Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education


Many students attend a community college to save money on tuition and prepare themselves to transfer to a four-year college or university and earn a baccalaureate degree. 

However, in the past when Kentucky students moved from one college or university to another, the prior credit for the courses and degrees was not always accepted by the new institution. Institutions had the latitude to make their own decisions about accepting transfer credit. This caused inconsistency across Kentucky's higher education system and made it difficult for students to graduate on time without additional costs.

Legislative Change

In 2011, the Kentucky legislature passed HB 160, which standardized the transfer process at Kentucky's public institutions. 

In addition, the bill called for the Council to develop an online portal, KnowHow2Transfer, that provides students, families and advisors information on the transfer process, institutional transfer policies, degree program requirements, and transfer contact information.

Guiding Legislation

Transfer Student Admissions

If a transfer student has 24 or more credit hours, the minimum admission requirement is a GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, if a transfer applicant has less than 24 credit hours, they must meet general admissions requirements, which may include a learning contract. For more information, see the Council's admissions page.

General Education Course Transferability

General Education (or Gen Ed for short) courses are the curriculum that makes up the foundation of an undergraduate degree. This set of standard classes, also known as core curriculum or gateway coursework, include English, math, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

The Council’s work in implementing the General Education Transfer policy promotes the transferability of general education course credit as students transfer from one Kentucky public postsecondary institution to another. The transfer of credit is based on students’ acquisition of competencies in the areas of written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, arts and humanities, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. For more information about general education transfer, see the Council's transfer policy.

Guiding Policy and Framework

Memorandums of Understanding

Transfer or Articulation Agreements

Council strategies around transfer also include increasing the number of degree pathways available for students. Degree pathways are officially approved agreements between two institutions used to assist students in taking the appropriate courses at the community college level that will transfer toward credits needed to fulfill requirements for a bachelor's degree. These agreements are designed to help students make a seamless transition.

To learn more about the degree pathways available among Kentucky's public institutions, visit the the transfer section of the KnowHow2GoKY website.

Transferability of Standardized Exams

Advanced Placement (AP) and the College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) are College Board programs offering college-level credit based on testing. While both curriculums and tests are developed by the College Board, the course credit awarded is dependent on test scores and is then transferable to a Kentucky public institution.

Guiding Policy Framework

Progress on Transfer

Nationally, 41% of associate degree earners transferred from a two-year institution to a four-year institution. According to the Council's 2021 Progress Report, the number KCTCS students who earn an associate
degree and transfer to a four-year institution within a year of earning the degree increased to 38.9%.

For more data about transfer, view the Council's transfer dashboard.

Last Updated: 5/24/2024