Frequently Asked Questions



+ What is ARTSYS?

ARTSYS is a computerized information system created to facilitate the transfer of students from Maryland community colleges to the University of Maryland System institutions and other participating institutions. ARTSYS was developed based upon the following principles: (1) students' needs must be the primary concern, (2) students should progress between institutions with little to no loss of credits, or be required to duplicate of successfully completed coursework, and (3) native and transfer students must be treated fairly and equally.

  • ARTSYS allows students and advisors to ascertain the transferability status of each community college course, by indicating equivalencies and general education area(s). The program also outlines, in community college language, the recommended courses for specific programs of study at the participating institutions.

  • ARTSYS features a transcript option for students, which determines the status of courses, compares them with the recommended transfer programs, and computes grade point averages. ARTSYS, in conjunction with the electronic transfer of transcripts, enables the receiving institution to evaluate the student's record and provide information about the student's standing upon transfer.

  • ARTSYS is maintained and distributed by the University System of Maryland (USM) Administration.

+ What are the five main functions of ARTSYS?

ARTSYS provides the following information:

  • Course to course equivalency - displays the transferability of a course from a community college to a four year institution..

  • Recommended transfer programs - students can look up the first two years of prescribed coursework for a particular major.

  • Transcript evaluations - by entering course information from a transcript, a student can have the transcript evaluated on a course to course basis or have it compared to a recommended transfer program.

  • Keyword Search - students can search for courses by Course ID, General Education classification, or title.

  • Search for majors - students can discover which of the participating four year institutions offer certain majors.

+ Which institutions are participants in ARTSYS?

ARTSYS has the participation of all Maryland community colleges, all member institutions of the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University and St. Mary's College of Maryland. There is also participation from several of Maryland's independent institutions including Goucher College, Stevenson University, Hood College, McDaniel College, Washington College, Capitol College, and the Notre Dame of Maryland University.

See also our Participating Institutions page

+ How often is ARTSYS system information updated?

The course information is updated dynamically so that some course evaluations occur on an almost daily basis. However, the frequency is dependent upon when the community college uploads new course information and when the four-year institution faculty is able to evaluate the course(s). Because the information provided by ARTSYS is based on the evaluations by four-year institutions of community college courses, the databases of courses being offered at Maryland community colleges are compared with the information in ARTSYS on an annual basis. As for Recommended Transfer Programs, four-year institutions are advised to update their course listings at least once every three years. However, four-year institutions are encouraged to update their Recommended Transfer Programs on a more frequent basis and many do so.

+ Does ARTSYS provide information about how courses will transfer from one two-year institution to another two year institution? What about four-year to four-year?

At this time ARTSYS only provides information for courses transferring from two-year to four-year institutions as the resources necessary to establish data bases that provide transfer information reflecting transfer from two-year to two-year or four-year to four-year have not been made available. However, if resources become available in the future, there is a strong possibility that ARTSYS will be able to provide this information through its web site.

+ Can ARTSYS assist in discovering which courses on the two-year level are the equivalents of a course taught at a participating four-year institution?

Yes, by using the "Keyword Search" function, users have the ability to identify a course being taught at the community college level that has been determined as the equivalent of a course at the four-year level. The instructions are as follows:

  • Click on Keyword Search from the ARTSYS Main Menu
  • For the "Transfer From" institution, select the community college where you want to find an equivalent course for the course offered at the four-year. If you want to ARTSYS to display the equivalent courses from all community colleges, select "All Institutions".
  • For the "Transfer To" institution, select the four year institution where the original course is offered.
  • After you have made your selections, click on the "Submit" button.
  • Next, the "Keyword" search screen will appear which contains three to five search terms that present different options that can be used to search the ARTSYS database. Regardless of the number of options displayed on the screen, the last option will be "'Receiving Institution' Course" with the receiving institution being the four-year school that was selected. For example, if Towson University was chosen as the Receiving Institution, then the language for the last search term will be "Towson University Course":
  • Enter in the course number into the box associated with the last search term such as ENGL100, MATH273 or PSYC101. Then Click on the "Go" button adjacent to the box.

ARTSYS will then display any courses that are the equivalent of the four-year course. If you selected a particular community college as the "Transfer From" Institution, ARTSYS will present course options only from that community college. If you chose the "All Institution" option, ARTSYS will display courses from all community colleges that have been determined as equivalents.

+ Who should I contact if I have a question or concern about a listing in ARTSYS?

Feel free to contact Kori Smith, Asst. Director of Articulation at ksmith@usmd.edu if you have questions or concerns about any of the information provided by the ARTSYS system.
However, if you have questions about a specific course evaluation by a participating institution you also have the option of contacting that institution's Transfer Coordinator. Contact information for each coordinator can be found on the Maryland Transfer portal: mdtransfer.usmd.edu.

+ What type of degree am I getting from the Community College?

Maryland community colleges award six associate-level degrees: the Associate of Arts (AA), the Associate of Fine Arts (AFA), the Associate of Science (AS) the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) the Associate of Art in Teaching (AAT) and The Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE).
Transfer or Pre-baccalaureate degree programs (AA, AS) are aimed at meeting the needs of students who intend to earn a bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university. These programs are specifically designed so that all course work will transfer to a four-year institution. In fact, optional course offerings are available to students taking transfer programs that can be tailored to the specific major fields students plan to pursue in their junior and senior years (and can also be tailored to the requirements of specific four-year colleges and universities). Students should consult ARTSYS as well as academic advisors or transfer counselors at both the sending and receiving institutions for current transfer information.
The Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) have as a primary goal transfer to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program; are similar to the first half of a B.F.A. degree program; and require at least 60 percent of the course credit to be in studio work and related areas.
Career degree programs (AAS) are designed for students intending to seek employment upon graduation from a community college. Many programs designated as AAS degrees are in fields that also offer a baccalaureate degree. Some of these courses may transfer; students should consult ARTSYS as well as academic advisors at both the sending and receiving institutions for information. Other career programs include specific occupational courses not normally offered by four-year institutions. These courses generally are not accepted as transfer credit by four-year institutions. However, all general education courses designated as such on the transcript will be accepted by receiving public four-year colleges and universities.
The Associate of Art in Teaching (AAT) degree is awarded to students who have completed a community college curriculum in Teacher Education, pass the Praxis I exam, and maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA. If conferred and the student is admitted to the parallel teacher education program at the four-year institution, the transfer of all AAT degree credits is guaranteed at any four-year institution in the state.
The Associate of Science in Engineering (ASE) degree meets the lower-level degree academic content, outcomes, and requirements for engineering education, similar to the first 2 years of a bachelor's parallel program in engineering education. To be awarded the ASE, a student must maintain at least a 2.0 on a 4.0 grade scale in all courses required by the program in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. If conferred and the student is admitted to the parallel engineering degree area, all coursework transfers without further review or course-by-course match by in-State 4-year public and participating independent institutions into a bachelor's parallel program, except that transfer students may be treated like non-transfer students with regard to credit hours earned through Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and transcripted credits.