Transferring to a different university


There are many reasons why a student may need or want to transfer from one university to another after their first semester, after one year of school or even as a senior. Each situation is unique and should be carefully considered.

What to consider when transferring schools

First, before leaving the school make sure any issues or misunderstandings cannot be resolved and that transferring is the best option for your student at this point. If possible, talk to a university counselor, academic advisor, faculty member or other trusted school official. They may offer insight or advice that can help your student overcome the situation or approach and resolve it differently.

Transferring schools is a life transition that can bring about new challenges at a sensitive time. Consider these options first:

  • Taking a leave of absence.
  • Changing housing assignments.
  • Switching majors.
  • Taking online classes.
  • Finding tutoring or other academic services.
  • Getting appropriate medical or mental health care.
  • Securing a job or financial assistance.
  • Getting involved in extracurricular activities.
  • Staying in contact with close friends and family members.

How to transfer from one university to another 

If transferring is the only or best solution, find out what it means in your student’s situation. The number of credits your student has earned will determine the transfer process. Your student will want to ask and get answers to questions like “Will I have to meet admission requirements of a new school?” and “Will all my credits transfer?” Follow these general steps when transferring colleges:

  1. Reach out to the new school or schools for admission requirements and transfer policies. Find new schools that offer your student’s chosen major and contact them to make sure the program matches your goals and interests. Inquire about admission requirements. Requirements may differ based on your student’s academic standing.

  2. Meet with an academic advisor at both the school you are leaving and new schools being considered. Because every school has a different credit transfer policy, it’s important to find out which credits will transfer to the new degree program. Your student will likely have to send a transcript from their current school to find out which credits will be accepted.

  3. Submit an admission application and required documents to begin the transfer process. The number of credits your student has earned will determine if they will submit a transfer admission application and similar freshman application requirements with high school documentation or if they will need to apply and submit transfer specific documents.

Transferring before completion of their freshman year and with less than 30 credits is very different from transferring as a college senior. If transferring as a senior, make sure your student understands the implications of the transfer at this stage in their degree program and confirms the credits that will transfer before moving forward.

As your student begins the transfer process, they should be aware of any transfer deadlines. Once accepted to the new school, your student should secure their admission and financial aid, and withdraw or take a leave of absence (in case they decide to go back) from their current university.