Ohio Transfer Policies


State Policy Institutional Transfer

The Ohio Department of Higher Education in 1990, following the directive of the 118th Ohio General Assembly, developed the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy to facilitate students’ ability to transfer credits from one Ohio public college or university to another in order to avoid duplication of course requirements. A subsequent policy review and recommendations produced by the Articulation and Transfer Advisory Council in 2004, together with mandates from the 125th Ohio General Assembly in the form of Amended Substitute House Bill 95, have prompted improvements of the original policy. Additional legislation from the 125th Ohio General Assembly also initiated the development of a statewide system for articulation agreements amount state institutions of higher education for transfer students pursuing teacher education programs.

While all state-assisted colleges and universities are required to follow the Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy, independent colleges and universities in Ohio may or may not participate in the transfer policy. Therefore, students interested in transferring to independent institutions are encouraged to check with the college or university of their choice regarding transfer agreements. In support of improved articulation and transfer processes, the Ohio Department of Higher Education has established a transfer clearinghouse to receive, annotate, and convey transcripts among state-assisted colleges and universities. This system is designed to provide standardized information and help colleges and universities reduce undesirable variability in the transfer credit evaluation process.

Ohio Transfer 36

The Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Articulation and Transfer Policy established the Ohio Transfer 36, which is a specific subset of a public higher education institution’s general education curriculum in Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and baccalaureate degree programs. Students in applied associate degree programs may complete some individual Ohio Transfer 36 courses within their degree program or continue beyond the degree program to complete the entire Ohio Transfer 36.

The Ohio Transfer 36 contains 36-40 semester hours of course credit in English composition, (minimum of 3 semester

hours) mathematics, statistics and logic (minimum of 3 semester hours); arts and humanities (minimum of 6 semester hours); social and behavioral sciences, (minimum of 6 semester hours); and natural sciences (minimum of 6 semester hours). Oral communication and interdisciplinary areas may be included as additional options. Additional elective hours from among these areas make up the total hours for a completed Ohio Transfer 36. Courses for the Ohio Transfer 36 should be 100- and 200-level general education courses commonly completed in the first two years of a student’s course of study. Each state-assisted university, technical and community college is required to establish and maintain an approved Ohio Transfer 36.

Individual Ohio Transfer 36 course(s) or the full module completed at one college or university will automatically meet the requirements of individual Ohio Transfer 36course(s) or the full Ohio Transfer 36 at another college or university once the student is admitted. Students may be required, however, to meet additional general education requirements at the institution to which they transfer. For example, a student who completes the Transfer 36 at Institution S (sending institution) and then transfers to Institution R (receiving institution) is said to have completed the Ohio Transfer 36 portion of Institution R’s general education program.

Institution R, however, may have general education courses that go beyond its Transfer 36. State policy initially required that all courses in the Transfer 36 be completed to receive its benefit in transfer. However, subsequent policy revisions have extended this benefit to the completion of individual Transfer 36 courses on a course-by-course basis.

Transfer Assurance Guides

Transfer Assurance Guides (TAGs) comprise Transfer 36 courses and additional courses required for an academic major. A TAG is an advising tool to assist Ohio university and community and technical college students in planning for specific majors and making course selections that will ensure comparable, compatible, and equivalent learning experiences across the Ohio’s public higher-education system. A number of area-specific TAG pathways in meta-majors the arts, humanities, business, communication, education, health, mathematics, sciences, engineering, engineering technologies, social sciences, and foreign languages have been developed by faculty teams.

TAGs empower students to make informed course selection decisions and plans for their future transfer. Advisors at the institution to which a student wishes to transfer should also be consulted during the transfer process. Students may elect to complete the full TAG or any subset of courses from the TAG. Because of specific major requirements, early identification of a student’s intended major is encouraged.

Career-Technical Assurance Guides

Collaboration among the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Ohio Department of Education, and other key stakeholders led to the development of policies and procedures to create statewide career-technical discipline specific articulation agreements and further ensure that students completing coursework at an adult or secondary career-technical institution can articulate and transfer agreed-upon technical courses/programs to any Ohio public institution of higher education and among Ohio public institutions of higher education “without unnecessary duplication or institutional barriers.”

Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs) are statewide articulation agreements that guarantee the recognition of learning which occurs at public adult and secondary career-technical institutions and have the opportunity for the award of college credit toward technical courses/programs at any public higher education institution. CTAGs serve as advising tools, identifying the statewide content guarantee and describing other conditions or obligations (e.g., program accreditation or industry credential) associated with the guarantee.

Military Transfer Assurance Guides

In response to the legislative requirement (Ohio Revised Code 3333.164) to create a military articulation and transfer assurance guide for college-level learning that took place through military training, experience, and coursework, college credit will be granted to students with military training, experience, and/or coursework that is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) or a regionally accredited military institution such as Community College of the Air Force.

In order to streamline the awarding, transferability, and applicability of college credit, service members and veterans are guaranteed to earn certain types of credit(s) or course(s) as specified in the Military Transfer Assurance Guides (MTAGs), which are based on the endorsed baseline standards and procedures by the Chancellor. Equivalent course(s), credits for courses, or block of credit is to be awarded and applied towards general education and/or major course requirements at the receiving institution in accordance with the MTAG guarantee. There is some training, experience, and coursework that the receiving institution may be able to award college credit only toward general or free electives.

In addition, public institutions of higher education shall ensure that appropriate equivalent credit is awarded for military training, experience, and coursework that meet the baseline standards and procedures according to the Ohio Revised Code 3333.164. This requirement goes beyond credit/course awarded based on the MTAG alignment process.

Apprenticeship Pathway Programs

The Apprenticeship Pathways initiative advocates for individuals completing apprenticeships by incorporating their learning into academic credit, thereby saving them time and money and encouraging them to advance their academic credentials to contribute to a strong, educated workforce.

Ohio apprenticeship programs partner with public two-year institutions to provide technology-specific statewide articulation agreements that recognize non-traditional prior learning. College credit is awarded toward a technical associate degree. Each agreement simplifies student advising by outlining how apprenticeship training in a certain pathway applies to an applied associate degree and lists remaining courses required to complete the degree. The application of the credit toward a technical associate degree in these agreements is guaranteed at the participating receiving institutions.

Advanced Placement Credit Award

The State of Ohio, working with public institutions of higher education, has initiated policies to facilitate the ease of transition from high school to college as well as between and among Ohio’s public colleges and universities.

Beginning the Fall term 2009:

  1. Students obtaining an Advanced Placement (AP) exam score of 3 or above will be awarded the aligned course(s) and credits for the AP exam area(s) successfully completed.
  2. General Education courses and credits received will be applied towards graduation and will satisfy a general education requirement if the course(s) to which the AP area is equivalent fulfills a requirement.
  3. If an equivalent course is not available for the AP exam area completed, elective or area credit will be awarded in the appropriate academic discipline and will be applied towards graduation where such elective credit options exist within the academic major.
  4. Additional courses or credits may be available when a score of 4 or 5 is obtained. Award of credit for higher score values varies depending on the institution and academic discipline.

In academic disciplines containing highly dependent sequences (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics –STEM) students are strongly advised to confer with the college/university advising staff to ensure they have the appropriate foundation to be successful in advanced coursework within the sequence.

One-Year Option Credit Award

The One-Year Option builds upon Ohio’s articulation and transfer system to help more adults accelerate their preparation for work by earning a technical associate degree. Consistent with the philosophy of the Career-Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs), the One-Year Option guarantees that college credit will be awarded for college-level learning that occurs through adult programs at public career-technical institutions.

Adults who complete a career-technical education program of study consisting of a minimum of 900 clock-hours and achieve an industry-recognized credential approved by the Chancellor shall receive thirty (30) semester hours of technical course credit toward a standardized Associate of Technical Study Degree (ATS) upon matriculation at a public institution of higher education that confers such a degree. The 30 semester hours will be awarded as a block of credit rather than credit for specific courses. Proportional credit is to be awarded toward the ATS degree for adults who complete a program of study between 600 and 899 clock-hours and achieved an industry-recognized credential approved by the Chancellor.

