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Undergraduate Transfer Student Question


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First, I'd like to say that I've found this forum to be a great resource. As a prospective graduate student, I've learned a good deal about the process through the posts here.

Currently, I'm only a sophomore in college (rising junior). My freshman year was spent at a state school where I maintained a 4.0 for the entire year (3 quarters). Subsequently, I transfered to Washington University in St. LouisĀ and finished my first semester with a 3.7, hopefully I will be able to improve this semester.

Anyways, transferring isn't atotally unique situation, but I haven't gotten any helpful guidence on how this will be viewed by graduate schools. Also, how will they calculate my GPA? Will they simply combine the new and the old or will they look at them both separately? I realize this probably depends on the school, but possibly someone here has some experience from a similar situation.

Also, from what I've read/seen, a GPA of a 3.7+ seems to be the minimum needed for the top schools. Is this true? I realize that GRE scores, research, and recommendations also play a large factor.

Thanks in advance for any help or guidance.

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I'm not sure about the answer to your first question, though I know for sure that you will have to send in transcripts from both of your colleges and both GPAs will be looked at.

To answer the question about GPA: First of all it should be noted, as you did, that GPA is just one of many factors that is considered. Many departments even state that other factors, such as LOR, Statement of Purpose, and writing samples hold equal or more weight than the GPA. That being said, the general rule of thumb is that you must have at least a 3.5 for serious consideration at a top program, though must successful students will have a 3.7 or higher.

Edited by Caligula
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Hi! Like you, I transferred from my first undergraduate institution (a state school) to a private college. I'm currently enrolled in a history M.A. program and completed a J.D. degree prior to that. I never had any problems with the transfer during either of the application processes. As Caligula noted, you'll just need to submit transcripts from both institutions when you apply. As long as you didn't transfer to a less prestigious school (and it doesn't appear that you did) I don't think you'll have a problem. Hope this helps!

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I transferred during undergrad and I don't think grad programs even batted an eye. It shouldn't be a problem at all. As for GPA, I calculated them separately for each school, and listed them separately on my GPA. I can't remember whether I ever needed to report just a single undergrad GPA, but if so, I probably just took an average since I was at each school for 2 years.

Edited by socialpsych
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