Revised July 1, 1996
Policies of the Maryland Higher Education Commission on Academic Regulations.
General Education Requirements, and Transfer of Undergraduates
I. Scope and Applicability. This chapter applies only to public institutions of higher education.
A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
B. Terms Defined.
(1) “A.A. degree” means the Associate of Arts degree.
(2) “A.A.S. degree” means the Associate of Applied Science degree.
(3) “A.A.T. degree” means the Associate of Arts in Teaching degree.
(4) “Arts” means courses that examine aesthetics and the development of the aesthetic form and explore the relationship between theory and practice. Courses in this area may include fine arts, performing and studio arts, appreciation of the arts, and history of the arts.
(5) “A.S. degree” means the Associate of Science degree.
(6) “Biological and physical sciences” means courses that examine living systems and the physical universe. They introduce students to the variety of methods used to collect, interpret, and apply scientific data, and to an understanding of the relationship between scientific theory and application.
(7) “English composition courses” means courses that provide students with communication knowledge and skills appropriate to various writing situations, including intellectual inquiry and academic research.
(8) “General education” means the foundation of the higher education curriculum providing a coherent intellectual experience for all students.
(9) “General education program” means a program that is designed t
(a) Introduce undergraduates to the fundamental knowledge, skills, and values that are essential to the study of academic disciplines;
(b) Encourage the pursuit of lifelong learning; and (c) Foster the development of educated members of the community and the world.
(10) “Humanities” means courses that examine the values and cultural heritage that establish the framework for inquiry into the meaning of life. Courses in the humanities may include the language, history, literature, and philosophy of Western and other cultures.
(11) “Mathematics” means courses that provide students with numerical, analytical, statistical, and problem-solving skills.
(12) “Native student” means a student whose initial college enrollment was at a given institution of higher education and who has not transferred to another institution of higher education since that initial enrollment.
(13) “Parallel program” means the program of study or courses at one institution of higher education which has comparable objectives as those at another higher education institution. For example, a transfer program in psychology in a community college is definable as a parallel program to a baccalaureate psychology program at a 4-year institution of higher education.
(14) “Receiving institution” means the institution of higher education at which a transfer student currently desires to enroll.
(15) “Recommended transfer program” means a planned program of courses, both general education and courses in the major, taken at a community college, which is applicable to a baccalaureate program at a receiving institution, and ordinarily the first 2 years of the baccalaureate degree.
(16) “Sending institution” means the institution of higher education of most recent previous enrollment by a transfer student at which transferable academic credit was earned.
(17) “Social and behavioral sciences” means courses that examine the psychology of individuals and the ways in which individuals, groups, or segments of society behave, function, and influence one another. The courses include, but are not limited to, subjects which focus on:
(a) History and cultural diversity;
(b) Concepts of groups, work, and political systems;
(c) Applications of qualitative and quantitative data to social issues; and
(d) Interdependence of individuals, society, and the physical environment. (18) “Transfer student” means a student entering an institution for the first time having successfully completed a minimum of 12 semester hours at another institution which is applicable for credit at the institution the student is entering.
III. General Education Requirements for Public Institutions.
A. While public institutions have the autonomy to design their general education program to meet their unique needs and mission, that program shall conform to the definitions and common standards in this chapter. A public institution shall satisfy the general education requirement by:
(1) Requiring each program leading to the A.A. or A.S. degree to include not less than 30 and not more than 36 semester hours, and each baccalaureate degree program to include not less than 40 and not more than 46 semester hours of required core courses, with the core requiring, at a minimum, course work in each of the following five areas:
(a) Arts and humanities
(b) Social and behavioral sciences,
(c) Biological and physical sciences,
(d) Mathematics, and
(e) English composition; or
(2) Conforming with COMAR 13B.02.02.16D(2)(b)-(c).
B. Each core course used to satisfy the distribution requirements of IIIA(1) of this regulation shall carry at least 3 semester hours.
C. General education programs of public institutions shall require at least:
(1) One course in each of two disciplines in arts and humanities;
(2) One course in each of two disciplines in social and behavioral sciences;
(3) Two science courses, at least one of which shall be a laboratory course;
(4) One course in mathematics at or above the level of college algebra; and
(5) One course in English composition.
D. Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues.
