Center for Counseling and Transfer
Transfer Planning

It is never too early to start planning for transfer. In fact, we recommend students meet with a transfer counselor during their first semester of study, if they are planning on transferring to a four-year college or university. While some students begin their education at Hudson Valley Community College already with a clearly defined transfer plan, others may be less certain. No matter where you fall in this continuum, the Center for Counseling and Transfer can assist you in achieving your long range educational goals.

Transfer planning involves a series of steps, and a transfer counselor can help you successfully navigate through this process. Below are some guidelines you can follow for successful transfer to a four-year school.

Meet With a Transfer Counselor

Even the most independent students can benefit from meeting with a transfer counselor for assistance with various stages of the transfer process. You can meet with one of our professional staff, one-on-one, during a scheduled appointment to address any of your transfer needs. Students are also seen on a walk-in basis, pending the availability of a counselor, to answer quick questions related to transfer. To schedule an appointment, stop by the office or contact us by phone.

Determine Your Career Goals

A preliminary step to successful transfer planning is determining your career goals, since transfer planning is inherently tied into career planning. If you are undecided about a career path, we advise you to begin a self-assessment/career exploration process immediately. You can do this independently or with the assistance of a counselor. For additional career information and services, students are advised to visit the Center for Careers and Employment which is located adjacent to the Center for Counseling and Transfer on the second floor of the Campus Center.

Choose a Major

Deciding on a major is easier, once you have determined your career goals. However, you will need to consider two questions:

  1. What is the appropriate major at the four-year college to prepare me for my chosen career path?

  2. What is the corresponding Hudson Valley major that will maximize transfer of credits into the four-year program of choice?

Sometimes, the answers to these questions are not as obvious as they would seem.

Take, for example, a student who wants to pursue a bachelor degree in accounting. One might assume that the Hudson Valley's Business-Accounting program would be the appropriate major. However, in most cases, it is our Business-Business Administration (A.S. degree) program that would be the best choice, since this program is specifically designed for transfer purposes. In general, graduating with this degree will assure junior status at a four-year college, regardless of the desired business emphasis (e.g., accounting, marketing, management, or finance). In contrast, our Business-Accounting program is primarily intended for students who are seeking an entry level position in the accounting field.

Make Appropriate Course Selections

Once you have selected the appropriate major, you can further maximize transfer of credits through appropriate course selections. Hudson Valley Community College has many formal articulation agreements with four-year institutions, and these agreements often detail specific course recommendations (particularly use of elective credits) for optimal transfer. For more information about articulation agreements, click here. In the absence of such formal agreements, course selections are best determined by consulting with the four-year college of choice. Check with a transfer counselor in our office for advisement in this area.

Investigate Colleges/Universities

Selecting a transfer college/university requires you to compare your goals and preferences to the characteristics of particular colleges. Students often don’t know how to begin the selection process. Keep in mind that just because a school is generally recognized as “good” does not mean that it will necessarily be good for you.

In researching four-year colleges, you will first need to determine whether a given school offers your desired program of study. Other factors to consider in the selection process include location, cost, size, accreditations, faculty/student ratio, geographic area (i.e., urban, suburban or rural), housing, etc. There are numerous resources available in our office and online to assist you in this process. Click here for more information about transfer resources.

Narrow Down Choices

Once you have investigated transfer colleges suitable for your desired major, it will be important to narrow down your choices soon for optimal transfer planning. As noted above, your course selections at Hudson Valley may vary depending on the specific requirements of each transfer institution. It is generally advisable to narrow down your selections to about three to five schools. While one or two colleges may represent your ideal choice, it is important to have a back up plan. Be realistic in your selections, especially in terms of cost and GPA requirements. Obviously, the higher your GPA is at Hudson Valley, the more choices you will have in transfer colleges.

If possible, visit the campus of any college you are seriously considering, and talk with students, faculty, and admissions counselors. Try to decide if you would be happy in this environment. Also, find out if admissions representatives from colleges in which you are interested plan to visit our campus by checking our events calendar. If so, plan to attend these scheduled visits.

Decide When to Transfer

It is not necessary to complete your associate degree before you transfer, but in most cases it is beneficial to do so. The exception to this rule would be those situations where completion of the degree would result in a substantial loss of transfer credits. Otherwise, there are many advantages to completing your associate degree, prior to transferring, including the following:

  • Savings in tuition
  • Sense of closure and accomplishment
  • SUNY application fee is waived (can apply to up to four SUNY schools for free)
  • SUNY Transfer Guarantee Program for A.A. and A.S. degrees
  • Some colleges will waive their General Education Requirements for students with an A.A. or A.S. degree
  • Less emphasis placed on high school grades and/or SAT scores for students who completed their associate degree

Finalize Your Plans

You have done all the necessary planning, now it is time to apply to your chosen transfer colleges. Generally, the time to apply is the semester before you plan to transfer, although you may need to apply earlier in some cases. Since application deadlines can vary, it is important to plan ahead. In addition to completing applications, you will need to send copies of your transcripts and, in some cases, letters of recommendations. For more information on the application process, click here.