Transfer Application Essay

Time to do your
best writing.

Below is the essay we'll ask you to write on your application. Note that if you select a second-choice major, you must write a second essay explaining your interest in it, too.

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In an essay of 300 words or less, explain your motivation to transfer from your current/previous institution and how your academic interest and/or professional goals will be fulfilled in your intended program of study. If you’re applying to the Division of General Studies, explain your academic interests and strengths or your future career goals. You may include any majors or areas of study you are currently considering.

student writing her essay

Tips & Tricks

Be memorable.

The essay portion of the application is important because it gives us further insight into who you are and who you want to be. Make us remember you!

Be prepared.

Take time to think about and brainstorm your message. Create an outline, write a good first draft, and edit multiple times.

Be yourself.

We want to know more about you, so be honest and let us into your world. Instead of making broad statements about what you want to do, provide specific examples from high school or extracurricular activities. And don’t be afraid to add your personal style and voice to your writing!

Be direct.

You only have a couple of paragraphs to tell us that you’re not only qualified to attend Illinois, but you're also ready for the challenge and will make the most of your experience. Choose your words wisely.

Be focused.

It's not necessary for you to repeat information that’s already elsewhere in your application. Stay focused on explaining how those credentials and qualifications will lead to a successful future here.

Be professional.

Submitting a sloppy-looking essay with spelling errors and glaring mistakes sends us the message that you’re not serious about Illinois. Proofread your essays and ask your counselor, a friend, or a parent to take a second look.