College Transfer

Welcome to Seattle Central's International College Transfer advising pages!

Here you will find a wide range of information to help you prepare for success in the college transfer program, including academic planning sheets, guidance on selecting a university, and information on our educational partners.

College Transfer Resources

The College Transfer Center on campus has excellent resources available to help you with transfer planning.  Please visit the Plan Your Transfer pages on our website for complete information.

Step By Step Guide for Transfer Students

The university transfer process requires careful planning. International students are advised to follow the following steps when preparing for transfer.

Step One: Decide on your Major.

(Plan to Complete Step One by the end of second quarter of college study)

Some students have an idea of what which major they would like to study, but many do not. One way to approach this question is to figure out what you want to do for a career.

There are many tests which are designed to help you decide what personality type you are and match you up to the careers that best meet your needs and qualifications. One of the most often used by counselors and students alike is the Holland Self-Directed Search (SDS), which is an easy-to-use assessment system that you can take online or in person at Seattle Central. Your counselor at Seattle Central can administer the SDS and help you interpret the results.

These tests, or "assessments", such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, Discover, Self Directed Search and others, will help you better understand your interests, temperament, personality, and aptitudes and how these apply to the world of "work".

Step Two: Decide where you want to study

(Plan to complete Step Two no later than the beginning of Fall Quarter, Year Two)

Deciding where you want to transfer can be a complicated process. For an overview of steps we recommend you follow, please read the section “Choosing a University”, below. 

Step Three: Complete Applications for 3-5 Universities  

(Deadlines vary, but most deadlines will be in late Fall and early Winter for the following Fall quarter admission)

The College Transfer Center can assist you  through workshops and one on one advising. During this process, you should be sure you are taking the right classes at Seattle Central. Plan to take the following classes, listed in order of importance:

- Basic Requirements in the Associate's Degree.

- General Education requirements for the Associate's Degree

- Pathway requirements for your major. You should also review any special requirements for your major at the universities where you would like to transfer. In some cases, the university will base their admissions decision on how committed you are to your major area of study and your GPA primarily in those specific courses.

- Special courses for admission to the universities you are going to apply to such as language requirements, quantitative reasoning or other courses. For example, some universities might require that all students complete a "speech" or "critical thinking" class before being admitted to any major. Other universities will have requirements that need to be completed to graduate--and you can take those courses after transferring.

Choosing a University in the United States

There are many  things to consider when choosing a university and college.

Many students are strongly motivated to attend a particular university. While this idea is useful for motivating a student to study hard at Seattle Central, it also may set the stage for disappointment if the student is not successful in achieving his or her goal. That is why it is important to keep in mind that there exist many options for higher education in the United States and that failure to gain admission to a particular college or university does not at all close the door on a opportunity to enter another fine college or university.

What can you afford and how can you pay for your education?

The cost of going to university is a major factor in the decision as to what institution to attend. Can you afford the university or college of your choice? Does the university offer any scholarships to international students? Unfortunately, many universities offer scholarships only to resident students. But this is not always the case. International students can sometimes qualify for scholarships; so you should always ask about this when you are considering a particular university.

Where do you want to study?

The USA is a huge country with many educational opportunities. Your choice of university will depend in part on where you want to live for the next two or three years, since you are likely to find a university in several different parts of the country that meets your academic requirements. Do you want to live on the West Coast, East Coast, or inland America? Do you wish to live in a large city, or smaller town, or does the idea or spending a couple of years in a quiet rural area appeal to you? Do you want to live in a warm or a cold climate? Among other factors to keep in mind, you should know that it is generally the case that tuition cost and costs of living are higher in urban areas than in small towns or rural areas. You will also want to consider whether you want to attend a large research university that may have tens of thousands of students; or would you be more comfortable in a smaller university where you’ll find it easier to become part of a community.

Does the university/college offer any special programs/sports you are interested in?

If your dream is to play soccer in college, you want to find a college, which offers that opportunity.If you are interested in photography, does the university have a photo lab? Does it offer opportunities to pursue your interests? Does the university offer a particular religious affiliation you want to be involved with?

