UC Transfer Application

UC Transfer Application

There is no single linear path to follow when it comes to higher education. In fact, transfer students make up a large part of the undergraduate community within the UC system. As some of the best schools in California, becoming a UC transfer student means you’ll need to ace the UC transfer application. However, most of the UC schools are considered quite transfer friendly colleges And, the good news is that the UC transfer application will be quite similar to the college applications you filled out as a first-year applicant. 

In this guide, we’ll break down how to complete the UC transfer application. We’ll answer plenty of common questions that UC transfer students will have when starting the application process. While transferring colleges may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of ways to make it a smooth transition. This guide aims to give you digestible steps and relevant information to help you in your process of transferring colleges—namely to a UC school. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this UC Transfer Application guide: 

  • UC transfer process
  • Understanding UC TAG and UC TAP
  • UC transfer requirements
  • UC Berkeley, UCSB, UC Davis, UCSD, and UCLA transfer requirements 
  • And plenty more UC transfer related FAQs!

Keep in mind that if you’re considering transferring colleges, you’ve already been through the college admissions process once! The transfer application process isn’t all that different. Soon, you’ll have a thorough understanding of all the different facets and nuances of the UC transfer application. But first, let’s start by learning about the general UC transfer process. 

Understanding the UC Transfer Process

UC Transfer Application

As a transfer student, you’ve already gone through the arduous process of applying to college once. So, the good news is that there won’t be too many surprises the second time around! The UC transfer application has many of the same aspects that your first college application did. But, that doesn’t mean you should slack on the UC application. The UC system houses some of the best universities in California and even the nation. So, they receive plenty of applications from both high school and transfer students. 

Planning your transfer

The UC schools use their own transfer application. This means that you won’t fill out the Common Application when applying to a UC school. However, before you even start to think about the UC transfer application, you’ll want to make sure you’ve planned and prepared. Luckily, UC has a program to help you do so called UC TAP (Transfer Admission Planner). UC TAP will help you stay on track to complete the UC transfer requirements while at your current institution.

As you might be noticing, the UC transfer process starts long before the UC transfer application. UC TAP will help transfer students stay on track to complete the best UC transfer application possible. Students will need to consider a myriad of factors: current classes, future major of interest, GPA minimum requirements, UC campus of interest, and the UC application deadline. UC TAP is one program designed to make the transfer process easier, however, transfer students can also meet with an advisor or attend a transfer event.

Transfer requirements

Generally speaking, the UC transfer requirements will be similar at each of the UC campuses. However, always double-check your school of interest’s specific requirements. For example, the UCLA transfer requirements may vary slightly from the UCSD transfer requirements or the UC Davis transfer requirements. But, no matter if you’re a future UCLA transfer or any of the other UC campuses, you’ll want to always check the school-specific transfer admission site for the best information. 

Don’t forget to consider your academic goals in the transfer process. These will greatly affect your course selection. Learn more about one student’s pre-med transfer process. Check out our webinar, “The Ultimate Guide to Applying to the University of California (UC) Schools for extra information. 

How do UC Transfers work?

Before considering the UC transfer application, you’ll want to make sure you’re eligible. Essentially, you’ll need to confirm you’ve completed the necessary college coursework and meet the minimum UC transfer application requirements. From there, it’s time to start the application, keeping in mind the UC transfer application deadline. 

UC transfer timeline

Remember that when it comes to applying as a transfer student, the application process starts long before starting the application! However, you can start working on your UC transfer application starting August 1. You’ll need to create an account and login in order to access the UC transfer application on their website. Here are the time periods in which you can submit your UC transfer application: 

  • Fall Semester: October 1-November 30
  • Spring Semester: July 1-31

Be sure to double-check the UC transfer application deadline at your specific campus of interest, as some schools operate on a different semester system calendar. For example, the UCLA transfer application deadline is October 1-November 30. However, there is no UCLA transfer application deadline for spring semesters. UCLA transfer students may only enroll starting fall semester. 

Once you’ve completed and submitted the UC transfer application, it will be reviewed by admissions officers. Applications are evaluated holistically, meaning that factors such as extracurriculars and essays are just as important as grades. Consequently, applicants need to do more than simply meet the minimum GPA requirements to gain acceptance. 

Once you’ve submitted your application, don’t forget to check out these steps! Make sure your application is updated and your transcripts have been submitted. From there, you’ll await a response.

What is UC TAG?

