Transferring to a U.S. University
 
 
 
 
Transferring to a U.S. University

An attractive feature of the U.S. higher education system is that you can transfer from one college to another midway through a degree. The flexibility of the credit system at U.S. universities allows credits earned at one institution to be recognized by another, provided certain criteria are met. Over 1 million students transfer to a new college each fall, and additional students transfer mid-year at the start of the spring semester. Many of these students transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges to complete a bachelor's degree (see community colleges for more information). Others start at a four-year institution, but for personal, academic, or financial reasons decide to transfer to a different four-year college. A small number transfer from an institution outside the United States to one within the United States. The information in this section is designed to give you a better understanding of the challenges involved and help make your transfer process as smooth as possible.

Most colleges prefer students to have completed one year of study before they enroll at the new college, but this requirement varies from school to school. In addition, most universities have a two-year residency requirement prior to graduation. This means that you must spend at least two years studying at that college in order to graduate and receive its degree. Transferring after three years of study becomes more difficult but varies between colleges. In general, most transfer students are in their sophomore or junior (second or third) year when they arrive at the new college.