Transfer Admissions Criteria

The University at Buffalo welcomes international transfer students who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a top-quality public research university.

What is required for transfer admission?

Admission to the transfer class at UB is based primarily on your college/university grades. We are looking for students who excel academically, engage in extracurricular activities, and who maintain a good school-life balance.

Am I a freshman or transfer applicant?

Freshman or transfer status has a strict definition which is based upon the facts of your educational background.

What is a freshman?

  • You have never studied or enrolled in any college / university or postsecondary studies after completing secondary school.
  • You are a freshman even if you have “advanced standing” for which you may receive university credits. This includes A Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP).

What is a transfer?

  • You have completed secondary school and you subsequently enrolled or studied one or more subjects in a college or university.
  • You may or may not have passed the class(es); you may or may not have earned university credit for the class(es); you may or may not have changed your major or stopped studying because you did not like your major.
  • If you engaged in any study in a college or university, you must apply as a transfer applicant; you cannot “choose” to be a freshman.
Still not sure if you are a freshman or transfer? Take this test.

If a minimum of one item in statement 1 and all of statement 2 is true, then you are a freshman applicant. Otherwise you are a transfer applicant.


STATEMENT 1:   A minimum of one item must be true.

A.  I am currently studying in high school (secondary school).

B.  Even though I am not in high school, I am studying a secondary school curriculum.

C.  I have completed high school.




STATEMENT 2:   This statement must also be true.

I have never enrolled in or studied at a postsecondary institution after completing secondary school.


Both are true?  You will apply as a Freshman.

Any part not true?  You will apply as a Transfer.

What do admissions counselors consider?


You must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:





with no section score below 12



with no section score below 47



with no subsection score below 5.5

PTE Academic


with no subsection score below 45

ACT (English AND reading sections)


SAT I Critical Reading
(Old Version)


(New Version)


with no subsection score below 60



with no subscore below 4.0

Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)

Old Scale: 60

New Scale: 185

Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)

Old Scale: 65

New Scale: 185

IB Higher Level English A Literature 4
IB Higher Level English A Language and Literature 4
AS Level or A Level English
or English Language Subject
  • Scores must be less than two years old at the time of admission; older scores will not be accepted.
  • Official scores must be sent directly to UB from the testing agency.
  • Photocopies and scanned documents may be submitted for initial review.
Are your scores too low for university admission?

Learn more about Bridge Admission


The following applicants are not required to demonstrate English language proficiency with a standardized test:

  • Native speakers of English who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, the UK, or Ireland who were also educated entirely in English
  • Citizens of Singapore who were educated entirely in English and who achieved a grade of at least “C6” in English on the O-Level examination
  • Transfer applicants who have completed at least two terms (semesters or quarters) of English composition with grades of “C” or better at an accredited U.S. college/university. ESL classes and foundation-level classes are excluded.