Transfer Student Eligibility Requirements

Who is a transfer student in the NAIA?

If you have started classes, enrolled in classes or attended any university or post-secondary institution (in any country), you are required to include that on your online profile and in your communications with the NAIA Eligibility Center. Additionally, you must provide official university records for each institution you have attended. This is true regardless of whether you plan on continuing to study the same major/degree program or whether you participated in athletics at that school. 

Do transfer students need to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center?

If you are a transfer student and have never played previously in the NAIA, you are required to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center. You'll need the following to complete the process as a transfer:

  • Personal contact information so that we can easily get in touch with you.
  • All competitive experiences - both university experiences and outside of the university - since high school graduation
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended university or post-secondary schools
  • High school transcripts and test scores (if you have not completed at least one full time year of university-level study)
  • Proof of your high school graduation date (if included on your official university or post-secondary school's transcript, this alone is acceptable; otherwise, school-stamped documentation sent by your high school is required
  • Have your potential NAIA coach add you to his or her Short List.

Transfer Student Rules

Residency Rules

NAIA residency requirements govern how soon a transfer can play and depend on whether you're transferring from a four-year or two-year college.

If you participated in an intercollegiate contest in your sport at a four-year school, you must wait 16 weeks before participating in that sport unless you

  • Have a written release from the athletic department at immediately previous four-year college
  • Have a minimum 2.0 GPA from all previous institutions combined
  • Meet all additional academic requirements and any conference-specific requirements for transfers

A student transferring from a two-year school has no residency requirement. If, however, you have participated at four-year college prior to attending a two-year school, you must have a written release from the athletic department of the four-year institution.

24/36 Hour Rule

Transfer students are required to have completed 24 semester/36 quarter hours of institutional credit in their last two full-time semesters/three quarters of enrollment prior to transferring.

Progress Rule

If you're a transfer student who has already used one or more of your four seasons of competition, you will need to show completion of the following before you can compete:

  • Second season: 24 semester/36 quarter institutional credit hours
  • Third season: 48 semester/72 quarter institutional credit hours
  • Fourth season: 72 semester/108 quarter institutional credit hours (including 48 semester/72 quarter hours in general education or your major field of study)

GPA Rule

Transfer students are required to have 2.0 cumulative college GPA if they have junior academic standing or have been charged 2 or more seasons of competition. The GPA is calculated from all college coursework previously completed.

Seasons of Competition

Students are charged seasons for competing at the collegiate level or for any elite outside competition that takes place the summer after high school graduation in a year when you're not participating in college sports. NAIA students are allowed a maximum of 4 seasons of competition in a single sport. Learn more about the competitive experience rule in the NAIA by watching this video.

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