(1) In addition to the five required areas in IIIA of this regulation, a public institution may include up to 8 semester hours in a sixth category that addresses emerging issues that institutions have identified as essential to a full program of general education for their students. These courses may:
(a) Be integrated into other general education courses or may be presented as separate courses; and
(b) Include courses that:
(i) Provide an interdisciplinary examination of issues across the five areas, or
(ii) Address other categories of knowledge, skills, and values that lie outside of the five areas.
(2) Public institutions may not include the courses in this section in a general education program unless they provide academic content and rigor equivalent to the areas in IIIA(1) of this regulation.
E. General education programs leading to the A.A.S. degree shall include at least 20 semester hours from the same course list designated by the sending institution for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. The A.A.S. degree shall include at least one 3-semester-hour course from each of the five areas listed in IIIA(1) of this regulation.
F. A course in a discipline listed in more than one of the areas of general education may be applied only to one area of general education.
G. A public institution may allow a speech communication or foreign language course to be part of the arts and humanities category.
H. Composition and literature courses may be placed in the arts and humanities area if literature is included as part of the content of the course.
I. Public institutions may not include physical education skills courses as part of the general education requirements.
J. General education courses shall reflect current scholarship in the discipline and provide reference to theoretical frameworks and methods of inquiry appropriate to academic disciplines.
K. Courses that are theoretical may include applications, but all applications courses shall include theoretical components if they are to be included as meeting general education requirements.
L. Public institutions may incorporate knowledge and skills involving the use of quantitative data, effective writing, information retrieval, and information literacy when possible in the general education program.
M. Notwithstanding IIIA(1) of this regulation, a public 4-year institution may require 48 semester hours of required core courses if courses upon which the institution’s curriculum is based carry 4 semester hours.
N. Public institutions shall develop systems to ensure that courses approved for inclusion on the list of general education courses are designed and assessed to comply with the requirements of this chapter.
O. A public college or university shall notify all other public degree-granting institutions of its intention to adopt a new lower-division course for general education credit at least six months prior to offering the course for general education credit.
IV. Transfer of General Education Credit.
A. A student transferring to one public institution from another public institution shall receive general education credit for work completed at the student’s sending institution as provided by this chapter.
B. A completed general education program shall transfer without further review or approval by the receiving institution and without the need for a course-by-course match.
C. Courses that are defined as general education by one institution shall transfer as general education even if the receiving institution does not have that specific course or has not designated that course as general education.
D. The receiving institution shall give lower-division general education credits to a transferring student who has taken any part of the lowerdivision general education credits described in Regulation .03 of this chapter at a public institution for any general education courses successfully completed at the sending institution.
E. Except as provided in Regulation .03L of this chapter, a receiving institution may not require a transfer student who has completed the requisite number of general education credits at any public college or university to take, as a condition of graduation, more than 10-16 additional semester hours of general education and specific courses required of all students at the receiving institution, with the total number not to exceed 46 semester hours. This provision does not relieve students of the obligation to complete specific academic program requirements or course prerequisites required by a receiving institution.
F. Each sending institution shall designate on or with the student transcript those courses that have met its general education requirements, as well as indicate whether the student has completed the general education program.
G. A.A.S. Degrees
(1) While there may be variance in the numbers of hours of general education required for A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. degrees at a given institution, the courses identified as meeting general education requirements for all degrees shall come from the same general education course list and exclude technical or career courses.
(2) An A.A.S. student who transfers into a receiving institution with fewer than the total number of general education credits designated by the receiving institution shall complete the difference in credits according to the distribution as designated by the receiving institution. Except as provided in Regulation .03M of this chapter, the total general education credits for baccalaureate degree-granting public receiving institutions may not exceed 46 semester hours.
H. Student Responsibilities. A student is held:
(1) Accountable for the loss of credits that:
(a) Result from changes in the student’s selection of the major program of study,
(b) Were earned for remedial course work, or
(c) Exceed the total course credits accepted in transfer as allowed by this policy; and
(2) Responsible for meeting all requirements of the academic program of the receiving institution.
