Transfer Applicants

Welcome to RWU! Transfer students are an integral and influential part of our student body and we value the life and academic experience you bring to campus. Whether you are coming from a two-year or four-year school, from private or public, with a little or a lot of earned credit, we know that your needs will be different than entering first-year students. Regardless of the journey you have had so far, we'll make your transition into RWU as seamless and smooth as possible.

A simple admission process:
· We offer a free application
· We accept unofficial transcripts for the admission process.
· We give credit for pass/fail grades for spring 2020
· We have been, and will remain, test optional - no SATs required
· Our deadline for fall is rolling, but the sooner you apply the more we can work with you

What We Look For

"With such an easy transfer process, transitioning to Roger Williams was everything I could have hoped for and more. I fell in love with the town of Bristol, embraced the small community atmosphere, joined the rowing team, and was even able to spend a semester studying abroad in Bermuda!

Mikayla Barnwell 
Class of 2018
Marine Biology Major

If you have earned a high school diploma or GED and have subsequently enrolled in and/or completed one or more college-level course(s), you will be considered as a transfer applicant to the university. The admission process for transfer students is competitive and personalized. 

While we consider your pre-college experience as part of the admission process, our primary focus is on your college-level achievement. The admission committee assesses all submitted materials to ensure that your academic preparation and experiences lend to a successful career at Roger Williams.  

Transfer students bring their own unique perspective to our campus and classrooms. Your own college experiences add to the fabric of the larger Roger Williams experience; therefore, we seek students who want to bring their talents and abilities to RWU and do more than just “earn a degree” or learn one specific major.  

A Glimpse of You

So what do we look for? We are looking for a glimpse of you—the student and the person—through the application materials you choose to present. We are excited to hear your story through the materials you share with us. 

Academic Preparation

We consider the grades you have earned, the rigor of your school and courses, your grade trend over the years (improving? declining?) along with understanding the course subjects that are your strengths and weaknesses. 

Essay/Statement of Intent

The essay, which is embedded in the application, gives us an understanding of who you are and of your intent. While it gives us a chance to hear you in your own words, we also use the essay to assess your level of writing (i.e. grammar, spelling, and ability to communicate your thoughts). 

Conduct & Performance

The Transfer College Report gives us insight and a look at your conduct and performance at your current institution.

Please note: RWU supports the right of students to exercise freedom of expression through peaceful protests and demonstrations. Our namesake, Roger Williams, fearlessly advocated for freedom of conscience, equality, and tolerance to help improve his community. Thus, our values embrace intellectual exchange, critical thinking, inclusiveness and innovation as a means of improving a free society.
Nonviolent activism that is reported as disciplinary action will not, in its own, disadvantage applicants in any way during our admission process.

Transfer Credit Information

For more detailed information about how we evaluate your transfer credit and how it can apply towards your RWU degree, click here!

Visit us!

You can help make the admission process a more personal experience by signing up for a campus tour, or shadowing a current student. If you have any unique circumstances that cannot be explained through the above materials or would like to connect with us regarding your admission to Roger Williams, give us a call or schedule a visit. We are glad to learn your story and offer help on how best to present it in your application for admission. Sometimes, we may even call you for more information before we act on your application.

Meet us!

Mary Bubar, Assistant Director of Admission, is our Coordinator of Transfer Admission and works exclusively with transfer students! Feel free to get in touch with her at any time

Next step:View Deadlines


TR%20deadlines.jpgTransfer students may apply for either fall or spring semester and we encourage you to apply as early as you are able.  By doing so, we can guide you through the rest of the scholarship and financial process, ensuring that you are able to receive full consideration for Roger Williams programs.

 Spring SemesterFall Semester
Suggested Application DeadlineNovember 1April 1
Admission Decision Notification DateRollingRolling
Suggested Financial Aid DeadlineDecember 1February 1



TR%20requirements.jpgApplication Checklist

  • Your completed application which will include a statement of intent
  • Transfer students may choose between the Transfer Common Application or the RWU Transfer Rapid App
  • College transcripts for all applicable institutions
  • Official Final high school transcript or equivalent (listing graduation date)
  • Transfer College Report to be completed by a college official who has access to your academic and disciplinary records

Note: Portfolio or audition (where applicable) required for the following majors: Architecture, Performing Arts, Creative Writing or Visual Arts.

