NYU flag hanging from a university building.

NYU is not a “typical” college experience. Your path to joining our community doesn’t have to be either. Maybe you took time off after a few college courses. Or maybe the college/university you attended wasn’t the right fit. NYU students come from 133 countries, nearly every state and from all different backgrounds. No matter your story, you identified NYU as the place for you. Now how do you get here? Preparing to transfer can come with a mix of emotions, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. That’s where I can help.

Timing is Important

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

NYU is a highly selective university and transfer admission is no exception. First, consider where you are in your journey and if submitting an application now showcases you at your best. Did you recently apply to NYU? Maybe you’re studying part-time wondering when is the right time to apply. Generally, our most competitive transfer applicants will have at least 32 credits completed prior to beginning classes.

Secondly, if you’re currently attending one of our partnership or articulation agreement schools, work with your academic advisor as you’re preparing to transfer.  That’s what they’re there for! Pathways are each designed differently and can provide a seamless transition into NYU.

Lastly, as you review what goes into applying as a transfer student at NYU, think about what you want to submit and when you’ll be ready to do so. The application is your time to shine! What else does our admissions team need to know about you? In other words, don’t rush to submit your application until you’re ready to do so.

Know When You Can and Can't Submit an Application

Maybe you’ve taken time away from pursuing your first degree and are looking to come back. It’s important to know when the program you’re interested in reviews transfer applications. For example, the Stern School of Business and Global Liberal Studies program only review applications for a fall start term. On the other hand, the College of Arts and Science reviews transfer applications for fall and spring admission.  Similarly, the Tisch School of the Arts has a mix of both! Timing isn’t just about when you’re ready to transfer, but also when can you transfer.

Do Your Research.

Programs and Majors

Applying as a transfer student requires you to apply directly to one of our schools or colleges. While you may already know what you want to study; where can you find it at NYU? Interested in sports management? That’s in the School of Professional Studies. Psychology programs are offered in both the College of Arts and Science and Steinhardt. Business can be found in Tandon’s Business Technology Management major and in Stern’s Business Economics major. NYU also offers unique academic opportunities (hi, Gallatin!) where you can design your own program and because we’re the university without walls, your academics don’t stop there. Study nursing, engineering or even real estate as an NYU student. Part of preparing is knowing what you want and, most importantly, where to find it.

Keep in mind choosing your school or program doesn’t limit your path at NYU; it enhances it! NYU students use the global network to study abroad, pick up minors and explore their passions outside of their academic programs.

Program Specific Requirements

Now that’s you’ve determined the school or program you’re applying to; you should be aware of any program specific requirements you need to complete. The Stern School of Business requires students transferring as second year students to complete Calculus I or higher, and 1-2 semesters of a writing/composition course. Tisch School of Arts and Steinhardt both have certain programs requiring the submission of a portfolio or an audition. As you’re preparing to transfer, knowing your program specific requirements ensures you have time to complete them before any deadlines arise.

Okay, Now What?

Know What You Need....

It’s never to early to start organizing your application materials. Not sure what you need to submit? We have you covered. Application requirements are the same regardless of when you apply and because they can take time to collect, you should start early. For example, don’t wait to reach out to your recommenders until the night before the deadline!

Keep in mind some materials (I’m looking at you transcripts!) must be submitted to NYU from your college/university or high school. Before it’s time to submit your application, look into how your high school or college/university requires you to request a transcript.  Do you need to fill out a form? Send an email?  Every school has a different policy. It’s best to familiarize yourself on how to obtain transcripts from each school you’ve attended so they can arrive on time for review.



...and When You Need It!

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. As a transfer student you’ll have two application deadlines to consider. For a fall start, you’ll need to apply by April 1st and for spring admission it’s November 1st. And while you don’t need to submit your application materials with your Common App, you should still plan to submit them by the deadline. Don’t wait until the last minute (there’s always someone!) incase issues or questions come up. Trust me, they do come up.

In addition, deadlines are equally important for financial aid. If you’re a US Citizen or Permanent Resident you’re required to submit the CSS Profile and FAFSA to be reviewed. While I know this isn’t the only factor in your decision to attend NYU, it can be a big one. Don’t let a missed deadline keep you from your goals.

The Home Stretch

Maintain a Strong Academic Performance.

Research – check! Application materials – check! Finally, you’re almost ready to apply as a transfer student. You’re probably wondering what else you can do before you submit your application.

The evaluation of transfer applications is heavily based on college and high school performance. It’s important to keep up your academic performance.  I really can’t stress this enough! I know it can be challenging, especially if where you’re currently studying (or where you started) isn’t the best fit.  Do your best! Reach out for any academic support offered by your current college/university or set up an appointment to talk with your advisor, favorite faculty member or even a peer. However, we do understand obstacles arise.

If you’re not currently enrolled in classes, don’t worry. Again, there isn’t one road leading to NYU. Continue to do what you’re passionate about. Do you enjoy being active in your community?  Or maybe you have a lot of responsibilities at home. For some student’s it’s a part time job. Above all else, we encourage you to take advantage of whatever inspires you! Don’t forget to share it with us through your application.

Kelly Vann is a Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, she worked in Undergraduate Admissions at Seton Hill University and Carnegie Mellon. She enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and English Breakfast tea. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly currently resides in Hoboken.