Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
Title 13B MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION
Subtitle 06 GENERAL EDUCATION AND TRANSFER
Chapter 01 Public Institutions of Higher Education
Authority: Education Article, § 11-201—11-206, Annotated Code of Maryland
.01 Scope and Applicability
This chapter applies only to public institutions of higher education.
- In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
- Terms Defined.
- “Area of concentration” means a sequential arrangement of courses within a program which at the:
- Undergraduate level exceeds 24 semester credit hours;
- Master’s level exceeds 12 semester credit hours; and
- Doctorate level exceeds 18 semester credit hours.
- “Articulated system (ARTSYS)” means a computerized data information system created to facilitate the transfer of students from Maryland community colleges to the University of Maryland System and other participating institutions.
- “Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)” means a degree which recognizes a mastery of vocational-technical occupational skills (law enforcement, computer technology, engineering technology, etc.). The program is intended for those seeking immediate employment opportunities. However, the program does not preclude a student from transferring to a technical baccalaureate degree program such as a bachelor’s degree in technology or a bachelor’s degree in technical or professional studies, or from transferring non-technical courses to a 4-year institution.
- “Associate of Arts (A.A.)” means a degree which recognizes a mastery in the liberal arts (social sciences, humanities, and similar subjects) and in the fine arts (music, art, etc.). The program is intended for transfer to an equivalent Bachelor of Arts degree program at 4-year institutions.
(4-1) “Associate of Art in Teaching (A.A.T.)” means a degree which recognizes a mastery in teacher education which:
- Meets the lower-level degree academic content, outcomes, and requirements for teacher education, similar to the first 2 years of a baccalaureate program in teacher education;
- Requires a passing score on Praxis I;
- Requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale; and
- If achieved, transfers in total without further review by Maryland public and independent four-year institutions.
- “Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)” means a degree which recognizes a mastery in the professional arts in programs which:
- Have as a primary goal transfer to a B.F.A. degree program;
- Are similar to the first 2 years of a B.F.A. degree program; and
- Require at least 60 percent of the course credit to be in studio work and related areas.
- “Associate of Science (A.S.)” means a degree which recognizes a mastery in science or technology (engineering, agriculture, and the natural sciences) with a heavy emphasis on undergraduate mathematics or science. The program is intended for transfer to a Bachelor of Science degree program at 4-year institutions.
- “Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (BA/BS)” means a degree awarded for successful completion of a program of 120 or more undergraduate semester credit hours.
- “Bachelor of Technical or Professional Studies” means a degree awarded for the successful completion of an A.A.S. degree, an advanced program of study in the designated area of concentration, and a 12-credit internship or field placement related to the program of study.
- “Certificate of advanced study” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of at least 30 semester credit hours of graduate study or the equivalent beyond the master’s degree.
- “Commission” means the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
- “Directed technology certificate” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of a specialized learning program which:
- Meets employer training needs; and
- Consists of at least 12 credits but not more than 24 credit hours at the freshman or sophomore levels, or both.
- “Doctoral degree” means a degree awarded for successful completion of at least 2 years of study beyond the master’s level, including completion of a thesis or dissertation.
- “First professional degree” means a degree awarded for successful completion of all institutional requirements for becoming a practitioner in a field such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, theology, or nursing.
- “Formal award” means a certificate, diploma, or degree granted in recognition of successful completion of the requirements of a program. These official awards are conferred by the faculty and ratified by the institution’s governing board.
- “Full-time equivalent faculty (FTEF)” means the number of full-time faculty plus the number of course credit hours taught by part-time faculty during the fall and spring semesters, divided by 24 for teaching 4-year institutions and divided by 18 for research institutions. For community colleges, the number of course credit hours eligible for State aid and taught by part-time faculty during a given fiscal year would be divided by 30 and added to the number of full-time faculty.
- “Instructional program” means a course of study, requiring the completion of a specified number of course credits from among a prescribed group of courses, which leads to a formal award.
- “Internship” means a supervised work experience or field placement directly related to the student’s program.
