Course articulation is distinct from the process of acceptance by one institution of earned credit, from another institution, as applicable towards its degree requirements, i.e. "transferring credit".
Course articulation may be done on an ad hoc basis when a student actually wishes to transfer. It may also be done pursuant to existing course-to-course comparison data, or based on formal articulation agreements. In the last case, representatives of each institution compare their respective course curricula, to determine which courses are comparable and which are not. Their consensus is then formalized in a written agreement which is used by students and advisors and is regularly updated according to a mutual schedule.
Although Credit Transfer can be conducted between education bodies in separate countries, the process of articulation can become very complicated when students transfer courses earned at multiple and international campuses, more than 5-10 years ago, or have alternative credit experiences such as exam or military credit.