V. Transfer of Nongeneral Education Program Credit.
A. Transfer to Another Public Institution.
(1) Credit earned at any public institution in the State is transferable to any other public institution if the:
(a) Credit is from a college or university parallel course or program;
(b) Grades in the block of courses transferred average 2.0 or higher; and
(c) Acceptance of the credit is consistent with the policies of the receiving institution governing native students following the same program.
(2) If a native student’s “D” grade in a specific course is acceptable in a program, then a “D” earned by a transfer student in the same course at a sending institution is also acceptable in the program. Conversely, if a native student is required to earn a grade of “C” or better in a required course, the transfer student shall also be required to earn a grade of “C” or better to meet the same requirement.
B. Credit earned in or transferred from a community college is limited to:
(1) the baccalaureate degree program requirement, but may not be more than 70 semester hours; and
(2) The first 2 years of the undergraduate education experience.
C. Nontraditional Credit.
(1) The assignment of credit for AP, CLEP, or other nationally recognized standardized examination scores presented by transfer students if determined according to the same standards that apply to native students in the receiving institution, and the assignment shall be consistent with the State minimum requirements.
(2) Transfer of credit from the following areas shall be consistent with COMAR 13B.02.02. and shall be evaluated by the receiving institution on a course-by-course basis:
(a) Technical courses from career programs;
(b) Course credit awarded through articulation agreements with other segments or agencies;
(c) Credit awarded for clinical practice or cooperative education experiences; and
(d) Credit awarded for life and work experiences.
(3) The basis for the awarding of the credit shall be indicated on the student’s transcript by the receiving institution.
(4) The receiving institution shall inform a transfer student of the procedures for validation of course work for which there is no clear equivalency. Examples of validation procedures include ACE recommendations, portfolio assessment, credit through challenge examinations, and satisfactory completion of the next course in sequence in the academic area.
(5) The receiving baccalaureate degree- granting institution shall use validation procedure when a transferring student successfully completes a course at the lower division level that the receiving institution offers at the upper division level. The validated credits earned for the course shall be substituted for the upper division course.
D. Program Articulation.
(1) Recommended transfer programs shall be developed through consultation between the sending and receiving institutions. A recommended transfer program represents an agreement between the two institutions that allows students aspiring to the baccalaureate degree to plan their programs. These programs constitute freshman/ sophomore level course work to be taken at the community college in fulfillment of the receiving institutions’s lower division course work requirement.
(2) Recommended transfer programs in effect at the time that this regulation takes effect, which conform to this chapter, may be retained.
VI. Academic Success and General Well- Being of Transfer Students.
A. Sending Institutions.
(1) Community colleges shall encourage their students to complete the associate degree or to complete 56 hours in a recommended transfer program which includes both general education courses and courses applicable toward the program at the receiving institution.
(2) Community college students are encouraged to choose as early as possible the institution and program into which they expect to transfer.
(3) The sending institution shall:
(a) Provide to community college students information about the specific transferability of courses at 4-year colleges;
(b) Transmit information about transfer students who are capable of honors work or independent study to the receiving institution; and
(c) Promptly supply the receiving institution with all the required documents if the student has met all financial and other obligations of the sending institution for transfer.
B. Receiving Institutions.
(1) Admission requirements and curriculum prerequisites shall be stated explicitly in institutional publications.
(2) A receiving institution shall admit transfer students from newly established public colleges that are functioning with the approval of the Maryland Higher Education commission on the same basis as applicants from regionally accredited colleges.
(3) A receiving institution shall evaluate the transcript of a degreeseeking transfer student as expeditiously as possible, and notify the student of the results not later than mid-semester of the student’s first semester of enrollment at the receiving institution, if all official transcripts have been received at least 15 working days before mid-semester. The receiving institution shall inform a student of the courses which are acceptable for transfer credit and the courses which are applicable to the student’s intended program of study.
(4) A receiving institution shall give a transfer student the option of satisfying institutional graduation requirements that were in effect at the receiving institution at the time the student enrolled as a freshman at the sending institution. In the case of major requirements, a transfer student may satisfy the major requirements in effect at the time when the student was identifiable as pursuing the recommended transfer program at the sending institution. These conditions are applicable to a student who has been continuously enrolled at the sending institution.
VII. Programmatic Currency.
A. A receiving institution shall provide to the community college current and accurate information on recommended transfer programs and the transferability status of courses. Community college students shall have access to this information.