- “Joint degree” means a single degree offered by two or more institutions bearing the name and seal of each in which all participants are substantively involved in required course work, faculty exchange, and shared use of facilities.
- “Lower-division certificate” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of a minimum of 12 semester hours at the freshman or sophomore levels, or both.
- “Master’s degree” means a degree awarded for successful completion of at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent of graduate-level courses.
- Off-Campus Program.
- “Off-campus program” means:
- A program in which more than 1/3 of the required course work in a major field of study leading to a certificate beyond the bachelor’s level or leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree is offered by an approved or chartered institution at a location other than the principal location of the sponsoring institution during any 12-month period; or
- Course work offered at a location other than the principal location of an approved or chartered institution that is advertised as leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree or to a certificate beyond the bachelor’s level at that location, regardless of the portion of a program offered at that location.
- “Off-campus program” for community colleges means an activity or activities offered outside the community college service area.
- “Parallel program” means a program of study, or courses, at one institution of higher education which has comparable objectives to those at another higher education institution. For example, a transfer program in psychology in a community college is defined as a parallel program to a baccalaureate psychology program at a 4-year institution of higher education.
- “Post-baccalaureate certificate” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of at least 12 semester credit hours of college-level work, the majority of which is at the master’s level.
- “Primary degree” means a single degree offered by one institution having responsibility for at least 2/3 of the course requirements in which cooperating institutions participate by the appropriate and complementary addition of courses, faculty, and facilities intended to complete the degree requirements of the primary institution.
- “Professional certificate” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of the number of courses required by the appropriate national professional association.
- “Recommended transfer program (RTP)” means a planned program of courses, including both general education and courses in the major, taken at the community college which is:
- Applicable to a baccalaureate at a receiving institution; and
- Ordinarily the first 2 years of the baccalaureate degree.
- “Secretary” means the Secretary of Higher Education.
- “Segment” means the University of Maryland System, Morgan State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association, and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.
- “State Plan” means the document entitled State Plan for Higher Education.
- “Undergraduate major” means, varying by degree program and subject area:
- Minimum of 30 semester hours (1/2 of which must be upper-divisional credit) in one field or in an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field; and
- Coherent, sequential, and integrated academic program of study-in-depth which is intended to provide:
- A body of knowledge,
- Methods of study, and
- Practice appropriate to a subject area.
- “Upper-division certificate” means a certificate awarded for successful completion of at least 12 semester credit hours at the junior or senior levels, or both.
.02-1 Admission of Transfer Students to Public Institutions
- Admission to Institutions.
- A student attending a public institution who has completed an A.A., A.A.S., or A.S. degree or who has completed 56 or more semester hours of credit, may not be denied direct transfer to another public institution if the student attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent in parallel courses, except as provided in §A(4) of this regulation.
- A student attending a public institution who has not completed an A.A., A.A.S., or A.S. degree or who has completed fewer than 56 semester hours of credit, is eligible to transfer to a public institution regardless of the number of credit hours earned if the student:
- Satisfied the admission criteria of the receiving public institution as a high school senior; and
- Attained at least a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent in parallel courses.
- A student attending a public institution who did not satisfy the admission criteria of a receiving public institution as a high school senior, but who has earned sufficient credits at a public institution to be classified by the receiving public institution as a sophomore, shall meet the stated admission criteria developed and published by the receiving public institution for transfer.
- If the number of students seeking admission exceeds the number that can be accommodated at a receiving public institution, admission decisions shall be:
- Based on criteria developed and published by the receiving public institution; and
- Made to provide fair and equal treatment for native and transfer students.
- Admission to Programs.
- A receiving public institution may require higher performance standards for admission to some programs if the standards and criteria for admission to the program:
- Are developed and published by the receiving public institution; and
- Maintain fair and equal treatment for native and transfer students.
- If the number of students seeking admission exceeds the number that can be accommodated in a particular professional or specialized program, admission decisions shall be:
- Based on criteria developed and published by the receiving public institution; and
- Made to provide fair and equal treatment for native and transfer students.