UC Transfer Application

If you look at the transfer numbers within the UC system, you’ll notice that they are quite high. In fact, three out of every four transfer students gain admission. This is in large part due to the program UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG). This program guarantees admission to students transferring from California Community Colleges (CCCs).

The UC TAG matrix outlines some specifics on the program, which you can learn more about on the UC admissions website. Up next, we’ll highlight some of the main things to know about the program.

How does UC TAG work?

According to the UC TAG matrix, students will need to complete both the UC transfer application and a TAG application to be considered. The UC TAG matrix also states that students need to come directly from a CCC and have completed 30 semester UC transferable units.

Keep in mind that you do not have to participate in TAG when applying to UC from a community college. You can simply complete the regular UC transfer application. The UC TAG matrix states that two-thirds of admitted UC transfer students do not have a TAG. 

However, for those worried about gaining admission to a UC school, the UC TAG option is a good one to consider. Check out the UC TAG matrix for more details on the UC transfer requirements for TAG applicants at different UC campuses. 

Using UC TAP

UC Transfer Application

We briefly mentioned UC TAP when planning and preparing your UC transfer application. But, what exactly is it and how does it work? The UC Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP) is meant for students transferring from California Community Colleges, including (but not limited to) students applying via TAG. 

UC TAP helps students stay organized when it comes to meeting the UC transfer requirements, as well as the UC transfer application deadline. Students can enter their classes into UC TAP to make sure they are completing the necessary coursework. Furthermore, students who use UC TAP will also receive the most recent and pertinent information from UC admissions via the online planner.

Above all, remember UC TAP is completely free! If you’re interested in taking advantage of the UC TAP, all you have to do is create a login and password to get started. 

Can I transfer from UC to UC?

UC Transfer Application

There are plenty of types of transfer students. This includes those coming from community colleges, other four-year institutions, or even those coming from another UC campus. With ten campuses all over the state of California, it makes sense that students might want to transfer schools within the UC system. Students can certainly transfer from UC to UC, as long as they meet the UC transfer requirements. 

Before starting a UC transfer application to one of the other UC schools, ensure that you are in academically good standing. You’ll need to have a 2.0 GPA (cumulative or last term) to apply. The good news is that all of your credits will be transferable when going from one UC school to another. However, it also means that your GPA will also transfer with you.

Can you transfer from UC to UC after one year?

UC admissions does state that junior level transfer students from California community colleges are their highest priority. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t accept other types of transfer students. If you’re looking to transfer after only a year at another UC school (or any school) you would be considered a “lower-division transfer”. 

Since the majority of UC transfer students enroll their junior year, the lower-division transfer student is certainly less common. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You may transfer from UC to UC after one year. Though, the acceptance rate of lower-division transfers will largely depend on the UC campus you apply to.

Some UC campuses will only admit a certain number of these types of transfer students, meaning that gaining acceptance may be more competitive. Therefore, double-check the campus of interest to you to see what their policy is on transferring after just one year of college at another UC school. 

Check out the UC transfer requirements for different types of transfer students to best prepare! 

Does UC accept Spring transfers?

UC Transfer Application

When considering the UC transfer application requirements, you’ll need to consider the UC transfer application deadline at the UC school of your choice. Not all UC schools are created equal. Only a few of the UC schools accept transfers for the spring term. 

However, two UC campuses do accept spring transfer students: UC Merced and UC Riverside. If you’re looking to be a UCLA transfer student, or to any of the other seven UC campuses, then you’ll need to enter for the fall term. 

What GPA do you need to transfer to UC?

UC Transfer Application

One important aspect of every UC transfer application is academics. There is a minimum GPA that transfer students must meet to be considered for admission to a UC school. 

For a junior level transfer, the minimum GPA requirement is 2.4 for California residents and 2.8 for non-California residents. Lower division transfers must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for California residents and a 2.8 for nonresidents. For those transferring from another UC campus, you’ll need a UC GPA of 2.0 or above. However, just as the minimum UC transfer requirements vary depending on the UC campus, so does the minimum GPA.

Let’s take a look at some of the specific transfer requirements for some of the most popular UC campuses.

UCLA transfer requirements

The UCLA transfer requirements state that transfers need to have a 3.2 minimum GPA to be considered for admission. This is much higher than the general UC transfer application requirements stated above. It may come as no surprise then that the UCLA transfer acceptance rate is quite competitive. For Fall 2023 the UCLA transfer acceptance rate was just 26% – and the median GPA of admitted applicants was 3.88.

