Being a transfer student can mean a lot of things, but in this blog, I want to focus on starting off as a second-semester standing at Tufts. I transferred to Tufts after having completed three semesters at my previous university; in other words, I was done with up until my first semester of sophomore year. Since a lot of my transfer credits were marked Pass/ Non-pass from research classes, I was not expecting that all my credits would transfer to my Tufts transcript. As much as
I wish I could bring all my credits, I just assumed it would not be possible since Tufts does not accept non-letter-graded credits. However, not so long after my first few weeks, I learned that I could petition for more courses after talking to the advising deans. (* It worked out for me since my previous transcript indicated that earning a Pass grade was equivalent to getting a C or above. You should double-check with the advising deans if this is your case!)
I was able to transfer 3 additional courses and reach 39 cumulative credits as I begin my first semester at Tufts. What this means can vary depending on your intention, but I personally think the biggest advantage is that you get an earlier enrollment date for your second semester, since you would be considered a first-semester junior for the following spring. While it’s not 100% guaranteed that you would get into all your desired classes as a junior, it surely gives you a higher chance than being a sophomore.
Tufts also has information on its SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) where there are set numbers of credits to declare students’ semester standing. The numbers are as followed: first year: 12 (first semester) - 24 (second semester), sophomore: 39 (first semester) - 54 (second semester), junior: 70 (first semester) - 86 (second semester), senior: 102 (first semester) - 120 (second semester). As long as you hit this number of cumulative credits, you can change your semester standing. This information can be useful if you are considering graduating early. Since I came to Tufts as a second-semester sophomore, I am planning to graduate a semester early and coordinate my academic schedule as a junior.
Throughout my process of declaring as a second semester, I realized the importance of getting out of my comfort zone and asking questions to the right people. If I did not reach out to the advising deans and consulted with transfer friends about transferring my P/NP credit courses, I definitely would have been stuck with my assumption thinking it was not possible. The ideas of graduating early and planning my semesters would have looked so much different if I did not go out of my way to ask for advice. Most importantly, I learned that it is encouraged and welcomed to bring these questions at Tufts – you should never be afraid to ask for the possibility of something here!