What It's Like Transferring From Junior College to University

Going from community college to a four-year university is a big step, and you may be a bit unsure about the experience. Read on for a look at how it all happens!

Transferring to a four-year university is a big deal and requires some planning. When I started community college, my main goal was to earn my Associate of Arts and transfer to a four-year university. However, I had no idea how many steps there were to the process. But for any student who may be unsure about transferring, I think going through the process is worth it.

First steps

The first thing I did was meet with an advisor at my college, and I found out each university has a transfer guide sheet. These guides list what course equivalents transfer to the university and how many hours of each subject are required. My advisor and transfer guide sheet helped me plan which courses I needed to take each semester. At first, I was only following the transfer requirements for my top college choice. I soon realized it doesn’t hurt to check out the requirements for other universities too. You may find they have different requirements for the same program. For example, my major in Journalism had different requirements at different universities.

Related: Financial Aid Strategies for Transfer Students

Where to transfer?

After figuring out what courses to take, the next question was which four-year college or university would I choose to attend? Would I stay in state or go out of state? Asking myself these questions helped me narrow down my list of four-year colleges and universities, and I decided I wanted to stay in state, closer to home. My college list started at five, but I narrowed it down to three top choices. Being a Journalism student, I also discovered that finding a university in state that offers my program of study was challenging. That’s where college visits were helpful; I was able to visit the Journalism departments at a few universities and gain enough information to compare programs and decide which one was my best fit.

Research your options

Looking at class sizes and student life activities also helped influence my decisions. This gave me a better idea of what to expect as a student when making my transition to the university. Seeing different campuses gave me a better idea of dorms, student life, and various other aspects of the undergrad experience too. Some universities have smaller student environments and class sizes than others.  But I found I enjoyed the larger environments because I want more opportunities to meet and connect with others. In addition to college visits and getting a feel for each campus, I had to consider admission applications and available scholarships to further narrow down my choices.

The admission process

A lot of things go into transfer admission applications such as essays, lists of your accomplishments, organization and club involvement, and volunteering. Some college applications are more detailed than others, so I found it helpful to have someone look over each of my applications before submitting. Some of my prospective transfer schools offered me scholarships for my grades or involvement at my current school, but I gave my top schools the most consideration.

Related: From One College to Another: The Ultimate Transfer Guide

I ultimately decided on the University of North Texas, Denton. It has my program of study and isn’t too far from home, plus I like the campus. When I was accepted, I applied for transfer orientation; after attending, I knew it was the right university for me. From there, my next steps were just sending my final transcripts, applying for classes, and frequently checking my financial aid and student email for updates. My family, friends, and mentors provided support and insight as I prepared to transfer, and they gave me tips and reminders for things to keep in mind, such as keeping myself safe on campus. They were a major push in helping me keep up with all the transfer deadlines. Overall, I had a positive experience transferring to a four-year university. Now I’m ready to start my new journey as a transfer student!

Find your transfer college using our College Search tool.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Raven J.

Raven J.

Raven is a student at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, and will graduate with her associate degree before transferring to a four-year college in fall 2019. She enjoys exploring, listening to podcasts, art, and caring for her cat, Nugget. She is also super involved in campus activities such as Phi Theta Kappa.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Cameron Lee

Cameron Lee

High School Class of 2022

I used CollegeXpress to search for colleges. It helped me narrow down the schools on the West Coast and which schools had Construction Engineering programs. I made my decision to go to OSU and I am so excited about it.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.



High School Class of 2023

I’m currently a college freshman attending Towson University. My major is Information Technology, and I plan to minor in Electronic Media & Film to achieve my goal of becoming a production engineer. Upon graduating high school earlier this year, I was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from CollegeXpress, which greatly assisted in paying my tuition. Truthfully, this financial reward was the difference in affording my room and board and tuition, along with other expenses for school. My family and I haven’t stopped celebrating my award since it was bestowed on me. I will never forget this opportunity for allowing me to get my foot into my university financially.

Maria  Fernanda

Maria Fernanda

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress is always telling you with time to spare when to apply for certain scholarships, what they require, and if you’re eligible or not. They also provide helpful tips for both incoming college students and current college students, such as what to absolutely have in your dorm.

Makiyah Murray

Makiyah Murray

High School Class of 2021

The college application process has been a stressful one, but CollegeXpress has eased some of that stress with its readily available college resources. At the beginning of the process, I frequently used the college search feature, and now that I’m almost done applying, I’ve started using the scholarship search. Both of these resources have made it easier to find relevant information.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Drew University

Madison, NJ

High Point University

High Point, NC