The Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) is a statewide policy about transfer credit. The purpose of this voluntary statewide agreement is to facilitate the transfer of credit; it is not an admissions agreement. A qualifying DTA associate degree is generally defined as that degree awarded by a community college to students who have completed a transfer curriculum designed to fulfill most general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree program in Washington State. The approved DTA degree programs follow specific guidelines established by the Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC), a commission of the Washington Council.
Because of the DTA, students entering one of several UW schools and colleges1 with an academic transfer (not vocational-technical) associate's degree from a Washington community college receive this benefit: transferable courses which your community college counted toward its general education requirement will be accepted toward Areas of Knowledge at UW in the equivalent Area (humanities=VLPA; social sciences=I&S; natural sciences=NW), even if they do not count that way for other students. The courses most often affected by the agreement are history, philosophy, and journalism courses. At the UW, almost all history and philosophy courses count toward Individuals and Societies (social sciences); however, at some community colleges, they count toward humanities (Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts). If you transferred any history, philosophy, or journalism courses, check Counting History, Philosophy, and Journalism Courses from Washington Community Colleges.
All Washington baccalaureate institutions, including the UW, have provisos that clarify how the DTA applies to students entering their institution. Please note the following:
- The agreement does not apply to students who entered the UW before Autumn 1985.
- To qualify for the agreement, you must complete all the coursework required for the associate's degree before matriculating at the UW.
- Courses counted toward the UW's Language Skills (English composition and foreign language) requirement cannot also be counted toward Areas of Knowledge. In particular, students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, and the School of Social Work will have to count first-year foreign language courses toward the foreign language requirement rather than Areas of Knowledge.
- You must meet the additional writing requirement (unless you started college before Autumn 1985). Many AA degrees require 10 credits of English composition, 5 of which can be counted toward the additional writing requirement if similar to UW courses allowed. Note that many community colleges count creative writing and verse writing as English composition, but the UW does not allow those courses toward either the English composition or additional writing requirement. (They do count toward VLPA at the UW — even if the community college did not allow them to count toward the humanities requirement of the Associate's degree.)
- Most community colleges do not require a 20-20-20 general education plan; the number of credits required in each area may be a combination such as 15-15-15, or 20-20-15, etc. You must eventually complete the entire Areas of Knowledge plan required by your UW school or college.
- If you do not meet the Areas of Knowledge requirement entirely with courses taken before transfer, you must select UW courses with the appropriate Area designations to complete the requirement. Many lower and upper division courses count toward the Areas of Knowledge, so most students do not find it difficult to complete this requirement.