Guidance for students planning to transfer

Follow these simple steps to ensure a successful transfer plan.

1. Explore, 2. Apply, 3. Transfer


  1. Explore. 
    Undecided? Start here. Exploring your career or major is one of the first steps as a college student. Many students begin college undecided on what these goals will be. Green River has several resources available to assist students in identifying their future paths.It is ideal that transfer students give themselves at least one full academic year to prepare for transferring into a university, this includes preparing for your major by taking prerequisite classes.

    Visit with a Career Specialist. Our Career Planners can assist you in focusing your education and training for future success and career satisfaction. In addition, Career Planning Services has access to several free and small, fee-based career assessments. These resources can help you discover and clarify career goals and link them with training and educational programs. Start this process by connecting to Career Planning Services.

    Research majors, programs and careers. We provide Career Planning Tools to help you find a lot of this information. Career Specialists can also give you access to more comprehensive online search tools.Applying to your university. 

    Application: applications are generally available online or in a hard copy version. Some universities have lengthy applications so give yourself plenty of time to work on these.

    Application Fee: there will be a non-refundable application fee. Some universities may waive the fee based on different conditions. Check with the universities regarding this option.

    Official Transcripts: Request official transcripts from all colleges you have attended. You must submit all transcripts even if you don’t like your grades or think coursework will count. Some universities require an official high school transcript as well. SAT and ACT scores may only be required if you have minimal college credits otherwise they are optional for those who earn a Green River degree. 

    Personal Essay: Most universities require a personal essay. It's important to write a different essay for each school you are applying to. The Writing Center in the RLC building, and advisors in the Career and Advising Center, can assist you with this process.

    Financial Aid Application: Apply for financial aid and scholarships. It's important to do this early on. Most schools prefer you begin this process in the early part of the year (Jan or Feb) if you plan to start that fall quarter.

    Letters of Recommendations: Some universities or majors may require letters of recommendations. Request these well in advance giving those writing the letters plenty of time.

    Once you have narrowed down your list of possible majors you can begin researching universities. Take advantage of our Quarterly Transfer Fairs and individual admissions rep visits. These Green River events are great opportunities to connect with universities.

    Visit with your faculty/advisor: After choosing a major and making a list of possible universities to transfer to, it's important to meet with your faculty advisor to create an educational plan. Green River offers 15 different transfer degrees designed to prepare you for dozens of majors. Your advisor can help you pick the degree that best fits your goals.
  2. Apply: Approximately 6-9 months prior to starting at the university you should begin applying to universities. However, the preparation process can start a year in advance. Application deadlines vary so please check with schools. There may also be a different deadline for your major. You do not need to have all your coursework completed here at Green River in order to apply to the university (in most cases you would not).

    Review the application deadlines page for additional information on application deadlines at the various 4-year institutions.

    Finishing your time here at Green River: Apply for graduation here at Green River at least two quarters prior to finishing your degree. This will guarantee you are on track and that your degree is posted to your transcript upon completion.Send final Green River transcripts with grades and degree posted to the university. Attend a new student orientation at your university and send any needed deposits.

    Make a check list of application materials and deadlines to ensure you are turning in each packet in its entirety.
  3. Transfer: 
    At a university you can expect large attendances at lectures and limited access to teaching staff. However if you have questions for your instructor or about assignments, ask. Email, phone, or visit during office hours.

    Assignments may be more rigorous and many may be due close together. If you think of your studies as a full-time job with great opportunities to learn and grow you will shape your experience to become the best years of your life.

    Learn the organizational structure of the university. In many cases there will be many more departments to serve you with a variety of expertise. For example, learn what departments are housed in Student Services and what they provide, i.e. Career Development, Registration, Financial Aid, Dean of Students or the College of Arts and Sciences and the academic departments that they house.

    Connect with a general academic advisor or departmental advisor for your major. Find out who your advisor will be and develop a relationship that allows you to ask questions that keep you on track to complete your degree. If you have not decided on a major by this time, ask your advisor for resources that will assist you in exploring majors or seek information from a Career Services office at the university. Be aware of accountability to manage yourself, you must be self directed. 


Tips on Transferring

Know what to expect when you transfer.

  • Create a study time schedule and commit to it.
  • Eat regular meals and get the proper amount of rest and exercise.
  • Don’t lose yourself and get overwhelmed with campus activities.
  • Create a network
  • Meet other students and make friends, they can help if you are sick and have to miss lectures
    discuss course, ideas, and concepts, talk about lectures, share research and resources. 


Contact your advisor to develop a personalized academic plan and to learn more about transfer requirements.

Career and Advising Center

253-833-9111 Ext. 2641

International Program Advisor

253-833-9111 Ext. 3300

TRiO Student Support Services

253-833-9111 Ext. 2655

MESA Student Support Services

253-833-9111 Ext. 6460