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I Want a Four-Year Degree

What You Need to Know

It's smart to start at a community or technical college and then transfer to a four-year college or university. You'll enjoy quality instructors, convenient options and smaller classes — all at a fraction of the cost. Earn your associate degree and then transfer to one of Washington's public or private universities to finish your bachelor's degree.
Community and technical colleges offer advantages you just won't find in four-year schools. In fact, 40 percent of all bachelor's graduates from public universities in Washington start at a community or technical college.
A number of community and technical colleges now offer bachelor's degrees in high-demand fields like nursing, dental hygiene or cybersecurity. These degrees make it possible for students who already have a non-transferrable associate degree in a career field to earn a bachelor's degree without having to start from scratch at a university. Instead, students can take two more years of upper-level coursework at the community or technical college.

Common Questions

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It depends on what you want to do. Most students pursue an Associate in Arts transfer degree.

If you want to major in engineering or science, consider an Associate in Science-Transfer degree instead.

Be sure to talk to your community or technical college advisor and the admissions office at the university you'd like to attend. Many four-year schools offer helpful orientation sessions for transfer students. 

Yes, but the best approach is to complete your two-year associate transfer degree before transferring. Your credits will transfer completely and place you as a junior at your new college or university.

If you choose to transfer before earning a transfer degree, be sure to talk to the admissions people at the college you want to attend. They may evaluate your transcript course-by-course. They can help you match the courses you took to the requirements of the university.

Earning a transfer degree does not mean that you will be automatically accepted at a university. You will still need to go through a competitive application process.

The good news is that Washington's public universities give community and technical college students first priority over other, equally qualified transfer students.

The only time students are guaranteed admission to a university is if the community or technical college and the university have a "dual admission" agreement.

Transfer students at Washington State University, Western Governor's University and Eastern Washington University can still earn their associate degree even if they've already transferred.

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Last Modified: 1/2/24, 8:25 AM

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