Transfer students comprise about 20% of COA’s student body. Students transfer to COA from a wide range of other schools, including traditional liberal arts colleges, Ivies, state universities, and community colleges. We find that transfer students are often particularly well-prepared for the kind of self-directed education you’ll find at COA.

Transfer students can start at COA during either the fall, winter, or spring trimester. Be sure to make note of the application deadlines for each term. 

Transfer FAQs

How does the transfer application and admission process work?
What is the difference between a transfer student and a visiting student?
How many credits can I transfer to COA?
How do I figure out how many “COA credits” I have?
Will COA accept all my current credits?
What classes will I be required to take at COA?

How does the transfer application and admission process work?
Transfer students apply using the Common Application. COA accepts both Regular Decision and Early Decision applications from transfer students. Transfer applicants should submit official transcripts from all academic work, including high school (secondary school) and college. The Common App’s transfer student essay asks you to describe why you’ve decided to transfer, and our supplemental questions (described on the Apply page) are a good place to tell us more about why you think COA is a good fit for you.

After you enroll at COA, you’ll meet with the registrar to formally request that your previous credits be applied to your COA education. We also strongly encourage transfer applicants to meet with the director of financial aid prior to making a commitment to COA. Contact the admission office if you have questions.

What is the difference between a transfer student and a visiting student?
A transfer student is someone who wants to formally stop attending their current college and enroll at COA. A visiting student is someone would like to come to COA for up to one year, to explore our environment and try taking classes here without officially transferring in. Credits earned as a visiting student can be transferred to another institution. Visiting students are not eligible for COA financial aid—talk with your home institution about whether you can bring your financial aid with you during your time as a visitor at COA. To learn more about coming to COA as a visiting student, please contact the admission office.

How many credits can I transfer to complete my education at COA?
You may transfer up to 18 COA credits. That is half the number of credits you need to graduate, equivalent to about two years of college work.

How do I figure out how many “COA credits” I have?
1. If you are transferring credit from an institution that uses the semester system, or credit hours, multiply your current credit hours by 0.3 to determine the likely number of COA credits you will have.

2. If you are transferring credit from an institution that uses a trimester or quarter system, or quarter credits, multiply your current quarter credits by 0.2 to determine the number of COA credits.

Will COA accept all of my current credits?
We will accept up to 18 COA credits (two years), in classes for which you have received at least a “C,” or 2.0. We are unable to accept credits for Physical Education coursework. Credits are only accepted from regionally accredited institutions.

The COA registrar can perform preliminary transcript reviews for prospective transfer students, to help you determine how many credits will transfer. The registrar is available to meet with you, in person or over the phone, to discuss the credits you may transfer, as well as the requirements you will need to complete at COA.

What classes will I be required to take at COA?
Great question! This answer will be different for every transfer student. If you transfer more than 9 COA credits, certain requirements, such as writing, quantitative reasoning, and history, may be waived. Even if some requirements are waived, you will need to take at least one class in each resource area (human studies, arts & design, and environmental science). Every transfer student will also need to complete a writing portfolio, internship, Human Ecology Essay, and Senior Project. You can read about our degree requirements here.