Nearly 60 percent of transfer students in the UNC System transfer from the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS). Whether you have earned an associate degree or have simply taken some courses at a North Carolina community college, many of the credits you have earned may count toward a four-year degree from a UNC System university. Course planning support from community college advisors and university transfer counselors can help you complete your four-year degree efficiently and affordably.

The UNC System has transfer admissions processes and requirements for students who have completed college coursework after high school graduation. These requirements vary, so students should review specific university general transfer and major-specific admissions criteria, as well as university transfer policies and procedures. While this can feel overwhelming, there are established transfer pathways across the state designed to help students make a seamless transition.

Articulation Agreements

Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA)

The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) is a statewide agreement governing the transfer of credits between the North Carolina Community College System and the UNC System. This agreement offers guarantees to students who complete an associate in arts or an associate in science at a NC community college. Students are encouraged to review the CAA and discuss transfer plans with their community college advisor, to receive the benefits upon transfer.

Uniformed Articulation Agreements (UAA)

Uniformed Articulation Agreements (UAA) are statewide discipline-specific agreements governing the transfer of credits between the North Carolina Community College System and the UNC System. These agreements promote educational advancement opportunities and provide guarantees and protection to students who complete specific associate degrees at NC community colleges before pursuing an aligning bachelor’s degree at a participating UNC System institution. UAAs are established for:

  • Associate in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate in Engineering
  • Associate in Fine Arts: Music, Theatre, Visual Arts
  • Teacher Preparation
  • RN to BSN Nursing

Guaranteed Admissions Programs

To further support the UNC System’s mission to make higher education more accessible, many universities have developed Guaranteed Transfer Admissions Programs. These programs, rooted in partnerships between UNC System institutions and NC community colleges, are designed to help eligible students seamlessly transfer into a university. In addition to guaranteeing admission, some programs offer students opportunities like waiving application fees and invitations to university campus events. These programs vary by institution, so interested transfer students should contact their community college admissions team or advisor for more information.

NCCCS Transfer Resources

As part of the CAA, UNC System universities have created a Transfer Guide for every major. These have been developed to help students identify pathways and specific NC community college courses that lead to associate degree completion, admission into a major at a UNC System university, and finally to baccalaureate completion. To prepare for a streamlined transfer, review the Transfer Guides listed below with an academic advisor at your community college and connect with provided university contacts, if you have any questions. Transfer Guides can be found on the individual UNC System university websites: 

CAA Transfer Courses

Appendix G of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement provides a list of approved NC community college courses that transfer to UNC System Institutions. The courses on the list are accepted by every institution and are categorized by course type: Universal General Education Transfer Courses (UGETC), General Education courses, and Pre-Major Electives. 

Note: Courses included on the Transfer Course List may not be universally applicable to a particular major but are all transferable. Reference the major transfer guides, linked in the section above, for more specific major information.

Reverse Transfer

The Reverse Transfer Program is a collaborative effort between the North Carolina Community College System and the UNC System. The Reverse Transfer Program is designed to support students who transfer to a UNC System institution from one of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges prior to completing an associate degree. Through the Reverse Transfer Program, students are given the opportunity to combine the credits already earned at the community college with credits earned at the university by transferring a student’s university credits back to the community college. In many cases, this combination of credits from both the university and community college can meet all degree requirements for an associate degree. This ensures that students receive recognition and applicable credentials for the work they have completed. Each individual university has established procedures for participating in reverse transfer and policies regarding the potential benefits associated with receiving a degree through reverse transfer. Upon transferring, students should speak with the University Registrar’s Office to learn more about the program.