- Courses taken at a public institution as part of a recommended transfer program leading toward a baccalaureate degree shall be applicable to related programs at a receiving public institution granting the baccalaureate degree.
- Receiving Institution Program Responsibility.
- The faculty of a receiving public institution is responsible for development and determination of the program requirements in major fields of study for a baccalaureate degree, including courses in the major field of study taken in the lower division.
- A receiving public institution may set program requirements in major fields of study which simultaneously fulfill general education requirements.
- A receiving public institution, in developing lower division course work, shall exchange information with other public institutions to facilitate the transfer of credits into its programs.
.03 General Education Requirements for Public Institutions
- 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:
- 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:
- Arts and humanities,
- Social and behavioral sciences,
- Biological and physical sciences,
- Mathematics, and
- English composition; or
- Conforming with COMAR 13B.02.02.16D(2)(b)—–(c).
- Each core course used to satisfy the distribution requirements of §A(1) of this regulation shall carry at least 3 semester hours.
- General education programs of public institutions shall require at least:
- One course in each of two disciplines in arts and humanities;
- One course in each of two disciplines in social and behavioral sciences;
- Two science courses, at least one of which shall be a laboratory course;
- One course in mathematics at or above the level of college algebra; and
- One course in English composition.
- Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues.
- In addition to the five required areas in §A 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:
- Be integrated into other general education courses or may be presented as separate courses; and
- Include courses that:
- Provide an interdisciplinary examination of issues across the five areas, or
- Address other categories of knowledge, skills, and values that lie outside of the five areas.
- 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 §A(1) of this regulation.
- 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 §A(1) of this regulation.
- 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.
- A public institution may allow a speech communication or foreign language course to be part of the arts and humanities category.
- 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.
- Public institutions may not include physical education skills courses as part of the general education requirements.
- General education courses shall reflect current scholarship in the discipline and provide reference to theoretical frameworks and methods of inquiry appropriate to academic disciplines.
- 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.
- 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.
- Notwithstanding §A(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.
- 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.
.04 Transfer of General Education Credit
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The receiving institution shall give lower-division general education credits to a transferring student who has taken any part of the lower-division 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.
- Except as provided in Regulation .03M 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.
- A 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.
- A.A.S. Degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Student Responsibilities. A student is held:
- Accountable for the loss of credits that:
- Result from changes in the student’s selection of the major program of study,
- Were earned for remedial course work, or
- Exceed the total course credits accepted in transfer as allowed by this chapter; and
- Responsible for meeting all requirements of the academic program of the receiving institution.
.05 Transfer of Non-general Education Program Credit
- Transfer to Another Public Institution.
- Credit earned at any public institution in the State is transferable to any other public institution if the:
- Credit is from a college or university parallel course or program;
- Grades in the block of courses transferred average 2.0 or higher; and
- Acceptance of the credit is consistent with the policies of the receiving institution governing native students following the same program.
- 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.
- Credit earned in or transferred from a community college is limited to:
- 1/2 the baccalaureate degree program requirement, but may not be more than 70 semester hours; and
- The first 2 years of the undergraduate education experience.
- Nontraditional Credit.
- The assignment of credit for AP, CLEP, or other nationally recognized standardized examination scores presented by transfer students is 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.
- 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:
- Technical courses from career programs;
- Course credit awarded through articulation agreements with other segments or agencies;
- Credit awarded for clinical practice or cooperative education experiences; and
- Credit awarded for life and work experiences.
- The basis for the awarding of the credit shall be indicated on the student’s transcript by the receiving institution.
- 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.
- The receiving baccalaureate degree-granting institution shall use validation procedures 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.
- Program Articulation.
- 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 institution’s lower division course work requirement.
- Recommended transfer programs in effect at the time that this regulation takes effect, which conform to this chapter, may be retained.
.06 Academic Success and General Well-Being of Transfer Students
- Sending Institutions.
- 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.
- Community college students are encouraged to choose as early as possible the institution and program into which they expect to transfer.
- The sending institution shall:
- Provide to community college students information about the specific transferability of courses at 4-year colleges;
- Transmit information about transfer students who are capable of honors work or independent study to the receiving institution; and
- 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.
