NCAA Transfer Rules
Division I student-athletes interested in transferring to another four-year college or university and student-athletes at two-year colleges interested in attending a four-year school should be aware of the rules that govern the transfer process.
•Eligibility: Transfers from two-year colleges must have their academic and amateur status certified, just as incoming freshmen do.
•Permission to contact: Most transfers from four-year college or university to four-year college or university require a "permission-to-contact" letter from the current school’s athletics director to the new school’s coach or administrator. The new school cannot contact the student-athlete until the current school agrees to the contact. If the current school does not agree, the student-athlete can appeal.
•Five-year clock: Division I student-athletes have five calendar years from the first enrollment at a two- or four-year school to compete four seasons of competition.
•Academic year in residence: Research shows that student-athletes who remain at one college or university throughout their academic careers graduate at higher rates than those who transfer. To encourage an academic focus, the NCAA requires Division I student-athletes who transfer from a two-year school and do not meet transfer requirements or transfer from one four-year school to another four-year school to spend one academic year in residence before being eligible to play There are exceptions to the rule:
◦If the student-athlete has never transferred before from a four-year school and meets academic requirements, that student-athlete might be able to use the one-time transfer exception (except in baseball, basketball, men’s ice hockey or football).
◦If the first school dropped the sport of the affected student-athlete
◦If the student-athlete never has been recruited, received an athletics scholarship or practiced beyond a 14-consecutive day period at any school or participated in competition before transferring
◦If the student-athlete returns to the first school without participating at the second school
◦If the student-athlete did not practice or play in his or her sport for two years
Individual colleges or universities and conferences also often have their own rules governing transfers.
Last Updated: Jul 18, 2013