As a transfer applicant, you must meet specific coursework, unit, and grade point average requirements as outlined below. For some areas of study, major preparation is also required and must be completed by the end of spring term prior to fall admission. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Competitive applicants to UC San Diego exceed the minimum requirements.


Complete the following 7-course pattern:

  • 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
  • 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)

Major Preparation

Applicants to departments and majors listed here must complete minimum preparation coursework to be admitted to the major.

  • Biological Anthropology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Data Science
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Systems
  • Geosciences
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Physics
  • Public Health
  • Real Estate & Development
  • Urban Studies & Planning

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.

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

See the General Catalog for detailed information on UC San Diego majors.

GPA (Grade-Point Average) 

To be eligible for admission, the minimum GPA is 3.0, but 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 UC San Diego does not have articulation agreements outside of the California Community College system.


To be eligible for transfer admission, you must complete a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester (90 quarter) units by the end of spring term prior to fall admission.

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.

Additional Courses in ESL or Physical Education

California Community College courses must appear on your community college's Transferable Course Agreement. Some limitations apply.

  • A maximum of 8 semester (12 quarter) units of English as a Second Language (ESL) may be applied toward the 60 semester (90 quarter) unit requirement to transfer. 
  • A maximum of 4 semester (6 quarter) units of Physical Education may be applied toward the 60 semester (90 quarter) unit requirement to transfer. (Note: at matriculation, no more than 2 semester (3 quarter) units of Physical Education may be transferred in and counted toward graduation.)

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.

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Portfolio Review

Applicants to majors in the Arts (Music, Theatre & Dance, Visual Arts) have the option to submit a portfolio or audition. Visit The School of Arts and Humanities and click on Portfolio for more information.

College Ranking

UC San Diego’s unique college system creates an opportunity to make the university experience more personal and approachable by providing support and a smaller community within the larger university. Students are free to pursue their chosen major no matter which college they are affiliated with. You will be asked to rank UC San Diego’s Colleges on the UC Application. Visit our Colleges page and review the general education requirements to learn more.

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Selective Majors

A selective major is one with limited enrollment, due to capacity. UC San Diego’s most selective majors include Business Economics as well as all majors in the schools listed below:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Data Science
  • Engineering
  • Public Health
  • Business Economics in the School of Social Sciences

If you are applying to a selective major you will be required to complete the minimum lower-division major preparation courses prior to transferring. We strongly recommend that you also indicate an alternate non-selective major on your UC application. If you are not admitted to your first-choice selective major, you may be admitted to your alternate major if space is available.

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, Warren and Seventh 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.

  • 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.

First-Year applicants completing California Community College coursework, please note: Neither IGETC certification nor partial-IGETC completion may apply toward the fulfillment of UC San Diego college general education requirements for incoming first-year students.


Limits on Transfer Units

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 level only.

If an applicant has only completed lower-division coursework, and all community college coursework is considered lower-division, there is no danger of being in 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.

Learn more about Statement of Transfer Credit Practices.

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

U.S. Military Service Courses

UC may award lower-division (freshman/sophomore level) units for military courses completed if the courses are consistent with University policy on awarding transfer credit when there is an equivalent course taught at a UC campus. UC will consult the ACE recommendations for information regarding course content and as a guide to the awarding of credit. Credit for military courses is determined after matriculation at UC. To learn more, view the Statement of Transfer Credit Practices.

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. Completion of the 7-course pattern is not required for applicants from other UC campuses.

All Other Transfer Applicants

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.

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

Learn more about Statement of Transfer Credit Practices.

Transfer from Semester to Quarter System

To avoid duplicating coursework, we recommend completing 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).

Admissions Information

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.