How to Transfer Universities

So, the university that you are attending doesn’t feel like the right place for you? Good news is that if you’re a freshman or sophomore then you can still move schools by submitting a transfer application. However, the transfer process can be confusing as there isn’t as much information on it as regular college applications. So, here’s what you need to know if you want to transfer universities!

Why do you want to transfer?

First of all, you should assess why you want to transfer schools and whether or not it will be beneficial to your future. Is it to challenge yourself more academically? Is it to help your career goals? Take your time to think about it and write down the reasons so that you can make justified decisions, plus this list will help you later on during the transfer process if you decide to go through with it. 

Where would you rather be?

Think about why you want to transfer and look into universities that can help you achieve your goals. Do your research on every possible option to find the best fit for you. The point of transferring is to find a better fit for you. You should look through each university’s academic and extracurricular offerings as well as policies to ensure that they line up with what you expect. 

Talk to your advisor

When deciding whether or not you want to transfer universities, you should consistently talk to your advisor. They will be able to walk you through options and hopefully help you make your final decision. Moreover, you will most likely need their help with recommendations and determining the number of transferable credits. So, it is best to get in touch with them as soon as possible to talk through the entire transfer process.

Confirm the number of transferable credits

Figure out how many credits would be transferred if you were to be admitted to your school of choice. This is particularly important especially if you want to graduate on time. Each university has a different policy so be sure to familiarize yourself with the differing rules so that you can make informed decisions before committing to a transfer. 


Ensure that your GPA is aligned with where you want to transfer to. Your GPA should be relatively competitive, depending on the school that you are trying to transfer to. As always, the higher the GPA, the better. A way to boost your grade before submitting a transfer application is by taking easier classes with better grade curves. 

Another thing that you must consider is your SAT score. You should decide whether or not you want to submit your SAT score with your transfer application. If you do want to submit it then you should make sure that your score is high enough for the target university. If it seems to low then you might want to consider retaking the exam.


Schools are interested in what you do outside of the classroom. They want to see how you can add to their community, so make sure that your extracurriculars are not lacking. You should demonstrate interest in at least a few clubs to show how you can be proactive on campus. If you are trying to figure out which clubs are right for you, read this article!

Ask for professor recommendations

Most universities will require you to have professor recommendations, so make sure that you know who you want to write your recommendation letters. When choosing your professor, you should consider whose class you have been doing well in and who knows you best. Choose someone who can write a glowing review of you so that you’ll be able to put your best foot forward. You should talk to them in advance and make sure that they are on the same page as you. 

If you don’t necessarily have a professor in mind or feel as if you are not close enough to anyone, it’s still not too late. You can go to your favorite professor’s office hours or meet with them outside of class to get to know them better, and in the process, they’ll get to know you better as well. After that, it’ll be easier for them to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Write your transfer essay

One of the most important parts of transferring universities is the transfer essay. This is similar to your initial college application but it is now all school specific and the limit is usually 500 words. Spend time crafting up a well-written essay that represents you so that the admissions committee can really see who they’ll be potentially admitting. Of course, there’s no one good way to go about it but the main purpose of this essay is to tell a story so that they can fully understand who you are without having to talk to you or see you in-person. Let your essay speak for itself. 

Submit your application and wait

Once you have done everything necessary to transfer, the best thing that you can do is submit the application and hope for the best. The wait can be a few months, depending on the college and their processing time.

Before you transfer

If you have gotten this far in the process, you obviously know the positives of transferring colleges. However, before you finally press the accept button, you should consider all the risks and possible negatives of transferring college first. Think about whether or not the transfer will affect your college timeline, financial aid, or social life. See whether or not the good outweighs the bad before committing to the transfer.


All in all, we hope that this has given you a better insight into the process of transferring universities. Best of luck with everything!

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