Transfer FAQ

What curriculum guide should a transfer student follow while at Bay?

Students who plan to transfer should be following the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree programs.  The general approved electives in these programs generally are courses that a student would select based off of the transfer institution's transfer guides and/or the required courses which would be part of the student's bachelor degree.
(Return to Top)

Do all Bay College courses transfer?

NO! Only those courses designed to transfer receive credit at most universities. Some courses are not designed to transfer, such as developmental or remedial courses. Other courses in the certificate program and Associate in Applied Science degrees are designed to train students for employment, not for transfer. Many of    Bay's courses will transfer. However, the student must also ask: Will this course transfer into my major if I change majors while at Bay? Example: The student begins taking accounting courses such as AC 101, Principles of Accounting I, and then decides to change majors and declares a Engineering major. AC 101 would transfer, however, it would not apply to the Engineering degree requirements.
(Return to Top)

How do I know if a course will Transfer?

Course equivalencies for Michigan schools are available online at

(Return to Top)

How do I know if a course will transfer to a college or university located outside of Michigan?

Each transfer institution must decide how a Bay College course will transfer. Students can consult with the transfer admissions office for assistance. Bay College's catalog is on our website and course descriptions are easily viewed. If syllabi are required, Bay can provide the transfer institution with this information.
(Return to Top)

How does a student know what courses to take for her/his program?

Transfer guides are available online through the universities website. The student will need to know which major and which university to find the appropriate guide. Visit
(Return to Top)

Will a transfer guide for one university work for another university?

Not necessarily. Different institutions have different requirements. Transfer guides are designed for specific programs at specific institutions.
(Return to Top)

What is the MACRAO agreement?

MACRAO is an acronym for the Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers. The MACRAO Transfer Agreement is a pact between signatory community colleges and universities in Michigan providing for the transfer of general education requirements.
(Return to Top)

What does the MACRAO stamp on student's transcript mean?

It means that the student has completed the following requirements:

English Composition - 6 credit hours
Bay courses are EN101 Rhetoric and Composition and EN102 Research Writing.

Science and Math - 8 credit hours
At least one course must have a laboratory. Courses must be taken in more than one subject area.

Social Science - 8 credit hours
Courses must be taken in more than one subject area.

Humanities - 8 credit hours
Courses must be taken in more than one subject area. Completion of these requirements will transfer these  courses and credits as a block to the signatory university and meet their lower division general education requirements. Some institutions may have additional requirements in addition to MACRAO.  Consult with your transfer institution.
(Return to Top)

What is the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA)?

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) is an agreement between all public community colleges in Michigan and the 15 public universities in the state as well as a number of participating tribal and private colleges and universities in Michigan.  It is designed to facilitate the transfer of general education requirements from community colleges and universities.  Students who complete the minimum 30 semester hours of college-level courses with a grade of 2.0 or higher in each course within the six specified categories will fulfill all or the majority of the student's lower-level general education requirements dependent on the requirements of their major.  A transfer student must be eligible for admission to a receiving institution in order to benefit from MTA.  The MTA is applicable to all students enrolling in a Michigan community college for the first time beginning Fall 2014 and supersedes the MACRAO Transfer Agreement.  Students may meet the requirements as a stand-alone package.

Coursework for MTA
The 30 semester hours of coursework needed to meet the MTA are:

  • One course in English Compostiion
  • A second course in English Composition OR one course in Communications
  • Two courses in Natural Science from two different disciplines; including one with a laboratory experience
  • One course in Mathematics:  Quantitative Reasoning, College Algebra or Statistics
  • wo courses in Social Behavioral Science from two different disciplines
  • Two courses in the Humanities and Fine Arts from two different disciplines; excluding studio and performance courses
A student completing this program will have "Michigan Transfer Satisfied" on his/her transcript. All courses used to satisfy MTA must have a grade of "C" or better.

(Return to Top)

What happens if a student does not complete the MACRAO requirements?

The student may have to take additional general education courses at the transfer institution
(Return to Top)

What if the transfer institution does not have a transfer guide for a major?

Contact the Transfer Advisor who will contact the college/university to determine if a guide can be developed.  Students can follow the general/undecided transfer guide which will indicate specific courses that will fulfill general education requirements at the transfer institution.
(Return to Top)

What should a student do if there is problem transferring credits?

Meet with our Transfer Advisor. Usually if there is a problem it can be resolved by providing more information or clearing up a misunderstanding. Keep in mind that it is the transfer institutions decision about accepting a credit(s) for transfer.
(Return to Top)

Does a student have to complete an Associate degree before transferring?

No, but it may be to her/his advantage to do so. Certain college or universities may require an associate degree for their transfer scholarship awards. Some programs require a student to take lower division prerequisites that would preclude completing a Bay degree first. In some programs it may be to the student's advantage to transfer early. Students should always consult with her/his transfer institution for advice.
(Return to Top)

What if a student decides or needs to transfer before completing an Associate degree?

Students leaving Bay prior to earning an associate degree or certificate may transfer back credit to Bay from another college/university within one year of leaving Bay to fulfill their program requirements. Reverse transfer credit procedures can be found on our website. 
(Return to Top)

Will a student's Bay GPA transfer?

Grade point averages do not transfer; rather credits transfer.   However, transfer institutions will use a student's GPA for admissions requirements.  Course grades may be used to determine if prerequisites have been met.
(Return to Top)

Will Bay's Academic Forgiveness Policy apply to transfer intuitions.

Removal of failing grades from Bay's computation of grade point average will not apply in transfer situations. Transfer students should be made aware that their transfer institution will recalculate their Bay GPA's and add back in any failing grades. Transfer students may select to retake the course(s) with a failing grade, rather than utilize this policy.
(Return to Top)

If Bay accepts an Advanced Placement exam, will the transfer institution also honor this credit?

Not necessarily. Some universities require a higher exam score (4 or 5) for AP credit to apply. Colleges of Pharmacy do not accept AP Chemistry exam scores any longer. Students should be directed to contact their transfer institution. In most situations this information can be found on college or university web sites.
(Return to Top)

Will a transfer institution accept an advance standing credit?

Generally, no. Advanced standing credit are articulated agreements between Bay and area high schools or intermediate school districts. Students should be directed to contact their transfer institution.
(Return to Top)

Will a transfer institution accept a Bay College Departmental Exam for credit?

No. Students should be made aware that while a Bay departmental exam may satisfy our degree requirements, these credits will not transfer.
(Return to Top)

If a student has credit from other colleges and universities who decides if those credits transfer?

The institution who will award the student's final degree. Just because Bay College may accept credit(s) for transfer to fulfill one of our degree requirements, it does not necessarily mean that another transfer institution will do the same. Students should be directed to contact their transfer institution.
(Return to Top)

What steps can a student take for a successful transfer?

Decide on a major early, explore colleges and universities, visit college campuses, communicate with her/his faculty advisor or transfer advisor, follow either the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science curriculum, take courses that will transfer for her/his specific degree, and take personal responsibility. Transferring to another institution can be seamless; however, it is the student's responsibility to take ownership and know what she/he needs to do and do it on time. The student must be aware of the criteria that must be met at the transfer school and program of study.
(Return to Top)

Additional information concerning transferring can be found in the college catalog and by visiting
Bay College Main,
2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829
906.786.5802 Main Campus Directions