General education & IGETC

General education requirements (sometimes called breadth requirements) are designed to give UC undergraduates a broad background in all key academic disciplines, including natural sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Although you need to fulfill these requirements before you graduate from UC, you should start taking general education classes at community college — and for some majors, it's strongly recommended.

There are two ways you can satisfy general education requirements:

  • Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a series of courses certified by the California community college you may complete in order to satisfy the freshman/sophomore level general education requirements at UC.
  • UC campus-specific requirements: Each school and college at every UC campus has its own set of general education classes.

How do I know which one to do?

It depends on your campus and major.

Before you start working on general education courses, check what’s recommended for your major and the campuses you’re interested in.

Some majors – such as engineering or the biological, physical and natural sciences – do not recommend IGETC. They encourage applicants to complete major prerequisites before completing general education courses. Other majors may require or recommend you complete either IGETC or campus-specific general education requirements before you transfer.

If you have an area of study in mind, see our major preparation page which includes IGETC and general education guidance for some of UC's most popular majors. You can also visit the Explore Majors section at ASSIST or see our campus guidance.

Do I need to take general education classes before transferring to UC?

For some campuses and majors, you must fulfill all or a portion of general education requirements (either IGETC or campus-specific requirements) before you transfer. Check campus admissions websites or our major preparation guidance to find out what you need to do.

What if I don't know what my major is yet or which campus to apply to?

IGETC is most helpful to students who want to keep their options open. If you know you want to transfer, but haven't decided on a particular campus or major, you can start by taking IGETC courses.

Are you a STEM major?

Try mixing up your class schedule with some general education classes. They’ll be a good balance to your major-preparation workload.