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Academics for Transfer Students

As a transfer student, you come to William & Mary with a lot of college experience under your belt. You probably think you've got everything under control, and that you know what you're doing. You're probably right. But every university is different, and we have plans to help you transition smoothly into W&M academic life.

Transferring Credits

You will be transferring a number of credits into W&M. Some transfer credits may count towards COLL requirements, some towards your major, and some as electives. The Registrar's Office coordinates this. Remember that at least half of the credits applied toward a degree must be earned at W&M.

Academic Advising

Advising begins before you arrive on campus. A peer advisor will contact you before you arrive. Peer advisors are fellow W&M students who can answer most of your questions about academic life here. They can also help you with an on-line, required mini-course, College Studies. This course will introduce you to the registration process and help you select your first classes at W&M.

One of the items to complete before orientation is the New Student Inventory. The information you provide on this form will help us match you to your pre-major advisor. This professor will will help you finalize your schedule and complete your registration. They will also serve as your main source of academic and campus resource information until you declare your major. We encourage you to meet with your faculty advisor throughout the year.

You will receive online links to College Studies and the New Student Inventory some time before orientation.

Declaring Your Major

You can declare your major once you have a total of 39 credits, including your transfer credits. If you enter W&M with 54 or more transfer credits, you may wait until the end of your first semester at W&M to declare your major.

When you do declare, you will select a major advisor in your discipline. Your major advisor can provide you with depth of knowledge about your field of study and will work with you until you graduate.

General Education Requirements

W&M's general education curriculum is called the COLL curriculum. These courses connect and integrate knowledge across the academic disciplines. You may fulfill only some of the COLL requirements through transfer credits. You will work with your advisor to come up with a plan to meet the remainder of these requirements at W&M.

Elective Courses

How you use elective courses is up to you: fulfill a prerequisite, explore an interest, connect various areas of knowledge. If some of your courses transferred but did not count toward a specific major, minor or college curriculum requirement, they count as elective courses.

Other Things You Should Know
  • You will meet the degree requirements listed in the Undergraduate Catalog published in the academic year you begin courses at W&M.
  • You will meet the major requirements listed in the Undergraduate Catalog published in the academic year you declare your major.
  • One hundred and twenty credit hours are required for graduation - your transfer credits may count towards that number.
  • You may transfer in an unlimited number of credits, but you must earn at least 60 credit hours at W&M to earn your diploma here.
  • A minimum of 15 credits in your major and a minimum of 9 credits in a minor must be earned at W&M.
  • You must earn a minimum of 72 credit hours in subjects outside your primary major. Transfer credits may count towards that total.