MA Community Colleges Transfer Principles

The community colleges of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in order to ease and clarify the process of transferring earned credit from one college to another, whether among themselves or from other public or private institutions; to provide standards for the evaluation of alternative sources of credit; to reduce the time and cost of completing a college education; and to increase the opportunities for graduation of their students, establish these Community College Transfer Principles. These Principles respect the academic standards, quality and integrity of each of the Massachusetts community colleges.

In accepting undergraduate transfer credit from other institutions, the Massachusetts community colleges apply these Transfer Principles to ensure that credit accepted reflects appropriate levels of academic quality and is applicable to students’ programs. Each community college makes these Transfer Principles publicly available to students and prospective students on their websites and other communications. These Principles reduce unnecessary barriers to protect the colleges’ academic quality and integrity.

These Transfer Principles address issues of academic credit earned through coursework completed at one institution and transferred to another. It also addresses the related issue of credit earned through alternative sources of credit, such as examinations, professional courses, military training and other prior learning experiences.

Transfer Credit Policy at HCC

A. For credit to transfer, the courses must have been taken at an institution accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies in the United States or by a national accreditation agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

B. Credit earned at international institutions not accredited by one of the six regional United States accreditation agencies may transfer. An official course-by-course evaluation report must be sent directly to HCC from an approved credential evaluation agency for students seeking college or university transfer credit. Students are strongly encouraged to send course descriptions for any course they are interested in transferring to HCC. Approved agencies are the Center for Educational Documentation (CED Boston) and all agencies listed here.

C. HCC requires official transcripts from the institutions where credit was earned for credit to transfer.

D. Students must be accepted by HCC and have declared their major programs of study for credit to be transferred.

E. Credit will be granted for courses that apply to students’ current programs of study.

F. Once credit is transferred it becomes part of the students’ permanent records.

G. Only credit for college-level coursework will transfer.

H. Credit for pre-college-level or developmental coursework does not transfer.

I. HCC may use developmental coursework for student placement purposes.

J. Grades do not transfer; only credit transfers. Therefore, transfer credit grades are not used in calculating grade or quality point averages.

K. Transfer credit is designated on transcripts with a “T” in the grade field.

L. Credit will transfer as (1) the course equivalent at HCC, if it exists, or (2) as an elective equivalent within a comparable department, if it exists. HCC may transfer credit with an appropriate transfer code and number, when neither the course equivalent, nor a comparable department, exists.

M. Credits earned in a quarter-hour system will be converted to semester-hour equivalents.

N. Audited coursework does not transfer.

O. Credit will not be granted for duplicate coursework or for two courses that cover the same or similar content.

Minimum Grades

A. HCC accepts grades of C- or higher in transfer.

B. Grades of D, D+, C- and CD (1.00 to 1.99 on a 4.00 scale) may transfer if they are for courses that are part of the 34-credit General Education Foundation (formerly MassTransfer Block) and students have completed the Block with a cumulative grade or quality point average of 2.00 or higher.

C. Grades higher than C (2.00) may be required for admission to certain programs, for use as pre-requisite courses and for application of credit to certain program requirements. See the college catalog for specific program requirements.

D. Grades of Pass (P), Satisfactory (S), or similar grades will transfer only when official transcripts indicate that such grades are equivalent to a grade of C or higher.

Residency Requirement/Maximum Transfer Credit Allowed

HCC requires students to complete at least one half (50%) of the credits of the first associate degree at HCC in order to graduate (referred to as the residency requirement). Transfer of up to the remaining one half of the credits will depend upon the associate degree program’s requirements and elective options. An additional fifteen (15) credits, over and above the credits required for the first degree, are required for a second and subsequent degree.

Alternative Sources of Credit

A. Credit will be granted for satisfactory scores on Advanced Placement (AP) examinations based on HCC’s policies. For information about Advanced Placement credit please see the list of exams and HCC’s equivalent credit.

B. Credit will be granted for satisfactory scores on College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations based on HCC’s policies. For information about College-Level Examination Program credit, please click here.

C. Official score reports from the College Board are required in order to receive credit for AP and CLEP.

D. Credit will be granted for satisfactory scores on challenge examinations based on HCC’s’ policies. For more information about Challenge Exam credit please see the list of exams. Credit granted for HCC Challenge exams will not transfer to another institution.

E. Credit may be granted via articulation agreements with high schools.

F. Credit may be granted for formal courses or examinations offered by various organizations, including businesses, unions, government and military based on the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) as found in its National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training, a resource of its College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT).

G. Credit also may be granted for learning from experience at work, volunteering in the community, military service, job training, or open source courseware study, based on the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) standards of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

H. Members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium adhere to the Consortium’s Academic Residency Requirements for servicemembers at their institutions.

I. Academic credits earned through the evaluation of military occupation, training, experience and coursework are transferable within the Massachusetts public higher education system in accordance with the Mass Transfer agreement.

J. Credit granted by one institution from alternative sources other than that included by item H above may not transfer to another institution.

Time Limits

A. Credit will be transferred without time limits, except for science courses for certain programs. See college catalog for further information on individual program requirements.

B. Certain programs, courses, or admission standards may require courses to be taken within a specified time period based on HCC’s policies. See the college catalog for further information on individual program requirements.

Student Appeals & Re-evaluation for Change of Major

Students who feel as though an error or omission occurred in the evaluation of their transcript, or for a re-evaluation based on a new major, a re-evaluation may be requested by completing the form located here.