Transferable college credits are college course credits that can be transferred from one college to another. For example, if a person is working toward a college degree at one educational institution, he may decide to transfer to a new institution to finish earning a degree. If he can transfer the credits he's earned to the new degree program, they are referred to as transferable college credits. Whether or not credits are transferable typically depends on the rules of the college that would be accepting them.
The issue of transferable college credits often comes up when a student is transferring out of a community college program to an educational program at a four-year college. Often, individuals in this situation have spent two years on their education and want to have the credits they’ve earned counted toward earning a bachelor’s degree. Likewise, a student may transfer from one four-year college to another and want to take his credits with him. In fact, a student may even need to transfer college credits when he is leaving one community college and beginning his education at another community college.
The new school's acceptance of transferable college credits is usually not automatic. The new school has the right to refuse to count a student’s credits toward its degree program. Often, however, a school will accept transfer credits if a student did well in the class and the new institution has a similar course. Some colleges have policies that state they won’t limit the number of credit’s students can transfer, but they may limit how many of those credits count toward their degree programs. This may help ensure that a transfer student obtains a reasonably significant portion of his education from the accepting college.
Sometimes community colleges create arrangements to help their students transfer credits to four-year institutions. In such a case, a four-year college may agree to accept all or most of the credits students earn at the community college with which it has the agreement. In many cases, however, this agreement is limited to particular degree programs.
While the accepting school has final say on whether or not it will accept a student’s transfer credits, there is a basic requirement most colleges apply. An accredited institution will likely require the transfer credit to come from another accredited institution. In some cases, colleges are also reluctant to accept transfer credits earned in upper-level courses.