If you are older than 21 and have attended a four-year post-secondary institution but have not earned a bachelor’s degree, the UNC System classifies you as a non-traditional transfer student.

Calling older and returning students “non-traditional” makes it sound as if this contingent is an aberration in the UNC System. But non-traditional students make up an increasingly sizable percentage of our student body. In fact, a number of System-wide and institution-specific initiatives are designed to encourage “part-way home students” to return to the University to complete their studies.

In an effort to bring adult learners back into the classroom, the UNC System has explored ways to grow statewide partnerships with community and higher education organizations, four-year institutions, and community colleges. These collaborative efforts have helped to create greater access to higher education and simplified adult learners’ pathways toward graduation by:

  • making it easier to transfer credit from one institution to another;
  • establishing flexible degree pathways;
  • increasing online course availability;
  • establishing military articulation agreements;
  • and developing system-wide policies to maximize Prior Learning Assessments (evaluating prior learning or employment experience to determine competency in exchange for academic credit).

If you have earned a bachelor’s degree and would like to earn a second bachelor’s degree, you are classified as a second degree student and not a transfer student.


Non-traditional students wishing to transfer to a UNC System university should reach out directly to the institution of their choice.  Many campuses in the UNC System have pathways designed to help transfer students chose the right classes, so doing a bit of research now will help speed your progress toward graduation.

The following procedure outlines the basic steps non-traditional students can take to find the most complete information they need to make the most out of the credits they’ve earned previously at other institutions.

  1. After choosing an institution, review the individual campus admission requirements.
  2. Use the table below to contact the transfer counselor at the campus of your choice.
  3. Choose a degree and field of study at one of the UNC System’s 16 universities using the table below.
  4. Fill out a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and visit the Financial Aid office on the campus of your choice.
  5. Review course equivalencies at the campus of your choice.

TRANSFER-Specific university contacts

CampusGeneral Transfer Contact
Appalachian State Universitytransferadmissions@appstate.edu
East Carolina Universitytransfer@ecu.edu
Elizabeth City State Universitytransfer@ecsu.edu
Fayetteville State Universityadmissions@uncfsu.edu
North Carolina A&T State Universityuadmit@ncat.edu
North Carolina Central Universitytransfer@nccu.edu
NC State Universityundergrad-admissions@ncsu.edu
UNC Ashevilletransfer@unca.edu
UNC-Chapel Hilladmissions.unc.edu/contact/how-to-reach-us/
UNC Charlotteadmissions@charlotte.edu
UNC Greensboroadmissions.uncg.edu/find-counselor/ or admissions@uncg.edu
UNC Pembroketransfer@uncp.edu
UNC Wilmingtonuncw.edu/admissions/staff.html
Western Carolina Universityadmiss@wcu.edu
Winston-Salem State Universityhindsm@wssu.edu

Please contact Dr. Bethany D. Meighen (bdmeighen@northcarolina.edu) of Academic Planning with any updates to this list.