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Transfer Student Information


If you previously attended a college or university, but have not yet earned a bachelor's degree, you are considered an undergraduate transfer student.

  • Undergraduate study includes associate and bachelor's degrees, as well as certificates and learning tracks.
  • You may be asked to complete our College Readiness Assessment before registering for courses here. The assessment helps to determine your current level of math and writing skills. (If you were ever in the military or attended a public safety academy, you may be exempt from this requirement.)

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Selecting Your Program

During the application process, you will be asked to declare your academic program. This is an important step as it generates the academic plan that you will follow as a student here. If you are unsure of which program to choose, our Admissions Representatives can help you make this important decision. To speak with a representative, call 877-777-9081 or e-mail

As an undergraduate transfer student, you can choose from the following program levels:

Associate Degree

The associate degree program is designed for students who seek a 2-year degree as either their final degree in higher education or the foundation for further study at the bachelor’s level. If your plan is to someday seek the bachelor’s degree, it is recommended that you declare a bachelor’s degree program instead of the associate degree.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor’s degree is designed for students who seek the traditional 4-year degree commonly recognized as the standard credential of higher education in the U.S. and most industrialized nations. It is this degree that is most often pursued by students who possess a high school diploma or equivalent.

  • Average 121-126 credits with up to 10 years to complete from start to finish.
  • Up to 91 credit hours may be transferred toward your bachelor's degree.
  • COLL100 – Foundations of Online Learning must be taken as your first course toward this degree.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in General Studies does not qualify for Federal Student Aid (FSA).
  • The RN to BSN bachelor's program requires you to have a diploma or associate degree in nursing as well as a current, active, and unencumbered U.S. Registered Nursing (RN) license before enrolling.

Undergraduate Certificate

The undergraduate certificate provides a 6- to 8-course focus of study on a particular topic or set of issues. The curriculum is more concentrated than an associate or bachelor’s degree and is typically taken by students who may already have an undergraduate degree but seek more specific knowledge in a subject area.

  • Certificates range from 18 to 24 semester hours, average 1 year to complete, but you have up to 3 years from start to finish.
  • Up to 9 credit hours may be transferred toward an undergraduate certificate.

Learning Track

A learning track is comprised of 3 academic courses in a related area of interest. The learning track is designed for students to pursue a course of study without committing to a degree or certificate program.

  • Learning Tracks are 9 credits each and average 6 months to a year to complete.
  • In addition to the 3 academic courses, you will take Classroom Success (COLL099), which is a non-credit bearing course that has no associated tuition cost, but does incur a $50 course fee.
  • No transfer credits are awarded toward a Learning Track program.

Additional Help with Program Selection

If you need help deciding on a major that could assist you in achieving your career goals, check out our career assessment tool, FOCUS-2 (use apus123 as the access code when creating an account). This assessment tool can help you discover which career fields match your interests, skills, and abilities, and suggests possible degrees that can prepare you for jobs in these areas.

Once you've narrowed your options, talk with an Admissions Representative; he or she can assist you in getting a preliminary evaluation of your previous transcripts so you can make a more informed choice.

Other Transfer Credits

We will consider military or civilian training evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) as well as approved examinations, such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). You will need to submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) application to request credits for ACE or CLEP, but not for Joint Services Transcript (JST). We will request the JST on behalf of the student once the TCE application has been submitted.

Note: Undergraduate students who apply at the associate level may transfer 46 credit hours; those applying at the bachelor's level may transfer up to 91 credit hours. Students with no prior college experience may have their ACE-evaluated military or professional experience considered for transfer credit.

Prior Learning Portfolios

Our university recognizes that all learning does not necessarily take place in a classroom. For this reason, we offer a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolio program designed to provide students the opportunity to seek credit for learning outside of the classroom. Examples of prior learning include knowledge acquired on the job, in military or corporate training programs, running a business, working with a volunteer organization, traveling, or pursuing a hobby. Additional PLA benefits include accelerated degree completion and potential cost savings.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for each program level as listed above, some programs have specific admission requirements. Please carefully review the detailed program description to be sure you are qualified to apply for your program of interest.

If you are an undergraduate transfer student who has not yet earned an associate degree, please submit the following documentation as soon as possible after submitting your admission application:

  1. Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) application
  2. Official college transcripts or signed Transcript Release Authorization form
  3. ACE-approved military and civilian transcripts or documentation

We will request all official U.S. college transcripts with receipt of the Transcript Release Authorization (TRA) form, as long as that institution accepts third party transcript requests. Once you submit your TCE Application, you will be provided with an option to print your TRA form. Students are required to complete, sign, and either fax or email the TRA to 304-724-3811 or

Learn more about the official documentation needed for admission

Mail Transfer Credit Documents to the following:

American Public University System
Attn: Document Services
10110 Battleview Parkway, Suite 114
Manassas, VA 20109

Begin your Application for Admission now.


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