Transfer Applicants


We appreciate your interest in Bates and would like to help you determine if we’re a better fit for you. We welcome applications from students who have attended or are attending other institutions — including international students enrolled overseas.

If you haven’t yet completed a second semester at another institution, the high school transcript remains critical; for all transfer applicants, both high school and college transcripts are considered.

A transfer student is defined as any student who has previously matriculated as a degree candidate at another institution and has earned or is earning credit. Transfer students are eligible for need-based financial aid and are guaranteed campus housing. Though we don’t require a minimum GPA, students who transfer to Bates generally have a college GPA in the range of 3.5 or better (out of 4.0) in a challenging liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

Transfer 2018-2019 Admission Deadlines

For students applying for September 2019 admission:

  • March 1
    Admission and financial aid application(s) due
  • March 22
    Complete optional interview
  • By May 15
    Notification of admission decision
  • May 20
    Postmark deadline for admission candidate’s reply and $300 deposit
  • June 1
    Send one official copy of your final transcript to the Office of Admission


1) Application materials

  • Submit the Common Application for Transfer Students online, including the Bates Member section.
  • Transfer Personal Essay. The Common Application requires an essay concerning your motivation for transferring from your current institution.
  • A nonrefundable $60 application fee. We accept requests for fee waivers from appropriate school officials. Students who aren’t U.S. citizens aren’t required to submit a fee or fee waiver request.

2) College information

  • One copy of your official college transcript. This should be sent directly from the Office of the Registrar and bear the college or university seal. If you’ve attended more than one college or university, we need an official transcript from each institution. Your application won’t be reviewed until we receive a copy of your official transcript from each institution you’ve attended.
  • College course descriptions. A copy of your course descriptions from your college’s course catalog (you may cut and paste the descriptions into a Word document and email them in pdf format to Note: Your application won’t be reviewed until we receive your course descriptions.
  • Three letters of recommendation (two from college professors, one from your college adviser/counselor or high school guidance counselor). Please add them as Academic Evaluations on the Common Application for Transfer Students. If you don’t know your professors personally, you can submit recommendations from college teaching assistants or discussion leaders. Nontraditional students who cannot supply professor recommendations may submit employer or personal recommendations.
  • Registrar’s report. This report includes a statement of good academic and social standing and is required from each institution you have attended.
  • Mid-semester grade estimates. For Fall semester applicants, mid-semester grade estimates are due March 1 even if mid-semester exams occur after the March 1 deadline. This form is available for download on the Common Application for Transfer Students. You can email them in pdf format to

3) High school information

  • Final high school official transcript. This should be sent directly from the high school and bear its official seal.
  • Standardized test scores. The submission of standardized testing, such as the SAT I, SAT II, and the ACT, is optional. But students who speak English as a second language are required to submit their scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a similar test. This includes non-native English speakers who attend English-medium schools or live in the U.S. Bates does not offer courses for intensive English or English as a second language. While we have no minimum for the TOEFL score, the average score of the international students at Bates is 637 on the paper-based scale, 270 on the computer-based scale and 100 on the Internet-based scale.

4) Other

  • Financial aid application. All students intending to apply for financial assistance from Bates should refer to our schedule of financial aid deadlines.
  • For non-U.S. citizens, the Bates Financial Statement for International Students. This is required whether or not you plan to apply for financial assistance, and deadlines vary.
  • Arts Supplement (Optional)
    Music, theater, art, dance, film, and creative writing supplements may be included in your application portfolio. Supplementary materials can only be uploaded after you have submitted your application to Bates and received a PIN providing you access to your application status portal. For more detailed guidelines as to the submission of each of these supplements, please see here.

Frequently Asked Questions

May I apply for the winter semester?
No. Transfers and non-traditional students are not able to apply for January admission.

Should I apply online or by mail?
We prefer online applications. At Bates, we accept both the Common Application for transfer students and Coalition Application.

What essays are required of transfer students?
The Common Application for transfer students requires a Personal Essay regarding the motivation for transfer. The Coalition Application requires applicants to provide one essay in response to a number of essay prompts.

Will my credit transfer to Bates?
Bates transfers most of your liberal arts and science courses that are similar to Bates courses in content, rigor, and length and have been taken at accredited institutions. A grade of at least a C is required for course credit to transfer to Bates.

Bates has a Transfer Credit Policy that details the review of credit transfers as well as Bates degree requirements. For other credit transfer information, please refer to the Non-Bates Credit section in the Office of the Registrar.

As a transfer student, am I eligible for financial aid?
Yes — aid is based on need. At Bates, we’re committed to meeting 100 percent of our students’ financial need.

Will I get campus housing?
Yes, housing is guaranteed for all students. New students are assigned rooms on the basis of a questionnaire mailed before matriculation. Returning students choose rooms in an annual lottery system.

When will I know if I have been accepted to Bates?
Applicants for September admission will receive decision letters no later than May 15. Each accepted student who wishes to enroll is required to send a non-refundable deposit of $300. The deadline for a September deposit is May 20 (no extensions).