A transfer applicant has been enrolled in a regular session at a college or university after high school, excluding summer sessions. UC San Diego enrolls transfer students at the junior level. 34% of our undergraduate class are transfer students: free thinkers and creative nonconformists from all over the globe who converge on our campus to shatter the limitations of “ordinary."

Student Profile

We’re looking for your insatiable curiosity and drive to build a better world. Many of our transfer students come from community colleges across California. Others arrive from colleges and universities across the country and around the world, ready to join a student body that thrives on challenging assumptions and overturning the status quo. 

  • 3.56 Average GPA
  • 54% Admit Rate

Timeline application timeline

August 1

The University of California Application opens for the academic term beginning next fall. Attend an on-campus or online application workshop.

October 1

FAFSA and California Dream Act opens. Complete only one application.

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents complete FAFSA. Use IRS data retrieval for tax information.
  • CA residents not eligible for FAFSA, who attended a CA High School for 3 years or more and graduated (AB540 eligible), complete the California Dream Act Application.

November 1- 30


Students who submitted an application by November 30 will receive an email from UC San Diego that confirms we received your application to our campus. Make sure you check all email folders to ensure you are receiving emails from us and they are not being marked as spam.

By January 31

You must log in to your application and complete the Transfer Academic Update.

By March 2

File your FAFSA or California Dream Act application. Forms are also available from your school counselor. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. See Financial Aid timeline for more details.

  • List UC San Diego school code 001317 on the application.
  • Meet the March 2 deadline to be considered for the best possible funding.
  • Apply for a CAL grant.

Mid-March Through April

Transfer admission decisions will be posted on the Applicant Portal.

May 15

Applicants selected for Waitlist

Select applicants will be invited to opt in to our waitlist through their Applicant Portal.

Transfer applicants must opt in by 11:59 pm PST on May 15.

Being on the waitlist does not guarantee an offer of admission. We strongly urge students to accept another university’s admission offer before the appropriate deadline to ensure they have secured a spot at an institution.

By August 1, final decisions will be released to applicants who opt in to the waitlist. There is no appeal process for the waitlist.

May 15

Appeals for Applicants Not Offered Admission or Waitlist

Every application to UC San Diego is reviewed thoroughly by at least two readers. Admission decisions are made carefully to meet the enrollment goals of the university. Therefore, successful appeals are very rare.

Applicants who have new and compelling academic information that was not presented in their original application, may submit an appeal through their Applicant Portal by May 15. No appeals will be accepted after the deadline. Waitlisted students may not appeal.

June 1

Deadline to accept UC San Diego's offer of admission. Accept your offer and submit your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) through the Applicant Portal.

July 1

Deadline to submit your final transcripts.

July 15

AP and IB exam results are due no later than July 15.

  • Please request results be sent to UC San Diego, school code: 004836.
  • For more information, please refer to the Advanced Placement FAQs.

Requirements Application Requirements

As a transfer applicant, you must meet the minimum coursework requirements, major preparation and lower-division general education courses listed below.

Competition for admission is high, so meeting these requirements does not guarantee your admission. Students admitted to UC San Diego exceed minimum UC admission requirements.

The UC Application opens on August 1. The application is available for submission November 1-30. Get more details.

Personal Insight Questions

On your application, there is one required question you must answer. You must also answer 3 out of 7 additional questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words. Which three questions you choose to answer are up to you, but you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances. This is your opportunity to show us your unique take on the world. Just be yourself. Check out the questions and tips & techniques to help you get started.

College Ranking

You will be asked to rank the UC San Diego colleges on your UC Application. Find out more about the colleges and get guidance on how to rank them.

To be eligible for transfer admission, you must complete a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester (90 quarter) units. 

Complete the following 7-course pattern:

  • Each course must be 3 semester (4-5 quarter) units and you must complete all units by the end of spring term, prior to fall admission.
  • You need to earn a grade of C or better in each course or a Pass (P) grade if pass is equivalent to a C (2.00)
  • 2 English composition
  • 1 mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning
  • 4 courses from at least 2 of the following:
    • Arts and humanities
    • Physical and biological sciences
    • Social and behavioral sciences

GPA (Grade-Point Average) Requirement

UC San Diego requires a competitive GPA (minimum 3.0) in UC-transferable courses. Students admitted to UC San Diego often have GPAs that exceed the minimum.

We are unable to evaluate your coursework prior to admission due to the high volume of applications, so it’s important that you confirm that your courses are transferable by visiting

Additional Courses in ESL or Physical Education

A maximum of 4 semester (6 quarter) units of Physical Education may be applied toward the 60-unit requirement to transfer. A maximum of 8 semester (12 quarter) units of English as a Second Language (ESL) may be applied toward the 60-unit requirement to transfer. The courses must appear on your community college's Transferable Course Agreement. Some limitations apply.

Exam Credit

UC offers college credit to students who have taken and scored well on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and A-level exams. Learn more about exam credit opportunities.

We have established major preparation articulation agreements with many California community colleges. Visit the ASSIST website to find out how your coursework might transfer to UC San Diego.

Applicants to these departments must complete minimum coursework to be admitted into the major: Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Cognitive Science, Economics, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. You will be screened for the number of courses completed, the grades earned in those courses and your cumulative GPA. View the major preparation courses required

See the UC San Diego General Catalog for major details.  

Capped Majors

If you are applying to a capped major (majors with limited enrollment) you are required to complete the minimum lower-division major preparation courses prior to transferring. We strongly recommend that you also indicate an alternate major on your UC application and that your alternate major not be capped. If you are not admitted to a capped major, you may be admitted to your alternate uncapped major. If you are not admitted into a capped major or you have not selected an alternate major, you will not be admitted to the university.

