contact the NPU Transfer Center Coordinator to determine which courses will transfer.
  • Course transfers typically have a minimum grade requirement of a "C" or higher for transfer credits.
  • Transfer credits are frequently subject to time limitations. If your credits are several years old, the receiving institution may not consider them for transfer. Check with your receiving institution about their policy on transfer credit.
  • Receiving institutions may require detailed information about the courses you have completed. If your receiving institution is uncertain about the transfer of your completed course work, NPC course descriptions may be found in the College Catalog. You are also encouraged to retain the syllabus of any course you may want to transfer. 
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