Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

What is Transfer 101?

Main content start

Transfer 101 is a student-led, discussion style course meant to help incoming transfer students adjust to life at Stanford. The Transfer 101 curriculum is designed to build community and enhance belonging through four course modules. 

Pie graph diagram of the Transfer 101 Curriculum, split into 4 modules: Healthy Communities, Diversity and Inclusion, Sense of Belonging, and Purposeful Living

Program Overview


Transfer 101 began in the 2019-2020 academic year with an inaugural cohort of 12 students led by two transfer students and Dr. Courtney Peña, the Frosh & Transfer 101 Assistant Director. Courtney, a former community college transfer student, worked with transfer co-leads Stephen McReynolds ‘20 and Warren Mercer ‘21 to adapt the Frosh 101 pilot curriculum to respond to the needs and experiences of the transfer student population which is uniquely diverse as Transfers come in with a variety of dynamic life experiences.

Unique Context of Transfer Students

The transfer community is diverse in many aspects including age, life experience, national origin, SES, and veteran status. This community, while small, faces many of the same challenges as Frosh upon transitioning to Stanford life. However, they also experience a unique set of additional challenges due to their status as transfers. For transfer students, finding community can be a challenge and this course is meant to help students navigate the complexities of transferring to Stanford. Whether transferring from another university, a community college, or having taken considerable time off from school - Transfer 101 is a place to find community and connect with other transfer students.


Transfer 101 is offered for two units of academic credit. Sections meet for 80 minutes a week for 10 weeks during fall quarter. Each section will be led by a pair of transfer student co-leads who have been trained on the course’s curriculum as well as best practices for leading Transfer 101 sections. 

How to Join

All incoming transfers are welcome and encouraged to join the growing Transfer 101 community. Students can enroll through Axess by searching UAR 201.


Students who took the course reported feeling a strong sense of community and belonging. 91% of transfers who took Transfer 101 in the 2019 pilot reported that they would recommend Transfer 101 to future transfers. One was unsure.

Here’s what our transfers had to say when asked what they would say to those considering taking Transfer 101:

  • “It was a good way to interact with other transfers once a week and maintain good relationships.”
  • “Great for the social opportunities and you get to know the other transfers better, so if you're interested in getting to know your cohort better I would highly recommend.”
  • “If you have time to fit it in your schedule, it's a very positive experience and worth taking.”
  • “Go for it. Keep an open mind and heart, and expect to collect and respect admirable human stories.”
  • “Definitely take as a transfer student. You want the community and support provided by your fellow transfers.”
  • “My initial thoughts before the class were that it was going to be about learning the things that students that came in as freshmen already know (where to go for things, how to navigate classes, picking majors, etc.) It is not that at all. It is more of an emotional check in and how to deal with the personal stress of academics at Stanford, as well as being aware of your interpersonal interactions with others on campus.”


Meet the 2021-22 Transfer 101 Co-Leads

Transfer co-leads are here to help transfers navigate the complexities of transitioning to Stanford life. They care deeply about building community and are excited to lead their first sections!

Ariana Davarpanah, Transfer 101 Co-Lead for 2021-22

Ariana Davarpanah

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: San Mateo, CA

Brief Bio: Prior to transferring, I was a student at the College of San Mateo where I received degrees in Political Science and Social Science. Here at Stanford, I'm majoring in Political Science and exploring the International Relations and Political Economy and Development tracks. Besides being a Transfer 101 Co-Lead, I am also a TAPAS (Transfer Advising Peer Assistant) and have interned for the Immigration Policy Lab (through SRC) and CESTA. When not studying or working I love watching Naruto or playing with my dog (or anyone's dog really). Always open to chatting about anything Stanford-related or otherwise!

Why Take T101?: Initially, I was a bit unsure about taking Transfer 101 because I thought that taking more units during my first quarter would be stressful and time-consuming but Transfer 101 is exactly the opposite of that. Transfer 101 provided me with a safe space where I could meet other transfers, learn to adjust to Stanford, and honestly, a chance to just breathe. I think that the support provided by both the Co-Leads and one's transfer peers allow for a smooth transition to Stanford, and the bonds that are built in Transfer 101 will last far beyond the end of the quarter.

