Transfer students, like all Carleton students, must pass the writing portfolio requirement in order to graduate. As such, transfers are strongly encouraged to begin thinking about the portfolio as soon as possible after they enroll at Carleton!


Students who transfer to Carleton in or before their sophomore year are required to submit their portfolios in the same term they declare their major.

Students who transfer to Carleton as juniors are required to submit their portfolios in their first term of Carleton classes. However, juniors may appeal for an extension by contacting George Cusack, the Director of Writing Across the Curriculum.

Writing from Previous Institutions:

Regardless of their academic rank upon enrolling at Carleton, though, transfer students may include work they have completed at previous colleges or universities in their portfolio. You should label such work as clearly as you can, both by indicating on the Portfolio Checksheet that it comes from a different school and by addressing this in your reflective essay.

There is no limit on the number of pieces you can include from previous institutions, and we recognize that junior transfers in particular may not complete much writing in their Carleton classes before they have to submit their portfolios. That said, transfer students are encouraged to submit at least one piece from their Carleton classes, if possible, to give readers as clear a sense as possible of your writing as a Carleton student.

Completing the Reflective Essay:

The reflective essay is intended to help you and your readers assess your development as a writer at the college level. As such, it’s perfectly acceptable (and in most cases beneficial) to discuss your experiences with writing at previous schools. Again, you should address at least some aspects of your experience at Carleton in the reflective essay if at all possible, but if and how much you choose to do this should be guided by your experience and the particular pieces you choose to include in the portfolio.