Articulation: Transferability of Coursework

The Key to a Successful Transfer

If you are thinking about transferring to a four-year college or university, you will want to understand articulation. Articulation is a formal process that identifies what courses completed at one institution (e.g., a community college) can satisfy requirements at another institution (e.g., a university), because transferability of coursework is not automatic.  

Articulation establishes whether a course may be used for admission, baccalaureate-level (transferable) units, general education breadth or as preparation for upper-division courses in a bachelor's degree major, and ultimately ensures that your MJC courses are meaningfully applied toward bachelor's degree requirements when you enter a university.

ASSIST: Learn how MJC courses articulate

Articulation is vast and complex. While you can get some clues about how a given MJC course will transfer from UC to CSU, it is challenging to know if/how your MJC coursework will satisfy various requirements at one or more institutions. You and your counselor need to do research. That is where ASSIST comes in. is an online student-transfer information system that stores articulation agreements between California Community Colleges (CCCs), the California State University (CSU), and the University of California (UC), and is designed for student and faculty use. It is the official repository of articulation agreements for California's public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about credit earned across institutions.

How to Use ASSIST

Of course, if at any time you need assistance with accessing or interpreting the information in ASSIST, contact your MJC counselor.

Different Types of Articulation

Courses can articulate to the CSU and UC campuses in various ways. It is important to pay attention to this when you are building your educational plan. 

  • Generic elective or “transfer” articulation is the most fundamental level of articulation.  Generic elective/transferable units are used to meet the 60 lower division unit requirements for admission to and graduation from the CSU or UC. To learn more about transferable elective units, click here.
  • General Education articulation occurs when a course is approved by to satisfy a general education area requirement for associate and/or baccalaureate degree. Modesto Junior College has three General Education “patterns”; MJC-GE, CSU-GE, and IGETC. Each has a different purpose and scope and approval process. To learn more about General Education patterns, click here.
  • Course-to-Course Articulation is established when a university agrees to accept a CCC course or sequence of courses in lieu of a course offered at their institution as an elective or in pursuit of a major.
  • Lower-Division major preparation articulation establishes what courses at a CCC advance a student’s progress to prepare students for a specific major at the university.
  • Content only (no units): When the content of a lower-division CCC course is accepted in lieu of an upper-division course, but the student must take an additional upper division course to satisfy upper division unit requirements.