Change of University – The Transfer Process

At AGM Sports, we continue to offer our assistance to those students and athletes interested in transferring to another university in the United States, although it is an action that we only recommend in cases of real need, almost as a last resort.

There are many different factors and processes that families must take into consideration before initiating the procedure.

Reasons That Could Lead To a Change of University

Academic and Social:

Impossibility of continuing with the studies at the current university

Problems with adapting to the academic demands of the university

Desire to access a more prestigious university program

Extreme social experiences or major conflicts due to the
religious, financial, moral, meteorological or ethnic causes


Not participating in competition at the current university

Unfavourable financial situation in the renewal of an athletic

Inability to continue the sport practiced at the current

Conflict within the team or with the coaching staff

NCAA Transfer Rules

Only begin the transfer process once you’re 100% sure about the decision. At the time of initiation, your current scholarship should remain intact but the following academic term cannot be guaranteed. Should you decide to rescind the transfer and stay at your current school, your scholarship could be in jeopardy

Timing and the NCAA Transfer Portal

Once sure, you will need to access the NCAA Transfer Portal. This is a system where all athletes looking to change schools become a part of, and you must provide written notice to your current college’s designated admin to access it. Without the written notice, NCAA coaches will not be allowed to contact you.

There are two options available once in the NCAA Transfer Portal. Allow all new potential coaches to reach out to you if they are interested, or only you can contact specific schools and coaches. The former is great for student-athletes who don’t have a program in mind and want to see what’s out there.

There are three important ‘transfer windows’ that you must pay attention to when wanting to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. This window depends on your sport:

Fall Sports – 45 day transfer window beginning with a given sports championship selection

Winter Sports – 60 day transfer window beginning with a given sports championship selection

Spring Sports – 45 day transfer window beginning with a given sports championship selection


Walk-ons are defined as athletes who play a sport where scholarships are offered, but was not personally offered one.

If you were a walk on at your previous college, you’re eligible to walk-on at your new college. You will also be eligible if you comply with the traditional definition of walk-on.


Redshirting is when a full-time student sits out of competitive gameplay for a year, but practises with the team and is still eligible for athletic scholarship.

Division 1 athletes transferring for their first time no longer have to redshirt a year and therefore can begin competing immediately, should they meet the other NCAA rules to be eligible to compete. If a D1 athlete were to transfer again, they will have to sit out unless they obtain a waiver from the NCAA.

Many student-athletes benefit from a redshirt season as it allows them to adjust to their new school, team, and coach.

It is important to point out that you´re eligible to compete for four years. You have five years to complete your four years of eligibility. In D1 schools, your five years start when you become a full time student, even if you don’t play sports there. In D2 and D3 schools, it also starts when you enrol as a full-time student for the first time, but is paused anytime you are no longer a full-time student.

Transferring between divisions

There are numerous rules you must pay attention to if you’re transferring between NCAA divisions.

If you are a D3 athlete transferring to a D1 or D2, you must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. If you are transferring to a different D3 school, you only need to fill out the NCAA Self-Release form.

NAIA athletes transferring to NCAA D1 or D2 schools do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. You will need to obtain a ´permission-to-contact´ letter from your current athletic department or compliance office. Without this letter, NCAA coaches will not be allowed to contact you. It is also
highly recommended to get a release from your current NAIA school, although it isn´t required.

For athletes transferring from NCAA to NAIA, you will need to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center. Here are the NAIA Transfer rules

How many times can you transfer college?

NCAA colleges allow more than one transfer, however you may face penalties. This is especially if you’re transferring to a four-year college for a second time. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

You transfer from a four-year school to a junior college, which is only two years. Now you want to transfer back to a four-year school to complete your degree. You can do this without facing a penalty because even though it’s your second four-year school, it is the first time you are transferring to one. As long as your grades and playing level is up to scratch, you can practice and compete.

Let’s say you want to transfer to your third four-year school. This is allowed, but you will face a penalty and must sit out for one year. You will not be allowed to compete, and you may not be allowed to practice with the team either.

Minimum GPA

The NCAA requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to be eligible to play, but aim higher to ensure safety. If you are transferring from a two-year school to a four-year school, be aware of what GPA you will need in order to be eligible as it is generally higher at a four-year school.

NCAA Graduate Transfer Rules

As a graduate student, you are able to play a sport. Here are some requirements you must meet to be eligible:

You must graduate from your current college/university

Have at least one year of eligibility on your five-year clock

You must be going to a graduate school that has your sport

In order to understand your expectations for a college transfer, AGM Sports has developed a series of questions that will help our team assess your situation and begin to think about alternatives. To do so, please fill out the transfer service request form.


AGM can make a preliminary evaluation of your profile at no cost.