Transfer Student Information

Transferring into our bachelor’s program can be a simple transition, but a little pre-planning can make things go even more smoothly. UNCG’s transfer student web page has a lot of useful information, and we refer to that information several times in the tips and suggestions below. If you are not yet familiar with our computer science bachelor’s program, the first step is to understand our curriculum, which is best done by looking at the Undergraduate Prerequisite Chart in conjunction with the course descriptions (either from the UNCG Catalog or from our list of computer science classes).

Note that if you already have a bachelor’s degree, even if it has nothing to do with computer science, you are classified as a “second degree student” and not a “transfer student.” Information specifically for second degree students is at the bottom of this web page.

All of the most frequently-asked questions are addressed below, so read that carefully first. If this does not answer your questions for some reason, you can email computerscience@uncg.edu for more information.

I have already taken classes at a different college or university – how will they transfer to UNCG?

The UNCG Transfer Credit page is designed to answer exactly this question. On that page, look for the “Transfer Credit Planner” link under “How will my credits transfer?” This will allow you to select the school you are interested in transferring credits from, and then you can see if each class has already been evaluated for transfer to UNCG. The most common transfer classes are general education, math, and science classes, and most of those from the most frequent transfer schools have been evaluated already so you can see where you stand. For non-computer science classes, classes will be evaluated by the UNCG Registrar and/or the department in which the course transfers (e.g., Mathematics). For computer science classes, if your class isn’t listed in the Transfer Credit Planner, and you believe it is equivalent to one of the classes we offer at UNCG, then you should see the “Request for Computer Science Transfer Credit” form on the Forms and Links for Computer Science web page. We will need additional information about the class you took, which is all described on that form.

I haven’t taken a class yet, but would like to take a class elsewhere to transfer back to UNCG. What should I do?

The most common situation in which this arises is when students live outside of Greensboro, and would like to take classes at home or at a community college over the summer. That is fine, but always get the transfer credit pre-approved to make sure that it will count for what you need at UNCG! This process is really the same as described above for transferring a course after-the-fact, but just do it before you sign up for the course. If you are looking at a computer science course that is not already in the Transfer Credit Planner, that means you will need to contact the university where you want to take the course and get a copy of the syllabus. That extra work up-front will make sure you get credit at UNCG for work you do elsewhere.

Are there classes that will not transfer to UNCG?

Yes, and unfortunately some of the community college classes that people interested in technology are drawn to will not transfer to UNCG. University rules states that “courses completed in technical, vocational, or professional programs at community colleges or course from technical colleges or proprietary institutions cannot be accepted in transfer” except in rare situations (this quote comes from the UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin). Courses that are focused on training in a particular technology (training on Cisco equipment, for example) or oriented toward industry certifications are generally not accepted for transfer credit.

How can I plan a schedule so that I can take some classes at a community college and some at UNCG in order to complete a degree in computer science?

On the UNCG Transfer Credit page, there is a section marked “North Carolina AA and AS degree plans” that has great information about this. In particular, they provide plans for most majors at UNCG, including computer science, showing how to complete a 4-year degree with two years at a North Carolina Community College and two years at UNCG. Be aware that most community colleges (with a few exceptions) only offer the first computer science class in a typical computer science bachelor’s degree. That means that almost all of your computer science classes will be pushed to the last two years at UNCG, with the last two semesters packing in five advanced computer science classes each semester. Some people enjoy that challenge, but others find taking 4 or 5 advanced computer science classes at the same time to be very difficult. If you want to spread out the computer science requirements more than that, and your community college doesn’t offer more advanced computer science courses, your only option is to take more than two years at UNCG.

Is it possible to take more than one computer science class toward UNCG’s B.S. degree at a community college?

Technically the answer to that is “yes,” but practically the answer is “no.” In the NC community college system, CSC 249 (when offered using Java) can often transfer to UNCG as our second computer science class (UNCG’s CSC 230). However, while CSC 249 is part of the standard NC community college course descriptions, most NC community colleges do not actually offer the class, or may offer it using C++ or some other language. If this course is an option at your community college, we recommend that you speak with an advisor at UNCG to see if you would benefit from taking the class at your community college. In general, we recommend this class be taken at UNCG, since our CSC 230 class is designed specifically to lead in to our CSC 330 class.

Should I wait to take computer science classes at UNCG? or If I start computer science classes at UNCG, how long will it take to graduate?

No, do not wait! If you look at our Undergraduate Prerequisite Chart, you’ll see that the curriculum builds steadily from lower-level courses to advanced upper-level classes, and there is a path of five classes (CSC 130, CSC 230, CSC 330, CSC 340, and CSC 462) that must be taken one after another. That means that it will take a minimum of five semesters to complete the computer science requirements if you don’t start your computer science classes until you get to UNCG.

Unfortunately, this advice (not to wait) comes at a price: Depending on the community college you attend, the rigor of your introductory computer science class may not be at the same level as a 4-year college such as UNCG. We have had a lot of transfer students struggle when they jump into our second class (CSC 230) — be prepared for this, and just know that you might need to spend extra time practicing and building your programming skills.

Information for Second Degree Students

We regularly get students who completed a major in a different field, sometimes completely unrelated to computer science, and they want to come back to school and earn a degree in computer science. For these students, there are two options.

First, you could pursue a second Bachelors degree, which would require taking the computer science, math, and science requirements, but not the general education requirements (of course, if you have already taken applicable math or science courses you won’t have to retake those).

Second, you could pursue a master’s degree after taking six specific undergraduate courses to qualify for the MS program. Those courses are listed under our “Minimum Entry Requirements” on our Computer Science Master’s Program web page.

With either option, you would start with exactly the same six courses, which are the first six courses in the first three levels of our Undergraduate Prerequisite Chart. If your previous degree was completely different, and you didn’t take at least Pre-Calculus in your mathematics classes, then you will need to take that before you can start the computer science classes. After that, you can only take one computer science class in your first semester (CSC 130) and two in your second semester (CSC 230 and CSC 250). By the time you complete the 200-level computer science courses, you can decide – based on your performance and level of interest – whether you want to take a leap and apply for the master’s program, or stick with the bachelor’s program. The master’s program is certainly a more rewarding path, but you will lack some knowledge and experience that a student who has completed a B.S. degree will have. Since you will be skipping around 10 undergraduate-level courses that someone with a B.S. in computer science will have taken, you will need to work harder than other master’s students in order to make up for that gap in knowledge. You need to decide if you are up to that challenge, and once you have completed the 200-level computer science classes you can schedule an appointment with the Graduate Program Director to talk about that possibility.