Information for Transfer Applicants

Important Change to the 2020-2021 Admission Cycle

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve made the following important change for students applying during the 2020-2021 admission cycle. 

Suspension of Standardized Testing Requirement

We know there are countless reasons why standardized testing might not be possible this year, so it’s entirely up to you whether you submit exam results for the SAT and ACT. Regardless, rest assured that your application will be reviewed in a thorough, student-centered, holistic admission process that takes into account your achievements, talents, and life experiences; course selection and grades; letters of recommendation; and essays, to name a few. The submission of SAT and ACT scores is truly optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle

Please note that 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 will continue to be.

Transfer students bring a welcome diversity of experience and viewpoints to our classrooms and campus. If you're a transfer student of any kind, Williams appreciates your interest. If you 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. 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.

Should I apply as a first-year or transfer?

If you've completed or are in the process of completing at least one year of full-time college coursework elsewhere, please apply as a transfer student. 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. You'll find general information about how to do so on this page. And check out the links to additional information for U.S. military veterans, international applicants, and undocumented and DACA applicants.

Required Application Materials

  • Common Application or Coalition Application
  • Final High School Transcript
  • Transfer College Report
  • College Transcript
  • Two College Instructor Recommendations
  • 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.

Optional Application Materials

You have the option of supplementing your application with submissions in one of the following areas:


If you decide to submit an SAT or ACT score, you can 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.

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.

Williams Writing Supplement

Students are welcome to submit a short 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].

Transfer Policies and Transferable Coursework

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Williams accepts math courses at the level of calculus and above.
  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, online courses, 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.

Williams Travel Grant Program

The Williams Travel Grant typically offers all-expenses-paid campus visits for prospective transfer and veteran students who reside in mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, campus is closed to all visitors right now, but we’re excited to offer personalized, virtual visits. Selected applicants will get to experience Williams virtually on a date of their choosing.

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