Transfer Timeline

We’re now halfway through the school year—or one-third, if you’re on the quarter system—and by now you may have thought about whether you want to transfer or not. If you’re still unsure, that’s okay! Spend the rest of the school year enjoying the classes that you’re taking and the campus that you’re studying at. Make the most of your experience and don’t be afraid to join clubs, talk to professors or advisers, and participate in school events. Take the time to really make an effort to get to know your school—after all, you’re paying tuition to go there!

For those of you that are certain you want to apply to transfer, facing the transfer application process can be daunting. In this article, I aim to outline a schedule you can follow to have a streamlined, less stressful transferring process.

January-May/June: Check to see if the university you want to transfer to has an articulation history with your current school. Furthermore, check to see whether the major you want has prerequisites, and whether you’ve satisfied those prerequisites. This can often include an introductory writing course or a math course necessary for your major.

Then, you’ll want to make sure that you take these classes at your current university. Oftentimes, a major factor holding applicants back is that they don’t meet the prerequisites, meaning they are not even considered. Don’t let this happen to you!

Summer: Take time to think about your essays. Most colleges use the Common Application, a site that students can use to apply to hundreds of colleges. You may have used it already as senior in high school. If you’re applying to state schools, such as the University of California schools, there is a different portal used to accept applications. Figure out which site your college uses and use your summer to think of what you want to write about—for example, why you want to transfer and what you will do at your new campus. The deadlines for transfer applications can be earlier and coincide with finals, so it will be helpful to have put in some thought beforehand.

Common App Screenshot

Thanksgiving break/Winter break: Ideally, you will have worked on your essay already, but use this break to write your essays and supplements. Take advantage of your break and fine-tune your responses!

November-January: This is usually the period of time when transfer applications are due. Get them in!

January: Apply for financial aid as usual, but make sure you apply for financial aid at the school you want to transfer to as well. Take this moment to look up scholarships you can apply for, as some schools offer scholarships for incoming transfers.

May-June: You’ll receive your decisions! Congratulations on making it through the process.

Do you have any specific questions about the process? Tips on how you transferred? Let us know!

– Michelle L.