Santa Clara University

How to Succeed as a Transfer Student at SCU

As a group, transfer students have very specific needs with respect to academic advising.To make a smooth transition, complete your degree in a timely manner, and meet your goals, we recommend a number of important steps:

1. During the Spring before you start at SCU, review your transcript to determine how many of your credits transfer and in which categories – as major requirements, core requirements, or electives. In our experience, many transfer students have sufficient units to have sophomore or junior "standing," but in their majors they are often a year behind in completing major requirements.

a. Use the Transfer Guide on the SCU Registrar's Website to help you determine which courses fill core requirements:

b. Use the requirements check sheet for your major (you can get this from your major department office or from the Drahmann Center) to help you determine which courses fill major requirements.

c. We strongly recommend that you communicate with a university advisor in the Drahmann Center to examine your proposed course plan to complete your degree. The Department Chair for your major is also a valuable resource in evaluating your course plan and s/he would welcome the opportunity to discuss the major with you. You can find the Department Chair's contact information on the department's website or contact the Administrative Assistant for the department.

2. If your review shows that you are missing foundation courses in your major, consider taking these prior to coming to SCU. Once you matriculate, all classes in your major must be taken at Santa Clara. Other than taking SCU summer school classes, there is minimal flexibility, to "catch up" in your major. This is especially true if you plan on finishing your degree in two years and/or if you are a Math, Natural Science or Engineering major. Many universities, including SCU, offer introductory science (general chemistry, organic chemistry, intro physics and biology) and math (calculus) sequence courses in the summer. SCU Summer program:

3. Attend Transfer Admit Day, a half-day program in May with workshops on understanding the core curriculum and reading your transcript report, information sessions with administrators from different academic programs and current students, as well as a resource fair.This is a great opportunity to ask questions and meet other incoming transfer students.

4. During the Summer before you start at SCU, attend a Pre-Orientation workshop and Transfer Orientation. These programs focus on how to register for classes and provide more planning support for your academic and co-curricular goals at Santa Clara. It is very important to have completed steps 1 and 2 prior to this orientation program.

5. Prior to Orientation, familiarize yourself with course planning resources: This website provides a schedule of courses offered for the upcoming quarter, along with course descriptions, and a running count of seats available.Here you can also access a list of courses tentatively scheduled for future quarters, which can help in your course planning. This website provides all the same information as courseavail (described in "a") but also allows you to do advanced searches for courses that fulfill multiple requirements and easily view teaching evaluations for the professors (by clicking on the name) you are considering. Please note that this website is not managed by SCU. Many students agree that this is a valuable resource, but it should not be used to determine if a class is available due to a five minute delay of information, which comes directly from CourseAvail.

c. This website allows you to access student evaluation of professors and courses.Almost every student completes these evaluations, so these evaluation scores are an excellent measure of how other students viewed the course and the professor.Do not use to select courses.Students have been misled by extremely positive or negative reviews by a small number of "emphatic" students.

6. During the Fall quarter, make an appointment with an advisor (in the Drahmann Center and/or a department advisor in your major) to develop a two- or three-year course plan.

7. Once classes begin, meet with each of your professors regularly and stay on top of your course work. Transfer students are adjusting to a new school and different course work demands and expectations, which can affect academic performance. Meeting with your professors with questions about course content or problems will definitely help with this transition. Also, be sure to utilize the Drahmann Tutoring Center resources (, especially if your class has regularly scheduled drop-in-tutoring. The tutors are selected by the instructors and you will often have one-on-one tutoring.

8. If you plan to study abroad, attend a Study Abroad Information Session to find out your options.For more information:

9. If you want to find an Internship opportunity, check with your department or with the Career Center:

10. Undergraduate research is a great opportunity to engage with faculty, who are eager to involve students in their research and scholarship. The process for finding undergraduate research opportunities is simple:

a. Read about faculty research on department or individual faculty websites.

b. Contact faculty to meet and discuss their research.

c. If you are interested in the faculty member's work, express your interest and follow-up (be persistent) about opportunities to assist them in their research.

11. Get involved in SCU student life. Check out this link for information about clubs, organizations, and leadership opportunities on campus:

Transferring to a new university can be challenging, but your transition to Santa Clara will be successful if you utilize the resources available to support your work here. University advisors in the Drahmann Center and your faculty advisor in your major department are available and willing to help you through every step in this process.