Understanding UC transfer

So, you want to transfer to UC. Great! We know the process can be a little intimidating, so we’ve broken it down. These are the three things you need to do:

Plan what you want to study, and where

Prepare ahead of time with your goals in mind

Track your progress until it’s time to transfer


When you’re planning to transfer, keep three things in mind:

  1. Meeting the minimum requirements
  2. Getting ready for your chosen major
  3. Picking the right general education courses

We can help with all three.

Use the Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP) 

If you're enrolled at a California community college, our UC Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP) helps you track your progress towards our admission requirements. It can also serve as your application for the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG).

Use the Transfer Admission Planner to enter your coursework (or plan upcoming terms).

Talk to a transfer advisor

Your community college will have a Counseling Center, including a transfer center with transfer advisors. You should definitely seek out their advice. You may even be able to meet with a UC admissions representative in the transfer center to discuss your transfer options.

Join us at a transfer event

We host them year-round, all across the state. They’re a great place to ask questions and meet people on the same path as you.


Once you’ve worked out your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Here are the four things you’ll need to work toward as you go through your transfer process.

1. The basics: English and math

There’s a good chance your counselor has helped place you in appropriate math and English courses. Just make sure that whatever courses you're doing, you’re working toward passing math and English classes that are UC-transferable. Use our ASSIST tool to help you choose eligible courses.

We recommend you start taking these courses early. They'll help you build the skills you need for university classes. And some UC campuses need you to complete English and math by the end of the fall term the year before enrolling.

Starting early also gives you time to pass all the classes you need to in order to transfer. 


2. Preparing for your major

Once you’ve got a sense of what you want to major in, make sure it’s right for you. Get to know the coursework for that major at your preferred UC campuses. Wherever you plan to apply, check your major in their course catalogs.

Do the classes seem interesting? Are you excited about the introductory courses, as well as the advanced courses?

It’s important to think carefully about these things now. There’s no point going to all this effort, only to end up doing something you don’t enjoy.

Laying the groundwork

When it comes to getting into your major, there are two more things to consider: required courses, and recommended courses.

Your major probably has specific requirements before you can transfer. So make sure you’re enrolled in those classes.

Plus, there’s a range of recommended courses. And we would—you guessed it—recommend taking some of these. Completing them before you transfer boosts your chances of getting into the major you want, and graduating on time.

Courses for any campus

Decided on a major, but want to keep your campus options open? Try following a UC Transfer Pathway. The Pathways cover our most sought-after majors, and give you a single set of courses that let you transfer to any UC campus.

About Transfer Pathways »

3. Picking general education classes

It’s great to be dedicated to one subject, but a broad base of knowledge is important too. That’s why we have general education requirements, which can vary across UC. Depending on your major and campus, you may want to start taking these classes at your community college. 

About general education requirements »

4. UC's minimum admission requirements

Whatever your chosen major and campus, you’ll need to meet UC’s minimum requirements for transfer admissions.

Your major preparation and general education courses will count toward these. But there may still be a few gaps to fill in, so check regularly to make sure you’re on track for transfer. You (and your advisors) can use the UC TAP tool to plan and track your progress.

For example:

If you're a STEM major, you'll be taking lots of science and math courses. But don't forget—you also need to take humanities and/or social sciences courses to fulfill UC minimum requirements.


We know the transfer process can be complicated. That’s why we have transfer paths to help you get to UC in a way that works for you.

Whether your heart’s set on a specific campus, or you’re passionate about a certain major, we’ll get you on the right path.

Once you’ve chosen that path, we have a range of tools to help you stay on track:

  • To find courses that meet your transfer requirements, use ASSIST.
  • To track your progress toward UC minimum requirements, try UC TAP.
  • To learn about all the UC Transfer Pathway majors, use our Transfer Pathways Guide.