Reverse Transfer

Students who have earned 15 or more credits at CSM and have transferred to a four-year institution without an associate degree may “reverse transfer” the earned credits from the four-year institution to complete an associate degree.

This process makes it possible for students to earn an associate degree as they continue to work toward completing their bachelor’s degree.

Why is an associate Degree important?

An associate degree is an important marketable academic achievement that is valued by employers, internship coordinators, transfer, and graduate and professional schools.  The associate degree can make a difference in your long-term success:

  • Students can take advantage of one of the 280+ transfer agreements CSM has with institutions across the world.
  • Four-year institutions set aside scholarships and tuition discounts specifically for students who graduate from a community college.
  • Some institutions will waive your general education package if you graduate from a community college with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching, or Associate of Science in Engineering.
  • It can provide better job opportunities while completing your bachelor’s degree.
  • It is the nation’s fastest growing work credential; employers recognize its value when recruiting and hiring.
  • Students who earn an associate degree are more likely to complete their bachelor’s degree
  • There is no risk to you – even though you are applying the hours you have earned at your four-year institution toward an associate degree at CSM, your hours earned at your four-year institution will still apply appropriately toward your undergraduate degree.
  • Some students can get discouraged after they transfer to a four-year institution and see more years ahead of them.  If they are awarded their associate degree while completing their bachelor’s degree, the accomplishment of this helps them stay motivated and on tract to a four-year degree
  • Statistics from recent work in this area show retention rates improve by 10% for those students who receive an associate degree through reverse transfer once they are at a four-year institution

Steps to Receive Reverse Transfer

In order to determine if you are eligible for an associate degree from the College of Southern Maryland, please complete the following two steps:

  1. Complete and submit the Reverse Transfer Agreement Release Form
  2. Request your Official Transcript to be sent to:

                College of Southern Maryland
                Registrar's Office: Reverse Transfer
                P.O. Box 910
                La Plata, MD 20646

Once these steps are completed, the CSM Registrar’s Office will contact you within four weeks regarding your eligibility to graduate.  Contact with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Sending your transcript to the College of Southern Maryland does not guarantee the granting of a degree. The courses you take at your four-year institution will be evaluated by the College of Southern Maryland. CSM will determine the conferral of an associate’s degree.

There may be a few costs associated with reverse transfer. CSM does not charge you for the reverse transfer process. Your transfer institution may charge you a transcript request fee. You also may require additional courses to complete your associate degree plan.

If you're unsure which degree you are seeking or are eligible to earn through reverse transfer, meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options. Students are first evaluated for Arts and Sciences, unless their completed courses direct them in another direction (Business Administration, Accounting, etc).

You do not have to return to CSM to complete courses if you can take them at your four-year transfer institution. Meet with a CSM academic advisor to make sure the courses taken are transferable and applicable to your associate degree.

No. Meet with a CSM academic advisor to determine which courses you still need to finish your associate’s degree.

Earning a degree is a major accomplishment. An advisor can assist you in applying for graduation when all program requirements are complete.  CSM has a winter commencement in January for summer and fall graduates and a spring graduation in May.  Contact for more information regarding applying for graduation.

No. You will be awarded your associate degree from CSM if your combined credits satisfy your degree requirements, and you meet all graduation requirements. Through reverse transfer, each associate degree is subject to the available degrees offered by the college as well as CSM residency requirements.

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