UC Davis transfer requirements

The UC Davis transfer requirements also state a slightly different minimum GPA. According to the UC Davis transfer requirements, all transfers must have at least a 2.8 GPA. Certain majors may also have higher GPA minimums. As you may have guessed from the difference in minimum GPA requirements, the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate is higher than that of UCLA. The UC Davis transfer acceptance rate (as of Fall 2019) was 57%

UCSD transfer requirements

The UCSD transfer requirements state that the GPA is that of the general UC GPA requirements. As you’ll recall, that’s 2.4 for California residents and 2.8 for non-residents. However, the majority of accepted students often have a higher GPA than the minimum requirement. The UCSD transfer acceptance rate was quite close to that of UC Davis in recent years. The UCSD transfer acceptance rate in Fall 2019 was 56%.

UCSB transfer requirements

UCSB is one of the most transfer-friendly colleges in the UC system. They follow the general GPA minimum requirements (2.4 for California residents and 2.8 for nonresidents). The UCSB transfer acceptance rate is also fairly high. The UCSB transfer acceptance rate is about 50%. However, more impressively, about one-third of the incoming class is made up of transfer students.

As you can see, the UC transfer application requirements will vary slightly by school. So, be sure to check the UC campus that most interests you to get the most relevant requirements for you!

Choosing a major for UC Transfers

UC Transfer Application

As a UC transfer, it’s important to consider your major of interest. This is especially true if you are a junior level transfer and have already completed your general requirements. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure you choose a campus that offers your major. And, of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have taken the required courses. 

All UC transfer students need to complete basic-level English and math courses by the end of the fall term prior to their year of enrollment. Additionally, students will want to start thinking about a major if they are still undecided. Think about classes that you’ve enjoyed, subjects that interest you, and your future career goals. Then check out the recommended courses for your potential areas or majors of interest. 

Transfer Pathways are also a unique UC offering. This is a perfect option for transfer students who know their major but aren’t certain of their first-choice campus. These pathways allow students to see which campuses offer their major of choice. Students can also easily see the required courses needed to enter their major. It’s a useful way to keep transfer students on track to graduate on time. 

How do I transfer to a UC?

We’ve already covered some of the basic UC transfer application requirements and a little about the UC transfer application. Now, let’s review the whole “how to transfer to UC” process in some simple steps.

Steps for Transferring to a UC

1. Keep your grades up

You want to be prepared long before the UC transfer application becomes available. If you’re attending a community college, then you likely know you’ll be transferring after two years. Whether you have your dream UC school in mind or not, make sure to keep your GPA up to par. Junior level transfers need a 2.4 GPA as California residents, and nonresidents need a 2.8 GPA.

2. Take recommended and required courses

When you enter a UC school as a transfer student, you’ll still need to meet the basic course requirements. This means having completed the required English and math courses and courses within your major of interest. We recommend checking out the specific courses you need to enter that major without getting behind. Take advantage of Transfer Pathways to stay on track to graduate from your major of choice. Additionally, make sure you check out the basic course requirements long before the UC transfer application deadline. 

3. Fill out the application

After all of that planning and preparation, you can feel confident completing your UC transfer application. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to craft a competitive UC application. You’ll need to do everything you did the first time around for your college application—essays, extracurriculars, academics, etc.

While the UC transfer application doesn’t involve the common app transfer essay, you will need to respond to multiple personal insight questions. These are of utmost importance when it comes to showing admissions who you are. After you’ve submitted the UC transfer application by the appropriate UC transfer application deadline, you’re not completely done! After you apply, you’ll need to send in transcripts and test scores, update your grades, and submit any other pertinent changes.

Impressing UC admissions as a transfer student requires taking special care to create the best UC application possible. And, remember that UC admissions is more or less selective depending on the campus. Therefore, you should carefully take the time to choose the UC campus that is the best fit for you. Additionally, before worrying about the UC transfer application deadline, learn all that you can about the general “how to transfer colleges” process. 

How do UC Transfer Credits work?

UC Transfer Application

An important part of the UC transfer application and college admissions process when transferring colleges are your credits. Obviously, you want your college credits to transfer over to your new UC campus. This is why preparing to transfer long before the UC transfer application is available is extremely important. You can make sure that you are taking the correct courses and that they are in fact transferable. 

