Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz screens for transfer major preparation in nearly half of its undergraduate majors. See for further details.

In addition to the screening majors, several other majors have additional requirements. See below:


Junior-level applicants must pass a portfolio review (held in early April). Students must identify themselves as potential Art majors when applying to UC in order to receive details on the portfolio review. This information is sent in early February. Admission to UC Santa Cruz does not guarantee that a student will pass the portfolio review, and passing the portfolio review does not guarantee UCSC admission. Visit the Art Department website for details.

Students are advised to complete all three of their lower-division studios at community college, in addition to studios in their area of interest, to be able to submit a high-level portfolio. Students who do not pass the portfolio review will not be eligible to take art classes at UC Santa Cruz during the academic year and must pursue another major. Applicants will know the results of the portfolio review before they have to submit their Statement of Intent to Register to the Admissions Office.

All junior transfer students will be required to take Art 194, Forms and Ideas, in lieu of the freshman foundation program requirements.

  • Students who are interested in the art major must complete at least three lower-division studio courses in three different areas of concentration (comparable to those offered at UCSC and approved on, in addition to studios in their area of interest, to be able to submit a high-level portfolio. Students must submit the art portfolio application by the deadline on the application and pass this review conducted by the Art Department.
  • This review is held in April for fall admission. Students submit 15-20 quality images on a website or photo sharing site, image inventory sheet, a written statement, and unofficial transcripts. Do not send CDs, photographs, or actual work. They will not be viewed nor will they be returned to you if sent. More information on how to submit materials will be on the application that is sent out.
  • Students must indicate Art as their major on their UC application. The Art Department will then send students a portfolio review application and information on applying to the art major via the student’s e-mail address from the UC application. If the student doesn't receive the information by March 1, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Jude Pipes, to send the student the information.
  • Applicants who do not pass the portfolio review, and are accepted into UCSC will not be allowed to take art classes at UCSC during the fall, winter, and spring quarters and must realize they need to pursue another major if they decide to attend UCSC. Students will be notified of the results of the review before they need to submit their SIR for UCSC.
  • For more complete information on portfolio review requirements and specifications please go to the UCSC Art Department website.

Contact: Art Department, E-104 Baskin Visual Arts, (831) 459-3551.

Art and Design: Games and Playable Media (AGPM)

After completing their application to UCSC, all junior transfer students applying to AGPM must pass a highly competitive portfolio review to be accepted into the major.

The portfolio includes basic contact information, a written summary statement, a link to an online portfolio of supporting materials, and a complete set of transcripts from a community college.

For additional information, please see 

Contact: Bennett Williamson, AGPM Adviser at, (831) 459-5628.

Film and Digital Media

Transfer students should speak with an academic adviser at the department office prior to enrolling in classes in order to determine their status and to begin the declaration of major process as soon as possible. Transfer students are strongly advised to attend a summer UCSC/FDM transfer orientation. While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges are encouraged to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.

Three lower-division and 10 upper-division courses are required for completion of the general major. Transfer students who complete the requirements to declare the major by the end of their second quarter and pursue the major as advised should be able to complete the general major within two years. As preparation, prospective transfer students are strongly encouraged to fulfill the FILM 20A requirement through UC Santa Cruz Summer Session prior to transfer.

Transfer students must petition the department to have equivalent lower-division courses taken at their current institution count toward their lower-division UC Santa Cruz major requirements and they must have earned a C or higher in each course being submitted for substitution. At least one of the 20-level courses required to declare the major must be taken at UCSC.

Additional time (beyond six quarters) may be needed to complete the FDM major if one or more of the following apply to an incoming transfer student: general education requirements need to be completed; a double-major is being pursued; a lower-division FDM major requirement has not been completed prior to transfer; and/or a film and digital media concentration is being pursued.

For more information, visit the Film and Digital Media website and the UCSC General Catalog.

Contact: Film and Digital Media Department, 101 Communications Building, (831) 459-3204,


Upon completion of Music 130 (Harmony and Form in 19th-Century and Early 20th-Century Music), B.A. students must demonstrate proficiency on a musical instrument or in voice at an upper-intermediate level. Prospective Music majors are encouraged to take the Music Core Curriculum Placement Exam at the beginning of fall quarter.