Once you have determined what you are looking for in a university/college, you are then ready to begin a search to find universities that meet your interests and needs and begin the application process. At Seattle Central you will find that there are several offices which can help you with your search. Included among these resources are:

- The International Education Programs Office, BE 1113

- The Career Library, 2BE 1107

- The College Transfer Center, 2BE 1107

You should also be aware that there are Internet sites that feature information about transferring to university. (This site is especially useful for obtaining information about university rankings in the United States.)

Steps in choosing a university: 

Step 1: Develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate colleges

Do you want a large university or a small college? What about costs? Here's a list of common criteria:

  • - degrees offered
  • - majors/minors
  • - location (rural or urban setting)/ geographical region of country
  • - size of the student population (from small at 1,000 to large at 35,000+)
  • - public vs. private
  • - costs (tuition, room and board, etc.)
  • - scholarships to international students
  • - campus resources (labs, libraries, computer access, etc.)
  • - graduation rate/time
  • - placement success / internship and co-op programs
  • - accreditation
  • - class size
  • - faculty contact/classes taught by full-time doctorally qualified faculty
  • - quality/reputation/ranking
  • - safety (campus, community)
  • - student body (diversity, gender, etc.)
  • - social life (Greek organizations, sports, school spirit, etc.)
  • - religious affiliation/independent
  • - housing options (dorms, apartments, homestay )
  • - realistic entry expectations (based on typical student admitted)


Step 2: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities

With at least some idea of the criteria that are important to you, begin the gathering phase. You can find college information in Seattle Central's College Transfer Center. There are books, general websites and individual college and university websites. You will also get suggestions from family, friends, and faculty and counselors. Seattle Central also hosts several college transfer fairs throughout the year in which admission representatives from four year institutions come to our campus to recruit students.

Step 3: Gather all your resources and information about each school you're considering

If you don't have all the information you need on a particular college, you should consider visiting the college's website.

Step 4: Use the criteria from Step 2 to narrow your list of colleges to a 4 or 5 choices, and research these more carefully

Be sure to pay attention to admission requirements, pre-requisites for your major and the official deadlines for the term you hope to enroll in.

Research tools: online college search websites, college and university websites, Seattle Central College Transfer Center and college transfer fairs. Try to find out the following information:

- University's international student admission requirements including TOEFL and GPA

- Tuition and fees

- Application deadlines; scholarship deadlines

- Pre- requisites for your major

Remember, especially if you are applying to competitive universities and into competitive majors, that you may not get into your first choices of institutions.

For additional scholarship information, please check with the College Transfer Center. Please also consider reviewing the following website: International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) scholarship search.

Step 5: Visit  the colleges on your list from Step 4

The best way to really get a feel for a college is by visiting the campus, taking a tour, meeting with students, attending a class, reading the campus newspaper, eating in the cafeteria, and spending the night in a dorm (if possible).

Academic Pathways and Major Planning Guides

Once students choose their intended major, it is important to find out what courses are required for that particular degree.

Following some of the more common academic pathways in a variety of fields, including recommended courses and information universities in Washington State that offer these majors.

Please note that these are general recommendations. For specific details on degree requirements, please contact the institution you wish to attend.

Actuarial Science Pathway
Business Pathway
Fine Arts Pathway
Health Science Pathway
Humanities Pathway
Social Science Pathway

On the college Transfer Center website, you will also find major planning guides, which provide similar information regarding a wide range of majors.

Where Can You Transfer?

International students enrolled at Seattle Central College have many options for transfer both in and out of state.

Seattle Central has transfer agreements with many universities / four-year colleges both in and out-of-state. Students transferring with an AA degree will be given 90 quarter credits towards their 180 credit baccalaureate degree. Students should work closely with an advisor or counselor to ensure that all possible degree requirements are met prior to transfer.

In addition, to further assist international students in achieving their academic goals, Seattle Central now offers Transfer Admission Guarantee letters, at the time of admission, from selected partner institutions. Please consult the webpage linked above for further details about these great opportunities.

Finally, there are many other universities that our students transfer to every year (see list of schools where our students have recently been admitted). These universities recognize the benefits of attending a community college for the first two year and are pleased to have international students who have already been successful at a community college transfer for their final two years.