When you complete lower-division general education (GE) requirements before transferring, you enjoy more flexibility in selecting courses once you enroll at UC San Diego and reduce your time to graduation. Each of UC San Diego's six Colleges has its own GE requirements, so keep that in mind when choosing your community college courses.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

IGETC is a series of California community college courses that meet UC San Diego lower-division general education (GE) requirements at UC San Diego's Muir, Marshall, Roosevelt, Sixth and Warren colleges. Revelle College requires students with IGETC to complete these additional requirements before transfer, or while enrolled at UC San Diego: 3 courses in mathematics and 5 courses in natural science.

If you plan to follow the IGETC, consider:

  • partial IGETC is also possible – this is useful if you've chosen a pre-major that requires a lower-division sequence of coursework once you get to UC San Diego;

  • following IGETC can make your path to graduation easier – once you transfer, you can concentrate on your major field of study.

To find out what courses are in the IGETC, contact the transfer center at your community college and check the ASSIST website for details on IGETC course agreements.

You will be granted up to 70 semester (105 quarter) units of credit for lower-division coursework completed at any institution (or combination of institutions).

For units beyond the maximum, subject credit for appropriate coursework will be granted and may be used to satisfy requirements:

  • Units earned through AP, IB, and/or A-Level examinations are not included in the limitation. These units will not put you at risk of being denied admission.
  • Units earned at any UC campus in Extension, summer, cross/concurrent and regular academic year enrollment are not included in the limitation but are added to the maximum transfer credit allowed. These units may put you at risk of being denied admission due to excessive units.

UC San Diego accepts transfer students at the junior (third year) level only. 

A transfer applicant may be considered in senior standing if he or she has completed:

  • 70 semester units (or more) of lower-division coursework; and
  • 20 semester units (or more) of upper-division coursework.

If you have questions about the number of transferrable units, please call the Office of Admissions 858-534-4831.

Though more than 90% of UC San Diego transfer students are from California community colleges, we also accept transfer students from other UC campuses and from four-year institutions.

Other UC Campus Students

All courses completed at a UC campus during a regular or summer session (excluding UC Extension) are transferable. UC Extension courses numbering 1–199 are also transferable.

All Other Transfer Applicants

UC San Diego accepts transfer courses from accredited post-secondary institutions similar in content to those offered in the UC system.

Transfer from Semester to Quarter System

To avoid duplicating coursework, complete all courses within a sequence before transfer (i.e. Chemistry 1A-1B).

Track Your Progress

Track your progress toward meeting UC's minimum requirements using the Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP).


International International Transfer Requirements

International applicants must meet the same requirements for admission as any other applicant with the exception of English proficiency.

English Language Proficiency

If your native language is not English, and your high school or college/university education was in a country where the language of instruction was not English, you must provide evidence of English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Achieve grades of B or better in the required UC-transferable English composition courses.
  • Submit a TOEFL score of 83 or higher (internet-based test).
  • Submit an IELTS examination with a 7 or better band score (academic module).

Note: TOEFL and IELTS exams must be completed no more than two years prior to transfer. 

Residency for Tuition Purposes

To be granted a visa, international students must prove sufficient funds to meet all expenses for studying in the U.S. This financial independence requirement makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduate students whose parents are not California residents to qualify for classification as a resident for tuition purposes at the University of California. This includes students from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions within California.

Read more about Residency for Tuition Purposes.


Review Application Review Process

Transfer Application Review

We receive more than 15,000 transfer applications each year and competition is high. In order to be successful, you must exceed minimum UC admission requirements. UC San Diego admits transfer applicants at the junior level only. As a transfer applicant, you will not be admitted if your major is undeclared. If you are not admitted to your major, you will not be admitted to the university. We do not base our admission selections on your choice of academic major or college. Enrollment goals are established annually.


Our goal is to identify and admit students who are fully prepared to excel in our challenging academic environment. We’re looking for students who represent strong academic achievement, exceptional personal talent and the broad diversity of talents, abilities, personal experience and backgrounds characteristic of California.

Every application is reviewed. Consideration is given for the specific factors, primarily academic, listed below.

Strength in academic coursework

  • Completion of a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester (90 quarter) units by the end of spring term, prior to fall admission
  • Completion of the UC-transferable college courses below with a C grade or better in each course.
    • 2 English composition
    • 1 mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning
    • 4 courses from at least 2 of the following:
      • Arts and humanities
      • Physical and biological sciences
      • Social and behavioral sciences

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

One of the most important criteria considered is your GPA in UC-transferable college courses, based upon your self-reported academic history.

Major Preparation

You should complete all courses required in preparation for your major before transfer. See a list of departments that require major preparation courses for admission. You will be screened for the number of courses completed, the grades you earned in those courses and your cumulative GPA. If you are choosing a major with pre-major status, you will need to complete undergraduate requirements once you have been admitted to UC San Diego.

If you are seeking military credit, you must submit your Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART), Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) or equivalent military transcript to the Office of Admissions.

UC San Diego may award lower-division units (freshman/sophomore level) for military courses completed when there is an equivalent course taught at a UC campus.

We do not grant credit for work experience, military/recruit basic training, vocational or technical training, CLEP and DSST examinations, and remedial academic or personal enrichment courses.

Students applying to Music, Theatre & Dance, or Visual Arts may submit an optional portfolio/audition video when they apply to UC San Diego. When you choose one of these majors on the UC Application, you will be provided with a link to submit your arts portfolio/audition video online. Faculty in the major to which you are applying will review your submission and share their evaluations with the UC San Diego Office of Admissions. This evaluation may add value to your overall application. Follow the link provided through the UC Application to submit your portfolio/audition video. The Office of Admissions does not accept submissions sent directly to our office.

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