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Articles / Applying to College / Strengthening a Transfer Application

Strengthening a Transfer Application

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 16, 2011

Question: I am currently going to the community college, and trying to transfer to UCLA in Electrical Engineering Major. During the time of attending current school, other than getting good grades, What else can I do to be highly advanced to the admission for UCLA.For example, any work experiences or certifications.

Work experience, certifications, internships, and anything else that makes you look serious about your major will help you at transfer time. If you're in a position to take on a research project (either on your own or as assistant to a faculty member), then that's a great way to strengthen a transfer application as well.


Faculty references are very important, too. If you don't already know any of your professors well, it's a good idea to try to forge these relationships so that you can rely on getting outstanding letters of recommendation. While you don't want to "suck up" to your profs solely for the purpose of garnering top references, you should go out of your way to get to know them. Visiting your professors during office hours can be a good way to solidify a relationship. Maybe you have questions or comments on the classes that you'd like to discuss? Professors can also have helpful suggestions when it comes to internship opportunities, research ideas, or job possibilities. And even though you think you want to transfer to UCLA, it can't hurt to ask your professors for thoughts on additional four-year schools to consider. Not only will this broaden your own horizons but also it can be another way for your teachers to get to know you.

While extracurricular activities don't play the same role in transfer admission that they usually do in freshman admission, joining activities at your community college and, especially, taking a leadership role can be useful in the transfer admission process. While activities related to your chosen major can "look good" on an application, it can also be worthwhile to show off a new side of yourself by pursuing disparate interests.

You might also want to contact the EE department at UCLA to make sure that you’re taking all the appropriate prerequisite classes, if you’re not already sure that you’re on the proper path.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

(posted 5/16/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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