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Lots of transfers on a grad school application?


MyDogRulestheUniverse

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Hey there!
I'm currently a Psychology Undergraduate, intending on going to grad school for either Counseling or Social Work.  I have currently attended two different Universities (each for about a year), three if you include the few classes I've taken at a local Community College.  I've come across a great opportunity to move, meaning I would have to transfer to yet another University, and my primary concern about doing this is that it will look bad on a future grad school application.
What exactly is the consensus on this?

Thanks a ton!!

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3 transfers may raise red flags. I had to talk about my 1 transfer to my pi. I had a good reason: mediocre departments / boredom -> kickass department / workaholic peers. When you apply to grad school, you'll have to send transcripts from every school you've ever attended. 

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Other than being a pain when it comes time to assemble transcripts, I don't really see transfers being a problem. Since as there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for having switched schools, it's something you might briefly explain in the personal statement.

Edited by cyberwulf
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I don't think that a program would reject you offhand for a lot of transfers, but it can look a bit flaky, so as cyberwulf said, you'll have to have a good explanation for the moves to give in your personal statement.

 

That being said--lots of transfers, especially after sophomore year, can make it difficult for you to form solid, longstanding relationships with potential recommenders.  It is beneficial to have taken more than one class with recommenders or at least to have worked with them in a research or extracurricular capacity, which becomes less likely the more that you move.  If you must transfer again, work hard at cultivating relationships with potential recommenders at your new school and keep contact with potential recommenders at your old schools.

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I'm in a MSW program and I had 2 community colleges and 2 universities in my "history" - the most annoying part was paying for 4 transcripts for SEVERAL applications. :)  I think you'll be fine. 

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Honestly this situation makes you sound flakey as hell. "A great opportunity to move?" Where to and what for? Unless it's because you've been accepted to a much better school, it sounds like you are not prioritizing your education.

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Not everyone has the ability to prioritize their education, and adcoms should understand that. If you're paying your way through undergrad and have a chance at a better paying job, that should be easily explainable on a SoP. On the other hand, if the great opportunity is your friend is letting you live rent-free on their couch in Hawaii and you want to go work on your tan while finishing your BA, that might look a bit flakey. blakeblake has a good point about recommenders, but if you know now that you'll be applying in a year or two, you can prioritize making those connections right off the bat if need be, and keep in touch with professors you worked closely with at your prior institution. 

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