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.
Minimum transfer major preparation must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to fall admission.
You will be asked to rank the UC San Diego colleges on your UC Application. Learn 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 by end of spring term prior to fall admission.
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 assist.org.
UC San Diego does not have articulation agreements outside of the California Community College system.
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. (Note: at matriculation, no more than 2 semester (3 quarter) units of Physical Education may be transferred in and counted toward graduation.) 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. California Community College courses must appear on your community college's Transferable Course Agreement. Some limitations apply.
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, Data Science, Economics, Engineering, Marine Biology (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Mathematics, and Physics. 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.
If you are applying to a capped major (majors with limited enrollment) you may be 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.
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).
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.
UC students and admissions staff share their best tips for writing application essays
Tips and tricks for acing this important part of the UC Application
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.