From ensuring your credits transfer to adapting to a new school setting, moving to FIU from another college or university can be a complex, and sometimes confusing, process.
“Many students experience ‘transfer shock’ when transferring from one institution to another. But this is normal,” said Camille Perkins, the STEM manager at FIU Transfer and Transition Services.
“Communication with the school that you’re transferring to, and knowing what you need from both your current school and the new one, will help ease the transition,” recommended transfer student Luis Suarez, who works with Transfer and Transition Services. “Be prepared and do your research.”
“The more ready you are, and the more you know about the new institution ahead of time, the greater ease you will have in that transition,” said Janie Valdes, the assistant vice president for Undergraduate Education.
Here are some tips to minimize transfer shock:
Making the switch
Start your research early. If you know what major(s) you will pursue, find out all of the admission requirements for that major ahead of time. Be aware of the courses needed to complete a potential bachelor’s degree before applying to help understand the challenges you may face. Make note of all the admission deadlines to ensure a smooth acceptance and transfer process. Miami Dade College and Broward College students can access transfer guides here.
NOTE: Be aware if your intended major is a Limited Access Program, one where acceptance to FIU may not guarantee acceptance to the specific program. Majors like nursing and business may have additional requirements to fulfill before acceptance to the program is granted.
Double-dip. Be smart about the classes you choose. Sometimes the prerequisites needed for a major can also fulfill an associate degree or FIU’s university core curriculum requirements. Planning your classes carefully can save you a lot of time, money and energy.
NOTE: If you have already earned 30-45 credits from any Florida public college, it is best to complete your associate degree before transferring, because it guarantees 60 transfer credits and satisfies the university core curriculum.
Have questions about your major? Contact the specific department of that major or field. For instance, if you are a biology major with pre-med aspirations and have questions about applying for medical schools in the future, you can contact a pre-health advisor. Use the search tool on the FIU homepage to find contact information for each department.
Research transfer credit equivalencies. The Transfer Equivalency Database provides information on how credits will transfer to FIU. If a specific course has not yet been evaluated by FIU, meet with your advisor and provide course syllabi. The advisor will submit a transfer equivalency form on your behalf to Transfer and Transition Services.
Don’t let deadlines come and go. Get everything together early. Transfer and Transition Services recommends applying and sending transcripts as soon as you begin your last semester, which is usually when you have earned 45 credits. This puts you ahead of the typical priority deadlines for each upcoming semester, giving you the best chance of being accepted and access to the largest pool of available financial aid.
Paying for school: Visit the Office of Financial Aid and apply for FAFSA. Remember to inform FAFSA that you are transferring to FIU. FIU’s school code is 009635. And always search for scholarship opportunities.
“The biggest myth is that all of the scholarship money goes to freshmen students, when in fact there are many scholarships for transfer students, as well as juniors and seniors in general,” said Schnider Joseph, a transfer coordinator for Transfer and Transition Services.
Bridging the gap. If you’re a student from Miami Dade College, Broward College, or Palm Beach State College, you’re in luck! FIU has bridge advisors ready to help you transfer from your school. See them early and often to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If you are transferring from a different school, don’t worry. Your college advisors likely have all the information you need regarding your curriculum and the transfer process. After meeting with them, reach out to Transfer and Transition Services or the department of your intended major for additional guidance.
Consider living on campus to gain the full college experience. Explore the options here.
You’ve successfully transferred to FIU. Now what?
Attend orientation. Take the mandatory Virtual Orientation, and if you can, attend the face-to-face registration and advising day on campus. It’s an opportunity to receive valuable information about FIU, finish any pending items you have and register for classes. Orientation will help you better understand your intended program, learn about different resources at FIU and create valuable connections with peers and staff.
Attend Panther Camp. It’s a great way for you to meet new transfer students.
Your advisor is your number one resource. Visit with your assigned advisor regularly to stay on track for graduation, and to discuss course and career options. Develop a relationship with your advisor, as they are also in a position to provide recommendation letters for internships, graduate school or scholarship applications. Find your assigned advisor on the Student Dashboard at my.FIU.edu.
Visit Career & Talent Development early in your studies at FIU. Make it a priority to speak with a career advisor to learn about career- and internship-related opportunities; and be sure to attend the office’s professional development workshops.
Build relationships with your professors. If you plan to go to graduate school, your professors will be instrumental in supplying recommendation letters.
Get involved on campus. Join a student club or organization, especially a career-related organization. It will provide opportunities for friendships and networking. Getting involved and taking a leadership role within a student club or organization also strengthens your resume.
“Being social is very important. You want to make sure you get involved and meet people that are either going through what you are, or have already done so,” said transfer student Claudia De Varona, who works with Transfer and Transition Services. “Support is essential. If you know a lot of people, you are likely to get tips from them like what professors to take, in which order you should take your classes, or tips on how to study.”
Know the resources available to you. FIU offers academic advising, career services, tutoring, counseling and psychological services, disability resources, study abroad opportunities and more.
For more information, visit transfer.fiu.edu or call Transfer and Transition Services at (305) 348-3844.
Additional reporting contributed by the following members of FIU Transfer and Transition Services: Janie Valdes, Jennifer Bravo, Emmanuella Sainthilaire, Alexander Pantaleon, Christina Andrial, Camille Perkins, Yanella Gilbert, Schnider Joseph, transfer student Luis Suarez and transfer student Claudia De Varona