High school graduates or GED recipients who have attempted 12 or more college credits after graduation and/or students who have enrolled as degree-seeking college students are considered transfer students. Transfer students make up nearly a third of the undergraduate student body. They represent a variety of educational backgrounds and include community college and two-year college graduates, returning students, and students from four-year colleges and universities.
Applications must be submitted with official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (whether or not credit is desired). Transfers applying with fewer than 27 completed credits or from colleges with non-standard grading systems must also submit official high school transcripts including SAT or ACT scores. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $40 for Massachusetts residents, $50 for other U.S. citizens, and $60 for international applicants. (These fees are subject to change.) Upon acceptance, a nonrefundable enrollment fee of $400, including housing deposit, is required to confirm a place in the entering class.
Applications must be received and complete (including all official college transcripts, required essay, fee, and related documents) not later than April 15 for fall semester and October 1 for spring semester.
International students are eligible only for fall admission unless they are currently enrolled at a U.S. college. They must also submit TOEFL scores, a sponsor statement, and a bank statement.
Transfers must submit a brief written statement with their application. Applicants can use this opportunity to provide further information not apparent from their transcripts and other materials. Interviews with transfer counselors may be requested if there are any special concerns about the transfer process.
Transfer Admission Criteria and Decision-Making Process
About 3,400 transfer applications are expected for 2009-10 enrollment for approximately 1,600 vacancies. The primary criterion for transfer admission is the quality of the applicant’s academic record. Transfer applicants with above-average grades in a range of disciplines (including writing/composition, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences) usually qualify for general admission. Competitive majors require prerequisite course work. Admission decisions are made beginning in March through June for fall enrollment, and October through December for spring enrollment.
Additional transfer information is provided in the admission application.
Massachusetts Community College Graduates
Students who earn an associate’s degree with the Commonwealth Transfer Compact (CTC) from a Massachusetts community college and who have above-average grades are generally strong candidates for admission. The CTC is a credit transfer agreement which guarantees students a minimum of 60 transfer credits and completion of General Education requirements. Associate degrees not conforming to CTC specifications are evaluated based on individual course acceptance. Students entering Massachusetts community colleges in fall 2009 will no longer qualify for the Commonwealth Transfer Compact but will instead participate in the new MassTransfer program, which guarantees a minimum of 60 transfer credits and which exempts students from all but two of the university’s General Education requirements. Contact your community college transfer counselor for details.
Joint Admissions Program with Massachusetts Community Colleges
The university has joined with the 15 Massachusetts community colleges to guarantee acceptance of students upon completion of designated transfer associate’s degree programs with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade average. Students who elect this option upon enrollment at the community college will receive continuous advising assistance, periodic communications from university academic and other departments, and information sessions with university faculty.
Students entering Massachusetts community colleges in fall 2009 will no longer qualify for the Joint Admissions program but will instead participate in the new MassTransfer program. Under MassTransfer, students complete coursework ensuring a smooth transition to a bachelor’s degree program; however, the GPA required for guaranteed admission varies based on the program.
University of Massachusetts Interchange
An enrolled degree-seeking student at the University’s Boston, Dartmouth or Lowell campus who wishes to transfer as a degree-seeking student to the Amherst campus may apply under the Interchange Transfer program. To be eligible, the applicant must be in good academic standing, have completed 12-15 credits full-time, with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, and be currently enrolled in 12-15 credit hours. If the applicant meets these eligibility requirements, no application fee is required. Note: Applicants from the Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell campuses who are special non-degree students must apply as transfer students and, therefore, must submit all fees and other application materials.
Selecting a Major
For transfer applicants, especially juniors, it is important to find out about university major degree requirements prior to filing the application for admission. Transfers are encouraged to select a major upon admission.
Several majors require completion of prerequisite coursework and more competitive grade point averages before transfer. Other major departments may require a specific number of upper division courses to be taken at the university, or minimum grades, or sequential courses, etc. Admission to the Isenberg School of Management is not directly to a major. Please contact a transfer counselor in the Undergraduate Admissions Office to request major degree information.
Transfer Credit/Course Evaluation
Transfer credit is generally awarded for courses taken at regionally accredited postsecondary educational institutions which are comparable in content and level to courses offered by the university. Only courses in which a grade of C- or higher is earned are considered. Internships, co-ops, and technical, vocational, or highly specialized courses are generally not accepted.
Accepted transfers receive a preliminary evaluation of their credits. A more detailed course and major evaluation takes place during the New Students Orientation Program.
In order to graduate, transfers must satisfactorily complete all University General Education degree requirements, school/college requirements, and major department requirements and earn a minimum of 120 graduation credits (128-135 for engineering), of which 45 must be earned at the University.
Many honors opportunities are offered to academically talented transfer students through Commonwealth College, the honors college of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Some may enjoy the challenge of taking honors courses without officially joining the honors college. Others with an overall GPA of 3.500 or higher and a grade of B or Better in College Writing may qualify at the time of admission to transfer directly into Commonwealth College. However, meeting the 3.500 minimum requirement does not guarantee admission to Commonwealth College.
Transfer students with fewer than six semesters to complete may apply to have their transcripts reviewed for appropriate accommodations by Commonwealth College advisers. Students’ prior work is assessed to determine the foundation and honors course requirements remaining to be satisfied. These honors courses must be taken while in residence and completed with a grade of B or higher. Under no circumstances will the Honors Seminar series requirement or the capstone experience requirement be waived. Students who transfer into Commonwealth College with an associate’s degree through a certified Commonwealth Honors Program are recognized as having completed the first two years of their Commonwealth College requirements.
Note: to graduate with any level of honors, students must complete a minimum of 45 graded (not Pass/Fail) University of Massachusetts Amherst credits. For more information on opportunities available through Commonwealth College, requirements for graduation with Commonwealth College Honors, and diploma recognition, see the “Commonwealth College” and “University Graduation Requirements” sections of this Guide or contact the Commonwealth College office, 504 Goodell Building, tel. (413) 545-2483.