Transfer Timeline for Pre-Med Student

Question: I am trying to transfer from BU. I’m on the pre-med track and, through the College of General Studies program I am in now, it would take me 6 years to graduate. At what time do I send my applications to other schools to transfer? Thanks

You don’t say whether or not this is your first semester at Boston University, and that’s a critical point.

All colleges list their transfer-application due dates on their Web sites. Although it can sometimes be a bit of a treasure hunt to find them, they’re typically not too hard to track down. You will also observe that there may be several transfer deadlines, depending on the term you plan to enter … Fall, Spring (usually “Spring” means a January or February start), or even Summer (which not all schools will offer).

BUT … if you’re current a freshman, it means that you may not be eligible for Spring-semester admission at some colleges. And, even if you are, you may not be wise to apply to transfer so soon. Your transfer chances at many colleges and universities will be best if you have at least one semester of college grades on your transcript and, ideally, two or more. A year or more of college grades will expand your transfer options. If you jump ship too early, your transfer schools will probably be limited to only those that would have accepted you out of high school. If that’s fine with you—and you are really eager to leave B.U.—then you can apply as soon as possible. But, in most cases, it makes sense to transfer no sooner than the fall of sophomore year. B.U.’s CGS credits will transfer just like any other college’s credits will (assuming you have earned a “C” or better in the class..)

If you are looking for financial aid, be sure to check Web sites to make sure that there is aid available for transfers in the term to which you plan to apply. Note also that financial-aid application deadlines may not be the same as admission deadlines. So plan accordingly.

Good luck to you as you chart your new path.

(posted 9/19/2011)