Centralize information for internal transfer students

Hairuo Yi

Being interested in double majoring myself, I’ve gone to a handful of information sessions and major advising appointments — much like the other 65% of UT students who change majors at least once. However, between the mess of different deadlines for every college, no overlapping essays and some results coming out before other applications are even due, this seemingly mundane process has become extremely confusing.

While there are set deadlines for the external transfer process, the internal transfer process is different for every college and even some majors, making the need to standardize the internal transfer system more necessary than ever. 

UT must centralize its internal transfer process for students this semester.

The problems with having multiple internal transfer processes do not go unacknowledged by advisors. Doug Roberts, academic advising coordinator for the Computer Sciences Advising Office, said in an email that this round of internal transfers should be more challenging for students compared to previous years.

“This year is very different from years past,” Roberts said. “Students have had to adapt to online learning, and in many cases (have) not been able to utilize University resources as others have in previous years.”

Students are also struggling to even meet with advisors in their potential majors in the first place, as majors such as computer science only offer advising to current students while other colleges such as the College of Education require information session attendance before any advising is available. 

Passed in 2020, UT Senate of College Councils Resolution 1912 urged the University to homogenize internal transfer application and deadlines. The bill aims to provide centralized information and support to students who are applying to multiple colleges. 

The resolution created the Internal Transfer Policy Working Group to begin compiling information for a centralized application. The Internal Transfer Implementation Committee is following up on that work this semester. 

However, no change has been implemented so far.

Rita Miller, the director of operations for the Office of Admissions, said there is no current timeline of when a centralized application will be available to students, giving little hope to students whose need is greater than ever this semester.

Ishi Tripathi, a finance and chemical engineering junior who is the co-author of the resolution  and the student member on the Internal Transfer Implementation Committee, went through the process herself and said this centralization would only benefit students studying online. 

“The internet is a fantastic resource for students interested in transferring but unless it’s coming directly from an advisor, the online information can often be misleading,” Tripathi said. “If there was a centralized internal transfer office, they could be more helpful. The computer science department has their own policy while, say, the (School of Undergraduate Studies) has their own policy, and that difference makes things very confusing for students.”

Though University administration is working on centralizing this process, students this semester are more limited than previous years in terms of guidance and resources. Without a standardized application and deadlines, the process becomes more confusing for students who are not able to drop by a major-specific advising office to ask time-sensitive questions.

While this issue has been apparent for years, the University has been unable to produce timely results for students struggling with different transfer information across colleges. This makes an already isolating situation in the COVID-19 pandemic even harder for students to reach their goals. 

UT needs to provide students with the reassurance that, even if everything else goes wrong, following their passions will still be an option.

Yi is a psychology freshman from Lubbock, Texas.