Top Ranked Colleges That Accept Transfer Students

If you are considering transferring to a top ranked college, it is a good idea to look into eligibility and application requirements. Look below for some helpful information to assist you in your search.

View popular schools

Transferring to a top ranked college while pursuing an undergraduate degree can be an exciting decision. If this is something a student is considering, it is helpful to be aware of the facts. Keep reading to find out more about some of the colleges on the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best National Universities list that accept transfer students, including specifics ranging from tuition to application requirements.

Top Ranked Colleges that Accept Transfer Students

School Location Undergraduate Tuition (2017-2018)* U.S. News & World Report Ranking** Some Transfer Requirements***
University of Chicago Chicago, IL $56,034 #3 (tied with Yale University) No Minimum GPA, Two Teacher Evaluations, College Transcripts
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD $52,170 #11 (tied with Dartmouth College and Northwestern University) 3.0 Cumulative GPA, Professor or Instructor Recommendation, Transcripts
Northwestern University Evanston, IL $52,678 #11 (tied with Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University) Overall B Grade Average (preferred), Standardized Test Scores, Transcripts
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN $51,505 #18 (tied with Washington University in St. Louis) Typical GPA of 3.7, Standardized Test and Advanced Placement Scores, Transcripts

*Sources: NCES, **U.S. News & World Report (2018), ***School websites

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Transfer Eligibility

To be eligible to transfer to most top ranked colleges, students typically need to have completed one full year of undergraduate coursework as a freshman. Some schools may allow students to transfer as second-semester freshman, but this is often limited. At Northwestern, for example, only students applying to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences can transfer during the freshman year. Most top ranked schools require that transfer students apply for the upcoming fall semester and typically do not admit students during the spring, summer, or winter terms. Students may not transfer to most top ranked colleges if they have already obtained a bachelor's degree.

Transfer Requirements

Once a student has confirmed they are eligible to transfer to a top ranked college, it is important to ensure they gather and complete all required elements in order to transfer. Students will need items like the following to transfer to a top ranked college:

  • Application (whether common or transfer) and application fee or waiver
  • Transcripts, both high school and college
  • Standardized test scores
  • College report from the student's prior school

Some universities may require items beyond this, such as compiling and submitting individual course syllabi at Notre Dame. Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago require some type of academic evaluation or recommendation, typically from former teachers or professors. At Northwestern, students transferring to their school of music must also audition.

Unique Transfer Situations

There are unique situations available at top-ranked universities as a transfer student. For example, at the University of Chicago, there is a position available called 'student-at-large' which allows undergraduate students to remain there for a year or less. At Notre Dame, transfer students must remain in the college they originally apply to for their first year after transferring, and each Notre Dame college (School of Architecture, College of Arts and Letters, and so on) has its own list of requirements for transfer students.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
    • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
    • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Business Administration - Management
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
    • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
    • BS in Psychology
    • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
    • Marine Technician Specialist
    • Diesel Technology
    • Motorcycle Technician Specialist
    • Automotive Technology
    • NASCAR Technology

    What is your education level?

    • Doctor of Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Doctor of Education - Higher Education
    • Ph.D. in Communication
    • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
    • Ph.D. in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Journalism
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program - Autism Certificate
    • M.Ed. in K-12 Special Education - Autism Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?