International transfer students are those who have completed their secondary education and have started their higher education at one university and now wish to transfer to another university. The United States of America offers a wide range of US universities that accept international transfer students.
US universities that accept international transfer students
Here is a list of US universities that accept international transfer students along with their application website:
1. Arizona State University (ASU)
Arizona State University is a public research university located in Tempe, Arizona. It is one of the largest US universities that accept international transfer students, with over 90,000 students.
ASU, as popularly called, accepts international transfer students who have completed at least 24 transferable credits at their previous institution. Visit the official ASU website to commence your transfer colleges as an international student.
2. Boston University (BU)
Boston University is known for its research prowess and is located in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts.
And with more than 700 transfer students joining BU each year, this university welcomes you as a transfer student who can thrive. You just need a mix of a student with a wide variety of interests, talents, and goals about you to survive.
With over 34,000 students, BU is home to US universities that accept international transfer students.
BU is currently accepting international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework.
3. California State University (CSU)
Another university of choice is California State University a public university system located in California. This university hosts over 482,000 students.
Short-named CSU, you can apply to transfer to this university as an international transfer student who has completed at least 24 transferable semester units at their previous institution. You are considered an international transfer applicant if you:
- Require an ‘F visa’ (or I-20) to study at Cal State LA; and
- Attempted college coursework after high school graduation, but have not completed a Bachelor’s degree.
4. Columbia University
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university located in New York City. It is one of the oldest universities in the USA, founded in 1754.
Yes, Columbia University is one of the US universities that accept international transfer students. However, you must have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework.
Columbia University welcomes over 100 transfer students each year. Apply to transfer now.
5. Duke University
If you have never heard of Duke University, well, you now have.
It’s home to private research, located in Durham, North Carolina. It is one of the top universities in the USA, with over 15,000 students.
Duke University accepts international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework. About 50 students transfer to this university each year, so your transfer will improve the number. Apply now…
6. Georgetown University
Georgetown has some professors you should try to take and some you should avoid at any time. So, think more about factors outside of the classroom, especially if you are not dead-set on one path.
Georgetown University is located in Washington, D.C., and is one of the oldest universities in the USA, founded in 1789.
This accepts international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework. It’s simple to transfer to Georgetown University; you just need to meet the simple requirements and apply here.
7. New York University (NYU)
Talk about a top varsity, and that has to be New York University in New York City.
It hosts over 50,000 students and accepts international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework.
NYU is not a school for everyone, but it can be great for the perfect person. And I believe you might be that perfect student.
Note that admission for transfer students is highly competitive. NYU’s evaluation will focus primarily on your college/university grades and your high school/secondary school performance. Anyways, apply now.
8. Northeastern University
Northeastern University is a known research university in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the largest universities in the USA, with over 25,000 students. Yes, Northeastern University is one of the US universities that accept international transfer students but be sure to meet the requirements.
You must complete at least 12 semester hours of college-level coursework (after high school graduation) or have attempted at least one semester of full-time coursework and maintained enrollment through the add/drop period (after high school completion) to be eligible. Apply to transfer to Northeastern University, one of the US universities that accept international transfer students.
9. Stanford University
Stanford University is a private research university located in Stanford, California. It is one of the top universities in the USA, with over 16,000 students.
You just need a $90 nonrefundable application fee or fee waiver request to apply as a transfer student. Go here to start your transfer application.
10. University of California (UC)
The University of California is a public university system located in California.
A university with large university systems in the USA, with over 280,000 students. UC accepts international transfer students who have completed at least 24 transferable semester units at their previous institution.
Start your simple application process via the official website. If you are naïve and ill-prepared as a college student, it’s probably not the university you want to transfer to.
11. University of Chicago
Located in Chicago, Illinois, the University of Chicago is one of the top universities in the USA, with over 15,000 students. The University of Chicago accepts international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework.
As an international student, you apply in the same manner as any other transfer applicant, with an additional English proficiency test requirement. Just visit the application page to begin the transfer process.
12. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public research university located in Urbana, Illinois. It is one of the largest universities in the USA, with over 50,000 students.
