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Transfer Admission Requirements

Transfer applicants must complete minimum UC requirements. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission. Students admitted to UC San Diego exceed UC admission requirements.

UC requirements

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
  • If you are applying to a capped major, you are strongly encouraged to complete all lower-division major courses prior to transferring.

See Transfer Preparation for more on Major Preparation and General Education Requirements 


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: See the UC transferable course list on the ASSIST website.
  • 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).

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

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.

Definition: California community college student

To be considered a California community college (CCC) student, you must meet all of these conditions:

  • Attend a CCC as the last college before being admitted to UC San Diego (excluding winter intersessions and summer); and
  • Complete at least 30 semester UC-transferable units (45 quarter units) at one or more CCCs; and
  • Be in good standing during your last regular term.


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.)

Transfer Resources

UC Online Application Guide
Application opens August 2014

Preparing to Transfer

UCSD General Catalog