The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA)

What is the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement?

Which schools honor the CAA?

What is the Transfer Assured Admissions Policy (TAAP)?

What about the transfer of the Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree? 

What about the transfer of Applied Science (AAS) and General Education degrees?

Do Private Colleges and Universities Have an articulation agreement?

What are the Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) and how do they affect my transfer to a university?

To Learn More, Select UNC-System website.


What is the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement?

The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) is a pact between North Carolina's university system and its community colleges that provides smooth transfer of students between the two systems. Students can transfer individual courses, the 44-hour general education core, or the completed associate degree.

The CAA provides certain assurances to the transferring student:

  • It identifies community college courses that are appropriate for transfer as electives, to satisfy the general education core, or as pre-professional courses. If taken at a North Carolina community college, these courses will transfer, if you complete the course with a grade of "C" or higher.
  • It provides for a 44-semester hour general education core which, if completed at the community college, is fully transferable to the university and which replaces the university's general education core classes. You will not be required to take other general education classes at the university, even if the 44-hour core you bring with you does not completely match the university's.
  • The CAA guarantees junior status and 64 semester hours of credit to transfer students accepted to the university if those students have earned the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree.
  • The CAA guarantees admission to one of the 16 UNC institutions, although not to a specific campus or to a specific program or major. Details of this guarantee are explained in the Transfer Assured Admission Policy (TAAP) below.

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Which Schools Honor the CAA?

All 16 UNC-System universities are part of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement:
Appalachian State University (ASU), East Carolina University (ECU), Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), Fayetteville State University (FSU), North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (NCA&T), North Carolina Central University (NCCU), North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA), North Carolina State University (NCSU), University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNCCH), University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), Western Carolina University (WCU) and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

What is the Transfer Assured Admissions Policy (TAAP)?

The CAA assures admission to one of the 16 UNC institutions with the following stipulations:

  • Admission is not assured to a specific campus or to a specific program or major.
  • Students must have graduated from a North Carolina Community College with an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree.
  • Students must meet all requirements of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement.
  • A student must have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the college from which he or she graduated, and a grade of C or better in all CAA courses.
  • Students must be academically eligible for re-admission to the last institution attended.
  • Students must meet judicial requirements of the institution to which the student applies.
  • Students must meet all application requirements at the receiving institution including the submission of all required documentation by stated deadlines.

If a student is denied admission to a UNC institution, then he or she will receive a letter from that institution directing the student to the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) web site. At the CFNC web site (CFNC.org), the student will be presented with the conditions of the TAAP, and if these conditions are met, the student will be given information regarding space availability and contacts within the UNC system. The student should contact those institutions to get specific information about admissions and available majors.

In the rare instance that the previous steps do not result in admission to a UNC institution, then the student should contact the CFNC Resource Center at 1-866-866-CFNC.

The TAAP policy does not apply to the private colleges and universities that are part of the CAA.

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What about the transfer of the Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) degree?

The Associate in Fine Arts degree is designed to transfer in Bachelor of Fine Arts programs (BFA). The community college student in an AFA program who satisfactorily completes with a grade of C or better all courses designed for college transfer will receive credit for these courses. However, all UNC-System universities do not have BFA degrees and so may transfer AFA courses as elective credits. Because the AFA curriculum standard includes only 28 SHC for general education, AFA students who transfer must meet the general education requirements of the receiving university.

Universities may require additional courses to meet the admissions criteria for schools of art or music or to be considered a junior in a BFA program.

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What about the transfer of Applied Science (AAS) and General Education degrees?

The best choice for a smooth articulation with the university is an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Applied Science or General Education degrees have different mixes of general education, elective and major courses, which make them less easy to articulate with senior-level institutions. Students who complete Applied Science and General Education degrees do transfer but that is not the intent of these programs. And again, the articulation is not as smooth as with AA and AS degrees.

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Do Private Colleges and Universities Have an Articulation Agreement?

As of July 2008, 24 private schools in North Carolina have signed their own Articulation Agreement with the NCCCS: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Bennett College for Women, Brevard College, Campbell University, Catawba College, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lees-McRae College, Livingstone College, Louisburg College (Two-year), Mars Hill College, Montreat College, Mount Olive College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Peace College, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Saint Augustine's College, Shaw University, Warren Wilson College, and Wingate University.

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What are the Minimum Course Requirements (MCRs) and how do they affect my transfer to a university?

These high school requirements are established to ensure that freshmen and transfer students have a strong chance of completing a baccalaureate degree at UNC-System universities.

To be considered for admission to UNC-System universities, students under the age of 24 must meet the minimum course requirements for the year of their high school graduation, as established by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system. Applicants who are at least 24 years of age may be exempted from the minimum course requirements.

For high school graduates of 2003 or earlier:

  • A high school diploma or its equivalent
  • four English courses
  • three mathematics courses, including Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry, or a higher level mathematics course for which Algebra II is a prerequisite
  • Three science courses, including at least one in a life or biological science (biology); at least one course in a physical science (physical science, chemistry, physics) and at least one laboratory course; and
  • Two courses in social studies including one in US History.

For high school graduates of 2004 and beyond:

  • All of the above requirements for graduates of 2003 or earlier; and
  • Two units of a second language will be required for admission.

For high school graduates of 2006:

  • All of the above requirements for graduates of 2004 and beyond; and
  • An additional unit of mathematics (for a total of four, except for the NC School of the Arts). These courses include:
    • Algebra I
    • Algebra II
    • Geometry (or a higher level of mathematics course for which Algebra II is a prerequisite)
    • Any one of the following courses: AP Calculus, AP Statistics, Pre-Calculus (formerly Advanced Math), Discrete Mathematics, IB Mathematics Level II, Integrated Mathematics IV, and Advanced Functions & Modeling.

Meeting the MCR Requirements

Students less than 24 years of age who have not completed the high school MCRs can meet these requirements in three ways:

  1. Complete an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree at a community college.
  2. Complete the 44-hour General Education Core of the AA or AS degree and have that completion recorded on their community college transcript.
  3. Complete six semester hours in each of the following college-level areas: English, math, science, social sciences, and a second language (for high school graduates of 2004 and beyond).

More detail about the CAA and the MCRs as well as links to all colleges and universities endorsing the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement can be found on the UNC-System website.

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