If you want to transfer to UIUC, planning is key. Visit the transfer application page to learn about the steps you should take to prepare and apply successfully.
13. University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is one of the largest universities in the USA, with over 44,000 students.
If you have attended any institution of higher education (on any basis, for any length of time) following graduation from high school, you can apply as a transfer applicant and submit official transcripts from all of the colleges that you have attended.
14. University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is located in Austin, Texas. It is one of the largest universities in the USA, with over 51,000 students. Just one of the US universities that accept international transfer students.
You can apply for a University of Texas at Austin transfer if you have earned a GED and have or will have earned 24 semester hours of required transferable coursework at another college or university.
15. University of Washington
Consider the University of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington. It hosts over 54,000 students and currently accepts international transfer students who have completed at least one full-time academic year of college-level coursework.
Transfer students are an important part of the UW community, so go ahead and apply.
How international students can transfer to a U.S. University
Here’s what international students need to be aware of when considering a transfer from a school in their home country or within the United States.
International students may choose to transfer schools for a variety of reasons, including cost considerations, a lack of preparedness for a four-year university, or simply because the school they are attending is not a good fit.
Before making any decisions regarding transferring, experts recommend that international students take English proficiency tests like the TOEFL, as well as any necessary college admission exams.
Students need to check with the institution they are considering transferring to for any specific requirements.
Here are three transfer options for international students to ponder:
- Transferring from a university in their home country.
- Transferring from a two-year community college in the United States.
- Transferring from one four-year university in the United States to another U.S. institution.
1. Transferring from a University in their home country
International students who are considering transferring schools may find it easier to start by taking courses at a university in their home country before transferring to a U.S. institution.
Make sure to start the transfer process early if you plan to transfer from a university in your home country to a U.S. university. This is because you will likely need to have your previous classes evaluated.
The process of evaluating courses can take several weeks. Due to differences in academic systems, some credits may not transfer and the GPA calculation may vary between schools.
To ensure that international students have enough time to prepare for application requirements and to understand the specific deadlines, experts advise applying several months in advance. Reach out to individual universities to inquire about their transfer policies.
2. Transferring from a two-year community college in the United States.
International students who are not yet prepared for a four-year university or need time to improve their GPA may consider starting at a U.S. community college and then transferring to a university, typically to start their junior year.
Starting at a community college is a wise move for students seeking an education from a U.S. university. It helps to conserve funds, provides a better initial classroom experience, and builds relationships with the community.
However, ensure to take classes that are transferable and regularly meet with your counselor to help you stay on track in meeting transfer requirements.
Starting at a community college can be a viable option as it provides access to more competitive four-year institutions for students who are transferring as juniors, and bypasses the larger and more competitive pool of first-year applicants.
In Maryland, for instance, most institutions do not require standardized test scores from students who have completed an associate degree from a Maryland community college.
Recently, there has been an increasing trend of international students being offered scholarships as part of their transfer package. Some universities are even offering specific international student transfer scholarships.
3. Transferring from one four-year university in the United States to another U.S. institution.
International students who discover that the U.S. school they initially chose is not meeting their expectations have the option to transfer to another U.S. university that is a better fit.
Be aware of the two distinct transfer processes: the academic transfer, which involves admission and an evaluation of the credits that will transfer to the new school, and the immigration transfer of the student’s SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record to the new school.
SEVIS is a system used by the U.S. government to keep track of information on international students.
The academic transfer must occur first. Once a student is admitted to the new school, they can request their current school to transfer their SEVIS record, which will then allow the new school to issue an I-20 form. The I-20 certifies the student’s eligibility for F-1 academic student or M-1 vocational student status.
As an international student, you should work with the international student services office, particularly with the designated school official (DSO), to complete your immigration transfer. The DSO helps students maintain their legal status to study in the United States.
The transfer release date refers to the date when the student’s SEVIS record is electronically transferred to the new school.
Carefully choose your requested SEVIS release date and work with their designated school official if they are unsure which date to select. If you’re transferring in the middle of a semester, you have to continue attending classes at your transfer-out school until the SEVIS release date.
During the transfer process, maintain your legal immigration status and follow instructions from their DSO at the transfer-in school to ensure the timely issuance of your I-20.