Make Your Education Count
The Montana University System understands that having transfer options can reduce the cost of higher education by reducing the time spent obtaining a degree. The following information explains the three options available for transferring general education credits across the Montana University System.
How Do General Education Courses Transfer?
Students attending Montana University System campuses have three options for transferring general education core requirements: (1) complete all lower-division general education requirements for one specific campus, (2) complete the Montana University System Core transferrable general education curriculum, or (3) obtain an A.A. or A.S. transferrable degree.
OPTION 1: Complete a specific campus’s lower-division general education requirements
Students complete all lower-division coursework (100- or 200-level courses) in a campus-specific general education program; when transferring, this block of courses substitutes for comparable general education program requirements at any other MUS campus. The student may still be required to take additional general education coursework at the upper-division level at the new campus, but not at the lower-division level. Each MUS campus has designated specific requirements for its general education program.
OPTION 2: Complete the MUS Core general education curriculum
Students can complete a set of courses known as the MUS Core transferrable gen ed curriculum (MUS Core), consisting of 30 lower-division credits distributed across six categories. Each campus in the MUS has identified a set of classes that will satisfy the MUS Core requirements. As with Option 1, students may still be required to take additional general education coursework at the upper-division level.
This option comes with an important bonus. Students who have not completed the entire 30-credit MUS Core general education curriculum may still use it to transfer if they have completed at least 20 of the required credits. If the student has earned at least 20 MUS Core credits, they can work with their advisor to determine whether they will complete the remaining MUS Core requirements at the new campus or if they will roll their 20 MUS Core credits into the new campus’ general education program. If the student has earned less than 20 MUS Core credits, they must complete the new campus’ general education program, but the MUS Core courses will be reviewed for possible transfer credit towards the new campus’ general education program.
OPTION 3: Obtain an AA or AS degree
An Associate of Arts (A.A.) or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree indicates that students have completed the general education program of their specific two-year campus—thus satisfying Option 1. These credentials are often referred to as “transfer degrees” for this reason. Some specialized associate’s degrees, such as the Associate of Science in Nursing, may not include the necessary number of general education credits to meet the expectations stated in Option 3.
Special Note: Although Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees require “related instruction” courses, these courses often do not satisfy general education requirements. These workforce-preparation credentials are not designed to qualify students to transfer into bachelor's degree programs, and a coherent program of general education is not typically part of their program of study.
Remember, a grade of C- or better is required in each of the classes that make up the general education program.