Transferring from one US college to another is quite common in the US. One popular scenario involves students who study at a community college for two years and then decide to transfer to a four-year college or university to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program.
International students can take advantage of this because it is often easier to get accepted to a community college than a four-year institution. Many community colleges have partnerships with four-year institutions that allow college credits you earn to transfer to the four-year institution.
If you plan to take this course of action, be sure to talk over your academic goals with a college advisor at the community college you are applying to and find out which schools they have partnerships with before you start classes. You will want to select your initial courses carefully to be sure they meet the requirements of the four-year institution you will eventually transfer to and will apply towards your bachelor’s degree.
Some four-year colleges have limits on the number of credits they will allow you to transfer, so if you don’t plan your academic studies well in advance, you may end up spending more time and money earning your bachelor’s degree than you initially planned.
For graduate students, transferring credits is sometimes possible, but it depends on the school and degree program. Your previous coursework must be equivalent to a course your new institution offers and sometimes, you may also have to take a placement exam or even the final exam of the equivalent course at your new institution to prove your knowledge of the subject.
Most four-year institutions will work with you to apply your previous courses as general education credit or towards your degree requirements, but there is no guarantee all of your credits will transfer.