Contact: Music Department, 244 Music Center, (831) 459-2292,

Physics Majors

Transfer students must complete courses equivalent to the Physics 5 series with a GPA of 2.7 or higher before they will be permitted to enter a physics major, effective with Catalog year 2009-10. Transfer students must complete courses equivalent to the Physics 5 series with a GPA of 2.7 or higher before they will be permitted to enter a physics major, effective with Catalog year 2009-10At least two of these three courses must be passed in the first attempt. If the third course is repeated, the grade from the second attempt will be considered.

Contact: Physics Department, 211 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, (831) 459-2329.

Psychology Majors

Psychology major

It is expected that prospective transfer students will have completed most, if not all, of the lower-division requirements. It is essential that courses comparable to PSYC 1, 2, and the psychology mathematics requirement be completed prior to transfer.

Students may petition to declare the psychology major once they have completed three lower-division courses: the psychology mathematics requirement, PSYC 1, and PSYC 2. To be admitted, students must demonstrate the attainment of foundational skills by receiving a grade of at least B- (2.7) in each of:

  • a) PSYC 1 or PSYC 10 AND
  • b) PSYC 2 or AMS 5 or AMS 7/L

Students must meet with the psychology adviser when they arrive on campus in order to determine their status and begin the actual declaration of major process.

Students who pass these courses but do not achieve the required level of proficiency (i.e., who receive a grade of C, C+, or P) have alternative means of demonstrating foundational skills by:

  • (a) completing Psychology 10 with a grade of B- or higher (if the student did not receive a B- or higher in Psychology 1);
  • (b) completing Applied Mathematics and Statistics 5 or 7/L with a grade of B- or higher (if the student did not receive a B- or higher in Psychology 2), or
  • (c) completing Psychology 2 with a grade of B- or higher (if the student did not receive a grade of B- or higher in Applied Mathematics and Statistics 5 or 7/L).

Cognitive Science major

Students may petition to declare the cognitive science major once they have completed the lower-division requirements. For students to be admitted to the major, they must have a 2.80 or higher cumulative grade-point average (GPA) in the lower-division requirements and receive a C or better in each of the courses. Transfer students may substitute equivalent courses from other institutions. Students not meeting the grade requirements in the lower-division courses may take any of the listed alternatives as substitutions; the department will use the highest grade to compute GPA.

Contact: Psychology Department, 273 Social Sciences II, (831) 459-2002, psyadv@ucsc.edu


Students may petition to declare the general Sociology major once they have passed two of the following courses with grades of C+ or better: Sociology 1, 10, 15. Students may petition to declare the Intensive Sociology major, with a concentration in Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies, once they have passed the following courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or better: Sociology 1, 15, 30A, 30B, 30C. Transfer students may substitute equivalent courses from other institutions. Sociology 15, 30A, 30B, and 30C may only be taken at UCSC.

Contact: Sociology Department, 226 College Eight, (831) 459-4306,

The Jack Baskin School of Engineering

Junior transfer acceptance to majors

The School of Engineering strongly encourages applications from transfer students. Due to the prerequisite structure for upper-division courses, prospective transfer students should have completed as many of the lower-division requirements for the respective majors as possible to complete the degree within a reasonable time. Students must plan carefully because many courses must be taken sequentially.

Transfer students should not follow the Inter-segmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) because it will not provide transfer students with enough mathematics and engineering courses to allow them to complete School of Engineering programs at UCSC in two years.

Students who apply as transfer students with junior status (90 quarter credits or more of transfer credit) who wish to earn a degree from the School of Engineering must indicate a School of Engineering major as their first choice on their UC application. (Students may also indicate an alternative School of Engineering major as their second choice.)

Junior transfers who do not list a School of Engineering major on their application to UCSC will not be considered for admission to such majors after the first day of their first quarter on campus. Junior transfers who are qualified by the applicable declaration of major deadline will be considered by exception.

Contact: Jack Baskin School of Engineering Undergraduate Student Affairs Office, Baskin Engineering Room 225/227, (831) 459-5840,