What is Involved in a Transfer Admission For College?

College TransferWhether you’re transferring from a two-year college or from one four-year institution to another, you may probably want to know what’s involved in a transfer admission for college. Maybe you’ve heard there’s a possibility that some of your credits may not transfer. While you likely hate the idea that you took a class you can’t use toward your bachelor’s degree, this does sometimes occur. However, often times schools within the same state may have reciprocation policies in place to make the transfer process more seamless, and institutions usually try to utilize as many of your existing credits as possible. There are a number of factors a college takes into consideration when determining which credits will be accepted from another institution toward your final graduation requirements, according to US News and World Report. Let’s examine some of those factors.


Accreditation is granted to a school or program by a governing body that oversees academic quality. There are generally two types of accreditation that can be offered to an institution. These are regional or national accreditation. Regional is given to schools that are qualified based on academic curriculum, while national is received by schools that offer vocational or technical programs that lead directly to employment options. Differences in the type of accreditation could have a negative impact on whether credits transfer from one type of school to another.


Of course, you know that grades are important. What you may not have realized is that grades that are below average are likely not to transfer. Depending on the subject, a higher than average grade may be required for transfer acceptance. Good grades are definitely involved in a transfer admission for college. If you are hoping to get accepted into a highly competitive or prestigious school, your overall GPA is extremely important.


All institutions of higher education have individual policies regarding transfer credit acceptance. Often times, they may have agreements in place with regional or local institutions. This is helpful for easing the transfer process. Other times, individual policies may simply be based on that particular school’s preference and experience. Your transcript will be evaluated, and each course will be evaluated for whether it meets specified policy criteria.

Course Numbering

A new trend in articulation agreements is common course numbers for equivalent classes. Two and four-year schools compare course offerings and agree upon certain classes that they deem to be similar in content. These classes are provided the same number in the course catalog in order to make their transfer seamless. This kind of numbering system is used most often for core courses required in the liberal studies curriculum.

Related Resource: College Readmission

When applying to a new college or university, it’s advisable to take time to meet with an admissions representative or registrar in order to get an idea of how many of your credits will transfer for acceptance into the general studies course requirements and those of your intended major. Doing so will help you to avoid any unexpected class repeats after being accepted and paying your tuition. It is, however, usually inevitable that you may lose a few credits due to policy or simply because there is no way to fit them into your program needs. Now you have an idea of what is involved in a transfer admission for college and can make an informed choice.