University of California Admission Requirements
Minimum Requirements for Transfer Applicants
Please note: The following requirements represent the minimum level of achievement necessary to be eligible for admission to the University of California (UC). Completion of these requirements does not guarantee admission to UC, especially into impacted majors.
Community college students can become eligible for admission to UC by meeting specific requirements.
The vast majority of transfer students come to UC at the junior level from California community colleges. But there are ways for sophomore students to gain admission, too.
To be considered for UC admission as a junior, you must fulfill both of the following:
- Complete 60 semester (90 quarter) units of UC transferable college credit with a GPA of at least 2.4 (2.8 if you’re a nonresident). No more than 14 semester (21 quarter) units may be taken Pass/Not Pass.
- Complete the following course pattern requirements, earning a grade of “C” or better in each course:
- Two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) in English composition
- One transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning;
- Four transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) chosen from at least two of the following subject areas:
- arts and humanities
- social and behavioral sciences
- physical and biological sciences
Each course must be worth at least 3 semester units.
While all UC campuses welcome a large pool of junior-level transfers, most admit only a limited number of lower-division transfers.
However, it can happen. Here’s how:
- If you were eligible for admission to UC when you graduated from high school - meaning you satisfied the subject, examination and scholarship requirements or were identified by UC during your senior year as Eligible in the Local Context (ELC) and completed the subject and examination requirements in the senior year - you are eligible for transfer if you have a 2.0 GPA in your transferable college coursework (2.8 GPA for non-residents).
- If you met the scholarship requirement in high school, but did not satisfy the 15-course subject requirement, you must take transferable college courses in the missing subjects, earn a C or better in each required course and have an overall 2.0 GPA in all transferable coursework to be eligible to transfer (a 2.8 GPA is required for nonresidents).
Minimum eligibility does not guarantee admission. Students need to consult with a counselor to ascertain realistic GPA requirements.
Course Completion Deadlines
Most UC campuses require students to satisfy certain course requirements (the seven-course pattern) and 60 transferable units by the end of the spring term preceding fall enrollment. Students are strongly encouraged to complete their required courses as early as possible.
The minimum admission requirements for nonresidents are very similar to those for residents. Students should consult with the Admissions Office at one of the university campuses for details. In all cases, however, nonresidents must have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher in all transferable college coursework.
Online Application Filing Periods
Applications must be submitted online by the last day of the filing period. Most campuses do not accept applications after that.
Application Filing Periods
|Winter Quarter/Spring Semester
UC Berkeley and UC Merced are on the semester system calendar, while all other campuses are on the quarter system calendar. All campuses are open for the fall term. For openings in other terms or to check available majors, please use the above link.
It is essential to check with the UC campus you intend to apply for to ensure that it is accepting applications for winter or spring. Students should plan to submit their applications early in the filing period.
PLEASE NOTE: Some UC campuses are limited in their ability to accommodate winter and spring transfers due to budget uncertainties. Students should not count on midyear transfer. Consult with a counselor for the best possible transfer plan.
The UC system requires students to complete the online Transfer Academic Update (TAU) no later than January 31. The UC campus will inform students via email when to send official transcripts.
Planning to Transfer to UC
Complete information about UC admissions and program planning is available at the following site: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/transfer
Most transfer students enter UC at the junior level-meaning they have completed 60 transferable semester units, general education and most, if not all, of their lower-division major prerequisites.
If you are considering transferring to the University of California from Irvine Valley College, it is important that you plan your coursework carefully. First, the courses you take should help you meet the minimum admission requirements for transfer students. In addition, you should select Irvine Valley College courses that prepare you for upper-division studies in your major or fulfill recommended general education requirements.
Major Preparation Requirements
Major preparation requirements specify the courses you must take during your first two years of college to prepare for advanced study in your major. They may be required as part of the major, be prerequisites for other courses that are required as part of the major, or be required to gain admission to the major.
Performance counts. Transfer applicants are evaluated, in part, on the basis of their performance in major preparation coursework. So it’s important-very important-that you investigate the requirements for your intended major as soon as possible. If your major requires mathematics and science, it is essential that you complete those prerequisites before you transfer. Lack of preparatory coursework may affect your admission to your major, particularly if there are many applicants vying for a limited number of spaces.
Start early. You should begin coursework in your major as soon as you have selected one. If you are applying for fall admission, the campus may require you to complete certain major preparation requirements by the end of the preceding spring term.
