I am currently studying at an university in Europe (undergraduate, first year)and would like to transfer (next year or in two years) to an university in UK. UCAS requires a reference to accompany your application.

I have a very successful academic career, I have taken all exams of my year and also some of my next years, and have obtained the highest mark ("cum laude") in almost all of them. The reason for transferring, therefore, is to get into a more challenging university.

Is it appropriate to ask a professor of my current university for a reference letter, given that it will be used as part of an application to another university?

  • 7
    Yes. Apr 24, 2015 at 11:12
  • 2
    Hmm - please note that this is for undergraduate transfer. Not graduate schools. Many professors actually get upset sometimes if a student intends on transferring if you have strong ties to the school. e.g. If you are a presidential scholar, some professors wouldn't be so happy. Give your reasoning - clear and upfront. Be careful if you're doing it for prestige.
    – user22748
    Apr 24, 2015 at 14:56

2 Answers 2



In fact, it would be inappropriate not to ask at least one professor at your current university for a reference letter, as direct evidence of your success.

  • 2
    To expand on this, it's even considered appropriate if transferring within the UK. I switched subjects (and universities) when I realised I didn't want to work in the industry I was halfway through a degree for. One of my lecturers from my first university wrote me a reference to accompany my application to the second university. As far as I could tell, this was considered completely normal. Apr 24, 2015 at 15:58

No professor is going to be "upset" that you're forsaking them. They just don't have any position in it, and so the answer is an overwhelming YES.

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