Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 589-006-0050(5) defines the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree (AAOT) as "a state-approved associate degree that is intended to prepare students to transfer into upper division courses for a baccalaureate degree".

The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree that conforms to the guidelines set forth below will transfer to any institution in the Oregon University System, and will have met the lower division general education requirements for that institution's baccalaureate degree programs. 

Course, class standing, or GPA requirements for specific majors, department or schools are not necessarily satisfied by an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree. Students transferring under this agreement will have junior standing for registration purposes. Every Oregon community college offers an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree that meets these broad guidelines.

Background and Intent

The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree was created in the late 1980s, through collaboration between Oregon community college faculty and Oregon public university faculty, to reduce bureaucratic obstacles for students transferring from an Oregon community college to a public university in Oregon. Local variation in the requirements to earn AAOT degrees at different community colleges was not a problem because all of the degrees transferred smoothly to the universities. Increasingly, however, the degree has been used by students transferring among community colleges and, in these cases, distinctive requirements sometimes reduced transferability. Recognizing the fundamental purpose of the degree, community colleges agreed in 2008 to standardize their AAOT degree requirements so as to maximize the efficient transfer of credit for students. Community colleges will maintain lists of courses which fulfill the requirements of the revised, freely-transferable degree below. Beyond the requirements listed, past experience suggests the utility of some additional explanation of what the degree can and cannot provide. Students and advisors should be aware of the opportunities created by the AAOT, but should also be mindful of its limitations, as summarized in the explanatory notes that follow the description of the degree itself. 

Any student having the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree recognized on an official college transcript will have met the lower division General Education requirements of baccalaureate degree programs of any public university in Oregon.

Students transferring under this agreement will have junior status for registration purposesCourse, class standing, or GPA requirements for specific majors, departments, or schools are not necessarily satisfied by an AAOT degree.

All colleges are pre-approved to offer this degree.

General Guidelines

  • A student must complete a total of 90 quarter credits to be awarded the AAOT.
  • All courses should be aligned with the student’s intended program of study and the degree requirements of the baccalaureate institution to which the student plans to transfer. A student is encouraged to work with an advisor in the selection of courses.
  • All Foundational Requirements and Discipline Studies courses must be a minimum of 3 credits, except for Health/Wellness/Fitness courses, which may be any number of credits. All Elective courses may be any number of credits.
  • All courses must be passed with a grade of "C–" or better. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the time the AAOT is awarded.

Foundational ​Requirements

  • Writing: Students taking writing classes of three credits each must take WR 121, 122, and either WR 123 or 227. Students taking writing classes of 4 credits each must take WR 121 and either WR 122 or 227. A student must have eight credits of Writing.
    • Information Literacy will be included in the Writing Requirement.
  • Oral Communication: One course in the fundamentals of speech or communication designated by the college as meeting the statewide criteria for speech communication.
  • Mathematics: One course in college-level mathematics designated by the college as meeting the statewide criteria for mathematics.
  • Health/Wellness/Fitness: One or more courses totaling at least three credits.

Discipline Studies

  • Cultural Literacy: Students must select one course from any of the discipline studies that is designated as meeting the statewide criteria for cultural literacy.
  • Arts and Letters: Three courses chosen from two or more disciplines.
  • Social Sciences: Four courses chosen from two or more disciplines.
  • Science/Math/Computer Science: Four courses from at least two disciplines including at least three laboratory courses in biological and/or physical science.


Any college-level course that would bring total credits to 90 quarter hours including up to 12 credits of Career and Technical Education courses, designated by the college as acceptable.

Notes & ​Clarifications

[The following notes are not intended to be part of the "Guidelines" (above) but, rather, serve to clarify them for participating institutions.]

