Applying as a Transfer Student

Boston University welcomes transfer students for both the January (spring) and September (fall) terms. If you are a high school graduate (or GED recipient) who has completed one full-time semester (12 or more credits) as a degree candidate at another college or university, you should apply to BU as a transfer applicant. If you have taken college classes without enrolling in a degree program, or will have less than 12 credits when you plan to enroll at Boston University, you should apply as a freshman. If you’re unsure of your status at the school you are attending or previously attended, we recommend that you contact the registrar’s office at that institution.

All of our undergraduate schools and colleges accept transfer students; however, certain programs do not accept transfer applications. Check the Program Requirements chart to make sure you are eligible for your chosen program.

In considering transfer candidates, we look for students who have excelled in their current program of study and who will thrive in our community—a diverse mix of students with a wide variety of interests, talents and goals. The Board of Admissions reviews every application carefully to decide who will be admitted. Here are the factors we consider:

Your college performance

This is our best indicator of how you’ll do at BU. The most competitive transfer applicants are those who enrolled and excelled in the most challenging curriculum available to them. We look for students who have taken a range of courses, including mathematics, social science, natural science and humanities. On average, transfer students who are admitted earned a 3.5 GPA or higher in college courses.

Your high school performance

Although college achievement takes priority, we also consider high school records. In general, admitted transfer students earned grades of B+ or higher in high school coursework.

Your standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)

Boston University does not require standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) for transfer admission. Please be aware that, if your first language or the primary language spoken in your home is not English, you must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams (see the English Proficiency requirements in the Transfer Application Instructions).

Instructor Evaluation, Mid-Term Report and Registrar’s Report

These give us a better view of your performance in and out of class. Both of these forms are available on the Common Application website.

Other personal qualifications

We like to see what you’ve done outside of class: your activities — both at college and in your community — and jobs. We look for activities in which your experiences or interests match the opportunities available at BU. Special skills, talents and accomplishments are also considered important in our review process.

Your application essay

This is an important part of your application because it demonstrates what you think and how clearly you express yourself. It is important for you as a transfer applicant to tell us your story. What have your academic paths been to this point? Why are you looking to transfer to BU? It is an opportunity for us to learn who you are beyond your grades. Let your voice come through in your essay — this will help us better understand what distinguishes you from other applicants. Check our essay-writing tips.

To learn more about attending BU, visit our Transfer Students page