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If you are a counselor advising a student who is considering transferring to Emerson, the information below will be helpful to review with them in order to better understand the transfer process here. We know how hard you work to help guide your students, and we look forward to working with you and them as they prepare to take this next step.
Applying as a Transfer Student
At Emerson, we define a transfer student as anyone with a high school diploma or GED (General Equivalency Diploma) who has matriculated full time at another college or enrolled part-time for three or more college courses (9 or more college credits). Students with college credits earned prior to high school graduation (e.g., dual enrollment) are considered first-year applicants.
Comedic Arts, Performing Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies only accept transfer applications for the fall term.
A transfer student is anyone who has been out of high school for a minimum of three years prior to beginning college and/or returning to college after an extended absence.
Our transfer application deadlines for both fall and spring admission are available online.
Applications and supporting credentials received after the postmarked deadline will be considered only if there is available space in the program. In addition, if a student's application is still incomplete by the deadline, they may not receive a decision by the notification date.
Application requirements for transfer applicants are available online. Additional application materials are required for applicants to our Performing Arts, Comedic Arts and Media Arts Production programs. The Global BFA in Film Art and Global BA in International and Political Communication programs are not available to transfer applicants at this time.
Checking the Application Status
Once a student has applied, they will be able to access an Application Portal to check the status of their application, submit a creative sample, sign up for an artistic review (if the student is a Performing Arts applicant) and view their decision when it is posted.
Applying for Spring Enrollment
With the exception of Comedic Arts, Performing Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies, we admit a limited number of transfer students each spring. The deadline to apply is November 1 and applications submitted after this date will be evaluated on a space-available basis until December 3.
The sooner you apply for spring and submit all the required documents, the sooner you may receive a decision (and, if admitted, receive information on transfer credits, course registration, and orientation).
Factors Considered for Transfer Admission
Transfer admission is competitive. Although the selection process may differ slightly from major to major, we consider similar factors in the application review, such as the relative strength of their college coursework, the performance in those courses, high school record, standardized test scores (if applicable), personal statements, application essay, recommendation letters, and activities both in school and in their community. Any additional requirements will also be important in the review.
Successful transfer applicants typically follow a general education/liberal arts curriculum at their school for a full academic year earning “B” grades or better. Typically, the successful candidate will have completed at least a year of college credit (though some successful candidates have one semester of college coursework plus a strong high school record) and maintained higher than a 3.0 average. If a student has been in college less than a year, the high school record will be an important consideration for admission.
Reapplying for Admission
Students are welcome to reapply to Emerson, even if they applied within the past year. In addition to a new application, students will need to submit an updated transcript showing their most recent college courses and grades in progress. Students may also want to consider writing a new essay, asking different people for recommendations, and submitting new supplemental materials.
Please note: We encourage first-year applicants who were not accepted to take at least one year of college coursework before applying for transfer admission.
Applying for Financial Aid
Each year, approximately two-thirds of our student body, including transfer students, receives some form of financial assistance. The awards typically combine grant and scholarship, loan, and college work-study, and take into consideration the cost of transportation and off-campus housing.
In order to be considered for financial aid, students must submit both the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) and the CSS PROFILE form, as well as copies of signed tax documents. April 5 is the deadline to file financial aid materials for September admission. November 15 is the deadline to file for January Admission. More information is available from the Office of Financial Aid at 617-824-8655 or finaid [at] emerson.eduspamspan="" title="Email the Office of Financial Aid".
Scholarships for Transfer Students
Emerson offers a variety of transfer scholarships. For more information about specific scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit our scholarship website.
Housing for Transfer Students
While Emerson does offer some on-campus housing for transfer and upper class students, it is limited and on a space-available basis. Our Office of Student Services provides assistance in finding roommates as well as locating apartments throughout the city.
Boston is home to hundreds of thousands of college students, which means there are many housing options to choose from. Additionally, with Emerson's location in the heart of the city, you are never more than a few steps from the "T" (Boston's subway system), making for a short trip back home after class.
What is an “accredited institution?”
The term “accredited” usually means that a college or university has met or exceeded quality standards and has the resources to achieve its stated purpose. Emerson is accredited by the New England Association for Schools and Colleges, one of six regional organizations in the United States.
