Information for Transfer Applicants

At Williams, we strive to create a vibrant living and learning environment for all students by enrolling a talented and diverse class. Transfer, veteran and non-traditional students are a critical part of that mission. Transfer students bring their own unique backgrounds, perspectives and set of lived experiences, and they carry all of that with them through their classes, conversations with peers, research and internships, extracurricular engagements and more. They deeply contribute to the richness of our community, and Williams is eager to welcome a growing cohort of transfer students each year. If you're a transfer student and began your post-secondary education at a community college, in the U.S. military or elsewhere in the workforce, we especially encourage you to apply.

While our standard transfer policy and procedures are outlined below, we understand that your own experience might fall somewhere outside these parameters. If you’re unsure of how to apply and are looking for guidance, please know that we’re available to help–email Alex DiAddezio, Senior Assistant Director of Admission, or sign up for an appointment using her calendar. Additionally, to learn more about the liberal arts, affordability, and our holistic review admission process, check out this informational video that may help you in preparing your application.

Williams Travel Grant Program

The Williams Travel Grant offers all-expenses-paid campus visits for prospective transfer and veteran students who reside in mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. Priority is given to students who began their post-secondary education at a community college, in the U.S. military or elsewhere in the workforce. Interested students can apply here.


Affordability and Williams

For transfer students seeking assistance, Williams offers one of the most generous financial aid programs in the U.S. We consider the applications of all prospective transfer students without regard to their ability to pay, and we promise to meet 100% of each admitted student’s demonstrated financial need for the entirety of their Williams career. Our financial aid considers the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, room and board, personal expenses and course materials and, if needed, health insurance, childcare, travel and storage. We strive to make Williams affordable for every student during the application process and well beyond it. 

  • 94% of transfer and veteran students receive financial aid
  • $77K–amount of average grant
  • Free textbooks, course materials, health insurance and storage
  • No application fee

Should I apply as a first-year or transfer?

If you'll have completed at least one year of full-time college coursework by the time you theoretically enroll at Williams, please apply as a transfer student. There is no maximum cutoff for the number of college credits earned, but students who have already earned a bachelor's degree are not eligible to apply. If you will have less than one year of full-time college coursework upon enrollment at Williams, please apply as a first-year applicant. Students who have completed college courses during their high school career, but have not yet graduated from high school or its equivalent should apply as first-years. Please see the examples below for further clarification, and if you have any questions about your situation, don't hesitate to reach out.

Student examples:

  • Student A is enrolled at community college for the first time. They will complete 40 college credits by August 2023, and they hope to enroll at Williams in September 2023. They should apply as a transfer student since they will have completed at least one year of college credit prior to enrollment.
  • Student B is active duty in the military and takes some courses in the evenings when their schedule allows. They will complete 20 college credits by August 2023, and they hope to enroll at Williams in September 2023. They should apply as a first-year student since they will not have completed at least one year of college credit prior to enrollment.

You can find general information about how to apply to Williams on this page. You can also check out the links to additional information for U.S. military veterans, international applicants, and undocumented and DACA applicants.

Required Application Materials

  • Common Application (includes one required essay)
  • Final High School Transcript or High School Equivalency Diploma
  • Transfer College Report
  • College Transcript
  • Two College Instructor Recommendations
  • Williams Writing Question: As a residential learning community, Williams believes that some of the most important experiences happen while living and learning alongside those different from oneself. Please describe a time when you learned or grew through the process of interacting with someone whose background, identity, lived experience, or perspective differs from your own. (150-300 words; this question will display on the Common Application)
  • There is NO Application Fee- If you’ll be applying for financial aid, you can request a fee waiver for the CSS Profile. We seek the most exceptional candidates regardless of financial need. Your request for a waiver won’t affect your application, and we won’t consider it when making our admission decision.

Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents sent by a school can arrive shortly after the submission of a completed application. If you or your school administrator need to forward application documents, please email them to [email protected]edu. We also understand your experience is unique, so if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Optional Application Materials

In addition to the required application materials, students may choose to supplement their application with any of the following materials. Please note that these materials are entirely optional, and if you choose to not submit them, it will not be held against you in any way in our process.


All students applying for entry through the fall of  2025 may choose whether to submit SAT/ACT exam results. Regardless, your application will be reviewed in a thorough, student-centered, holistic admission process.

If you decide to submit an SAT or ACT score, you can do so in any of three ways:

  1. Enter them in the testing section of your application.
  2. Email a screenshot of your score report to applicationmaterials​@williams​.edu.
  3. Have them sent to Williams directly from the testing agency. The Williams SAT code is 3965 and ACT code is 1936.

Test scores can be submitted for any test date. Williams will superscore the SAT or ACT. This means that if multiple test scores are submitted, we’ll consider the highest score when reviewing your application.

SAT and ACT scores for all enrolling students who choose to submit them will be verified. Discrepancies between self-reported scores and official scores may jeopardize a student’s place at Williams.

The submission of SAT subject tests, AP scores, IB exams, A-levels, and language proficiency tests have been optional at Williams for many years and this will continue to be the case.

Additional Writing Supplement

Students are welcome to submit an optional, additional essay. To learn more, visit the Writing Supplement page.

Research Abstracts

If you’ve pursued significant scientific, mathematics, humanities or social science research and are considering a research or academic career, we welcome a brief description of your past work. Please include this information on your application, or email it to [email protected].

Additional Letters of Recommendation

Students are welcome to submit additional letters of recommendation beyond the required two college instructor recommendations. These might include letters from work supervisors, military experiences, or other relevant pursuits.

Transfer Policies and Transferable Coursework

  • Community is central to the Williams ethos and experience. We guarantee campus housing for all students for the entirety of their enrollment and are committed to providing students with a type of housing that works best for them. A variety of on-campus options are available. Off-campus housing within close walking distance of campus may also be available in certain circumstances. Regardless of living location, transfer students are welcomed into campus life and engagement with the Williams community.
  • All Williams students, including transfers, may only apply for fall enrollment.
  • Williams doesn’t accept applications from students who have already received a bachelor’s degree.
  • As a transfer student, if admitted you’ll have the option to relinquish some or all of your approved transferable credits in order to take additional courses at Williams. You’ll still be able to use those relinquished credits to place into higher level courses (and we will meet 100% of your demonstrated need for every year you attend Williams).
  • Because Williams has a two-year minimum residency requirement for all students, you'll only be allowed to transfer a maximum of two years’ worth of credit from your previous institutions. See the transferable coursework section below for more details.
  • Credit is only awarded for courses taught in the liberal arts in which a grade of C- or above is obtained from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or abroad. Generally, credit is not awarded for courses in business, engineering, computer application, journalism, speech, communications, or criminal justice.
  • Please note that for classes impacted by Covid-19, Williams will review grades of “P" or the equivalent as part of the admission process and for transferability.
  • Online courses taken spring 2020 or beyond will be reviewed for transferability according to the guidelines laid out here. Asynchronous courses will not be considered transferable.
  • Williams accepts math courses at the level of calculus and above.
  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college coursework taken before high school graduation may be used by academic departments for placement purposes. In some circumstances, major credit may be awarded, but degree credit is not.
  • Military coursework may be approved for major or degree credit depending on how the course was delivered and whether it has a liberal arts focus.

If you have questions at any point during the process, please check out our transfer FAQ page, email Senior Assistant Director of Admission Alex DiAddezio, or book an appointment.