How to Write the UC Transfer Essay: Why This Major?

The University of California
CHANGED its prompts
for transfer students
this year (2106)!

Read Strategies for the New University of California
Transfer Essays for the updated information on the new prompts.



(OUTDATED!!) Why You Chose Your Major: A Love Story

If you want to transfer into any of the University of California schools (UCLA, Berkeley, UCI, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, etc.), you need to write two college application essays. One is the same prompt that all students are required to write—which basically asks for a personal statement style essay. It’s known as Prompt 2, and I wrote “Personal Quality, Talent, Achievement…”  as a guide on how to write this essay in a narrative style.

Now I want to offer some ideas on how to answer the second prompt required for transfer students:

Transfer Student Prompt 1: What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field — such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.  (more…)

Help for College Transfer Students

Unlike incoming freshman, transfer students typically are older, usually have a couple years of college and are expected to navigate this process largely on their own.

But that doesn’t make it any easier—especially writing the college application transfer essays.

In high school, most students are automatically matched up with counselors or their parents hire private college admissions counselors to help them through the process. For transfer students, it’s often up to you to seek help.

According to the National Association of College Admission Counseling, about one-third of college students will change schools—from both community colleges into four year schools, or from one four-year school to a different one.

That’s a lot of students out there trying to figure it all out. So at least you aren’t alone! (more…)

How to Write Your Transfer Essay for the Common App

When my son wanted to transfer from his small liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest into a larger university to pursue chemical engineering, I offered to help him with his college application transfer essay.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my approach to writing the main Transfer Essay required by schools that use The Common Application.

My son, though with great reluctance, agreed to be my guinea pig.

I wanted to walk through the steps and chronicled the brainstorming/planning process: (more…)