Dean College campus in the fall after a number of transfers

When it comes to switching colleges in Massachusetts, there are several options to choose from. Some students prefer to start their college experience at a community college, earning an associate degree before transferring to a four-year school as a junior or senior. Others may start out at one four-year school before deciding that it isn’t for them. They then choose another four-year school to attend.

While there are many reasons why students transfer from one college to another, they all have one thing in common: they need to know how the process works.


Designed for students who want to save money on their college expenses and not take out as many student loans, the MassTransfer program is focused on state-run colleges. Those who want to participate in the program enroll in a community college for the first few years. They take the courses required to earn an associate degree in the subject of their choice, and complete the majority of the general education courses required of the larger schools.

Once they have an associate degree, students then transfer to a four-year school. The colleges that participate in this program include the UMASS universities and state colleges, along with a few other options. Students enter these schools with their first two years completed and transferred over and only have to finish the rest of the school’s requirements for their major in order to earn a bachelor's degree.

Other Transfer Options

In addition to the MassTransfer program, there are other options for college students who want to switch schools. It isn’t unusual for a high schooler to choose to attend a larger school, only to find that they aren’t happy there, preferring the atmosphere and personalized attention that comes with attending a smaller school. So, they look for a smaller college to transfer their credits over. Other situations can include someone who wants to switch to a specific major, only to find that it isn’t offered at their current school or that another school in the state has a better program.

No matter the reasons for wanting to transfer, the process goes something like this:

  • Choose a college to attend
  • Contact their admissions office
  • Get information about transferring credits
  • Apply to the school and get accepted
  • Meet with an admissions counselor to see which credits and classes transferred
  • Plan out your schedule and enroll in courses

While the process may vary slightly from school to school, for the most part it stays the same. On top of this, whether or not courses transfer from one college to another depends on a number of factors, including the policies put into place by the school that you’re transferring to.

Looking for Transfer Colleges? Check Out Dean College

If you’re looking for a college to transfer to in Massachusetts, look no further than Dean College. We have a wide variety of majors and degree programs to choose from. We offer that “small school” feeling with as many activities as larger schools, so you’ll never be bored or feel like a “just a number.” At Dean, you get the best of both worlds. Join us!