What You Need to Know Before Transferring as a Sophomore

Sophomore Transfers-2

The stereotypical college transfer student that we think of are junior transfers, who spend two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year university. Lesser known are the four-year to four-year school transfers.

What many don’t know is that many schools offer the opportunity to transfer after freshmen year. These are sophomore transfers, like myself. After transferring as a sophomore, and having the opportunity to speak with other sophomore transfers, here are some pros and cons about transferring as a sophomore:


  • You get more time to acclimate to the school. I found that for both schools, my first quarter/semester always got off to a slower start as I acclimated with the school’s cultures, activities, and my classes. By transferring before junior year, you have an extra year to get situated before graduating.
  • You have an opportunity to get to know your professors and advisors. Building a relationship with your teachers and mentors takes time, and a gripe many have about transferring as juniors is that they lose these important relationships when they transfer. Having three years to continually reach out to your favorite professors gives you time to build a relationship and seek out mentors before you graduate.
  • It’s easier to make yourself visible in clubs. Another gripe many transfers have is that they lose their positions and reputations in their clubs at their previous institution. As a sophomore transfer, you join many other sophomores who are also seeking clubs and communities—because of this, it is much easier to carve a niche for yourself on campus.
  • You can make the most out of your school. I did not have the opportunity to attend many athletic events last fall, and I am so grateful to have two more years to attend USC and support my school. Transferring to a new school results in so many new opportunities, and sometimes you can’t commit to all of them. Sophomore transfers do not have to worry about overloading their schedules because they have more years.


  • Transferring as a sophomore gives you a limited time window at your original school. Oftentimes, this means that you may not have given your current school a chance, especially if you came in wanting to transfer.
  • High school GPA’s and scores matter. As a sophomore transfer, it means that you applied to transfer often as early as your second quarter or semester at your original school. Because you have such little units, your high school scores count. This may make it harder for some candidates to transfer.
  • I transferred from a four-year school to USC, and one of the biggest drawbacks for me was being able to compare both institutions and the different perks that they offered. Some transfers may find themselves falling into this hole of comparison and complaining about how the culture may be different, or the class workload or the students themselves. Don’t—it will only make your transfer experience worse.
  • Limited choice of schools. A big drawback of sophomore transfers is that you do not have a large option of where you can transfer to. For example, the University of California’s traditionally only take junior transfers. However, there are many private and public school options—you just have to look and do your research.

As a sophomore transfer myself, I personally do not regret my decision to transfer. I was able to take the opportunities I had at my old school and use them to my advantage at USC. Furthermore, having a support group of friends at both schools really made the transition easier. It is not an easy decision to decide to transfer, and especially as a freshman—but for those that do, it is often rewarding in its own ways.

Are you a sophomore transfer? Let us know!

– Michelle L.