Destiny Cunningham, Transfer 101 Co-Lead for 2021-22


Destiny Cunningham

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Chicago Heights, Illinois

Brief Bio: Hi everyone! My name is Destiny Cunningham (she/her), and I transferred to Stanford a year after my partner from Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois. I am studying History with a focus in law and a minor in film and media studies. I am interested in telling oral histories of marginalized folks and am currently working as a podcast coordinator for a student podcast group sponsored by the Stanford History department. I am also a member of the Stanford Storytelling Project.

Why Take T101?: Transfer 101 is a great way to make lifelong friends while also developing the skills to help you survive the rest of your Stanford experience. After the first few weeks, you will see that this is more than a class. It is a place where you can find a sense of belonging, dismantle your feelings of imposter syndrome, learn about opportunities on campus, and connect with your peers. After a long day, I found that transfer 101 helped me reflect on my emotions and experiences and reenergized me for the rest of my week. I hope to see you there in the fall and welcome to the transfer family!

Joel Johnson, Transfer 101 Co-Lead for 2021-22

Joel Johnson

Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Anacortes, WA

Brief Bio: Hey everyone, I'm Joel! I enjoy carbs and dry humor. Grew up in Washington, basically on the Canadian border, and enlisted in the Marine Corps right after graduating high school where I spent five years before coming to Stanford. I'm a rising Junior studying Symbolic Systems and am applying for the Computer Science co-term, with the intention of applying for MBA programs following graduation. 

Why Take T101?? When coming to Stanford as a non-traditional student, there are multiple added layers of complexity you have to consider. Generations of transfers before you have already ironed out a lot of the growing pains you'll likely encounter, and Transfer 101 is a great opportunity to help ease your transition into undergraduate student life at Stanford. Additionally, the transfer community is often very tight-knit and this is a great way for you to network and get to know your cohort.

Sarah McCarthy, Transfer 101 Co-Lead for Fall 2021

Sarah McCarthy

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Alameda, CA 

Brief Bio: Prior to transferring, I was a student at the Laney College where I worked on the pre-med prerequisites. Here, at Stanford, I pivoted from being chemistry/pre-med to majoring in Computer Science. Besides being a Transfer 101 Co-Lead, I am also a TAPAS (Transfer Advising Peer Assistant), Patient Health Navigator with Cardinal Free Clinics (CFC), Section Leader for CS106A/B, and Hume Writing Tutor. When not studying or working, I love watching Grey's Anatomy or Money Heist or playing games (Settlers of Catan and Spoons are my go-to these days). I love meeting new people and am always open to chatting about anything Stanford-related or otherwise!

Why Take T101?: I loved Transfer 101 because I was able to have scheduled interactions with my transfer cohort. It's really easy to become a hermit during the busy times so I really appreciated the opportunity to hang out with other transfers, especially transfers outside of my major, on a weekly basis. I also appreciated the validation and security that the Transfer 101 community gave me. I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome during my first quarter at Stanford but being in Transfer 101 and talking with my peers really helped me manage my imposter syndrome and feel like I belong at Stanford. Transfer 101 also helped me keep​ balance in my life. In each class, you are reminded and encouraged to take care of yourself and attend to all of your physical and mental needs. 

Tina Wong, Transfer 101 Co-Lead/TA for Fall 2021

Tina Wong

Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Brief Bio: After high school, I enlisted in the US Army as a medic for four years. I was stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana and deployed to Afghanistan for nine months. After our contracts ended, my husband and I moved to California to begin our studies at the College of San Mateo, and I transferred to Stanford to study Economics in Fall 2019. Since my arrival, I have been actively involved with the Stanford Undergraduate Association of Veterans (SUAV) as a club officer and the Office of Military-Affiliated Communities (OMAC) as a student-employee.

Why Take Transfer 101? It's so easy to get caught up in the intensity of your first quarter as you constantly adapt to new norms and adjust your plans. Transfer 101 is a fantastic once-a-week opportunity to re-center, reflect in the moment, and stay in touch with your community.

Meet the Frosh 101 and Transfer 101 Leadership Team:

Learn more about the Leadership Team!

Transfer 101 cohort in Autumn 2019, post yarn activity
Inaugural Transfer 101 section in Fall 2019 posing in front of main doorway in Kimball