The following materials are optional:

  • Standardized Test Scores. Additional details can be found on the Test Optional Policy Page including policies specific to the School of Education.
    • College Board SAT and TOEFL: 3729
    • ACT: 3814
  • Mid-semester grades from your current semester (required for students currently in their first semester of college, and may be requested upon application review)
  • Letter(s) of recommendation 

Major-Specific Requirements

Some programs require supplemental materials such as test scores, portfolios and auditions, or specific preparatory courses for admittance. Prospective applicants should review program requirements outlined below.

Architecture applicants must have completed a minimum of one year of geometry and two years of algebra in high school. Transfer students are encouraged to have successfully completed college-level calculus. Proficiency in trigonometry and physics is necessary for students to take required college-level courses in calculus and structural systems. Students who lack this proficiency are eligible to apply but must complete the necessary course work before taking calculus and structural systems. Courses taken at RWU in preparation for calculus and structural systems may not count toward degree requirements.

A portfolio of two- and three-dimensional work, showing evidence of creative ability, must be submitted by all applicants for admission. The portfolio (8-12 pieces of art work) should consist of a simple 8-1/2” x 11” folder containing the following: reproductions of original design projects, and reproductions of two- or three-dimensional work recently executed. This work may be reduced photo statically or may be photographed. Smaller pieces should be affixed to an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet. The portfolio becomes a permanent part of the candidate’s application and is not returned. Applicants are admitted on the basis of academic excellence and potential in areas relevant to the profession of architecture as demonstrated by the required materials submitted for admission. Portfolios may also be submitted on electronic media, preferably CD. Portfolios for Architecture may also be submitted through Slideroom.

Candidates applying to these programs should demonstrate achievement and career potential in areas of dance or theatre. Theatre program applicants should be prepared to audition during the freshman year. Dance Performance Studies applicants are required to audition prior to their application being reviewed. In order to complete the application process a student interested in Dance Performance Studies must have auditioned. To schedule an audition, please contact Tom Durigan in the Office of Admission at

A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicant’s creative potential is required for all applicants for admission to the B.A. or BFA in Visual Art Studies program.

The intent of the portfolio requirement is to allow the school to begin to estimate your emerging potential at this earliest stage of your arts education. Consistent with the mission of our program, Roger Williams University is interested in and celebrates the variety of expression that applicants demonstrate. Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, and we appreciate this variety as a basis for beginning the study of Visual Arts at the college level.

Applicants must submit a portfolio of 10 to 20 recent artworks in photographic form with the application for admission. Applicants may submit color prints or digital reproductions on CD. Digital images need to be in a universally readable format such as JPG or PDF documents. All work should be labeled with the applicant’s name, the size of the original and the medium. Admission portfolios will not be returned. Portfolios for Visual Arts may be submitted through Slideroom.

Next step:Apply



Transfer students applying for spring (January) or fall (September) may choose between the Transfer Common Application or the RWU Transfer Rapid App. Review the “What We Look For” section for useful information on how to prepare all the necessary materials needed for admission and the “Deadlines” section for information on when to apply.

Transfer Common Application        RWU Transfer Rapid Application


Next step:Financial Aid

Financial Aid


Merit Awards

All students applying for admission will automatically be reviewed for various university-managed merit scholarships. If students are looking for federal or state grants, loan opportunities and student employment on campus, the FAFSA form must be completed. Visit the Financial Aid section of our website for details and timelines of the need-based aid process.

Merit scholarships for transfer students are based primarily on academic performance in college. Transfer merit awards range from $7,500 to approximately $22,500 and students who are admitted and qualify for a merit award will be notified at the time of admission.

Financial Aid Contact

Questions about financial aid? Please contact Gina Rigby, our Transfer Financial Aid Counselor at with any questions