What IS a Transfer Pathway?

Graduation diploma
October 28, 2019

Sure, everyone knows you can start at SCTCC and then transfer. You can save a lot of money, take classes with more involved instructors, and get those generals done before moving on to get your bachelor’s degree.

But did you know that you can specialize your degree so when you’re ready to transfer to a 4-year college or university you’re already started on your bachelor’s degree? And when you transfer to a Minnesota State university, you’re guaranteed to start there as a junior. Another bonus: you can choose more than one pathway, for students who want to get a double major or major/minor.

Yep, it’s true. Students who choose a Transfer Pathway major in several different fields have the option of getting more than a head start on generals here at SCTCC. By choosing a Transfer Pathway, you not only save money on your generals; you get involved in your major right away, giving you a chance to take classes that you are truly interested in.

So what are they? In addition to the AA, SCTCC offers these Transfer Pathways on campus:

Let’s dig into them a little bit.


If you want to get a bachelor’s degree in Biology, SCTCC gets you started with general biology classes and genetics, then you can choose an elective of microbiology, general ecology, or cell biology. Some chemistry is also required, and you’ll need to take some math, English, and communications courses along with a couple electives from social sciences, history, humanities and/or fine arts.

Once you reach 60 credits, you’ve completed the Transfer Pathway AS and can easily transfer to the Minnesota State university of your choice.


Is Business your ultimate goal? SCTCC will have you ready with a couple accounting classes, the legal side of business, an intro to computers course, and then finish up with touching on management and marketing. You’ll get to choose eight credits of electives within sales management marketing courses, marketing and design courses, finance course, or accounting courses.

You’ll need your generals in math, English, economics, and a couple electives from social sciences, history, humanities and/or fine arts, then you’ll have your Transfer Pathway AS and ready to transfer to a Minnesota State university.

Elementary Education Foundations

If you’re called to teach gradeschool, this is where you want to start. Get ready for the classroom with courses including technology strategies for educators, child growth and development, multicultural education, and an internship. In addition to the education classes, you’ll need an art class, English, science and math classes, an intro to public speaking (very handy), music, and sociology.

You’ll leave SCTCC with the Transfer Pathway AS and be able to transfer to an Elementary Education bachelor’s program at any Minnesota State university.


Is problem solving based on data something you're good at? Engineering may be for you! If you want to get into engineering but not quite sure which field yet, the Engineering Broad Field will get you those base skills in math and science that all engineers need so you can transfer to the field of your choice at a four-year.

You'll get your pathway started with an intro to engineering, then choose four courses from statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, linear circuit analysis, and deformable body mechanics. Grab some technical electives that come out of our architectural, land survey, and/or mechanical design programs, wrap up your generals, and you're ready to transfer to get your bachelor's degree.

Environmental Science

From environmental issues to research to getting down and dirty in the field, a degree in Envriomental Science has it all. When you start your environmental science degree at SCTCC, you'll get a head start on problem solving, observation skills, and innovative thinking to get you ready for so many job options in the field.

With required classes in environmental science, natural resources conservation, field methods, environmental chemistry, and an internship in environmental science, you'll have a solid base for a transfer for a bachelor's. Add in all your general education classes, along with a couple technical courses in renewable energy and introduction to water, and you're ready to help solve climate change.


Like logic? Problem solving? Heading to law school or medical school? Even with big goals, you can start here at SCTCC. Take four math classes to get started on a Mathematics Transfer Pathway: calculus I, II, and I and differential equations with linear algebra (that’s a mouthful!).

You’ll need your generals in math (covered!), English, economics, and electives from social sciences, history, humanities and/or fine arts, then you’ll have your Transfer Pathway AA and you’re ready to transfer to a Minnesota State university.


Psychology is one of the first Transfer Pathways established at SCTCC, so you know that it’s a great way to get a head start on a bachelor’s degree. You’ll begin with some intro and statistics courses (don’t be scared off by stats), then you’ll learn about lifespan developmental, abnormal, and social psychology. You’ll need your math, sciences, and wellness classes, as well as English, communications, humanities/fine arts, and history/social sciences.

Get all your goal areas done and you’ll be set to transfer with your Transfer Pathway AA degree to any Minnesota State university.


¿Quiere a hablar español? You can start your Spanish degree at SCTCC. There are four Spanish classes you’ll need to complete to get this Transfer Pathway: beginning Spanish I and II and Intermediate Spanish I and II. Then you’ll need to complete courses in English, communications, and critical thinking classes, some sciences, math, history/social/behavioral sciences, humanities/fine arts (one of your Spanish classes helps with this requirement), diversity, and global perspective (again, one of your Spanish classes helps).

If you’ve taken Spanish in high school and place into one of the higher-level Spanish classes, you’ll need to make sure to complete 60 credits total to get your Transfer Pathway AA.

Special Education

Interested in Special Education? You’ll begin teacher preparation here at SCTCC and then transfer to a Minnesota State university.

You’ll start with intro to education classes, tech strategies for educators, and an internship, and the second semester will focus on multicultural education, child growth and development, and an intro to special education. One more education class in educational psychology, then you’ll need to complete your general education credits in math, sciences, English, psychology, history, and art, and you’ll be set to transfer to one of the Minnesota State universities with your Transfer Pathway AS.

Technical Theatre Practicum

Interested in the technical side of theatre, like set design and lighting? The Technical Theatre Practicum is an AA degree with a focus on hands-on training in theatre craftsmanship and technology. The unique thing about this one is SCTCC is partnering with GREAT Theatre. This program will start Fall Semester 2023, with 8 students accepted on a first come, first served basis. You will attend classes at SCTCC and participate in practicum hours with GREAT Theatre working backstage and in shops alongside theatre professionals to gain vital hands-on applied experience.


The Theatre Transfer Pathway is great for students who are interested in an AFA in Theatre. Through a special arrangement with SCSU, you'll take all your Theatre classes there, located just three miles away and on the bus route (you can ride for free). You’ll take 23 credits in Theatre courses, including costume construction, intro to theatre, acting, stagecraft, and a practicum course, to name a few. Then you’ll need to complete your general education credits in math, sciences, English, psychology, history, and art, and you’ll graduate with your AFA Transfer Pathway. You're ready to transfer to a Theatre major at one of the Minnesota State universities.

Are you ready to take the next step? The best thing to do is meet with your advisor to plan your academic journey here at SCTCC and beyond. You can chat about your ultimate goals and figure out the best path for you.

Kate Wallace