Transfer Tips


How does transfer work?

Students are given college-level credit at a four-year college or university for courses completed at College of DuPage. Typically, students can transfer up to two years of coursework from COD toward an advanced degree (such as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) at another school.

Do you know your major?

It is helpful to decide your four-year major early. Delaying your choice of a major just means it will happen later, it doesn't mean it will happen easier or faster. If you are unsure of your major, meet with a counselor ( now to clarify your academic goals and objectives.

Ideally, your coursework at COD should meet general education requirements and support your chosen major. Certain majors require specific prerequisites or other coursework before you can be admitted.

Are you working on an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree?

AAS degrees are generally designed to provide you with direct workforce skills and are not designed to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Typically, general education courses required for a bachelor's degree exceed those needed for AAS degrees.

There are many Associate in Applied Science degree programs that have made special articulation agreements with four-year/transfer institutions resulting in easier transitions. For example, National-Louis University and Aurora University both have transfer agreements with COD's Human Services program. Additional agreements exist with other universities.

If you are pursuing an AAS degree, fully investigate if and where opportunities to transfer exist. Meet with a faculty member to insure you understand your options and are on track for transferring.

Do you plan to transfer?

Speak with an advisor. This includes a faculty member or general advisor at COD and an advisor at the school where you would like to transfer. The school that you are transferring into should be able to confirm which courses will transfer to their school. If an admissions representative does not know, try contacting the Registrar's or Office of Student Records at the transfer institution.

Investigate transfer schools
What factors do you need to consider in choosing a transfer school? Major? Location? Cost? Size? Religious affiliation? Student activities? Housing options? Support services?

Check with an advisor, the College and Career Information Center in the Library, and/or use a college search engine. Plan a trip out to the campus and see it in person. You can learn a lot about a school by spending time on campus. Check out parking, housing, the book store and other places that might be important to you as a student.

What are the minimum admission requirements? GPA? Hours? Foreign language? Prerequisites? Requirements will vary depending upon the number of credits you've earned and your intended major.

When are the application deadlines? These are listed on the actual applications, college or university web site, or call the admissions office at each particular school. Some are due as early as a year in advance.

Other things to consider:
Are you aware of any prerequisites?
Be sure that you are completing the courses that you need, especially if there are any prerequisites for your major. Some majors like business or engineering have a number of classes that must be completed prior to enrolling in the major, so check with an advisor to be sure that you are on the right track. If prerequisites are not completed at COD, they will need to be done when you transfer.

How many credits do you need to complete before transferring?
This answer varies depending upon the school. The one thing that is fairly consistent is that without a minimum number of credits completed (as decided by the transfer institution) the freshman application rules will apply to the student transferring from COD. Example: You want to transfer to ABC University. Their admissions materials state that unless you have completed 30 semester hours, you will also need to submit a high school transcript and ACT/SAT score. If you did fine on the ACT/SAT, and were a good student in high school, then this may not be of concern to you. However, if you did not do well in high school and did not take either of the exams mentioned, then completing more than 30 semester hours at COD is a good option for you. Each school has a different set of requirements, so check either with the school where you would like to transfer or with an advisor.

Do you need an associate's degree?
No. You may choose to take anywhere from one course up to the required number of courses for an associate's degree depending on your major and the transfer school. This is something that you will want to ask the advisor/admissions representative at the school where you plan to transfer. They can clarify if there is a benefit for you to complete your associate's degree.

Some schools will accept the Associate of Arts degree or the Associate of Science degree as having completed all of the general education requirements for their bachelor's degree. This means that when you transfer, you will only need to complete requirements for your major. At other schools, the associate's degree fulfills all lower-level general education credits, meaning that there are some specific upper-level requirements that still need to be completed at their school after you transfer.

Students who do not plan to complete an associate's degree can focus on completing the general education core, which is the same as the IAI core. The Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) was developed to facilitate transferring of credits to more than 100 schools in the state of Illinois. Students who complete the entire IAI general education core at COD can be granted credit that fulfills the transfer schools' comparable lower-division requirements if they are also part of the IAI. For more information about the IAI and participating schools, refer to the iTransfer web site (

Are you ready to apply?

It is a good idea to select two to three schools for application. Acceptance rates can vary greatly from year-to-year, program-to-program and school-to-school – take this into consideration when applying. It is always smart to have more than one option. Remember, housing, financial aid, student employment, etc. will require separate applications.

What kind of paperwork is required?
Application Form: All schools require you to complete an application form for admission. Many application forms may be completed and submitted online. There is almost always a mandatory fee that is required to process your application.

Transcripts: Applications for schools will require an official copy of your COD transcript and transcripts from any other college or university that you have attended. Some schools also require a high school transcript and an SAT/ACT score. COD transcripts are ordered from the Office of Student Records through the college web site. Have the transcript sent directly to the transfer school. Transcripts from other institutions need to be acquired directly from them. International students may be required to complete a credential evaluation. Check with your transfer school to clarify if one is necessary. It is also highly recommended that you obtain a copy of your transcript for your own records.

Letters of recommendation: Some academic programs require letters of recommendation for their applicants. These should never come from a family member. These letters should come from teachers or individuals such as employers who are familiar with you on a personal and professional level.

Personal Statement/Application Essay: The application essay provides the student with an opportunity to express commitment to the educational institution/major, explain a poor academic history, or provide insight into their personal/academic strengths. Be clear, concise and include only pertinent information.

How is a transfer GPA calculated?
When you apply to transfer to another school, they will want an official copy of your transcript, including your current GPA. Typically, a final admissions decision is not made until the transfer school has this information. COD does not include grades of I or R into your GPA calculation. Many schools will consider an "I" grade as an "F". Some schools assume an "R" grade represents an "F" and then compute an average of the old and new grade. Example: If you took English 1102 and received a "D" and then retook it and received an "A", the first grade for the course (D) will be changed to an "R" indicating the repeat. The school that you apply to might consider the "R" grade as an "F" and average it with the new grade of "A" which results in a transfer grade of "C." Consult an advisor at your transfer school for clarification.

Note: Although withdrawals (W) are not calculated in your GPA, they may be taken into account in the evaluation of your transcript and application. Be aware that you may be asked to explain excessive withdrawals.

This is meant to serve as a general guide for transfer students. Contact an advisor, counselor or faculty member for further assistance.


College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2018 College of DuPage