  1. Community colleges may not add requirements at the local level. The total credits should not exceed the number required to meet these course requirements within the college’s credit structure. This does not preclude a college from requiring specific courses within the existing requirements for a particular concentration or major designation.
  2. Writing courses must meet the specific course outcomes as identified by Oregon Writing and English Advisory Council. In addition, the group of courses that is sufficient for meeting this requirement must, together, provide all of the content recommended by the Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee (OWEAC), including a research component. Further information can be found at OWEAC.
  3. Although they are important in terms of preparation, courses that are developmental in nature are designed to prepare students for college-level work and are not counted in the 90 quarter hours required for the AAOT. However, it is recommended that students and advisors note that grades earned in developmental courses will likely count in the cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the community college. It is also advised to work early with the receiving 4-year institutions and determine what policy/practice is in place in calculating cumulative GPA upon transfer (since developmental courses will not transfer).
  4. The "Foundational Requirements" above represent minimal skill competencies. As such, they may be open to demonstration of competency. Each community college is encouraged to establish how students may demonstrate competency in lieu of completing the course(s).
  5. Computer Science courses used in the Science/Math/Computer Science area must meet Oregon Council of Computer Chairs criteria for a science course. See list of courses at (Oregon Council of Computer Chairs). Math courses listed in the Science/Math/Computer Science area must meet the outcomes and criteria for Mathematics. These can be found in Appendix ​E - Outcomes and Criteria for Transfer General Education Courses of this Handbook.
  6. All Foundational Requirement courses and Discipline Studies courses must meet the statewide outcomes and criteria for the specific area. These can be found in Appendix ​E - Outcomes and Criteria for Transfer General Education Courses of this Handbook.
  7. The second year of a foreign language, but not the first year, may be included among courses that count toward the Arts and Letters requirement. American Sign Language (ASL) is considered a foreign language.
  8. WR 115 may be included in the AAOT degree as an elective providing that the WR 115 course at the community college has been approved by the ​Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development as meeting statewide learning outcomes for the course.
  9. The principal advantage of the AAOT is that it fulfills the lower-division (freshman / sophomore) General Education requirements for baccalaureate degrees at all Oregon public universities. It does not necessarily meet all of the degree requirements that a university might have beyond the requirements for majors. The AAOT guarantees that all General Education credits that a student earned will be accepted as the General Education requirements at the receiving institution.
  10. In some cases, students may also be able to use AAOT General Education courses to meet certain lower-division requirements in their intended majors. Here, caution is required, however, since the AAOT degree was not intended for this purpose. Students who have a major in mind, and also want to maximize the amount of AAOT coursework that will count toward it, should work closely with an academic adviser when designing their AAOT degrees.
  11. Because the amount of coursework required for an AAOT degree corresponds to two academic years, degree recipients are considered juniors for purposes of registration at an Oregon Public University. Students should keep in mind that the AAOT does not guarantee that two additional years will suffice to earn a baccalaureate degree; the AAOT does not give students junior-standing in their majors. Neither does it guarantee entrance into a competitive major. Students may need to take additional introductory work to prepare for certain majors and should check with an advisor regarding availability at their local community colleges. In addition, it’s not uncommon for students to change their majors and find that they must go back and take introductory work in the new area.
  12. Students and academic advisers should recognize that although the AAOT provides an excellent structure for many students—particularly those who are unsure of their primary academic focus—it is not ideal for everyone. In particular, it does not articulate well with certain majors such as engineering, biological and physical sciences, and the fine and performing arts. Students contemplating these majors cannot easily accommodate their highly-specific prerequisite coursework into the AAOT framework. In general, an AAOT recipient who is pursuing any course of study that is credit-heavy at the major lower- division level may have to take additional lower-division coursework, specific to the major, after transfer. Students contemplating such majors should consult closely with an advisor.
  13. All courses must be passed with a C- or better. If a course is taken as a P/NP and the student receives a "Pass" ("P"), it is considered equivalent to a C- or better at all Oregon community colleges.  However, it is recommended that students take courses for a letter grade and not P/NP.
  14. For purposes of the Oregon AAOT degree, no student with a disability shall be denied the degree or the benefits flowing therefrom with respect to admission and matriculation at a state university because the student has been granted an academic adjustment or program modification in any course required for the AAOT degree.  This provision includes course substitutions when granted as a disability accommodation in the manner prescribed by the student's community college.  This provision may not necessarily apply to major specific course requirements or prerequisites.
  15. Oregon Community Colleges will consider a course substitution request on a case-by-case basis, based on the student’s disability as determined by documentation as long as there is no substantial change to the course learning outcomes.  Before considering a course substitution, assistive technology, tutoring, or other reasonable accommodations will be considered in an effort to enable the student to succeed in standard course work. However, nothing in these guidelines should be interpreted as requiring the student to attempt and fail a standard course, including one made more accessible through reasonable accommodation, before consideration will be given to a request for course substitution. A course substitution will not automatically be made simply because the student has documentation of a disability impacting a particular area of academics.  Requesting a course substitution should follow the process listed below.
      • The student must request a disability-related course substitution through the designated Disability Services representative and provide appropriate documentation.
      • The Disability Services Office will contact the vice president or college designee to determine whether the substitution course would result in a substantial change in the course learning outcomes.
      • If the substitution would result in a substantial change in the course learning outcomes, the substitution will be denied.
      • If the substitution does not result in a substantial change in the course learning outcomes it will be approved.
  16. When students complete courses at more than one Oregon community college, the AAOT-granting institution will apply courses that students transfer in from other Oregon community colleges to meet the Foundational, Discipline Studies and Cultural Diversity requirements as intended and as identified by the approved course lists at the community college where and when they were taken. This is in recognition of the responsibility each college bears to create the lists based on the Outcomes and Criteria outlined in Appendix ​E - Outcomes and Criteria for Transfer General Education Courses of this Oregon Community College Handbook and Planning Guide.