The credit earned through the One-Year Option will be applied to ATS degrees bearing the following standardized degree titles:

  1. Associate of Technical Study in Building and Industrial Technology
  2. Associate of Technical Study in Business Technology
  3. Associate of Technical Study in Health and Allied Health Technology
  4. Associate of Technical Study in Information Technology
  5. Associate of Technical Study in Services Technology


Conditions for Transfer Admission

  1. Graduates with associate degrees from Ohio’s public institutions of higher education and a completed, approved Ohio Transfer 36 shall be admitted to a public institution of higher education in Ohio, provided their cumulative grade-point average is at least 2.0 for all previous college-level courses. Further, these students shall have admission priority over graduates with an out-of- state associate degree and other transfer students with transferable and/or articulated college credit.
  2. Associate degrees holders who have not completed the Ohio Transfer 36 from an Ohio public institution of higher education will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
  3. In order to encourage completion of the baccalaureate degree, students who are not enrolled in or who have not earned an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree program but have earned 60 semester/90 quarter hours or more of credit toward a baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for preferential consideration for admission as transfer students as long as the institution’s admission criteria, such as the minimum academic standards, space availability, adherence to deadlines, and payment of fees, are fairly and equally applied to all undergraduate students.
  4. Students who have not earned an associate degree or who have not earned 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours of credit with a grade point average of at least a 2.0 for all previous college-level courses will be eligible for admission as transfer students on a competitive basis.
  5. Incoming transfer students admitted to a college or university shall compete for admission to selective programs, majors, and units on an equal basis with students native to the receiving institution.

The admission of transfer students by an institution, however, does not guarantee admission to any majors, minors, or fields of concentration at the institution. Some programs have additional academic and non-academic requirements beyond those for general admission to the institution (e.g., background check, a grade-point average higher than a 2.0, or a grade-point average higher than the average required for admission to the institution). Once admitted, transfer students shall be subject to the same regulations governing the applicability of catalog requirements as native students. Furthermore, transfer students shall be accorded the same class standing and other privileges as all other students on the basis of the number of credits earned. All residency requirements must be completed at the receiving institution.


Responsibilities of Students

To maximize transfer credit application, prospective transfer students must take responsibility for planning their course of study to meet both the academic and non-academic requirements of the institution to which they desire to articulate or transfer as early as possible. The student is responsible to investigate and use the information, advising, and other available resources to develop such a plan. Students should actively seek program, degree, and transfer information; meet with an advisor from both the current and receiving institutions to assist them in preparing a course of study that meets the academic requirements for the program/degree to which they plan to transfer; use the various electronic course/program transfer and applicability database systems, including Ohio Transfer to Degree Guarantee web resources; and select courses/programs at their current institution that satisfy requirements at the receiving institution to maximize the application of transfer credit. Specifically, students should identify early in their collegiate studies an institution and major to which they desire to transfer. Furthermore, students should determine if there are foreign language requirements or any special course requirements that can be met during the freshman or sophomore year. This will enable students to plan and pursue a course of study that will better articulate the receiving institution’s major.

Appeals Process

Following the evaluation of a student transcript from another institution, the receiving institution shall provide the student with a Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability (Degree Audit Report). A student disagreeing with the application of transfer and/or articulated credit by the receiving institution must file his/her appeal in writing within ninety (90) days of receipt of the Statement of Transfer and Articulated Credit Applicability. The institution shall respond to the appeal within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the appeal at each appeal level.

Student Complaints Following Transfer Appeals at the Receiving Institution

After a student exhausts the appeals process at the receiving institution and chooses to pursue further actions, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) responds to formal written complaints related to Ohio Articulation and Transfer Policy against public, independent non-profit, and proprietary institutions of higher education in Ohio. While the ODHE has limited authority over college and university and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, staff will review written complaints submitted through its established process and work with student complainants and institutions