Preparing for College

Strengthening a Transfer Application

Question: I am currently going to the community college, and trying to transfer to UCLA in Electrical Engineering Major. During the time of attending current school, other than getting good grades, What else can I do to be highly advanced to the admission for UCLA.For example, any work experiences or certifications.

Work experience, certifications, internships, and anything else that makes you look serious about your major will help you at transfer time. If you're in a position to take on a research project (either on your own or as assistant to a faculty member), then that's a great way to strengthen a transfer application as well.

Faculty references are very important, too. If you don't already know any of your professors well, it's a good idea to try to forge these relationships so that you can rely on getting outstanding letters of recommendation. While you don't want to "suck up" to your profs solely for the purpose of garnering top references, you should go out of your way to get to know them. Visiting your professors during office hours can be a good way to solidify a relationship. Maybe you have questions or comments on the classes that you'd like to discuss? Professors can also have helpful suggestions when it comes to internship opportunities, research ideas, or job possibilities. And even though you think you want to transfer to UCLA, it can't hurt to ask your professors for thoughts on additional four-year schools to consider. Not only will this broaden your own horizons but also it can be another way for your teachers to get to know you.

While extracurricular activities don't play the same role in transfer admission that they usually do in freshman admission, joining activities at your community college and, especially, taking a leadership role can be useful in the transfer admission process. While activities related to your chosen major can "look good" on an application, it can also be worthwhile to show off a new side of yourself by pursuing disparate interests.

You might also want to contact the EE department at UCLA to make sure that you’re taking all the appropriate prerequisite classes, if you’re not already sure that you’re on the proper path.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

(posted 5/16/2011)