Transfer in Washington is directed by several statutes and follows the Policy on Intercollege Transfer and Articulation among Washington Public Colleges and Universities (Umbrella Policy) adopted in 1986, and the Transfer Task Force Transfer Agreement (Proportionality Agreement) adopted in 1994.

Washington's Transfer Network

Transfer policy is implemented and maintained through the cooperative efforts of the state institutions of higher education, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and the Washington Student Achievement Council, with the support of many statewide within-sector and cross-sector groups and offices involved in aspects of transfer initiatives. Collectively, these groups constitute Washington's unofficial ‘Transfer Network.’  
See the List of Transfer Network Groups and the Transfer Rights and Responsibilities.

  • How to Propose Changes to the Statewide Transfer Associate Degree Agreements
  • Transfer Liaison InformationThe Council serves as the state’s Transfer Liaison—a single, statewide point of contact for issues related to transfer.
  • Transfer and Articulation Report 2015The Council submits a progress report on the development of transfer associate degrees to the Legislature each odd-numbered year. This report answers several key questions about transfer in Washington, addresses new degrees and initiatives, and makes a number of key recommendations.
  • The Role of Transfer StudyAn update to a previous study on the graduating class of 2001 completed by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The study examines class of 2006 graduates by campus type, transfer status, pre-college enrollments (how many graduates who came through the community and technical college system took pre-college math or English courses), and two year degrees (how many community or technical college transfer students earned associate degrees, and what kind of degree did they earn).

Transfer Pathways

Students take various pathways to a certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or advanced degree. A large percentage of those who enter a four-year institution as freshmen graduate from that institution. Others may enroll at one four-year institution and then transfer to another. And still others start at a community college and transfer to a baccalaureate institution.

  • Many community or technical college students who initially enroll in associate degree or certificate programs then decide to transfer to a four-year school.  A Statewide Transfer Policy helps students move between institutions while working toward their bachelor’s degrees.
  • Transfer Student Rights and Responsibilities document approved by public and private two- and four-year institutions mirrors this policy and outlines both student and institutional rights and responsibilities regarding transfer.
  • Students completing the transfer degree programs listed below are guaranteed 90 transferrable quarter credits (even if they change majors) and up to 15 quarter credits for ‘technical’ courses. In addition, they will not be required to retake courses and course sequences already completed. General information is available in a brochure titled Transfer from a Washington Community College to a University.
  • If a student transfers to a baccalaureate institution before completing an associate degree, courses similar to those traditionally offered by universities will be accepted. However, courses may not transfer if the student’s baccalaureate institution does not offer a parallel course.
Direct Transfer Agreement Associate Degree (DTA)

Once the student successfully completes a DTA pathway, all courses required in that degree will transfer to every Washington public baccalaureate institution and to the many Washington independent institutions participating in the agreement. If admitted to a baccalaureate institution, the institution will consider the transfer student to have junior standing.

Current DTA Associate Degree Guidelines

   Associate of Science – Transfer (AS-T):

Includes the math and science courses needed to prepare students for biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, computer science, and engineering majors.

This degree focuses on the math and science courses needed for an eventual baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, computer science and engineering. In a course-taking pattern that parallels university freshman and sophomore students in the same fields, students pursuing the AS-T complete 45 quarter credits of general education courses at the community college, and the remainder as juniors and seniors.

Students may have different course requirements, depending upon the specific field of study they plan to pursue at a baccalaureate institution:

  • Track 1 (biology, chemistry, environmental/resource sciences, earth science, geology majors)
  • Track 2 (engineering, computer science, physics, and atmospheric science majors)

   Major Related Program (MRP):

Course plans under the DTA or AS-T that prepare students for specific majors. Course plans include general education courses and a limited number of electives.

Students in some majors must carefully select their elective and general education courses to ensure they will be eligible to apply for the major after transferring to a baccalaureate institution.

These agreements have been developed under both the DTA and AS-T degree paths. Since many of these majors are quite popular, there may be more qualified applicants than spots in some instances.

