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How Do I Transfer to Another University as an International Student?

US citizens aren't the only students who need to transfer sometimes. Here's some expert advice for international students looking for a better university.

Thomas B. HassettThomas B. Hassett
Director of International Admissions

Gannon University
The common reasons for transferring from one university to another fall into two categories: unintentional and intentional. Unintentional transfers are students who did not originally wish to transfer but who find their college choice unsatisfactory, sometimes due to affordability and sometimes due to other needs not being met. Intentional transfers typically start at two-year schools or in foundation programs because of closeness to home, lower cost, or other commitments before pursuing a degree at a four-year university. Regardless of the reason, transferring is a two-tiered process that includes admission and the transfer of courses from one school to another.  

Admission requirements for transfer students may vary but will certainly require an official transcript from the first school that shows courses taken and marks or grades received. You can usually be considered for admission without having your courses evaluated for transferability. Of course, most students who transfer want to know how many courses will transfer with them. In this case, you must provide course descriptions or syllabi that define the outcomes-based intentions of the course along with the time spent in each course. The sooner you send these descriptions, the sooner an evaluation can be made on how many courses will transfer and how many additional courses you will need to complete. The final consideration is only related to international students who will need to transfer their SEVIS record from one university to the next if the first school is in the United States. In this case, you will need to take your acceptance letter from the second university to the school from which you want to transfer and ask that your SEVIS record be transferred to the second school.  

If you need more guidance for your particular situation, check out the advice in our International Students and Transfer Students sections.

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