Ask for help. Investigate transfer preparation paths to find out how best to prepare for UC’s most popular majors. Check out the Exploring Majors feature at www.assist.org, which lists major preparation requirements for all UC programs. The lists are updated throughout the year, so check ASSIST periodically to ensure you have the most current information. The Irvine Valley College counseling faculty can help advise you about the specific major preparation requirements for the program you select.
Knowing what the requirements are and planning your program at IVC will maximize your chances for admission to the UC campus and program of your choice. Meeting requirements in advance will give you more freedom when selecting courses once you enroll in the university. You may also be able to complete your undergraduate education within four years, without having to attend additional terms to meet requirements or take prerequisites.
The IVC Transfer Center can provide you with much of the information you need to start planning. UC representatives (and representatives from other four-year colleges and universities) visit the Transfer Center regularly to meet and advise prospective transfer applicants. They are available to give you up-to-date information about the availability of majors, impacted programs, coursework you need to take, and requirements that relate specifically to your circumstances.
General Education Requirements
General education requirements are designed to give UC undergraduates a broad background in all major academic disciplines-natural sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts. The general education requirement - often called the breadth requirement - lists the specific courses you must take or number of credit hours you must earn in each discipline.
Requirements vary. Each school and college at every UC campus has its own general education requirement. With careful planning, you can meet many of the lower-division requirements before you transfer. You also have the option of completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to satisfy the lower-division general education requirements at any UC campus. Click here for the 2020-21 IGETC Requirements - see a counselor for the most current version of this form.
The IGETC is a series of courses prospective transfer students attending California community colleges may complete to satisfy the lower-division breadth/general education requirements at both the University of California and the California State University. The University of California has developed an agreement with each California community college that specifies which of its courses may be applied to each category of the IGETC. (See here for further information.)
Following the IGETC general education pattern is generally preferred by most UC campuses for most majors. However, on some UC campuses, and for certain majors, IGETC is not accepted or even recommended, and following the native breadth pattern will benefit transfer students. Students are advised to see a counselor to choose the appropriate general education pattern.
Entry-Level Writing Requirement
You must satisfy the entry-level writing requirement to graduate in any program at UC. One way to meet this requirement is to complete a transferable college course of three semester (four quarter) units in English composition with a grade of “C” or better. Students who meet the UC basic requirements for minimal transfer eligibility, which include two transferable college courses in English composition (WR 1 or 1H and WR 2 or 2H at IVC), satisfy the entry-level writing requirement.
In addition to the general education requirement and their major preparation requirements, there are other requirements students may need to fulfill to receive their undergraduate degree from the University, such as the American History and Institutions Requirement. Other requirements vary according to the campus students attend, and their particular college or school and major.
American History and Institutions Requirement
All undergraduate degree programs at UC require study in American History and Institutions. This requirement may be met through examination or enrollment in specific courses. Each campus decides how its students may meet the requirement.
If you satisfactorily completed a one-year course in US history or a half-year course in US history and a half-year course in American government while in high school, you have fulfilled this requirement for all UC campuses except UC Santa Barbara, which requires students to complete a college-level course. (At UCLA, you also must have earned a B average in these courses.) If you have satisfied Irvine Valley College’s history and institutions requirement (HIST 20 or HIST 21 and PS 1) you have also met the requirement at most UC campuses. It is strongly recommended that you complete this requirement before you transfer.
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Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)
Six UC campuses-Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz-offer guaranteed admission to California community college students who meet specific requirements for participating majors.
Interested students must meet campus-specific requirements to qualify for a UC TAG. By participating in a TAG program, you can ensure your admission to a specific UC campus, some of which offer an early review of your academic records, early admission notification, and specific guidance on major preparation and general education coursework.
You can download a matrix of TAG program requirements at https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/_assets/files/transfer-requirements/tag-matrix.pdf.
Students should visit the Transfer Center or Counseling Center for information regarding specific criteria for each UC campus. September 1-30, one year prior to enrollment, is the online application filing period for TAGs.
To pursue a TAG, you must:
- Fill out an online TAG application at https://uctap.universityofcalifornia.edu during the submission period, September 1 to 30, and review it with your IVC counselor.
- Once your TAG is submitted and approved, fulfill all remaining coursework and GPA requirements designated in your TAG agreement.
- Apply for admission to UC during the appropriate filing period, November 1 to 30 (see www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply), indicating the same major as on the TAG application. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their IVC counselor prior to completing/submitting the TAG application.
Please note: Transfer students do not have to participate in TAG to be considered for admission. Non-TAG students must also apply for UC admission during the appropriate application filing period (see www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply).