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 Timeline

Fall Transfer
Admission & Financial Aid Application DueMarch 1
Optional informational interview availableMarch 5
Complete optional informational interviewMarch 12
Notification of decision from BatesMay 15
Candidate’s Reply DateMay 20
Final Transcript DateJune 1


1) Application materials

  • Submit the Common Application for Transfer Students or the Coalition Application online.
  • Transfer Personal Essay. The Common Application for transfer students requires a personal essay regarding your motivation for transferring. The Coalition Application requires applicants to provide one essay in response to several essay prompts.
  • A nonrefundable $60 application fee. Eligible students, including non-U.S. citizens applying for financial aid, qualify for a fee waiver. To receive a fee waiver code, please email Margaret Galligan-Schmoll at

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. In order to evaluate your college courses, we require a copy of course descriptions from all courses taken at your college 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: Do not submit a pdf of your college’s course catalog in its entirety. Only submit previously taken courses and any courses you are currently enrolled in. 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.
  • College Report. This report includes a statement of good academic and social standing and is required from each institution you have attended.
  • Mid-Term Report (for Fall Transfer Applicants only)

3) High school information

  • Final high school official transcript. This should be sent directly from the high school and bear its official seal.

4) Other

  • Financial aid application. All students intending to apply for financial assistance from Bates should refer to our schedule of financial aid deadlines.
  • Standardized test scores (optional). The submission of standardized testing, such as the SAT I, SAT II, and the ACT, is optional. For more information on our optional testing policy, please see our website here. However, 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. 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.
  • 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

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?

I am a U.S. citizen applying for financial aid. What financial forms and documents to I need to submit?

Required documents for U.S. citizens and permanent residents applying for financial aid can be found here.

I am a non-U.S. citizen applying for financial aid. What financial forms and documents do I need to submit?

Required documents for non-U.S. and Canadian citizens applying for financial aid can be found here.

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.

Can I choose to live off campus as a transfer student?

Bates is proudly a residential college. Campus residence is required of all students, except for those individuals who have been granted special permission by Student Affairs.

When will I know if I have been accepted to Bates?

Applicants for winter admission will receive decision letters no later than December 1. Applicants for fall 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.