The good news is that the majority of students will have already completed many of the general education courses that most majors require. In short, if a completed course has an equivalent offering at a UC campus, then the credits will likely transfer. However, a maximum of 70 credits of lower-division coursework is transferable. 

Most transfer students will want to get ahead on fulfilling their general education requirements long before the UC transfer application deadline. These requirements include courses in a wide variety of disciplines, designed to give students general knowledge in multiple areas before diving into their majors.

If you’re transferring from a California community college, you can actually follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). This way you’ll get ahead on the UC-specific general education requisites during your freshman and sophomore years.

Resources for transferring credits

As some of the most transfer friendly colleges in the nation, UC provides plenty of useful tools for transfers. Use the resources available to make sure you’re taking courses that have transferable credits. Remember, the UC TAP tool is designed to keep you on track. And you can learn more about UC transfer credits here

In the end, the college admissions office at your new school will have the final say on which credits transfer or not. But, you can certainly get ahead by checking the requirements and using the available transfer tools that UC provides.

Exploring Specific UC Transfer Requirements

Every transfer application is different. As such, your UC transfer application will have specific UC transfer requirements. The UC transfer requirements are similar to what you might find if you apply to transfer elsewhere. However, there are a few specific UC transfer application requirements that you should be aware of.

Minimum GPA and transferable courses

Whether you’re transferring from a community college or another four-year institution, the basic requirements for the UC transfer application are the same. The UC transfer application requirements specify that you must have earned at least a 2.4 GPA, or a 2.8 GPA if you don’t live in California.

Regarding coursework, the UC transfer application requires that you’ve taken two transferable courses in English and one in Math or quantitative reasoning. Additionally, you’ll need four courses from at least two of these subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical and biological sciences. 

Beyond fulfilling these basic UC transfer application requirements, you also must fill out the UC transfer application. This includes submitting your application on time and answering the personal insight questions on the UC transfer application. 

Planning for success

The good news is that 3 out of 4 transfer students who apply to UCs get in. However, it’s all about maximizing your chances by acing your UC transfer application. If you’re a community college student, remember that you can use UC TAP (Transfer Admission Planner) to help you plan your UC transfer application. As you’ll recall from earlier in this article, UC TAP is a tool that allows you to enter and track your coursework. That way, you can keep track of the requirements you’ve fulfilled and where you are in the UC transfer application process. 

Now that we’ve looked at some of the UC-specific requirements, let’s go over some specific UC transfer applications. First up is the UCLA transfer application. 

UCLA Transfer Application

UC Transfer Application

The UCLA transfer application is one of the most popular UC transfer applications. Since UCLA is one of the UC schools, transfer applicants will start by filling out the regular UC transfer application. Then, you’ll need to specify that the UCLA campus is your top preference.

The UCLA transfer requirements are nearly the same as the regular UC transfer application requirements. But acing your UCLA transfer application is important–as far as UCs go, UCLA has one of the most selective transfer acceptance rates. The UCLA transfer acceptance rate is only 24%, which means that only around one in four students is granted acceptance by UC admissions.

To apply to UCLA, you have to meet the basic requirements of the UC transfer application requirements. Some of these requirements include having fulfilled a certain number of credits in specific courses, completing the UCLA transfer application or the UC transfer application, and submitting your UCLA transfer application by the UC transfer application deadline.

Application deadlines

Logically, an important one of the UCLA transfer requirements is the application deadline. So, your planning should start by marking your calendar with the UCLA transfer application deadline and the UC transfer application deadline.

The UCLA transfer application deadline for your UCLA transfer application is November 30, and you can submit your application starting on October 1. In January, you can add your final fall grades and planned second-semester coursework to your UCLA transfer application. Remember that adding more details can strengthen your UCLA transfer application–and with such a competitive UCLA transfer acceptance rate, you’ll want to stand out! 

Unique UCLA requirements

While many of the basic requirements for UCLA are similar to those of the general UC requirements, there are some differences in the UCLA transfer requirements. The UCLA transfer application requirements state that you must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher. This is significantly higher than the standard UC transfer application GPA of 2.4 for Californians and 2.8 for everyone else. 

Additionally, for the UCLA transfer application, there is no Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG). If you want to know which colleges have TAG, you can check using the UC TAG matrix. The UCLA transfer application does not give you access to TAG, which according to the UC TAG matrix, only applies to UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Merced, US Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. 

