General Information on Transferring from a Community College to a University in North Carolina

The Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees are equivalent to the first two years of general education courses at the university. If a student never attended a community college and went to straight to the university, the first two years of courses a student would take are the courses taught there at the community college in the AA and AS degrees.

The Public Universities in North Carolina make up the University of North Carolina system, known as the UNC system. There are 16 public universities in the UNC system.

The Private Universities are part of the North Carolina Independent Universities and Colleges, known as the NCICU. There are 36 private universities in the NCICU system.

There are 58 community colleges in North Carolina and they are part of the North Carolina Community College system, known as NCCCS.

The public universities and the community colleges receive some funding from the state so they tend to be lower in tuition and fees than private schools and that’s why they are referred to as “public schools.”

CAA & ICAA: What Is It and Why Is It So Important?

There is an agreement between the UNC (University of North Carolina) system and the NCCCS (North Carolina Community College system) called the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, known as the CAA. All 16 public universities are part of the CAA agreement. Similarly, there is also an agreement with many (not all) of the private universities and it is called the Independent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. There are 27 private schools that are part of the ICAA. The CAA and ICAA agreements allow students who have completed an Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) at a community college to transfer and go in with a junior status. There are more conditions and stipulations outlined in the agreement, but generally the agreement is to allow a seamless transition from the community college to the university and satisfy the lower division general education requirements of the university.

Completion of the AA or AS degree satisfies the minimum admissions requirements (MAR) and minimum course requirements (MCR) of the university.

Why Is It So Important To Choose A Transfer University And Major?

Each university posts four-year degree plans (by major) posted on their websites that lists the courses community college students should take at the community college to complete their AA or AS degree. Community college students should follow the four-year degree plan for the major they want to pursue at the university they plan to transfer to when choosing courses to take at the community college.