- Receiving Institutions.
- Admission requirements and curriculum prerequisites shall be stated explicitly in institutional publications.
- 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.
- A receiving institution shall evaluate the transcript of a degree-seeking 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.
- 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.
.07 Programmatic Currency
- 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.
- Recommended transfer programs shall be developed with each community college whenever new baccalaureate programs are approved by the degree-granting institution.
- 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.
.08 Transfer Mediation Committee
- 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.
- 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.
- The findings of the Transfer Mediation Committee are considered binding on both parties.
.09 Appeal Process
- Notice of Denial of Transfer Credit by a Receiving Institution.
- Except as provided in §A(2) of this regulation, a receiving institution shall inform a transfer student in writing of the denial of transfer credit not later than mid-semester of the transfer student’s first semester, if all official transcripts have been received at least 15 working days before mid-semester.
- If transcripts are submitted after 15 working days before mid-semester 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.
- A receiving institution shall include in the notice of denial of transfer credit:
- A statement of the student’s right to appeal; and
- A notification that the appeal process is available in the institution’s catalog.
- The statement of the student’s right to appeal the denial shall include notice of the time limitations in §B of this regulation.
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.
Response by Receiving Institution.
- A receiving institution shall:
- Establish expeditious and simplified procedures governing the appeal of a denial of transfer of credit; and
- Respond to a student’s appeal within 10 working days.
- 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.
- Unless a student appeals to the sending institution, the written decision in §C(2) of this regulation constitutes the receiving institution’s final decision and is not subject to appeal.
Appeal to Sending Institution.
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.
A student shall make an appeal to the sending institution within 10 working days of having received the decision of the receiving institution.
Consultation Between Sending and Receiving Institutions.
- Representatives of the two institutions shall have 15 working days to resolve the issues involved in an appeal.
- As a result of a consultation in this section, the receiving institution may affirm, modify, or reverse its earlier decision.
- The receiving institution shall inform a student in writing of the result of the consultation.
- The decision arising out of a consultation constitutes the final decision of the receiving institution and is not subject to appeal.
.10 Periodic Review
- Report by Receiving Institution.
- A receiving institution shall report annually the progress of students who transfer from 2-year and 4-year institutions within the State to each community college and to the Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
- An annual report shall include ongoing reports on the subsequent academic success of enrolled transfer students, including graduation rates, by major subject areas.
- A receiving institution shall include in the reports comparable information on the progress of native students.
- 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.
- 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.
.11 Exemption from Payment of Nonresident Tuition for Certain Armed Forces Personnel, Spouses, Dependents and Veterans
(Approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, September 29, 2004, to implement House Bill 172, which was signed into law as Chapter 325, Laws of Maryland 2004)
- An individual who is an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces, the spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces or a financially dependent child of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who registers as an entering student in a public institution of higher education in the State is exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the institution if the active duty member of the United States Armed Forces is stationed in this State, resides in this State or is domiciled in this State.
- A spouse or financially dependent child of an active duty member of the United States Armed forces who enrolls as an entering student in a public institution of higher education in the State and is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under section A. of this regulation shall continue to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition if the active duty member of the United States Armed Forces no longer meets the requirements of section A. of this regulation and the spouse or financially dependent child remains continuously enrolled at the institution.
- An honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces who registers as an entering student in a public institution of higher education in the State is exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the institution if, within one year after the veteran’s discharge, the veteran presents the institution with documentation evidencing that the veteran attended a public or private secondary school in this State for at least three years and that the veteran graduated from a public or private secondary school in this State or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this State.
Effective date: December 4, 1995 (22:24 Md. R. 1901)
Regulation .02B amended effective July 1, 1996 (23:13 Md. R. 946)
Regulation .02-1 adopted effective April 6, 1998 (25:7 Md. R. 528)
Regulation .03 amended effective July 1, 1996 (23:13 Md. R. 946)
Regulation .05A amended effective July 1, 1996 (23:13 Md. R. 946)
Des.gened5.fin Note: These guidelines are subject to change by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).