Transfer Student FAQs

If you have any specific questions, please email



How do I know if I should apply as a transfer student or a first-year student?

Rensselaer considers any student with 12 or more transferable college credits completed after high school as a transfer student. Students who graduate with an A.S. degree from a two-year college or a community college, or students currently attending a four-year college or university affiliated with Rensselaer, may transfer to Rensselaer with full junior status if accepted for admission.

When is the application deadline for transfer students?
Fall* Apply by June 1
Spring Apply by November 1
Summer** Apply by March 1

*Applicants for Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) or Music must apply for a fall term start.

**Architecture applicants, depending on credit requirements, will start in the summer or fall semester. Incoming architecture transfer students may not start in the spring semester.

Which application should I use to apply?

Transfer students should apply via the Common App or the Coalition on SCOIR.

Apply Now - Transfer Common App

Apply Now - Coalition on SCOIR

Are there any courses that are required to apply as a transfer student?

You must complete at least a pre-calculus level mathematics course before you enroll at Rensselaer. In addition, most majors require students to have a completed physics course prior to enrollment. You are also strongly encouraged to pursue courses related to your intended area of study.

Is there a minimum GPA I need to have in order to apply as a transfer student?

In general, Rensselaer looks for transfer students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. However, it’s also important that you be taking courses appropriate to your intended major. The 3.0 GPA should be seen as a guide and not a hard cutoff, as students with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for admission.

Can I apply to any major as a transfer student?

Transfer students may apply to all of our programs, with the exception of the accelerated medical program. However, transfer students may not apply as an undeclared major, and some programs may have designated start terms.

Do I need to submit a portfolio along with my application?

Creative portfolios are required to be submitted for transfer applicants into the Architecture (ARCH), Electronic Arts (EART), Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and Music (MUSC) programs. Students applying to other programs should not submit a formal portfolio. 

Portfolio Requirements & Guidelines

Online Portfolio Submission

Are transfer student considered for scholarships and financial aid?

Rensselaer offers transfer students a wide range of aid options and a staff of financial aid professionals who will work to devise the best solutions. All U.S. undergraduate students (U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) seeking admission are automatically considered for Rensselaer merit-based awards. 

To be considered for all available financial aid opportunities, accepted transfer students are expected to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. Financial aid inquiries may be sent to

  • CSS College Code: 2757   
  • FAFSA College Code: 002803
Can I apply to start in the spring term?

Yes; however, there are some majors where a spring start term is not possible:

  • Applicants for Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) or Music must apply for a fall term start.
  • Architecture applicants, depending on credit requirements, will start in the summer or fall semester. Incoming architecture transfer students may not start in the spring semester.
Is there housing for transfer students on campus?

Yes, and transfer students are required to live on campus for the first two semesters. 

How does the credit transfer process work?

Transfer students can expect to receive full credit for courses of comparable depth. Rensselaer will only transfer credit for courses in which you received a grade of "C-" or better. To ensure the most complete evaluation, please have official transcripts sent from all previously attended colleges, and send us course descriptions from all your courses. If you would like to transfer AP, IB, or A level credit from your high school, make sure your official test results are sent directly to the Registrar's Office. Course descriptions can be found in your current college’s course catalog and may be copied and pasted into a Word document. Please email all course descriptions to our office at

Transfer Student Course Guide

The formal transfer credit evaluation process does not occur until after you are admitted. Your course descriptions and syllabi will be forwarded to our faculty for their review. Once completed, your credit evaluation will be sent to you. We’ll make every effort to ensure this process proceeds as quickly as possible. You’ll have access to your credit evaluation before an enrollment deposit is required.

Architecture Students: The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) requires that all transfer credits associated with required courses that make up an NAAB-accredited degree program be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please submit original transcripts, course/catalog descriptions including credit hours, and contact hours per week. New transfer students must submit all materials to Admissions. Continuing students need to discuss with their academic adviser and have all the paperwork required, and will be advised how to proceed.