Although your UCLA transfer application will be filed using the same UC transfer application as the other UCs, each UC is different. Though it’s not one of the UCLA transfer requirements, if you want to ace your UCLA transfer application, be sure to make your case for why you want to attend UCLA. Be sure to point out specific things about UCLA that would make the school the best fit for you—just like you would do when filling out any other college application. 

What GPA do you need to transfer to UCLA?

When you’re filling out your UCLA transfer application, you might be wondering whether your GPA is strong enough to get into UCLA.

For the general UC transfer application, you only need a GPA of 2.4 for California state residents and 2.8 for nonresidents. However, for the UCLA transfer application, you’ll need a GPA of 3.2. Since UCLA is a more prestigious and selective university, the UCLA transfer application reflects that. Ultimately, the high GPA required to transfer to UCLA makes sense given the low UCLA transfer acceptance rate. The UCLA transfer acceptance rate is 24%, which is very selective. 

If you’re thinking about transferring colleges, it’s always better to plan and prepare as far ahead as possible. Most importantly, do everything you can to keep your grades up at your first institution. That way, you won’t be deterred by the UCLA transfer application requirements. 

Unlike most undergraduate institutions, where there is often no strict GPA requirement to apply, the UCLA transfer application does have a strict cutoff. This means that if your GPA is lower than 3.2, you won’t fulfill the UCLA transfer requirements, and therefore you won’t be admitted. However, don’t give up! You can still apply to other UCs using the UC transfer application, and those UC transfer requirements are less strict.

Can you transfer to UCLA from a community college?

UC Transfer Application

The short answer to “Can you transfer to UCLA from a community college” is–yes! 

Becoming a UCLA transfer, or any UC transfer, is very achievable when coming from a community college background. In fact, the UC transfer system and the UC transfer application are structured to make it as easy as possible for California community college students to transfer. 


The UC transfer system, including the UCLA transfer system, has many tools in place to help community college students transfer. One of those tools is called ASSIST, a system created to streamline the transfer of credits to California public universities and colleges. If you’re a community college student looking to become a UC transfer, then ASSIST can help you establish the right path forward.

ASSIST can help you figure out whether the courses you’ve taken at your community college will fulfill the UC transfer application requirements. The UC transfer requirements for classes can seem daunting, but platforms like ASSIST make them easier to understand. 

Transfer centers

You can also work with your school’s transfer center to prepare for your UC transfer. Most classes at accredited institutions in the U.S. will count as credits for your UC transfer. So long as you make sure to take the 7 types of classes laid out in the UC transfer requirements. If you take classes that are more vocational in nature or do volunteer work, they will not count as credits in your UC transfer. Classes that are not academic do not count for credits as per the UC transfer requirements. 


As we mentioned earlier, another great tool to help community college students become UC transfers is UC TAP. Remember, UC TAP stands for UC Transfer Admission Planner. It is a free online tool that helps future UC transfer students figure out which courses to take at their community college.  

To get the most out of your UC transfer process, the UC transfer website urges you to do three things: “plan what you want to study, and where, prepare ahead of time with goals in mind, and track your progress until it’s time to transfer.” Tools like UC TAP can help with this process. As soon as you start at your community college, enter your courses into UC TAP. Future UC transfers can use UC TAP to make sure that they’re on track and that all of their credits are transferable. 

UCLA specifics for community college transfers

Now, let’s get a bit more specific to UCLA. To start, make sure you meet the UCLA transfer application deadline. The UCLA transfer application deadline is November 30. 

The UCLA transfer requirements are more academically rigorous than the regular UC transfer requirements. If you’re a student at a community college who wants to transfer to UCLA, your academic performance should be your main priority. If you don’t achieve at least a 3.2 GPA in your two years of school, you will not be able to gain acceptance into UCLA.

The UCLA transfer acceptance rate is around 24%. However, keep in mind that the UCLA transfer acceptance rate doesn’t always tell the full story. The median GPA of admitted students is 3.9. Given the low UCLA transfer acceptance rate, this level of academic excellence isn’t surprising, but it can be a little daunting.

Alternatively, if you’re a community college student, the UCLA transfer acceptance rate is higher for you—around 27%. To make it past the selective UCLA transfer acceptance rate, prioritize your academics and take advantage of tools like UC TAP and Assist. If you start using UC TAP as soon as you enter community college, you’re already off to a great start. 

