Undergraduate transfer students represent a large and growing segment of OSU student population but a new and concerning trend is that these students are graduating at lower rates than students who start here.  Transfer student success is paramount to OSU’s goals for improved retention and graduation rates.

Projects and workgroups tend to focus on evaluating the transfer student experience, with some offering suggestions for improvement.  Insights may be found in report outlines and summaries below and are used to help inform campus policies and programming.

Transfer Student Survey

The Transitions Survey was developed to provide insight into how new first year and transfer undergraduate students experience their first few terms at Oregon State University (Corvallis campus).  Students receive this survey within their first few terms enrolled at OSU:  Students that begin in Summer or Fall will receive the survey in Winter term; students that begin in Winter or Spring will receive the survey in Fall term.

Academic Year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022
Academic Year 2021/2022
  • Summer/Fall student Final Report (ONID log-in required)
    • Summer/Fall First Generation and Student of Color data Final Report (ONID log-in required)
  • Winter/Spring student Final Report (ONID log-in required)
    • Winter/Spring First Generation and Student of Color data Final Report (ONID log-in required)
  • Academic Year comparison Final Report (ONID log-in required)
Academic Year 2020/2021 

Transfer Student Experience - Workgroup and Taskforce evaluations

Partnership between Education Northwest, Ford Family Foundation, and six Oregon community colleges and universities, January 2020

This report examines the positive impact that Oregon’s higher education institutions can play in the state’s college transfer landscape – and the pathway to improvement.  Through qualitative and quantitative research, case studies at select community colleges and universities in Oregon were used to document promising practices and effective strategies for supporting transfer students.

Report: Supporting Transfer Student Success in Oregon

Partnership between Impact Studio with Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, Ecampus and other key stakeholders, Winter & Spring 2018

Data indicated first-year retention rates for transfer students were below that of traditional students. The team utilized Human Centered Design methodologies to stand in the shoes of Oregon's unique transfer students to pinpoint issues and identify solutions that improve the transfer student experience and retention rates.

In July 2018, the Transfer Student Experience team proposed a prioritized list of 10 improvements to the Provost and the Undergraduate Student Success Initiative leaders. Those recommendations have been integrated into the plans of the Undergraduate Student Success Steering Committee which is responsible to implement and oversee a comprehensive university-wide plan to advance Oregon State’s undergraduate student success goals.

Partnership between Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Fall 2017

Taskforce was charged to look at issues facing prospective and admitted transfer and Degree Partnership Program students.  Barriers for transfer student success were identified and outlined against their current experience, potential solutions summarized and outlined onto an ideal experience, with next steps & recommendations providing the top 5 suggestions for impact.

Information related to the transferability of credits:

A standardized template for all undergraduate academic college Transfer Guides was developed in 2018/2019.  Transfer Guides designed for OSU Corvallis, Ecampus, OSU in Portland, and those majors with exact curriculum as programs in OSU-Cascades will share the same template.  Programs that are unique to OSU-Cascades will be published in a different format.  Content will include a brief explanation of the major, provide an overview of our Baccalaureate Core, and identify which courses students can take at their community college that required for major or degree requirements.  Transfer Guides will be updated on an annual basis, in alignment with catalog changes. 

  • Transfer Guides published on college websites and a central link available through OSU Admissions "Find your Major"

In 2017, the State Legislature passed House Bill 2998, a bill designed to streamline transfer between Oregon’s community colleges and public universities.  Since HB 2998’s passage, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission has been working with community colleges, public universities, student associations, and other stakeholders to simplify and better align pathways for students to successfully transfer between institutions, maximize credits toward their degrees and certificates, and decrease time-to-degree completion.  Below is a list of various tools that help student’s transfer coursework within the state:

  • Oregon Transfer Module (OTM):  45-credit subset of general education courses which all “count” as a transferable block toward university requirements.
  • Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT): 90 credit hour associate’s degree that “count” as a transferable block and will complete all lower division general education requirements at Oregon public universities.
  • Associates of Science Oregon Transfer-Business; Associates of Science Oregon Transfer-Computer Science (ASOT-B; ASOT-CS): Similar to the AAOT providing block transfer and completion for all lower division general education requirements, but also includes requisite coursework in the intended major.
  • Core Transfer Map (CTM): NEW! A group of 8 courses that add up to at least 30 credits; once completed courses are guaranteed to transfer as a block and complete any Oregon public university’s core bachelor’s degree requirements. Students may opt to follow a STEM or General track.
  • Major Transfer Map (MTM): NEW!  This is a 90-credit discipline-specific course plan that identifies courses that can be completed at an Oregon Community College that will grant Junior standing in the major post-transfer.  An optimal transfer point will also be noted if disciplines cannot identify enough credits that apply across all institutions.   Currently MTMs have been developed for Biology, English Literature, and Education.  Business, Criminal Justice, and Computer Science MTMs are identified to be developed in 2020.

Tools for Transfer Students: Oregon Transfer Compass

Interested in staying up-to-date with transfer student initiatives at OSU?  Sign up for the transfers_facstaff listserv to receive announcements and updates. 


Are you a student that has recently transferred, or is thinking of transferring to Oregon State University?  Connect with our OSU Transfer Admissions team and check out next steps for admitted transfer students

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