Transfer and Visiting Applicants

We accept transfer applications from students who apply for admission after beginning undergraduate study at another institution.

Visiting Students

Students interested in applying for Visiting Student status should contact the Office of Admissions to discuss eligibility and application requirements.

Transfer Process

You should apply as a transfer student if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. You have been enrolled in a degree-seeking program, regardless of how many credits have been earned.
  2. You have earned more than 30 semester hours of credit without being enrolled in a degree-seeking program. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, so if you fall into this category, please contact us to discuss your situation.

Transfer students may apply for either the spring or the fall semester. If you are currently in your first year of study at another college, you may only apply for fall admission.

What are We Looking For?

When reviewing the applications of transfer students, Oberlin admissions counselors engage in a holistic evaluation process. This means many factors are considered with each application, with no one component of the application singled out as most important.

  • We seek a transfer class that represents a variety of talents, viewpoints, and achievements.
  • We require both high school and college transcripts, though we do place more weight on the work a student has completed in college.
  • We prefer a high school record demonstrating proficiency equivalent to four years of English, four years of mathematics, three years of the same foreign language, three years of laboratory science, and three years of social studies. If the high school record does not display these proficiencies, we strongly recommend that efforts are made to meet these benchmarks in college. 
  • We prefer applicants to have maintained breadth in their college curriculums to the extent permitted by their current programs.


We can't begin reviewing your application until we have received all required components. Unless otherwise noted, all materials may be submitted online through the Common App.


Transfer students should apply to Oberlin using the Common App.

Personal Essay

You’ll need to write a personal essay as part of your Common App. Oberlin does not require any additional supplemental essays (hooray!).

Pro tip: Check out this page for our best tips for crafting a strong essay.  

Two Teacher Evaluations

Oberlin requires two academic teacher evaluations. At least one, and preferably both, should be written by a professor at your current institution who has recently taught you in an academic course. Recommenders should be familiar with your writing, analytical, and quantitative abilities, and be able to provide valuable insights about you.

Letters from band teachers, choir directors, art teachers, etc. are considered supplemental and do not fulfill our academic teacher evaluation requirement.

High School and College Transcripts

Official transcripts should be sent directly from the school. If you've been enrolled in multiple colleges, we will need an official transcript sent from each school you attended.

College Report

The College Report should be completed by a college official who has access to your academic and disciplinary records. 

Mid-Term Report

If you are enrolled in classes when you submit your application, you must complete the Common App Mid-Term Report form, which requires a name and email for all of your current professors. 

SAT or ACT Test Scores

Oberlin is test-optional for students applying for admission for fall or spring 2023. You can submit scores from the SAT and/or ACT, but it’s not required. Please review our testing policy for more details.

If you want to submit test scores as part of your application, you can self-report your scores on your application. You only need to send in an official score report if you enroll at Oberlin.

SAT Code: 1587
ACT Code: 3304

Additional Recommendations

Two academic recommendations are usually sufficient, but you are welcome to submit one additional letter if it will provide relevant information not found in your two required academic teacher recommendations. 

Art and Performance Supplements

Do you dance? Play an instrument? Take awesome pictures? We want to know about it! After you submit your application to Oberlin, you’ll have the opportunity to submit supplemental materials  to highlight a special accomplishment, talent, or interest. Please review our Art and Performance Supplement Submission Guidelines for more information.


As a transfer student, you can apply to start at Oberlin in either the spring or fall semester. If you are currently in your first year of study at another college, you may only apply to start in the fall of your sophomore year.

Steps Fall Spring
Application Deadline April 1 November 15
Financial Aid Deadline April 1 November 15
Notification Rolling: April 15 to June 15 Late December
Reply Due Two weeks after receiving your acceptance letter or financial aid offer, whichever is later Two weeks after receiving your  acceptance letter or financial aid offer, whichever is later

Visiting Students

On your application, please indicate whether you want to be considered for one or two semesters. We will notify you of your admission status no later than one month after the application deadline. 

Steps Fall Spring
Application Deadline April 1 November 15
Notification Rolling: April 15-June 15 Late December

Transferring Credit

Credits are typically eligible for transfer if they are received from an accredited institution and are in a subject area that falls within the scope of a liberal arts education. The total allowed for all transfer of credit may not exceed 16 full academic courses (64 semester hours). We can’t guarantee that credit accepted for transfer will automatically be applied toward your major; acceptance requires the approval of the appropriate department or program. You have a time limit of one year from when you enter Oberlin to request transfer of credit and provide documentation.

View the complete transfer of credit policies on the Office of the Registrar website.