UC Admission Requirements

A transfer applicant, according to the University, is a student who has enrolled in a regular session at another college or university. A student who meets this definition cannot disregard his or her college record and apply as a freshman. (A student who attends a college summer program immediately after graduating from high school or who has completed college work while in high school is still considered a freshman applicant.)

The requirements described here represent the minimum academic standards students must attain to be eligible for admission to the University. Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to a particular campus. Admission to the campus and program of choice often requires students to meet more demanding transfer selection criteria.

The vast majority of transfer students come to the University at the junior level from California community colleges. To be eligible for admission as a junior transfer student, a student must fulfill both of the following criteria:

1. Complete 60 semester (90 quarter) units of transferable college credit with a GPA of at least 2.4. No more than 14 semester  (21 quarter) units may be taken Pass/Not Pass.

2. Complete the following course pattern requirements, earning a grade of C or better in each course:

  • Two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) in English composition;
  • One transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning;
  • Four transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) chosen from at least two of the following subject  areas: the arts and humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the physical and biological sciences.

Students who complete IGETC prior to transferring to UC may satisfy part 2 (above) of the transfer admission requirements. Visit the ASSIST website for a list of UC-transferable courses at each community college.

The University admits some transfer students before they reach junior standing if they have met specific requirements.

If a student was eligible for admission to the University when he or she graduated from high school — meaning that the student satisfied the Subject, Scholarship and Examination requirements, or was identified by the University as eligible under the Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) program and completed the Subject and Examination Requirements in the senior year — the student is eligible to transfer if he or she has a C (2.0) average in transferable college coursework.

If a student met the Scholarship Requirement in high school but did not satisfy the Subject Requirement, the student must take transferable college courses in the missing subjects, earn a C or better in each required course, and have an overall C average in all transferable college coursework.

The paths described above are for California residents. The requirements for nonresidents are the same as for California residents, but the minimum GPA in all transferable college coursework is 2.8. Please consult with the Admissions Office at one of the University campuses for details.

Top priority should be given to selecting courses that will satisfy the minimum eligibility requirements. Second, a student should prepare for upper division work in his or her chosen major and fulfill any special application or screening procedures for the selected major or campus. Third, the student should complete an appropriate set of general education course requirements and electives to earn a total of 60 semester (90 quarter) units with a GPA of at least 2.4.

Transfer students should select a major and take courses that meet major requirements.In most cases, completing a portion of the major requirements is essential to gainadmission to the major.

The Transfer Preparation Paths at UCTransfer.org outline the major-preparation requirements at each UC campus for the most popular majors. They are particularly useful in helping students identify major-preparation coursework that will prepare them for multiple UC campuses. Information on major-preparation requirements also is available in the campus GeneralCatalogs and articulation agreements as well as at assist.org.

UC's general education or breadth requirements are designed to give undergraduates a broad background in all major academic disciplines — natural sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, and visual and performing arts. The general education/breadth requirements specify the courses students must take or credit hours they must accumulate in each area.

Each school and college at every UC campus has its own set of requirements, described in the campus General Catalogs and articulation agreements and posted at the ASSIST website. With careful planning, a student can meet many of the requirements while attending community college. At some campuses and in some majors, transfer students must fulfill all or a portion of the general education/breadth requirements before transferring.

Transfer applicants from California community colleges may satisfy lower division general education requirements at any UC campus by completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (SBCC IGETC Form).

When requirements are stated as a full-year sequence, students should be encouraged to complete the entire year before transferring, not just one semester or quarter. Since all UC campuses except Berkeley and Merced are on a quarter calendar, the combination of semesters and quarters in meeting a yearlong requirement may cause problems. Also, the topics covered in a particular semester or quarter of the sequence at a community college may not be the same as at a UC campus.