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College Transfer Credits

Make sure your college credits transfer with you when you move.

Completing a postsecondary degree can be expensive and repeating courses because they don't transfer to a new institution can be frustrating. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the average military family relocates approximately seven times more frequently than civilian families, or every two to three years. This means you'll need to maximize your transfer credit possibilities to avoid repeating courses. Here's what you should know:

Graduation requirements

On a traditional semester schedule, an associate degree typically requires 60 credits, a bachelor's degree typically requires 120 credits and a master's degree typically requires an additional 30 or more credits. If your institution operates on a trimester or quarter system, the credits required for graduation may vary. You will want to check with your institution to verify program completion requirements.

Transferring credits

You’ll likely move when you're in school and may need to switch institutions. However, you can take steps to ensure the maximum number of credits transfer to your new institution. Taking these steps can help you avoid repeating classes unnecessarily.

Take your core classes at the beginning of your studies. Most postsecondary programs require you to take basic core classes, such as English, math and social sciences, to graduate. If you need to transfer, these core classes are likely to carry over to your new institution.

Pay attention to accreditation. Credits from a school with a regional or national certification are more likely to transfer to another institution. The institution search feature of the My Career Advancement Account may provide information about participating schools.

Whether you attend a traditional four-year institution, community college or a distance learning environment, make sure that your credits transfer with you when you move, so you can complete your program of study on time.

Visit the College Scorecard to find a program that fits your needs or use MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to contact your installation's Adult Education Center. Your local counselor can help you search for the school that's right for you. Select 'Adult Education Centers' under the 'Select a program or service' drop-down menu and your installation or postal code to find a point of contact near you. If you need additional information related to SOC schools or finding the right school, you can visit the College Exploration section of the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO or speak with a career coach at 800-342-9647.

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