Transferring within Liberal Arts at Tufts

A Tufts student enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts may apply for transfer between the Bachelor of Fine Arts and the Bachelor of Arts or Science programs. To inquire about classes or the transfer process, please contact Leah Gadd. In order to get the best possible advice about classes, please contact them as soon as you are considering a transfer. To initiate the transfer process, please submit the following application

Applications for all internal transfers are reviewed by a committee, which reserves the right to determine which students may transfer into a new degree program. The criteria below describe a minimal threshold by which applications will be considered. Students who do not meet the minimal criteria should not expect to transfer to a new degree program, and meeting these criteria does not guarantee that the Committee will approve a transfer application.

BFA to BA or BS

Students admitted to the BFA may apply to transfer into a BA degree or BS degree, for some majors. Transfers will only be considered after the second semester of full-time study (or in some cases after the third semester of full-time study, excluding summer session.) Students are expected to enroll in the expected sequence of courses to make progress toward the BFA degree until the transfer is approved. 

Applying in the second semester

A student in the second semester of the BFA may be eligible to apply for transfer into a BA or BS degree program at the end of the second semester if the following requirements are met:

  1. one 4 Semester-hour unit (SHU) studio art course
  2. English 2
  3. one art history course
  4. one course that will fulfill the Liberal Arts distribution requirement in Natural Science or Mathematical Science
  5. one course that will fulfill Part 1 or Part 2 of the Liberal Arts Language/Culture Requirement
  • Letter grades must be taken for all academic courses in this semester.
  • The student ends the second semester having earned (over two semesters) letter grades in at least 5 academic courses (excluding studio art, Phys Ed, ExCollege, and advising seminar courses), with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Courses must be taught at Tufts or SMFA at Tufts.
  • The student must:
  1. complete Part 1 of the Foreign Language Requirement by virtue of native speaker status, placement test, or coursework; or the student must obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 foreign language course taught on the Medford Campus
  2. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated LA-Mathematical Sciences or LA-Natural Sciences
  3. satisfy the Writing Requirement

Students who wish to transfer from the BFA program to a Liberal Arts BA or BS program are encouraged to do so by the end of the second semester. However, in some cases, students may be eligible to apply to transfer after the third semester of full-time study.

Applying in the third semester

A student in the third semester of the BFA may be eligible to transfer into a BA or BS program at the end of the third semester, if the following requirements are met:

  1. one 4 Semester-hour unit (SHU) studio art course
  2. one art history course
  3. one course that will fulfill the Liberal Arts distribution requirement in Humanities, Social Science, Natural Science or Mathematical Science
  4. one course that will fulfill Part 1 or Part 2 of the Liberal Arts Language/Culture Requirement
  5. one course in the intended major (which may also fulfill a distribution or culture requirement). 
  • Letter grades must be taken for all academic courses in this semester.
  • The student ends the third semester having earned (over three semesters and/or Tufts Summer Session) letter-grades in at least 6 academic courses (non-studio courses, excluding Phys Ed, ExCollege, and advising seminar courses), with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Courses must be taught at Tufts or SMFA at Tufts.
  • In addition to completing 6 academic courses with letter grades, the student must:
  1. complete at least 2 academic courses over the summer, through transfer of credit, or the equivalent to 2 academic courses through pre-matriculation credit, according to guidelines for Liberal Arts students
  2. satisfy the Writing Requirement
  3. complete Part 1 of the Foreign Language Requirement by virtue of native speaker status, placement test, or coursework; or the student has obtained a grades of C- or higher in at least 2 foreign language courses taught on the Medford Campus
  4. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated LA-Humanities or LA-Social Sciences
  5. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated Mathematical Sciences or LA-Natural Sciences
  6. complete at least 1 course toward their intended major with a grade of C- of higher
Applying after the third semester

Generally, students may not transfer from the BFA into a BA or BS program after the third semester. Attempting to do so will delay completion of either degree.

Applications for transfer after the third semester will be considered if the student has a compelling reason for delaying transfer (such as having to take a reduced course load for a disability or disruptions to a typical pattern of study because of health issues or a medical condition), and if the student has consulted financial aid and family about support beyond 8 semesters of study.

Suggested Program of Study for students considering transferring from BFA to BA

This course plan is intended to keep students considering transferring on track to complete either the BFA or BA/BS degree. BFA students are encouraged to not go two or more semesters in a row enrolled in fewer than two studio art courses or missing Review Boards for two semesters in a row.