MRP Pathways based on Direct Transfer Agreements:

  • Associate in Biology DTA/MRP for preparation in upper-division Bachelor’s programs in Biology. Approved summer 2009. Institutions: CWU, EWU, TESC, UWS, WSU-Pullman, WWU, Saint Martin’s U, Seattle U, Whitworth U.
  • Associate in Business DTA/MRP for transfer to business and accounting bachelor's degree programs. Implemented in 2003, revised in 2006 and 2012. Baccalaureate institutions party to this revised agreement are: CWU, EWU, UW (all campuses), WSU (all campuses), WWU, Gonzaga U, Heritage U, Pacific Lutheran U, Saint Martin’s U, Seattle Pacific U, Seattle U, Walla Walla U, and Whitworth U. Effective July 1, 2012 this agreement cancels and supersedes the existing statewide agreement dated Summer 2003 and revised April 2006. Prior to July 1, 2012, parties to the 2003/2006 Business DTA/MRP (posted here for reference) agree to continue to honor that agreement until July 1, 2014. Institutions party to the 2003/2006 agreement include: CWU, EWU, WWU, UW, WSU, Gonzaga U, Heritage U, Pacific Lutheran U, St. Martin’s U, Seattle Pacific U, Seattle U, and Walla Walla U.
  • Associate in Construction Management DTA/MRP. Approved spring 2008. Institutions: UW, WSU, CWU, and EWU.
  • Associate in Math Education DTA/MRP to transfer to teacher certification programs in secondary math. Implemented 2003. Institutions: CWU, EWU, WWU, WSU.
  • Associate in Music DTA/MRP for transfer to a baccalaureate music program. Implemented in 2016. Institutions: CWU, EWU, WSU, WWU, UWS, TESC.
  • Associate in Nursing DTA/MRP for RN licensure and transfer into BSN degrees (RN to BSN pathway). Implemented in 2014. Institutions: Olympic College, Bellevue College, WSU, UWS, WWU, Saint Martin's U.
  • Associate in Pre-Nursing Science DTA/MRP to transfer into basic nursing (not RN to BSN pathway – see above) programs. Implemented 2005.  Institutions: UWS, WSU, Northwest U, Seattle U, Seattle Pacific U, Pacific Lutheran U, and Walla Walla U.

MRP Pathways based on the AS-T:

  • Three Engineering Pathways - REVISED 2008 Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, Computer and Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical/ Civil/Aeronautical/Industrial/Materials Science Engineering AS-T/MRP, for engineering transfer.  Implemented in 2005, Revised summer 2008 effective fall 2009. Institutions: EWU, UW, WSU, Gonzaga U, St. Martin’s U, Seattle Pacific U, Seattle U, and Walla Walla U. 
  • Three Engineering Technology Pathways - Electronics Engineering Tech, Computer Engineering Tech, and Mechanical Engineering Tech AS-T/MRP for engineering technology transfer.  Implemented 2007. Institutions: CWU, EWU, and WWU (these are the only institutions offering these degrees).

Associate in Applied Science Transfer (AAS-T) degree:

A workforce degree developed to meet industry standards for immediate employment. Students can apply these toward specific applied baccalaureate degrees Community and technical college students preparing for immediate employment, who also plan to transfer, complete the Associate in Applied Science-T (AAS-T) degree. Typically only a portion of the AAS-T credits apply to the general education requirements (a quarter to a third of the credits). Graduates with an AAS-T face a critical transfer issue related to how the rest of the credits – the technical course credits – apply to the general education and major requirements of the baccalaureate degree. Unless the bachelor’s degree is specifically designed to apply the AAS-T technical course work to the requirements for the major, those credits serve only as electives and commonly do not transfer if the baccalaureate institution does not offer course work in the technical field. Universities and colleges have addressed this issue by creating specific baccalaureate pathways for AAS-T graduates. These are sometimes called the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees.