Penn State Transfer Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

Regardless of a student’s reasons for transferring, many can agree that the task of switching schools can feel daunting. A student may have a number of concerns and/or inquiries about this process. 

Questions may include the transfer of credits, meeting prerequisite requirements, and staying on track to graduate, just to name a few. 

Thankfully, there are ample resources available to students looking to transfer institutions. This is especially true if the university is Penn State. 

Penn State has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and commitment to student success. They offer more than 275 majors, have an active and engaging student community, and they have the top alumni network, according to College Magazine. 

At Penn State, a student will be considered for transfer if they have earned a high school diploma or GED and have attempted 18 or more semester hours at another college or university after high school graduation. 

With ample opportunities at Penn State, what are one’s chances of successfully transferring?

Penn State Transfer Acceptance Rate

Penn State
Stilfehler, Penn State University Brill Hall 1, CC BY-SA 4.0

The transfer acceptance rate for Penn State is approximately 36%, according to the university’s 

transfer student data

In 2019, the university received 8,806 total transfer applications. Available data indicate that 3,201 total transfer students were admitted university-wide. 

This suggests that out of every 100 transfer applicants, 64 will be rejected. 

While these data imply that over half of transfer applicants will not be accepted, the acceptance rate for transfer students is generally higher than the rate for first-year students. 

Only 16% of first-year applicants will be accepted to the university, indicating that 84 out of every 100 first-year applicants will be rejected.  

Penn State prides itself on providing a challenging academic environment that encourages new opportunities, experiences, and interests for its students.  

The university examines all aspects of an applicant. They examine the roles the individual has served as a student, family member, volunteer, and/or employee in their communities. 

Penn State hopes to create a class of students with diverse interests, backgrounds, and experiences in order to provide a well-rounded education. 

Interested applicants can find more information about student demographic information and admission statistics on their website. 

Application Requirements & GPA for Penn State Transfer Students

Individuals are considered transfer students at Penn State when they have attempted and/or completed 18 or more credits at another college or university after high school graduation. 

A student who wishes to transfer to Penn State should carefully familiarize themselves with the university’s application requirements while also identifying if their desired program(s) of study have additional conditions for application.  

Transfer students are required to have met the minimum high school requirements to be considered. These requirements may differ depending on if the desired program of study is a four– or two-year degree. 

Required application materials for admission consideration include an online application and official transcripts from any other colleges or universities where credits were completed and/or attempted. 

To be considered for transfer admission, the minimum GPA requirements are dependent upon the desired campus and the student’s intended major. The University Park campus requires a 2.5 GPA or higher, while campuses other than University Park require a 2.0 GPA or higher. 

Some of the programs throughout the university may require a higher GPA than those shared in the general university outlines. As always, students should thoroughly review their intended program’s eligibility requirements to ensure they meet expectations. 

Some campuses and/or programs are more competitive than others. Therefore, meeting application and GPA requirements does not guarantee admission. 

Penn State Transfer Deadline

Penn State Thomas Building
Stilfehler, Penn State University Thomas Building, CC BY-SA 4.0

Penn State accepts transfer students on a rolling basis throughout the school year. 

Therefore, the deadline to apply to Penn State for transfer is dependent on the student’s desired semester start date.  

For transfer applicants interested in admission for Fall semester, the university highly encourages completing the application by the priority filing date of April 15. However, July 31 is the application deadline. 

To be considered for the summer session, the priority filing date is March 1, and the application deadline is June 1. The spring semester priority deadline is November 1, while December 1 is the final application deadline. 

Suppose a student is unable to complete the application by the priority filing date. In that case, it is recommended that they submit all necessary application materials as soon as possible following that date. 

A number of programs have deadlines different from those shared in general transfer student guidelines. Students should be aware that their four- or two-year program may have other important dates with which applicants should familiarize themselves. 

What Is the Decision Date for Penn State Transfer Students

Penn State will review a student’s application once all requirements have been met and the full application is submitted. According to Penn State’s website, students applying for Penn State as transfer students will typically hear from the school within six to eight weeks. 

Transfer applicants must first meet all of the necessary requirements as previously outlined. This includes completing high school requirements, meeting the minimum GPA expectations and the application deadline, and/or other requirements as outlined by a specific program. 

Even if a student meets these requirements, it does not guarantee admission into the university. This is especially true for various programs throughout the university, as they are highly competitive and/or have limited space. 

Students are highly recommended to contact their preferred campus of interest if they have additional questions about filing dates. 

After applying for transfer consideration, a select few students may receive a decision within a few weeks, but the majority of students will hear within 6-8 weeks. 

The university recommends reviewing dates and deadlines for transfer students for further information on when an applicant can expect to hear back regarding the university’s decision. 

While it can be challenging to wait, the university does its part to ensure that the student will be a good fit for the campus and/or program they’ve applied for. 

Deciding Whether You Should Apply to Penn State As a Transfer Student

A student may already know that they would like to transfer universities. While this is a significant decision, it is not uncommon and often for the best. 

There are a number of reasons why a student may be considering transferring. Perhaps they would like to change their major and attend a university that offers a competitive program, or perhaps they are looking for a more prestigious university. 

If a student has decided that transferring makes sense for them and their long-term goals, their next decision is perhaps the most important. Where? 

Penn State is a highly regarded university that offers 275 majors across 20 campuses. While the university is considered somewhat competitive for transfer applicants, it is easy to understand the appeal when reviewing its numerous accolades and global recognition. 

According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Colleges” rankings, Penn State is ranked No. 63 in the country among national universities. Additionally, they have been ranked in the country’s top graduate schools and online programs. 

The Time Higher Education Impact Ranking placed Penn State in the top 3% of universities worldwide. This ranking assesses a university’s research efforts, as well as community outreach and education. 

Penn State is a highly ranked and reputable university. If a student considers transferring, it is likely, with the proper application, that they could find a perfect fit. 

Recap: How To Apply to Penn State As a Transfer Student

While it can be overwhelming to consider transferring universities, resources and support are available to assist students in this process. Once students have determined that they are looking to transfer universities, they are likely beyond their hardest decision. 

With a transfer acceptance rate of approximately 36% at Penn State, applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves well with their intended program of study. 

In order to be considered for admission, students must first complete the necessary high school requirements and the online application. In addition, transcripts from any former universities where credits were taken or attempted are required. 

Penn State accepts transfer applications throughout the school year on a rolling basis. It is highly suggested that students submit their application by the priority filing date, or shortly after. Once all application materials have been submitted, most students should expect to hear back from the university within six to eight weeks. 

Penn State is a top-ranked university, both nationally and internationally. They prioritize the learning and growth of both their students and faculty and strive to provide them with a truly unique experience and world-class education. 

While there is no guarantee of admission, there is certainly nothing to lose in applying. While it is likely a lot of work to rise to the level of a Penn State student, obtaining the high-quality education they can provide is certainly worth it.