B. Recommended transfer programs shall be developed with each community college whenever new baccalaureate programs are approved by the degree-granting institution.
C. When considering curricular changes, institutions shall notify each other of the proposed changes that might affect transfer students. An appropriate mechanism shall be created to ensure that both 2-year and 4-year public colleges provide input or comments to the institution proposing the change. Sufficient lead time shall be provided to effect the change with minimum disruption. Transfer students are not required to repeat equivalent course work successfully completed at a community college.
VIII. Transfer Mediation Committee.
A. There is a Transfer Mediation Committee, appointed by the Secretary, which is representative of the public 4-year colleges and universities and the community colleges.
B. Sending and receiving institutions that disagree on the transferability of general education courses as defined by this chapter shall submit their disagreements to the Transfer Mediation Committee. The Transfer Mediation Committee shall address general questions regarding existing or past courses only, not individual student cases, and shall also address questions raised by institutions about the acceptability of new general education courses. As appropriate, the Committee shall consult with faculty on curricular issues.
C. The findings of the Transfer Mediation Committee are considered binding on both parties.
IX. Appeal Process.
A. Notice of Denial of Transfer Credit by a Receiving Institution.
(1) Except as provided in IXA(2) of this regulation, a receiving institution shall inform a transfer student in writing of the denial of transfer credit not later than midsemester of the transfer student’s first semester, if all official transcripts have been received at least 15 working days before mid-semester.
(2) If transcripts are submitted after 15 working days before midsemester of a student’s first semester, the receiving institution shall inform the student of credit denied within 20 working days of receipt of the official transcript.
(3) A receiving institution shall include in the notice of denial of transfer credit:
(a) A statement of the student’s right to appeal; and
(b) A notification that the appeal process is available in the institution’s catalog.
(4) The statement of the student’s right to appeal the denial shall include notice of the time limitations in IXB of this regulation.
B. A student believing that the receiving institution has denied the student transfer credits in violation of this chapter may initiate an appeal by contacting the receiving institution’s transfer coordinator or other responsible official of the receiving institution within 20 working days of receiving notice of the denial of credit.
C. Response by Receiving Institution.
(1) A receiving institution shall:
(a) Establish expeditious and simplified procedures governing the appeal of a denial of transfer of credit; and
(b) Respond to a student’s appeal within 10 working days.
(2) An institution may either grant or deny an appeal. The institution’s reasons for denying the appeal shall be consistent with this chapter and conveyed to the student in written form.
(3) Unless a student appeals to the sending institution, the writing decision in SD(2) of this regulation constitutes the receiving institution’s final decision and is not subject to appeal.
D. Appeal to Sending Institution.
(1) If a student has been denied transfer credit after an appeal to the receiving institution, the student may request the sending institution to intercede on the student’s behalf by contacting the transfer coordinator of the sending institution.
(2) A student shall make an appeal to the sending institution within 10 working days of having received the decision of the receiving institution.
E. Consultation Between Sending and Receiving Institutions.
(1) Representatives of the two institutions shall have 15 working days to resolve the issues involved in an appeal.
(2) As a result of a consultation in this section, the receiving institution may affirm, modify, or reverse its earlier decision.
(3) The receiving instituion shall inform a student in writing of the result of the consultation.
(4) The decision arising out of a consultation constitutes the final decision of the receiving institution and is not subject to appeal.
X. Periodic Review.
A. Report by Receiving Institution.
(1) A receiving institution shall report annually the progress of students who transfer from twoyear and four-year institutions within the State to each community college and to the Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
(2) An annual report shall include ongoing reports on the subsequent academic success of enrolled transfer students, including graduation rates, by major subject areas.
(3) A receiving institution shall include in the reports comparable information on the progress of native students.
B. Transfer Coordinator. A public institution of higher education shall designate a transfer coordinator, who serves as a resource person to transfer students at either the sending or receiving campus. The transfer coordinator is responsible for overseeing the application of the policies and procedures outlined in this chapter and interpreting transfer policies to the individual student and to the institution.
C. The Maryland Higher Education Commission shall establish a permanent Student Transfer Advisory Committee that meets regularly to review transfer issues and recommend policy changes as needed. The Student Transfer Advisory Committee shall address issues of interpretation and implementation of this chapter.