Stella is a college sophomore who just decided to major in psychology. “I fell in love with it as soon as I took an intro to psych course in my second semester of freshman year,” she tells us. “The problem is, now I would like to transfer to a school that has a better psych program.”

Paul tells a similar story. “I never thought I would major in music,” he says. “But as soon as I took Introduction to World Music, I knew I wanted to major in ethnomusicology. Fortunately, my state university has an excellent program, so I’m planning to transfer there.”

For students like Stella and Paul, a moment of self-discovery can result in a decision to transfer colleges.

Transferring Colleges Is a Big Decision

If you or a student you know decide to change colleges under similar circumstances, here is a bit of advice on handling the transition wisely.

  • Take additional courses in the new major area before transferring – Because transferring is a big decision – and often an expensive one – try to confirm that that appealing new major really is the right one. One way is to take several additional courses in the major area before transferring – over the summer, or online. If the new major continues to be appealing after that trial, it could be worth considering transferring colleges.
  • Work internships and jobs to learn more – These additional experiences can provide the kind of perspective that leads to better career and college decisions.
  • Investigate the resources at the new school – It is a good idea to visit, speak with faculty members, sit in on classes and take other “due diligence” steps to be sure the new school will live up to expectations. The last thing any student wants to do is to transfer and then find out that doing so was a mistake.
  • Take a career test – Visit a college’s counseling office to talk with a career counselor and take any career or aptitude tests that are available. Again, you are trying to confirm that changing both a major and a college is a good decision.

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