Preparing for admission

Preparing for transfer is about more than admission requirements —it’s about showing you’re ready to succeed at UC.

Planning is key

There are three things to keep in mind as you plan: meeting minimum requirements, preparing for your major and general education courses. It's a lot to tackle all at once, so we have some step-by-step recommendations on how to approach your coursework.

If you're enrolled at a California community college, use our UC Transfer Admission Planner to enter your coursework (or plan upcoming terms). It helps track your progress toward meeting UC admission requirements, and it can also serve as your application for the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG).

Keep in mind that these are general suggestions to get you started on the right foot. To make sure you’re on track for your goals, reach out to a transfer adviser and look for transfer events in your area.

How to prepare for UC:

1. Start with math and English

Many community colleges will require you to take English and math assessment tests to determine what courses you should be placed in. Whatever you test into, make sure you're working toward passing UC-transferable math and English. Check ASSIST to see what math or English classes transfer to UC and aim for those that count toward UC minimum requirements.

If your community college places you in Algebra II, but the lowest-level math class that meets the UC minimum requirement is College Algebra/Pre-calculus, you’ll want to take Algebra II as soon as possible so you have time to take and pass College Algebra/Pre-calculus before you transfer.

Start taking these courses early. They'll help you build skills you need for university classes, and some UC campuses require that you complete English and math by the end of fall term one year prior to enrolling at UC.

2. Prepare for your major

Once you have an idea of what you want to major in, get to know the coursework for that major at the UC campuses you’re interested in. Look up your major in the course catalog of the UC campus you plan to apply to — this can help give you a sense of the major’s focus. Do the courses sound interesting? Are you excited about the introductory courses, as well as the advanced courses?

Your major may have preparation requirements. These courses are often prerequisites for other courses that are required as part of the major.

  • Start with required courses for your major: Majors at some campuses will require you to complete specific courses before you transfer.
  • Take recommended courses for your major: Completing these courses before transfer makes you a more competitive applicant—and will help you graduate on time after you transfer.

Learn more about major preparation »

    3. Take general education classes

    General education requirements are designed to give you a broad background in various disciplines, and can vary between UC campuses. Depending on your major and campus, you may want to start taking general education classes at community college.

    Learn more about general education requirements »

    4.  Keep in mind UC's minimum admission requirements

    As you prepare for your specific major and campuses, you’ll also need to meet minimum requirements for transfer admission. Many of your major preparation and general education courses will count toward these requirements, but it’s good to check regularly to make sure you’re on track for transfer.

    If you're a STEM major, you'll be taking lots of science and math courses — but don't forget to take humanities and/or social sciences courses to fulfill UC minimum requirements. (These classes can also help balance your schedule.)

I don't have a major yet. What classes should I take?

Start by taking math and English classes, and make sure all your classes are transferable.

Then, fulfill the UC minimum requirements by taking classes in fields that interest you, and talk to your professors — this can be a great way to explore and discover potential majors.

How do I check if my courses transfer to UC?

ASSIST and the UC Transfer Admission Planner are your best friends.

What if I want to apply to several UC campuses?

Our major preparation checklists summarize the requirements for many popular majors.

Keep in mind that majors can vary from campus to campus; looking at course catalogs and advanced classes can give you a sense of each major’s focus and subject areas.