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Surviving and thriving during your first year as a transfer student – tips for transfer students.

This page is designed for students transferring into CU-Boulder from another institution. If you are a current CU-Boulder student and have transfer credit that you need evaluated, maybe taken over the summer or while in high school, please see the A&S Transfer Credit Evaluation page.

Transferring from one university to another can be both exciting and overwhelming. It takes time to adjust to the culture and policies of a new school. The following guide offers tips on how to make your transition to the University of Colorado Boulder College of Arts and Sciences a smooth one.

Complete the New Student Welcome Experience

Every university has different polices and requirements. The New Student Welcome Experience online is deisgned to assist you with basic information prior to meeting with your Academic Advisor.


  • In preparation for your appointment with your advisor, be prepared to discuss any transfer credit issues. Take time to make a list of questions and collect course syllabi from courses about which you may have questions. It is also helpful to have transcripts showing courses that are in progress or that you only recently completed. Your appointment with your advisor can be held in person, by phone, or by Zoom, which is similar to Skype or Facetime. 
  • New Student Welcome provides an initial online opportunity to make connections with your academic advisor and with other transfer students. Use this opportunity wisely!
  • Attend a optional New Student Welcome Day (Spring 2017)
    • Thursday, January 12

Take things slow. Many transfer students worry about graduating on time and therefore feel pressured to overload their schedules for the first semester (and subsequent semesters). Resist the urge to do this. Allow yourself time to adjust to and enjoy your new environment.

Recognize that expectations in the classroom may be different here in comparison to what was expected at your previous school.


  • Continue to utilize the good study habits that you developed at your previous institution. Manage your time wisely; do not procrastinate. Attend class, prepare for class by reading ahead and reviewing notes, complete assignments on time or in advance. Allow plenty of time to study for exams. Do not wait until the night before an exam to beginning studying the material that will be covered.
  • Be sure to use class resources. Attend office hours. Many courses also have additional resources such as help rooms, online class discussion forums, and extra review sessions. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities from the beginning of the semester. Do not wait until you are having trouble to use these resources.
  • Take the time to nurture the friendships you begin to form and to make some new friends. Friendships with fellow transfer students are valuable as you are all in the same situation and can therefore offer each other support. Forming friendships with students who have been here awhile is also useful. Your non-transfer student friends already know much about your college and perhaps also your major and can share what they know with you.
  • Become involved outside the classroom. Join a club or other campus organization.  Join a sports team.  Become involved in student government.  You’ll not only develop leadership and team work skills, you are also likely to make some new friends.
  • Many of our large courses have smaller discussion/recitation sections or labs associated with them. These smaller learning environments can provide a more comfortable setting to get to know your classmates. 

Utilize the many resources available to you.

Connect with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor can not only help you with academic issues such as requirements and program planning, they can also help you become familiar with university policies and refer you to campus resources.


  • Schedule an advising appointment early in your first semester to clear up any lingering transfer issues. Your goal should be to have all of these issues resolved by the end of your first term at CU.
  • Develop a program plan and discuss it with your advisor. Developing a realistic plan can help reduce the stress that many transfer students feel with respect to meeting graduation goals. 
  • Get to know your professors. Attend office hours and ask questions in class about course material. Keep in mind that you can also talk with your course professors about your academic goals and career goals. The professors that you take the time to form a relationship can become possible references for jobs, graduate/professional school and scholarship applications.

Use the university website to explore. Take some time during the first few weeks of classes to explore the CU website and locate some of the many valuable resources available to you. Some ideas of sites to explore are the advising center, career services, student academic services, study abroad, Wardenburg Student Health Center, and your major department’s site. Take a look at other resources here: Resources & Support

If you have transfer credit that you need to have evaluated, please see the A&S Transfer Credit Evaluation page.

For more information, please refer to the Admissions page on Transfer Credit Policy and Guidelines.

The first section of the above web page will give you the Transfer Credit Policy information for the sections below:

  • Transfer Credit Evaluation - this will give you info on how your courses are handled for orientation
  • Transfer Credit by Examination -  this will explain how we handle AP, IB and CLEP exams
  • Military Credit - for people who have taken coursework through military institutions
  • Transfer Credit from International Schools - lots of good information if you attended a tertiary institution abroad
  • Transfer Credit for other University of Colorado Campuses - not exactly "transfer" work, but kind of
  • Coursework Not Accepted for Transfer - lists the kinds of courses we will not accept in transfer
  • Transfer Credit Appeal Process - you should use this process if a course didn't transfer. Appealing a course to apply it to your degree is done through your college.  
  • Transfer Credit Exceptions by College/School - this will give you links to all of the CU-Boulder Colleges and Schools for more information on their policies regarding transfer work

If you are a current student in the College of Arts and Sciences and would like to know if coursework taken at another institution will transfer to CU-Boulder and apply to a particular requirement, please use Transferology.com.