First Semester in residence at SMFA at Tufts
  • English 1-S (must be taken for letter grade)
  • Studio Art, 12 Semester-hour units (SHUs)
  • Intro to Visual and Critical Studies (3 SHUs)
  • take foreign language placement test or consult dean about language requirement
Second Semester
  • English 2 or English 2-S (must be taken for letter grade)
  • Studio Art
  • Art History (or another studio art if an art history course was taken the first semester)
  • Liberal Arts Math or Science course (must be taken for letter grade on Medford Campus)
  • Liberal Arts Language or Culture course (must be taken for letter grade on Medford Campus)
Steps to take before applying to transfer from BFA to BA or BS
  1. Meet with your Advising Dean, Leah Gadd, prior to registering for courses for your “trial” semester.
  2. Take language placement exam or consult advisor about meeting the language requirement as a native speaker.
  3. Meet with an advisor prior to registering for courses for your “trial” semester.
  4. Submit application during your “trial” semester, which must be the second or third semester of your college career.
  5. Consider whether any test scores from AP, IB, or other standardized tests you took before matriculation will help fulfill some requirements. If so, send scores to Tufts.
  6. Make sure that you continue to take studio courses toward the BFA degree until you have been approved to transfer into a BA or BS degree program.
  7. Consider taking Tufts Summer Session courses or Tufts in Talloires summer courses.
If your application is approved
  • You will be assigned a Pre-Major Advisor within Liberal Arts (or you must find a Major Advisor among the faculty).
  • Your degree program will change from BFA to BA or BS, depending on major.
  • You will be expected to adhere to Liberal Arts standards for academic progress and academic standing.
What if my application is denied?

The student may petition the Committee within 6 weeks of being declined if the student has met some but not all criteria and has evidence of having completed some degree requirements through other means (such as pre-matriculation credits, transfer credits, or an alternative course plan approved by the Committee on Specific Learning Disabilities). The burden is on the student to provide evidence of being able to complete the Liberal Arts BA or BS degree within 8 semesters of full-time study (including time spent pursuing the BFA degree).

BFA to Combined-Degree BA/BFA or BS/BFA

Students admitted to the BFA may apply to transfer into the combined-degree program to complete a BA/BFA or BS/BFA degree. The program is a rigorous program requiring 10 semesters of full-time study. For this reason, transfers are only open to students who have demonstrated they can succeed in semesters full of studio work and academic coursework. Transfers will only be considered in the second or third semester of full-time study. (These semesters exclude summer study, but courses taken during Tufts Summer Session will be considered as part of the transfer process). The Committee reserves the right to decline any student who does not enroll in the expected sequence of courses to make progress toward the BFA degree until the transfer is approved. 

Applying in the second semester

A student in the second semester of the BFA may be eligible to transfer into the combined-degree BA/BFA or BS/BFA program at the end of the second semester if the following requirements are met:

  • The student completes the first semester having carried and earned 4 courses and a minimum of 14 Semester-hour units (SHUs).
  • The student completes the second semester having carried and earned 5 courses and 18 Semester-hour units (SHUs), with the course load including at least:
    1. one 4 Semester-hour unit (SHU) studio art course
    2. English 2
    3. one art history course
    4. one course that will fulfill the Liberal Arts distribution requirement in Natural Science or Mathematical Science
    5. one course that will fulfill Part 1 or Part 2 of the Liberal Arts Language/Culture Requirement (or a Humanities or Social Science distribution for those who have completed both parts of the language requirement)  
  • Letter grades must be taken for all academic courses in this semester.
  • The student ends the second semester having earned (over two semesters) letter grades in at least 6 academic courses (excluding studio art, Phys Ed, ExCollege, and advising seminar courses), with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Courses must be taught at Tufts or SMFA at Tufts.
  • The student must:
  1. complete Part 1 of the Foreign Language Requirement by virtue of native speaker status, placement test, or coursework; or the student must obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 foreign language course taught on the Medford Campus
  2. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated LA-Mathematical Sciences or LA-Natural Sciences
  3. satisfy the Writing Requirement
Applying in the third semester

Students are urged to apply to the BA/BFA or BS/BFA during their first year. However, exceptions may be permitted for high-achieving BFA students (with minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0) with approved pre-matriculation credits, approved transfer credits, or academic course work taken over the summer after their first year. 

