Transfer Student Admission
Transfer students are a welcome addition to the Gustavus community. They provide a unique perspective and enrich the campus with their previous college experience. Because the decision to transfer institutions can be a difficult one, we are here to help answer questions every step of the way. Please read this entire page carefully, then contact Tom McHugh, senior associate dean of admission and transfer coordinator, with any questions.
Transfer students should apply to Gustavus if they meet the following conditions:
- Honorable standing at the previous college, including eligibility to return to the previous college in good standing;
- Evidence of normal progress toward a degree; and,
- A recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 2.4 (on a 4.0 scale).
How to Apply
Please see the ‘Reactivated Applications’ section below if you were admitted to Gustavus within the last academic year but chose to enroll elsewhere.
Transfer applicants must complete and submit the Common Application’s Transfer Application, which can be done online. There is no application fee. In addition to the Common Application, transfer applicants must also submit:
- final high school transcript(s);
- transcripts from each college attended;
- the Common Application's Registrar Report.
Transfer Application Timeline
Gustavus welcomes applications from transfer students throughout the year. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis as transfer applicants complete their admission files. While there are no stated application deadlines, most successful transfer applicants complete their admission files weeks (if not months) in advance of their intended start term.
Transfer applicants intending to enroll at Gustavus beginning in the fall sememster are welcome to apply as early as the preceding September or as late as the summer prior to enrollment. Admission decisions will be made beginning in October and will continue on a rolling basis through August. Fall semester classes at Gustavus typically begin the day after Labor Day.
Mid-year applicants are welcome to apply as early as September or as late as January. Admission decisions will be made beginning in late October and continue on a rolling basis through January. Spring semsester courses traditionally begin in the second week of February.
Students who were admitted to Gustavus within the last academic year but chose to enroll elsewhere are eligible to request for their admission offer be reactivated. This saves a student time by not requiring them to complete a new Common Application Transfer Application. However, these students must submit a final high school transcript, college transcript(s) and Common Application Registrar's Report in order to be considered for admission. To request for your admission offer to be reactivated, please contact Tom McHugh.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Because transfer applicants must first be admitted to Gustavus in order to receive a financial aid award, it is vital to complete an application file as soon as possible. An admitted transfer student’s Gustavus financial aid award may or may not look similar to the one they received at their previous institution. Please know that we are committed to making a Gustavus education affordable for transfer students, and are here to help them understand the scholarship and financial aid process.
Admitted transfer applicants will be automatically considered for Gustavus scholarships, including the Dean’s Scholarship, Gustavus Legacy Award, Paul R. Rucker Scholarship and Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Notification of any awarded scholarships typically arrives within three weeks of an admission offer.
We encourage transfer applicants to submit the FAFSA in order to be considered for need-based aid (grants, loans, and student employment). A student may file a new FAFSA or go to fafsa.ed.gov to add Gustavus to the list of schools that should receive a previously-completed FAFSA. Again, by applying for admission, you’ll be automatically considered for merit-based aid (scholarships), but you must submit the FAFSA to qualify for need-based aid.
Transfer students are eligible to transfer previously-earned college credits to Gustavus if they meet the requirements of our Credit Transfer Guide (below). Transfer credit is awarded only after receipt of an official transcript from the host institution and is subject to the following standards:
- One Gustavus course is the equivalent of four semester or six quarter credits.
- Courses must be from another regionally accredited institution of higher education.
- Courses must not be a repeat of previous coursework nor more elementary than previous coursework.
- Courses must be appropriate for a college liberal arts curriculum.
- Courses must be graded “C–” or higher.
- Internships must meet Gustavus academic requirements and be approved in advance.
Courses at Gustavus are considered to be the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. Credits accepted in transfer are based on this formula. A minimum of 136 semester hours or 204 quarter hours is required for graduation at Gustavus. Two years (17 courses minimum) are required in residence, including the senior year. Acceptance of specific courses and their application to a Gustavus degree is the province of the Registrar and the chairpersons of the appropriate academic departments. Only coursework graded C- or better is transferable; the GPA from the previous college does not transfer. Students may complete the Unofficial Review of College Courses form to get an idea of how their previous courses may transfer to Gustavus.
Making Your Decision
Admitted transfer students who decide to enroll at Gustavus may make their intentions known by submitting a $300 non-refundable enrollment deposit. Information regarding class registration, housing, orientation and more will be mailed shortly thereafter.
After paying the enrollment deposit, transfer students will register for their Gustavus classes at the appropriate time with the assistance of an academic advisor. Prior to registration, it’s vital that a transfer student requests an official, final transcript be sent to Gustavus from their previous institution. Registration for fall semester classes begins in May and continues throughout summer. Registration for spring semester classes begins in late November and continues through January.
As a residential college, Gustavus expects students to live on campus for four years. Transfer students will be placed in a residential option that is appropriate for their age and previous college experience. In limited cases, older transfer students will be given permission to live off campus. Information regarding housing will be mailed to transfer students after paying their enrollment deposit. Further questions regarding housing may be directed Charlie Potts, Director of Residential Life.
We strive to make the transition to Gustavus a successful one for transfer students. We know that you have been to college before, and therefore have different needs and questions than traditional first year students. For this reason, our Campus Activities Office coordinates an extremely helpful Transfer Student Orientation. More information will be mailed prior to your arrival on campus. Please contact Andrea Junso, director of student activities, with further questions about orientation.
Should you transfer to Gustavus, you’ll discover challenging academics, competitive athletics, and outstanding events like the annual Nobel Conference®. More importantly, you’ll notice a genuine respect for your opinions and recognition that we’re all in this together. We’re glad you’re exploring Gustavus and we encourage you to consider how you can use your education to make your life count.
Since special circumstances are often present for transfer students, please contact Tom McHugh, senior associate dean of admission and transfer coordinator, with any transfer-related questions. Tom can elaborate on the above details and help you through the entire transfer process.