Students smiling during a class

Transfer Applicants

Why Grinnell?

Grinnell College provides individually advised learning for the intellectually motivated. Our curriculum does not include distribution requirements, so you will work closely with your academic adviser to develop an academic program that suits your interests. With a highly talented and diverse student body, including students from all 50 states and more than 50 different countries, Grinnell College is in the middle of everywhere, right where you want to be.

We are dedicated to promoting excellence in liberal arts education, a diverse community, and social responsibility, and we use our resources to provide extraordinary experiences for our students.

Grinnell College invites applications from students who have completed at least one year of college coursework. You can find information about our transfer program and how to apply as a transfer student below.

Transfer Eligibility

Grinnell will consider you a transfer student under these circumstances, even if you’d like a do-over. Since graduating from high school:

  1. You have studied at another U.S.-accredited college or university and will have earned 12 or more transferrable credits by the time you enroll at Grinnell.
  2. You have studied at another university that is not a U.S.-accredited institution and will have taken classes for more than two semesters by the time you enroll at Grinnell.

Transfer Applications

If you have any questions about the transfer application process, please contact Christian Morris, Grinnell College’s transfer liaison.

Here’s what we need from you to complete your transfer application, by the transfer deadline below:

  • The Common Application: All forms, including the Registrar’s Report are available through the Common Application
    • If you have not already done so, we encourage you to submit the Common Application for Transfers before sending in other materials. Submitting the Common Application triggers our system to create your Grinnell College Application Portal, which will allow you to see the status of all missing and received documents. You will also use this portal to view your admission decision.
  • Official final secondary/high school transcript
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Two written academic evaluations from current or former professors (If you’ve been out of high school for less than one year, you may submit one academic evaluation from a high school teacher.)

If you applied to Grinnell in the past as a first-year or transfer student, you may be eligible to reuse some of the documents listed above. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

While domestic transfer applicants are not currently eligible for merit-aid, they may apply for need-based financial aid. If you are an international transfer applicant, please know that it is incredibly rare for Grinnell to be able to offer need-based financial aid or scholarships. Please contact the Financial Aid Team for questions about Grinnell’s financial aid process (U.S. citizens and permanent residents:; international students:


Transfer Admission Deadlines, 2023–24
Application Deadline March 1
Admission Notification Mid-May
Deposit Due June 1

Selecting a Major

You can study something new at Grinnell. You don’t need to study the same thing as at your previous institution. Enrolled new transfer students work closely with an assigned academic adviser to design an academic program that fulfills your needs and the College’s requirements for graduation.

DMACC Transfer Students

If you are a Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) student considering transfer, see the Frequently Asked Questions for DMACC transfer students. Grinnell College and DMACC have an agreement to encourage qualified DMACC students to consider transferring to Grinnell.

Transfer of Credits

We assess all university-level coursework for transfer. If your application is successful, we will provide you with an estimate of the number of credits that will transfer at the time of your admission. We will conduct a final official evaluation of your transfer credits prior to your arrival in August.

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