Applying in the third semester assumes the student has taken some courses through Tufts Summer Session or Tufts in Talloires. A student in the third semester of the BFA may be eligible to transfer into the BA/BFA Program at the end of the third semester, if the following requirements are met (see below) – students may not transfer into the BA/BFA or BS/BFA program after the third semester.

  • The student completes the third semester enrolled in 5 courses and 18 Semester-hour units (SHUs), with the course load including at least:
  1. one 4 Semester-hour unit (SHU) studio art course
  2. one art history course
  3. one course that will fulfill the Liberal Arts distribution requirement in Humanities, Social Science, Natural Science, or Mathematical Science
  4. one course that will fulfill Part 1 or Part 2 of the Liberal Arts Language/Culture Requirement
  5. one course in the intended major (which may also fulfill a distribution or culture requirement). 
  • Letter grades must be taken for all academic courses in this semester.
  • The student ends the third semester having earned (over three semesters and/or Tufts Summer Session) letter-grades in at least 8 academic courses (non-studio courses, excluding Phys Ed, ExCollege, and advising seminar courses), with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Courses must be taught at Tufts or SMFA at Tufts.
  • The student must:
  1. complete at least 5 studio art courses
  2. satisfy the Writing Requirement
  3. complete Part 1 of the Foreign Language Requirement by virtue of native speaker status, placement test, or coursework; or the student must obtain a grades of C- or higher in at least 2 foreign language courses taught on the Medford Campus
  4. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated LA-Humanities or LA-Social Sciences
  5. obtain a grade of C- or higher in at least 1 course designated Mathematical Sciences or LA-Natural Sciences
  6. complete at least 1 course toward their intended major with a grade of C- of higher
  7. complete at least two Art History courses with grades of C- of higher
Suggested Program of Study for BFA students considering transferring to BA/BFA or BS/BFA

This course plan is intended to keep students considering transferring on track to complete either the BFA or BA/BS degree. BFA students are encouraged to not go two or more semesters in a row enrolled in fewer than two studio art courses or missing Review Boards for two semesters in a row.

First Semester in residence at SMFA at Tufts
  • English 1-S (must be taken for letter grade)
  • Studio Art, at least 8 Semester-hours units (SHUs) 
  • Art History course (must be taken for a letter grade)
  • take foreign language placement test or consult dean about language requirement
Second Semester
  • English 2 or English 2-S (must be taken for letter grade)
  • Studio Art, minimum of 4 Semester-hour units (SHUs)
  • Art History (must be taken for letter grade)
  • Liberal Arts Math or Science course (must be taken for letter grade on Medford Campus)
  • Liberal Arts Language or Culture course (must be taken for letter grade on Medford Campus)

BA or BS to Combined-Degree: BA/BFA or BS/BFA

Students admitted to Liberal Arts may apply to transfer into the combined-degree program to complete a BA/BFA or BS/BFA degree. The BA/BFA is a rigorous program requiring 10 semesters of full-time studyStudents are encouraged to apply before the end of their first year, but exceptions will be considered if the student can demonstrate they can complete the BA/BFA degree within 10 semesters of full-time study, including prior semesters of college study. 

Criteria for applying for internal transfer from BA or BS to the BA/BFA combined-degree program, for first-year students
  • Submission of a Portfolio. See the Internal Transfer Application for more details.
  • The student must have completed at least one semester in the Liberal Arts program, having carried and earned at least 16 Semester-hour units (SHUs) by the end of the semester.
  • The student must have complete at least one 4 Semester-hour unit (SHU) studio art course on the SMFA campus.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Student must be in good academic standing at time of application.
Criteria for applying for internal transfer from BA or BS to the BA/BFA combined-degree program, for the sophomore year

Students applying after their first year are held to higher standards, which include the following:

  • Student must have successfully completed at least one Art History course and at least one 4 Semetster-hour unit (SHU) studio art course on the SMFA campus.
  • Student must have successfully completed at least one semester in the Liberal Arts program in which they carried and earned 20 Semester-hour units (SHUs).
  • Student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Student must be in good academic standing at time of application.
  • Student must submit a detailed academic plan demonstrating how they will complete both degrees within 10 full-time semesters from time of matriculation. If future summer study or 11 full-time semesters are required to complete the BA/BFA, the student must submit statement from parents or Financial Aid about source of funding for summer study or 11th semester.