Transfer credits are accepted only from other accredited institutions. Credits from foreign colleges and universities may be transferred from schools recognized by national authorities as degree-granting institutions of higher learning.
Transferring Credits from Another Institution
Transfer credit is granted for comparable courses from accredited two- and four-year institutions that were completed in the last 10 years with grades of “C” (2.0) or better. A pass “P” or “CR” grade must equal a “C” or better. Please note, if not included on the transcript, the Registrar's Office requires documentation from your previous institution confirming a grade of "P" or "CR" equals a minimum grade of "C" before completing a course evaluation. Consult our Undergraduate Catalogue to read course descriptions. The College reserves the right to award or withhold transfer credit as well as change transfer policies.
Once students have been offered admission to Emerson, the Registrar's Office determines the number of transferable Liberal Arts and General Education credits. Faculty members in each academic department evaluate major-related courses upon request. Completed credit evaluations are typically posted in students' admission portal within a week from the date of their offer of admission. The credit evaluation indicates which courses will transfer, the number of credits awarded, and the student's class standing.
Read the Transfer Credit Policy for more information.
Courses that Transfer
The volume of transfer applications prevents us from assisting students with credit evaluations prior to admission. However, we feel many questions will be answered by consulting our Undergraduate Catalogue. Information regarding Emerson major or general education requirements is available at the Advising Center.
You will find that general education or traditional liberal arts courses will be more readily accepted for transfer credit than specific upper division classes in a major. Students will need to keep this in mind when choosing courses at their current college/university. It is important to have access to the current school's catalogue, course descriptions, and course syllabi. Students might be asked for additional information to evaluate transfer credits.
Requirements to Process Transfer Credits
Matriculating transfer students must supply the Registrar's Office with final, official copies of all college/university transcripts. Faxed, unsealed, or student copies of transcripts are not considered official and will not be used to evaluate transfer credits.
International Transcript Policies
If a student has transcripts from a college or university outside the United States that are not in English, they will need to have them evaluated by World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), or the Center for Educational Documentation (CED) before the application deadline. Processing international credentials may take up to eight weeks, so please allow sufficient time for the documents to arrive by the application deadline.
A 3-credit course completed at another institution will not transfer to Emerson as a 4-credit course. It will, however, satisfy a 4-credit (full-course) requirement. Credits awarded by other institutions in units, courses, or quarter hours, etc., will be converted to make them equivalent to Emerson's semester-hour credits. Quarter hours will be reduced by 1/3 to make them equivalent to semester hours.
Transfer Credit Maximum
Students transferring into Emerson College from another institution may transfer in a maximum of 80 pre-matriculation credits, with no more than 64 of those credits from a junior or community college and no more than 32 credits from exams (e.g., AP, IB, CLEP). Post-matriculation, transfer students will be limited to a maximum of 64 transfer credits, including those credits transferred in pre-matriculation.
Receiving Credit for AP, IB, or CLEP Examinations
Emerson grants transfer credit for Advanced Placement scores of 4 and 5, International Baccalaureate higher level exams with scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7 (with the exception of Language A/English, where a score of 6 or 7 is required), and CLEP exam scores of 50 or higher (for a full 3-credit course equivalent; CLEPs are not accepted for WR 101).
Official test scores must be submitted to our Registrar's Office for evaluation before any examination credit can be awarded. Please refer to the Undergraduate Course Catalogue for more information.
Courses Not Accepted for Transfer Credit
Non-academic coursework from the following subject areas is generally not accepted for transfer credit at Emerson:
- Physical Education classes
- Engineering, Mechanical, and Technical courses
- Hotel, Restaurant Management, Travel and Hospitality courses
- College Success, Orientation, and First-Year Experience programs
- ESL classes
- Pre-College level (Pre-100 level) courses
Credit Requirements at Emerson College
Transfer students are required to complete a minimum of 48 credits at Emerson, of which at least 20 credits must be in their major. In addition, they are required to earn their final 16 credits at the College. Please refer to our Undergraduate Catalogue for additional academic regulations.
If you have any additional transfer related questions, please contact Undergraduate Admission.