UC Berkeley Transfer

UC Transfer Application

Another one of the prestigious UCs is Berkeley. Like UCLA, Berkeley is an esteemed college in its own right. Unsurprisingly, many UC transfers want to gain admission to this fantastic university. 

To become a UC Berkeley transfer, you must first fill out the regular UC transfer application by the UC transfer application deadline: November 30. Remember, the UC transfer application deadline is the same for all schools, and you will only submit one application for all of the UCs. 

Berkeley GPA requirement

To be a UC transfer at UC Berkeley, you must also prove that you can handle the school’s academic rigor. This is why the UC transfer application for Berkeley requires a minimum GPA higher than the regular UC transfer minimum. On their transfer requirements, UC Berkeley requires a 3.0 minimum GPA. Berkeley is a more selective school that places priority on academics, so it makes sense that your GPA matters. 

In order to become a successful UC transfer to one of the more selective schools like Berkeley or UCLA, make sure that you’re taking your time on your UC transfer application. Fill it out thoughtfully and completely, with a special focus on the personal insight essays. 

Does Berkeley accept transfer students?

Just like all of the UCs, Berkeley certainly accepts transfer students. Berkeley accepts 26% of transfer applicants, and 95% of those accepted UC transfers are from California community colleges! 

If you’re from a CA community college, the UC transfer process is designed to help you thrive. The UC system wants to take as many community college students as possible and make it easier for those students to become UC transfers. 

Berkeley does take transfer students from other four-year institutions, but it prioritizes community college students. This means that to be a UC transfer at Berkeley from another four-year school, you will be considered based on your “personal circumstances and the availability of space.” 

UC Davis Transfer Requirements

UC Transfer Application

The UC Davis transfer requirements are similar to the requirements of the other UC transfer applications. To fulfill the UC Davis transfer requirements, you will submit the same basic information on the UC transfer application: credits and courses that fulfill the course requirements, personal insight essays, and the UC application fee.

As you’ll see in our discussion of the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate, it’s quite a bit higher than other UCs. But don’t let that fool you! You’ll still need a stellar application to successfully transfer to any of the UC schools. 

UC Davis transfer acceptance rate

So, just what is the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate? The UC Davis transfer acceptance rate is 57%. You’ll notice that the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate is twice as high as the acceptance rates for Berkeley and UCLA. Part of the reason for the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate is that the UC Davis transfer requirements have a different GPA than the other UCs. 

According to the UC Davis transfer requirements, students must have above a 2.8 GPA—this means that the GPA to satisfy the UC Davis transfer requirements is even higher than the one for the general UC transfer application.

UC Davis TAG

Since the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate is higher than other UCs (Berkeley and UCLA), you’ll have a higher chance of getting into UC Davis if you apply through the general transfer UC application. Additionally, UC Davis is one of the schools in the UC TAG matrix. This means that you can apply for guaranteed admission to UC Davis. However, your GPA must be at least 3.2 to gain guaranteed admission through the UC tag program. 

Now, let’s look at another transfer application: the UCSD transfer application. 

UCSD Transfer Requirements

UC Transfer Application

For the UCSD transfer requirements, you’ll need to satisfy all of the regular UC requirements. Predictably, this includes having a certain GPA, meeting the UC transfer application deadline, and having taken the appropriate courses and credits. The UCSD transfer requirements don’t specify that you need to have a higher GPA than the UC minimum. However, it does state that admitted students often exceed that minimum! 

The UCSD transfer acceptance rate is 57%. This UCSD transfer acceptance rate is the same as the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate, so you have a pretty equal chance of getting into either school. Even though the UCSD transfer acceptance rate and the UC Davis transfer acceptance rate are the same, that’s not the case for all UCs—remember that there’s a big range. 

Average GPA of transfer students

You can better understand the UCSD transfer acceptance rate by looking at the middle 50% of the GPA for accepted transfer students, which is between 3.48 and 3.91. This means that 25% of students had a higher GPA than this range, and 25% of students had a lower GPA. So, just because the UCSD transfer requirements don’t require a GPA higher than 2.4, we can clearly see that most admitted students have earned higher GPAs than that minimum. 

The UCSD transfer acceptance rate reflects that 33% of the UCSD class are transfer students. If you’re looking for a class where students come from a variety of educational backgrounds and take different approaches to college admissions, UCSD would be a great place for you! 

