Michigan Transfer Agreement

The Michigan Transfer Agreement: past, present and future

In 2012, the Michigan legislature included language in the community college appropriations bill that focused on improving the transferability of core college courses by proposing a revision to the existing Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers articulation agreement. A committee was created to identify the critical issues and/or barriers and to make recommendations for improving the transfer of core college courses. Comprised of representatives from the Michigan Community College Association, the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan, and MACRAO, the group discussed and developed the guiding principles and recommendations on which the revised, newly-named “Michigan Transfer Agreement” is based.

In December of 2013, Western Michigan University signed the Michigan Transfer Agreement to participate as a receiving institution. The MACRAO organization is leading implementation of the MTA, which will take effect for community college students who begin their studies in the fall 2014 semester. Students who started prior to fall 2014 will be able to complete the existing MACRAO Agreement at participating colleges until the end of the summer 2019. Irrespective of time, Western Michigan University will continue to honor the MACRAO Agreement whenever a student’s transcript shows that the MACRAO Agreement was previously satisfied.

MTA and MACRAO: a comparison of requirements

Both the MTA and the MACRAO Agreement require a minimum of 30 hours of coursework completed in the categories shown. The following summary illustrates how the two agreements differ and it is not intended to guide a student’s selection of specific courses.

Michigan transfer agreementMACRAO articulation agreement
Minimum of 30 semester hours of courses
At least a 2.0 grade earned in each course Minimum grade average of 2.0 in all courses
One course in English composition

A second course in English composition or one course in communications
6 credit hours of English composition
One course in mathematics: college algebra or statistics or quantitative reasoning or an advanced level course in one of these areas

Two courses in the natural sciences including one with laboratory experience (from two disciplines)
8 credit hours of science and math: courses must be taken from a minimum of 2 subject areas. At least one science course must include a laboratory.
Two courses in social sciences (from two disciplines) 8 credit hours of social science: courses must be taken from a minimum of two subject areas
Two courses in humanities and fine arts (from two disciplines and excluding studio and performance classes) 8 credit hours of humanities: courses must be taken from a minimum of two subject areas

Transfer students at community colleges participating in the MTA

Students planning for transfer to WMU should check with their college to determine what transfer courses are approved for inclusion in the above MTA categories, and to learn the requirements for requesting an evaluation and MTA endorsement on their transcript. During the planning and course selection process at the community college, students may desire to contact a WMU advisor about determining which MTA courses would be the best fit in their intended program at the University.

How WMU recognizes the MTA

Transfer students from colleges whose transcripts have been appropriately identified and certified as having fulfilled the requirements of the MTA by their respective Michigan community college will have satisfied WMU’s lower-level General Education requirements. Such students need only satisfy Western’s requirement of six hours of 3000-4000 level General Education course work from the distribution areas, and complete the baccalaureate-level writing course (Proficiency 2). In addition, the University will determine the equivalence and applicability of transferable community college courses in meeting other graduation requirements.

Transfer guides and transfer equivalencies

All Michigan community college transfer students, regardless of whether they plan to follow MTA requirements, are encouraged to utilize the WMU transfer guide information available for their intended major.


Please submit your questions about the MTA (or MACRAO Agreement) and we will respond.

Related links

Student FAQ about the MTA (from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers)

Last revised September 5, 2015