Transfer Applicants

Boston University welcomes transfer students from around the world for both the January (spring) and September (fall) terms. How do you know if you qualify as a transfer student?

  • If you have completed the equivalent of a United States secondary school education (approximately 12 years of formal education starting at age six), and have either an appropriate diploma or leaving certificates.


  • If you have completed at least 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 student. 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.

If you have taken college classes without enrolling in a degree program, or if you will have less than 12 credits when you plan to enroll at Boston University, you should apply as a freshman.

If you’re applying as a transfer student and are currently or were previously studying outside the U.S., please visit our Transfer Applicants (International) page.

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. 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.

Instructor Evaluation, Mid-Term Report and Transfer College Report

These give us a better view of your performance in and out of class. All 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.