Transferring to UCSB

UC Transfer Application

If you want to transfer to UCSB, make sure to follow all of the UC transfer requirements that we’ve already talked about in this guide. 

Students transferring to UCSB should also know the UCSB transfer acceptance rate. The UCSB transfer acceptance rate is 60%, similar to the UCSD transfer acceptance rate. The UCSB transfer acceptance rate was calculated from a candidate pool of over 17,000 applicants, around 10,300 of whom were admitted. 

91% of the students admitted within the UCSB transfer acceptance rate were from California community colleges. You might be noticing a trend—a large majority of the transfer students accepted to UCs are from local community colleges. 

UCSB is part of the UC TAG matrix, which means that you can apply to transfer to UCSB and gain guaranteed admission. In order to participate in TAG, you must have a minimum 3.4 GPA. The UCSB transfer acceptance rate includes students who participate in TAG. So, if you have your heart set on UCSB and have the GPA to get you there, don’t underestimate TAG!

More UC Transfer Requirements

UC Transfer Application

As you may have noticed, UC admissions can be very competitive. Let’s review some things you can do to set yourself up for success in the UC transfer journey.

Transfer pathways

If you want to transfer, the best thing you can do is start planning early. If you’re at a community college, the UCs offer many resources to help you plan and prepare for your transfer to a UC. One of those resources is Transfer Pathways, which helps you figure out what community college classes to take so that you can adequately prepare for a major at a UC. These pathways will help you plan your time at community college, and set you up to apply to a specific major at a number of different UCs. 

General education courses

To ease the transition into academic life at a UC, UCs provide guidelines for how to fulfill general education requirements. Since these requirements can take a while to fulfill, it’s important to start early. IGETC is a series of courses at community colleges that will satisfy the sophomore and freshman requirements for general education at UCs. Note that each campus has slightly different general education requirements, so make sure to check them before taking the IGETC! 

Application essays

Also, don’t forget that your transfer application is also a college application. Through your essays, you want to be able to communicate to the admissions committee why you’re choosing to transfer, and what you want to receive from your education.

The UC application and its essays are distinct within the college application space, and the transfer application is no different. Even when you’re applying as a transfer, learn about ways to make your application stand out

And don’t forget–each school is different! Even if the UCSD transfer requirements look similar to the UC Berkeley transfer requirements, make sure to research each school to make sure that you are specific in your application. As always, prepare all of your materials well before the UC transfer application deadline. (The UC transfer application deadline for all schools is November 30.) 

Which UC accepts the most transfers?

Though all of the UCs are pretty transfer friendly colleges, you may be wondering–which ones take the most transfers?

UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara are the most transfer friendly colleges in the UC system. If you’re considering transferring colleges, especially from a community college in California, you’ll have the best odds of acceptance at UC San Diego. 

UCSD admitted over 12,000 transfer students for Fall 2023 out of over 19,000 applicants. For context, Berkeley had a similar number of applicants and admitted around half as many students. This makes sense, given that the Berkeley acceptance rate is about half of the UCSD acceptance rate and the UCSB transfer acceptance rate. That’s why UCSD and UCSB are the two most transfer friendly colleges in the UC System. 

Understanding the UC Transfer Application – Final Thoughts

When trying to maximize your chance at UC admissions as a transfer student, it’s crucial to understand the UC Transfer application. Here are some final takeaways:

Final Takeaways for UC Transfer

  1. Anyone can transfer into a UC, but the UC transfer process prioritizes California community college students for college admissions.
  2. In order to transfer, you need to have a minimum GPA of 2.4 (2.8 as an out-of-state resident), complete the right number of credits in seven transferable courses, and submit your application by the UC transfer application deadline.
  3. The UCs have programs like TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) and UC TAP (Transfer Admission Planner) to help you keep track of your courses and gain admission into a UC school. You can use the UC TAG matrix to check which schools are eligible for Transfer Admission Guarantee.
  4. Many of the UC schools have different GPA requirements—always research the school you want to gain admission into before you apply.
  5. You will apply to transfer into any of the UCs using the same application.

We hope that this guide on the UC transfer application has helped you feel more confident in transferring to a UC school! Remember that in addition to having a myriad of online resources to guide you in your transfer process, CollegeAdvisor also has a team of expert college admissions advisors. They’ve helped many students transfer to their dream schools, so don’t hesitate to reach out for more personalized guidance.

UC Transfer Application

This article was written by Sarah Kaminski and advisor, Rachel Kahn. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.