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Transfer Admission Requirements & Transfer Preparation

To transfer successfully you need to meet minimum the Coursework requirements, Major Preparation and lower-division GE courses listed below.

Definition: You are a transfer student if you enrolled in a regular session at a college or university after high school. (Summer sessions don't count.)

UC requirements


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

  • All units must be completed by the end of spring term, prior to fall admission

  • Complete a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester (90 quarter) units

  • Complete the UC-transferable college courses below with a C grade or better in each course. Each course must be 3 semester (4-5 quarter) units.

    • 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


UC San Diego requires a competitive GPA (minimum 3.0) in UC-transferable courses and good academic standing.

Major Preparation

  • Plan ahead and complete as many courses as possible to prepare for your chosen major. UC San Diego's academic departments specify courses you must take before you transfer to prepare for upper-division study in your major. See the UCSD General Catalog for a list of major prerequisites or the departmental website for a specific major.

  • Transfer applicants will not be admitted as undeclared. If you are not admitted to your major, you will not be admitted to the university.

  • Click here for a list of departments that require major preparation courses for admission. You will be screened for the number of courses completed, the grades earned in those courses and your cumulative GPA.

  • 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.

    • It is strongly recommended that you select an alternate major on the 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.

General Education Requirements

  • Complete lower-division GE requirements before transferring to enjoy more flexibility in selecting courses once you enroll at UC San Diego and to 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) 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.

English language proficiency requirement for non-native speakers

Applicants whose native language is not English, and whose high school or college/university education was in a country where the language of instruction was not English, 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

Resources to help you transfer successfully

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.

We are unable to evaluate coursework for applicants prior to admission due to the high volume of applications. Ensure your courses are transferable:

  • California community college students: Visit ASSIST website to see the UC transferable course.

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

Review additional details

Limits on transfer units

  • Students will be granted up to 70 semester (105 quarter) units of credit for lower-division coursework completed at any institution (or combination of institutions). See Senior Standing details, below.

  • 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 (do not put applicants 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 (may put applicants at risk of being denied admission due to excessive units).

Additional courses in ESL or physical education

  • Physical Education: A maximum of 4 semester (6 quarter) units of PE may be applied toward the 60-unit requirement to transfer.

  • English as a Second Language: A maximum of 8 semester (12 quarter) units 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.

Senior standing

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.

UC San Diego accepts transfer students at the junior (third year) level only. If you have questions about the number of transferrable units, please discuss with a UCSD Admissions Officer.