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New Alliance to Guarantee Pathway for NOVA Grads to UMGC

UMGC Staff
By UMGC Staff
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It just got easier – and more affordable for Northern Virginia Community College ( (NOVA) graduates to transfer to University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

As one of the largest and most diverse community colleges in the United States, NOVA is committed to institutional excellence. This partnership will create a clear pathway for students who start at NOVA to matriculate to UMGC and will offer more equitable opportunities for those seeking to enter the workforce quickly. 

UMGC President Gregory Fowler and NOVA President Anne Kress signed a Community College partnership agreement on May 10, 2023, to build on the long-standing relationship between the two high-profile institutions. NOVA graduates will now be guaranteed admission to UMGC upon completion of a minimum of 60 credits toward their bachelor’s degree, while allowing a maximum of 70 credits to transfer. This partnership ensures that credits are not lost in transfer to a new institution.

In addition, NOVA grads, as well as NOVA faculty and staff, and their dependents, will have the UMGC application fee waived and will receive discounted tuition for most programs of study.

“Both NOVA and UMGC are leading educators in the Washington Metropolitan area. Both share a common interest in upskilling adult learners to serve the region’s workforce needs,” President Fowler said, making the alliance “a perfect fit.”

“We speak the same language,” he said at the signing ceremony held in UMGC’s education center at Northern Virginia’s National Landing. “We are talking skills based. We are talking workforce development. We’re talking about reaching one of the populations that higher education has not always served best. We want to make sure transfer students have opportunities open to them.”

The two institutions agreed to make the focus be on the students and their success by simplifying the process and streamlining the requirements for transfer.

NOVA’s President Kress noted that UMGC is NOVA’s top out-of-state transfer partner. This new agreement “breaks down any final barriers for NOVA students to flow seamlessly into UMGC,” she said.

Fowler added that some 1,570 NOVA transfer students already were studying at UMGC. But more can be done.

The agreement is “about non-traditional students finding non-traditional pathways to achieve their dreams of a college degree,” Kress continued. “When President Fowler and I started our conversation, I said maybe it was time to bring our partnership a little bit into the future.”

“By making a bachelors’ degree more affordable, with this agreement, we are trying to make this a premier transfer partnership because we know that the changing demographics of today’s students will call on us to work in very innovative ways to help them to achieve the skills, the abilities, the knowledge and the credentials that they need to move forward,” Kress said.

“This is part of UMGC’s plan to become the country’s most transfer-friendly institution.” Fowler said. “We were proud when U.S. News & World Report cited us as No. 1 in the nation in the number of new transfer students enrolled, and equally proud of the message it sends across higher education about the importance of removing obstacles to success for all learners.”

For more information, visit UMGC’s national community college alliances webpage. For more information about NOVA, please visit For media inquiries regarding UMGC, please contact Bob Ludwig, assistant vice president for media relations at For media inquiries about NOVA, please contact Hoang Nguyen, associate director of external communications at

About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid, courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 125 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit

About NOVA
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of the largest community colleges in the United States. NOVA enrolls nearly 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. It offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, including through university transfers, to help students reach their academic and professional goals and provide access to the most in-demand careers. NOVA strives to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves, and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit