3 answers

Is it better to stick to a community college for all 4 years or is it better to transfer to a university?

Updated Dundee, Oregon

I'm currently enrolled into a community college and i am a freshman. Should i continue in a community college or should i transfer in 2 years or less into a university? I want to major in architecture. #architecture #community-college #college #college-major #academic-advising

3 answers

Stuart’s Answer

Updated Rockville, Maryland

Community colleges are designed to serve the needs of various student populations in various ways. But it sounds like your particular case is that you intend to earn a bachelor's degree from a college or university. So here's what you need to know: The community college will provide 100- and 200-level coursework (corresponding with your freshman and sophomore years of college). You can do as much or as little as you like at the community college, but people's goal is typically to earn an associate's degree. It's sometimes called a two-year degree because it theoretically takes someone two years to earn the 60 credits required to complete an associate's degree (15 credits per semester for Fall and Spring semesters for two years equals 60 credits).

I bring that up because you asked about staying at a community college for your whole four years. In all likelihood, you aren't going to do that. There are certainly students who remain at community college for four years, but that's typically because they're taking classes part time, began with some developmental coursework, are repeating courses, have changed majors, etc. If you're completing your courses successfully at a full-time pace, you'd be there for about two years.

Generally, people's plan is to get an associate's degree before transferring to a four-year school, because having a degree carries some advantages in the transfer process (versus transferring over with a bunch of classes but no degree). These might include guaranteed admission agreements, articulation agreements, scholarships, and other "perks" to completing your associate's degree.

Having said all that, I think there's a good chance you won't earn your associate's degree before transferring. And here's why: In my experience as a community college counselor, architecture programs at the four-year schools often advise prospective students to just do some fundamental "general education" coursework at the community college, and then transfer to begin the more specialized requirements of the architecture degree. Having worked at two different large-scale, multi-campus community colleges, I haven't seen a lot of coursework at the community college level that satisfies degree requirements for architecture. Now, that's obviously not the last word on the subject. There could be community colleges that do. But that's my observation.

My best advice would be to get in touch with advisers at your target architecture program as early as you can. Take their guidance on what to do at the community college. I suspect they'll advise you to do about one year worth of coursework at the community college and then make your way to their program. As I said, though, that's an informed guess. Not a guarantee.

Does that make sense?

Good luck with your studies, Jenna.

Donnebra’s Answer


I would suggest getting your entry level courses completed at a community college. It helps build your foundation for a major university and allows you to smoothly transition to your major courses. You can also obtain two degrees that way in the same time it would take to obtain one

JENNA’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

There's no best way. If you want to continue at community college to get your basics out of the way, then transfer the credits to a university for your four-year degree, that is a perfectly valid option, and you may save some money in the process. If you are ready to declare your major and ready financially and educationally to transfer to a four-year university, go ahead and do that! For further guidance, contact the university college where you want to transfer and ask what the requirements are, and make sure you meet them, then start the process. Don't be discouraged if it takes you a time or two to get in- and good luck!