Info for Parents Counselors

Transfer Student FAQ

  1. Should I apply as a transfer student or as a first-year student?
  2. I’m in my first term in college and haven’t received any grades yet.  Should I still apply as a transfer student?
  3. Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?
  4. How will you assess my application?
  5. Are transfer students eligible for merit scholarships and need-based financial aid?
  6. Are transfer students required to live on campus?
  7. How do I find out if my credits transfer to Puget Sound? Can I get an unofficial credit evaluation?
  8. Are there limits on the type or amount of credit I can transfer in?
  9. Can I attend Puget Sound part-time?
  10. Do you offer evening or weekend classes?  How about online classes?
  11. Is there an orientation program available to transfer students?
  12. Do I need to interview?
  13. It has been years since I last attended college.  Do I still need to provide the transcript?
  14. The classes I took at my previous school aren’t relevant to my current goals and I don’t want the transfer credit - I’d rather start fresh at Puget Sound.  Do I still need to provide the transcript?
  15. It has been a few years since I last attended college so I don’t believe I can get an academic evaluation.  Can someone else write a letter of recommendation for me?
  16. Can I apply for spring semester?  Summer semester?

1. Should I apply as a transfer student or as a first-year student?

Students who have undertaken college coursework after high school graduation should fill out our Transfer Application.  Please note that in addition to the standard transfer application requirements, an official high school transcript will be required for all transfer applicants with less than a year of graded college coursework.

Students whose only college credits have been earned while in high school (through Running Start, dual enrollment, College in the High School, or another program) should fill out our First-Year Application and submit transcripts from any colleges attended, in addition to the rest of the requirements for a freshman applicant. Learn more about our credit transfer policy for first-year applicants.

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2. I’m in my first term in college and haven’t received any grades yet.  Should I still apply as a transfer student?

Yes. If you are currently in your first term of college, please complete the Common App for transfer students and be sure to include your current college on the application. An official college transcript will not be required for admission review, but you should plan to provide it as soon as it is available. 

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3. Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?

Yes. We require that all incoming transfer students have a cumulative college GPA of at least 2.00. However, please note that the average incoming GPA for transfer students is approximately 3.30. We understand that each transfer applicant has a different story behind their transcript, and encourage students to speak with our transfer admission coordinator to discuss how they've prepared for Puget Sound.

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4. How will you assess my application?

We will review the entirety of your college (and high school, if applicable) record, including the courses you have taken and the grades you have received in them.  We pay special attention to the rigor of your coursework, the trend and distribution of your grades, as well as any contextual information about your academic performance that may be provided in the application.  Because strong writing and communication skills factor heavily into the curriculum of every academic department on our campus, we will also closely evaluate your application essay for both content and form.

Beyond academics, we look for students who demonstrate intellectual independence and curiosity, manage their time well, and commit to excellence both in and outside of the classroom.

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5. Are transfer students eligible for merit scholarships and need-based financial aid?

Yes!  All prospective transfer applicants are automatically considered for a merit scholarship.  Merit scholarships are renewable, and range up to $30,000 per year.  To be eligible for need-based financial aid, applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year.  You can read more about scholarships and financial aid here.

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6. Are transfer students required to live on campus?

Yes.  All students are required to live on-campus for their first two academic years with the university.  Exceptions to the policy are made for students over the age of 22, students who are married, and students who have children.  Other exceptions are very rarely granted.  Additional information about Puget Sound’s residency requirement can be obtained from the Office of Residence Life

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7. How do I find out if my credits transfer to Puget Sound? Can I get an unofficial credit evaluation?

It is our goal to maximize the retention of credit while maintaining the strong standard of a Puget Sound degree. While we are unable to provide an evaluation of transfer credit prior to admission, admitted transfer students will receive an official transfer credit evaluation shortly after receiving notification of their admission.  Please note that while a course may be eligible for university credit, acceptance of transfer credit toward major or minor requirements is at the discretion of the academic department, and may require review of course materials including assignments and syllabi. 

We encourage students to compare and contrast course descriptions from their home institution against our bulletin to identify courses that may be awarded credit. Our transfer equivalency tool, while not an official evaluation, can help you approximate how your courses may transfer.  It may also help to know that Puget Sound will consider a course for transfer credit if:  1) it was taken at a regionally accredited (or similarly qualified) institution of higher education, 2) it is sufficiently similar to a course in our curriculum, 3) it is in a liberal arts discipline, and 4) it provides a scholarly approach to the topic. The university reserves the right to limit the transferability of a course.

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8. Are there limits on the type or amount of credits I can transfer in?

Yes.  Of the 32 units required for graduation, at least 16 must be taken at Puget Sound.  Therefore, students may transfer in a maximum of 16 units (the equivalent of 96 quarter credits or 64 semester credits).  

Online classes and classes taken for a pass/fall grade are capped at a maximum of 4 units.  (Please note that this cap has been waived for courses taken during spring, summer, and fall terms in 2020, as well as winter and spring terms in 2021.)   The maximum activity credit may not exceed 2 units.

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9. Can I attend Puget Sound part-time?

Although it is possible to attend part-time, it is important to note that part-time students are not eligible for either merit scholarships or need-based financial aid.  Full-time attendance is defined as at least 3 units per semester (up to a maximum of 4.25).

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10. Do you offer evening or weekend classes?  How about online classes?

No.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a temporary shift to remote and hybrid classes, classes at Puget Sound are traditionally held on campus and during the weekday. 

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11. Is there an orientation program available to transfer students?

Yes!  Fall transfer students participate in week-long new student orientation prior to the start of the term, which traditionally begins in late August or early September.  Spring transfer students are invited to participate in a condensed version of the orientation program prior to the start of classes in mid-January.

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12. Do I need to interview?

Interviews are not required, but they’re definitely encouraged!  Interviews allow us to get to know you beyond your application, and they provide an opportunity for you to ask questions that are important to you and your academic journey. 

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13. It has been years since I last attended college.  Do I still need to provide the transcript?

Yes.  You must list every college you have ever attended on your application, and you must arrange to have an official transcript sent from each institution – even if you think that the credits will not transfer or are not applicable to your intended degree program.

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14. The classes I took at my previous school aren’t relevant to my current goals and I don’t want the transfer credit - I’d rather start fresh at Puget Sound.  Do I still need to provide the transcript?

Yes.  Please see above.

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15. It has been a few years since I last attended college so I don’t believe I can get an academic evaluation.  Can someone else write a letter of recommendation for me?

Yes.  Please speak with our transfer admission coordinator to discuss your options.

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16. Can I apply for spring semester?  Summer semester?

We accept applications for both fall and spring semesters.  Although we do offer a small number of summer classes for continuing students, it is not possible to begin study at Puget Sound during the summer term.

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