Frequently Asked Questions
Do Hobart and William Smith Colleges accept fall and spring transfer applicants?
The Colleges accept both fall and spring transfer applications. To be considered for the fall you should complete your application by June 1. To be considered for the spring term, you should complete your application by November 1.
How does Hobart and William Smith Colleges define a transfer student?
The Colleges define a transfer student as any student that has matriculated at any post secondary institution.
Do you require an interview?
While we do not typically require an interview (with the exception being our Life Long Learner and Trustee Scholar applicants), we do strongly encourage them. An interview can be an excellent way for the applicant to get to know the Colleges and for the Colleges to have a greater sense of the applicant's goals, needs and ability to succeed.
Can a first year college student apply as a transfer?
Yes, students may apply for transfer admission for either the spring semester of their first year, or plan to begin their studies at HWS in the fall term. In fact, we typically offer a first year seminar in the spring semester for those who join our community in January.
If I applied to Hobart and William Smith Colleges previously do I need to reapply?
Yes, as a transfer applicant you will need to submit the transfer application and all supporting documents. However, if you have applied previously as a transfer applicant you will not need to reapply as you will simply need to submit a written request to reactivate your application.
What type (or what is the profile) of student are you looking for in a transfer applicant?
The Colleges are a very competitive institution and as such we are looking for students that have demonstrated success in their previous educational environments. Typically a successful applicant will have a minimum 2.7 GPA with a well rounded curriculum. In addition, the more college level course work a student has the greater emphasis will be put on the post secondary work. If a student has less college experience, greater emphasis will be placed on the high school transcript.
How much credit can I transfer in?
The Colleges operate on a semester schedule with each student taking four courses per semester, with a total of 32 to graduate. As such the Colleges will allow a student to transfer in a maximum of 16 courses. In addition, only courses where a student has received at least a C or its equivalent will be considered for transfer credit.
How will my credits transfer?
Once a student has enrolled, the Deans office in cooperation with department chairs will evaluate the transcript(s) to determine the student's standing. Typically liberal arts oriented classes will be more successful in transferring. In general if HWS offers a course that is similar in nature, then it is most likely to be considered for transfer. If an applicant would like an earlier indication of course transferability they can contact Caitlin Moran (315) 781-3868 for a preliminary review.
When will I know how many credits will be accepted in transfer?
The number of your transfer credits will be determined after your final official transcript has been sent to the dean's office. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a letter from the appropriate dean telling you the number of credits that have transferred. Hobart and William Smith Colleges can accept up to 16 course credits in transfer.
How is class standing determined?
Class standing is based on the number of credits completed. For courses taken at institutions which are on a semester hour credit system, 3 or 4 semester hours are equivalent to 1 HWS credit.
0-6: First Year
23 and above: Senior
How many credits am I expected to take each semester?
HWS students are required to take a full course load, i.e. four full-credit courses each semester. Students who wish to take five or more full-credit courses in one semester are required to apply to their respective dean's office for permission. Transfer students are normally discouraged from taking an overload their first semester.
If I have completed my associates am I guaranteed junior standing?
Students that have completed an associate's degree may enter with junior standing. However, depending on intended major and previous program of study, it may not be possible to complete a bachelor's degree in two years.
How will I register for classes?
Students will be able to register for classes online after consulting with their adviser and obtaining their pin number from their adviser.
Who will be my adviser?
While your dean will serve as your initial contact person and will guide you through your transition to HWS, a faculty adviser will be assigned to you shortly after matriculation.
Can I meet with faculty or other offices while visiting campus?
We strongly encourage this type of interaction as it allows the applicant to get a stronger sense of what their academic as well as extra curricular life might be like. However, we require two weeks notice in order to set up an appropriate day or overnight visit.
Will I need to take a First-Year Seminar?
Normally students who have completed a full semester at another institution will not be required to take a First-Year Seminar. In most years, we will offer a spring semester seminar for those students who start HWS with first year standing in January.
Can I live on campus?
Absolutely. In fact the Colleges are a residential campus and all traditional applicants should expect to live on campus.
Will I be housed with incoming first-year students?
No. You will be housed with other upperclass students. For housing questions, please call the Residential Education Office at (315) 781-3880.
When will I receive my campus housing assignment?
You should receive your housing assignment by mid-June or, for those matriculating later than mid-June, within two weeks of matriculation. Students who are admitted for the spring semester will learn about their housing assignment in early January.
Do the Colleges offer financial aid for transfer applicants?
Yes, we offer both need based as well as merit based aid for transfer applicants. For information, visit: www.hws.edu/admissions/finedu_aid_trans.aspx
Do the Colleges offer a program for non-traditional students?
Yes, the Colleges have offered the Life Long Learner program since the early 1970's for students that have taken a non-traditional path. Typically these students have completed an associate's degree before entering and are required to have an interview.
I am an international applicant. Can I apply as a transfer student?
Absolutely. The Colleges encourage applications from international students.
Do the Colleges offer an orientation program for transfer students?
Yes, the Colleges offer a transfer orientation each spring and fall. While the fall program is intertwined with the first year program, the spring is usually conducted on a more individual basis.
I've already attended an orientation at my previous college. Why do I need to attend Orientation at Hobart and William Smith?
At Orientation you will learn information specific to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Since all transfer students are placed in the same Orientation group together, this will also be an opportunity to get to know other upperclass students; your Orientation leader will be a student who transferred to HWS him/herself. Your Orientation schedule will be somewhat different from the first-years' schedule, taking into account the different needs of upperclass transfer students.
For more information about the transfer process, please contact Caitlin Moran '15, Assistant Director of Admissions, (315) 781-3868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.