Steps to a Successful Transfer


Transferring In:

Transferring Out:

La Plata Campus


Leonardtown Campus

Ulana Koropeckyj
Academic and Transfer Advisor

Prince Frederick Campus

Katherine Alden
Academic and Transfer Advisor

There are four specific steps you should follow to help make your transfer experience to a four-year institution a positive one. As you complete each step, record the outcome using the spaces provided; then keep this list as documentation of your results. Before you begin with "Step One," keep these important things in mind:

  • The responsibility for getting accurate transfer information is yours! You need to verify all transfer information with the school to which you want to apply.
  • Plan your course selection carefully. Work with your faculty advisor to ensure meeting CSM's graduation requirements while satisfying general education requirements, and any prerequisites for your major, at the four- year school.
  • Keep your grades as high as possible. Seek help from your instructors and the Academic Support Center when needed. Save all of your course syllabi-they may help to justify transfer credit later.
  • Explore alternatives; widen your search for transfer opportunities and you may find a school that is perfect for you. Plan on applying to more than one school.
  • Stay organized by keeping files of all correspondence you have with your new college(s).
  • Find out about all deadlines and stay ahead of them.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources available.

Step 1: Identify the career and course of study you wish to pursue.

  • Develop your educational and career goals and identify possible majors. Determine what you want your education to prepare you to do.
  • If you need information about careers or help making your decision, visit the Career Services office for assistance or enroll in STU 1050. There, you can learn more about your interests, abilities, experiences, values, potential occupations, special strengths, and education and transfer possibilities, by using DISCOVER, the Strong Interest Inventory, and/or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (career guidance and assessment instruments).
  • Remember, these decisions may change over time, but four-year schools expect you to apply for, and make a commitment to, a specific major when you transfer.
  • It is recommended that you complete this step after completing 30 transferable credits.
  • Career goals:




  • Major or degree required for your career goals:





Step 2: Gather information on potential schools and narrow choices to a "short list."

  • It is recommended that you finalize this step no later than completing 30 transferable credits.
  • Begin to think about what is important to you about a four-year school. Ask yourself: "What am I looking for in a college?"
    Location:Close to home? Far away? In-state? Out-of-state? Urban? Rural? Suburban? Are there state residency requirements which affect tuition or eligibility for state aid?
    Size:How many students? What is the average class size?
    Population:Male? Female? Co-ed? Diverse? Denominational?
    Atmosphere:Is this an environment where I could see myself? Will I feel a sense of belonging? Is it a commuter school? How's the dorm life?
    Majors:What degrees are offered? Is the program accredited? Is it competitive?
    Requirements:What courses does the school require of transfers for acceptance into my major? What are GPA requirements for acceptance to the college, and to my major?
    Cost:How much is tuition? Room and board? Books?
    Financial Aid:How many students receive financial aid? What are the requirements? What are the application deadlines? Is work- study available?
    Scholarships:What transfer scholarships are available? What criteria are used for selection?
    Services:Is there tutoring? Counseling? Testing? Career Development and Placement? Support for students with disabilities?
    Activities:What clubs, Greek organizations, events, athletics, etc., are available?
  • Identify a few schools to which you may want to transfer. Use these resources in Advisement and Career Services to research potential schools:
  • Participate in transfer fairs to make contact with transfer admissions counselors from the colleges/universities in which you are interested. Ask about admission, advisement, transfer credit, and financial aid.
  • Visit potential colleges, if possible. Take advantage of open houses for prospective students.
  • List the four-year schools you are considering:





Step 3: Choose 3 to 4 schools that are right for you and will help you meet your goals.

Research academic requirements of each school you are considering. Be sure to use the articulation agreements on file, catalogs from the schools you are researching, and contacts with admission representatives from the schools. Include:

  • GPA required for admission to the college
  • GPA required for acceptance to your major of choice
  • Course prerequisites for your major
  • General education requirements for graduation

Request transfer applications, catalogs, and financial aid information from each school. Some transfer applications are available in the Advisement and Career Services. You may also be able to request information from a college's web page.

Start a file for each school you are considering.

Keep a record, including names and phone numbers, of any personal or phone contacts you make with schools, and what you were told.

Please remember: The responsibility for getting accurate transfer information is yours! You need to verify all transfer information with the school to which you want to apply.

Step 4: Complete and mail applications to your chosen schools.

  • Find out about, and stay ahead of, application deadlines, particularly when applying to selective programs and colleges. The dates below are general guidelines. Check the catalog and application packet of each school for specific deadlines.
    • Fall semester: Apply between mid-November and early February
    • Spring semester: Apply in September or early October
  • Complete and mail all admissions and financial aid applications on time. Keep a photocopy of all applications you send. Although essays are often said to be optional, consider them mandatory if you want to be a competitive applicant. If you need help completing applications, come to the Transfer Services offices.
  • Send official transcripts to the Admissions Office of each school to which you are applying.
  • Keep a record, including names and phone numbers, of any personal or phone contacts you make with schools, and what you were told.
  • If you are applying for financial aid, send a financial aid transcript and any applications requested by the financial aid office at the school to which you are applying. Financial aid transcripts may be requested from the financial aid office at CSM at no charge.
  • Research scholarship options. Contact the Admissions Offices at the schools you are considering for scholarship information. A scholarship search is available through FASTWEB on the Internet at