Transfer Student Details


Transfer Student Experience

Who is Eligible to Transfer?

  • Students are eligible to transfer if they will have at least one year’s worth of transferable postsecondary work upon entrance to Yale College.
  • Transfer students may enroll at sophomore or junior standing.
  • Yale does not accept students who have more than two years’ worth of transferable undergraduate coursework. All Yale College students must complete at least two years of coursework at Yale. 
  • Students who are dual-enrolled in both a high school and a college program should apply as freshmen.
  • Any college credits earned prior to high school graduation will not be evaluated as transferable credit.
  • If you will have fewer than 8 transferable credits upon entering Yale, you should apply as a freshman.
  • If you have had a significant gap in your education (at least five years), consider applying through the the Eli Whitney Students Program.
  • Yale College does not accept transfer applicants who already hold a bachelor’s degree.

If you are eligible to apply to both the Transfer Admissions Program and the Eli Whitney Students Program, the chart below details a few key differences. Candidates may apply to either the Transfer Program or the Eli Whitney Students Program. They may not apply to both simultaneously.

Transfer Program

Eli Whitney Students Program

Education Interruption

None or minimal interruption

Typical interruption of five or more years

Required Testing


Optional, but encouraged

Credit Transfer

1-2 years transferable college credit

No credit floor or ceiling


Full-time only

Full-time or part-time


On-campus housing available for single students

Off-campus housing only

Financial Aid Eligibility

Need-based financial aid

Need-based financial aid

Financial Aid Coverage

Meet 100% of financial need; awards based on full cost of attendance

Maximum scholarship capped at cost of tuition and cost of a standard Yale room. Students receive free weekday lunches.

What Makes a Good Transfer Applicant?

As competitive as the admissions process is for freshmen, the transfer process is even more so. Yale receives more than 1,000 transfer applications each year, with spaces for only 20 to 30 students. Given the competitive nature of the transfer admissions process, candidates should have compelling reasons for attending Yale and should think carefully about whether Yale is the right fit for them.

The Admissions Committee gives serious consideration to a transfer applicant’s motivation, curiosity, energy, leadership ability, and distinctive talents. The personal essays and evaluations from college faculty members, deans and advisers can provide a great deal of insight into these qualities. Yale seeks students who have made significant contributions to their college and local communities. Diversity within the student body is important, and the Admissions Committee works to select a class of contributing individuals from as broad a range of backgrounds as possible.

The 2-3% transfer admission rate reflects space limitations at Yale and means that the Admissions Committee must deny admission to most qualified applicants. Transfer candidates should explain in their application essays how studying at Yale would give them an educational opportunity particular to their interests that could be experienced nowhere else. A desire to leave one’s current school is not a compelling reason for admission to Yale.

Transferring Credit

Admitted transfer students may be eligible to transfer up to a maximum of eighteen course credits. Most courses in Yale College are semester courses that carry one course credit. The Yale College Dean’s Office evaluates transcripts for all admitted transfer students to determine course transferability, once a student has been admitted. College courses that are similar to those available to Yale undergraduates are likely transferable.

At the time of admission, transfer students receive an information packet that will include the number of terms expected to complete a bachelor’s degree and an estimate of the course credits Yale will accept. The Yale College Dean’s Office will provide a final transfer credit report for students who accept Yale’s offer of admission after receiving an official final college transcript. Students must achieve a letter grade of A or B in at least three-quarters of non-Yale courses, with no grade lower than C in the remainder of the courses. Pass/Fail courses do not typically transfer to Yale.

Non-Yale coursework must be completed at a fully accredited post-secondary institution; this includes both public and private degree-granting institutions. Credit is not granted for online courses; Advanced Placement (AP) results; International Baccalaureate (IB) results; College Level Placement Exams (CLEP); or college credits earned while a student was enrolled in high school.

For more information, we encourage you to review the Transfer Student FAQs and the Related Links to the right

Special Note to Transfer Applicants Considering an Engineering Major

Yale offers undergraduates the opportunity to major in one of five engineering disciplines - Biomedical, Chemical, Environmental, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Yale also offers three degrees within these disciplines for undergraduates - the ABET-Accredited Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences, and the Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences. More information about these disciplines and degrees is available from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Given the sequential nature of an engineering curriculum, we recommend that prospective transfer students looking to major in engineering take full advantage of their institution’s course offerings in mathematics and physics. This includes completion of a full sequence of college-level single-variable calculus (or higher) and the completion of a full sequence of college-level introductory physics, especially if you are looking to transition successfully into an ABET-Accredited Bachelor of Science discipline in engineering. We also highly recommend that students take advantage of introductory coursework in biology, chemistry, and computer science, as appropriate to their engineering discipline of interest. The Yale Admissions Committee will pay special attention to applicants’ college-level coursework and performance in these areas.

As with every undergraduate department, engineering majors are a part of Yale College. All students, including those in engineering, are expected to fulfill the full range of distributional requirements.

Contact Information

Please send inquiries regarding the Transfer Program to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Transfer Program
P. O. Box 208234
New Haven, CT 06520-8234

Telephone: 203.432.9316 Fax: 203.436.9775

Academic Programs

Yale students generally declare their majors in their sophomore year or at the beginning of their junior year. While most majors are open to transfer students, some departments have specific rules or prerequisites that prevent some transfer students from pursuing the major. Incoming juniors, for example, are not normally eligible to apply to the Ethics, Politics and Economics major because the application to this major takes place in the fall term of a student’s sophomore year. Students interested in a particular academic department should review the requirements of the major.

Academic Requirements

To earn a bachelor’s degree from Yale College, all students must successfully complete a total of thirty-six course credits. Most Yale College courses carry one course credit. Incoming transfer students may transfer no more than eighteen course credits earned at another college or university. At least eighteen of the course credits applied towards a Yale bachelor’s degree must come from Yale courses.

Distributional Requirements

Yale’s curriculum challenges students to achieve both intellectual depth and breadth. While the major lets students delve deeply into a particular field of study, the Distributional Requirements broaden students’ knowledge base and sharpens their analytic skills. Credits transferred from other colleges may be used to fulfill distributional requirements, with the approval of the appropriate Yale administrators. Students must fulfill disciplinary area requirements by taking no fewer than two course credits in the humanities and arts, two course credits in the sciences, and two course credits in the social sciences. Students must also fulfill skills requirements by taking at least two course credits in quantitative reasoning, two course credits in writing, and courses to further their foreign language proficiency.


Once you matriculate, your primary academic adviser will be a member of the Yale College Dean’s Office. You will also have access to directors of undergraduate studies for your major, as well as the vast advising services from resources like the Writing Center, Science and Quantitative Reasoning tutors, the Center for Language Study, and the Center for International and Professional Experience.

Yale College Academic Regulations related to Transfer Students

The Yale College Programs of Study contains a detailed description of the courses offered in Yale College as well as the Academic Regulations of Yale College. The Yale College Programs of Study also contains a chapter on the Transfer program, which all interested candidates should read.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Yale College admits transfer students on the basis of academic and personal promise without regard to their ability to pay. This policy helps to ensure that Yale will always be accessible to talented students from the widest possible range of backgrounds. Financial aid is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well as to international students. Financial aid is awarded solely on the basis of financial need, and Yale meets 100 percent of a student’s demonstrated financial need. See the Undergraduate Financial Aid website for more information.