No, you do not have to wait until you actually receive an AA degree before inquiring about transfer. Actually, the sooner you choose a receiving institution, the better. People usually do not call the moving company and have their belongings loaded on the van before finding a new house. Likewise, earning an AA in May and then starting the transfer process for fall is not a good idea. If you know where you wish to complete a baccalaureate degree, contact that school as you begin your associate's degree. Many schools let you apply as early as one year in advance of attending.