Transfer Admission and Selection: 2014-2015
The admission and selection process for transfers to UC Santa Cruz reflects the academic rigor and preparation needed for admission to a major research institution. Meeting the minimum qualifications for the university does not guarantee you admission as a transfer student. Students are encouraged to achieve well beyond the minimum qualifications to enhance their chances for selection, especially by completing as many of the lower-division courses required by their intended major as possible.
Transfer applicants are thoroughly reviewed to determine their full spectrum of academic and personal achievements, including transfer course work completed for their major. UCSC uses faculty-approved criteria to determine which transfer students will be selected for admission. UC Santa Cruz gives the highest priority to junior-level transfer students coming from California community colleges.
Qualifying for UC Transfer Admission
To qualify for admission to UC as a junior-level transfer student, you must fulfill both of the following criteria. Keep in mind that meeting these minimum requirements is not sufficient to gain admission to the campus or to the major of your choice.
1. Complete at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of UC-transferable college credit with a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.40. No more than 14 semester/21 quarter units may be taken on a pass/not pass basis.
2. Complete the following course pattern requirements, earning a grade of C (2.00) or better in each course:
- Two UC-transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) in English composition; and
- One UC-transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning; and
- Four UC-transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
Non-residents of California
The minimum admission requirements are the same, except that you must have a minimum GPA of 2.80 in all UC-transferable college course work.
Deadline for meeting transfer requirements
UC Santa Cruz requires that all transfer requirements be completed by the end of the spring term 2014 if you are applying for fall 2014. If you plan to complete the required courses in English composition and mathematics in spring 2014, you must have demonstrated adequate preparation in the related prerequisite course work. If any of the prerequisites are met through a placement exam, this information should be noted in the additional comments section of the application.
Admission by Exception
Admission by Exception is granted to a very small percentage of applicants who do not meet the UC transfer requirements. Such factors as academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and/or special circumstances, socioeconomic background, special talents and/or achievements, contributions to the community, and the quality of your personal statement are taken into consideration. UCSC does not grant exceptions for the required courses in English composition or mathematics.
UC-qualified transfer students will be selected primarily on the basis of academic performance and preparation, as assessed by a comprehensive review of the following:
- GPA in all UC-transferable courses
- completion of and performance in lower-division prerequisite courses in your proposed major
- completion of a specified pattern of courses that meet general education requirements
- participation in academically selective honors programs and performance in honors courses
Other factors that may be assessed include outstanding performance in one or more academic subject areas, special projects, or programs; talents, achievements, experiences, or interests that will contribute to the vitality and educational environment of the campus; and special circumstances or personal challenges, especially as they relate to the social or educational environment(s), that have affected your life experience.
Please note that, due to the high volume of applications that UC Santa Cruz receives, the campus is open to junior-level transfer students only. Lower-division transfer students (sophomores) are not considered for admission to UCSC.
UC Santa Cruz does not accept students who have completed 90 UC-transferable semester units (135 quarter units) or more.
Students will be granted up to 70 semester/105 quarter units of credit for lower-division course work completed at any institution or any combination of institutions. For units beyond the maximum, subject credit for appropriate course work taken in excess of this unit limitation will be granted and may be used to satisfy requirements.
- Units earned through: AP, IB, and/or A-Level examinations are not included in the limitation and do not put applicants at risk of being denied admission.
- Units earned at any UC campus (Extension, summer, cross/concurrent and regular academic year enrollment) are not included in the limitation but are added to the maximum transfer credit allowed and may put applicants at risk of being denied admission due to excessive units.
Second baccalaureate applicants
Second baccalaureate candidates are evaluated on a case-by-case basis when enrollment allows. Check this web site for more information in the fall before applying.
Applicants with international academic records
UCSC welcomes transfer students who have completed course work outside the United States. A record of course work from collegiate institutions and universities outside of the U.S. must be submitted for evaluation. We require all applicants whose first language is not English to adequately demonstrate English competency as a part of the application process. Students may demonstrate competency by completing one of the following:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 550 on the paper-based or 80 on the Internet-based test
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of 7 or higher
- Completion of two UC-transferable English composition courses (not ESL) in the U.S. with grades of B (3.00) or better
For IELTS, UC Santa Cruz only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Please contact the test center where you took the test directly and request that your test scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution.
Preparing to Transfer
— Preparing for your major —
It is expected that junior-level transfer students will complete as many of the lower-division courses as possible for their chosen major prior to transferring to UCSC. This is particularly important if your major requires preparatory courses in mathematics and the sciences. Strong preparation will ease your transition to the university, shorten your time to degree, and leave more flexibility in your schedule to explore additional academic interests. Information regarding the required courses for each major can be found in the UC Santa Cruz General Catalog and ASSIST.
Most transfer students are admitted to the campus as proposed majors (as listed on the UC application). We strongly advise junior-level transfer students to research the requirements for their intended major in the UC Santa Cruz General Catalog or on the UCSC academic department's web site. Many majors require specific course work and/or GPA levels for acceptance. Junior transfers are required to declare their major no later than their second quarter of attendance.
Art screens for major preparation and requires portfolio review. All majors in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering screen for major preparation, as do Biological Sciences (including Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Economics majors, and Psychology majors.
All other majors: During the declaration of major process, which occurs once you are already enrolled at UC Santa Cruz, other departments may screen for admission to their majors using criteria well beyond minimum admission requirements. For further information, please consult advising.ucsc.edu/roadmap/premajors, the UC Santa Cruz General Catalog, and the appropriate UCSC academic department web site.
UC Santa Cruz Transfer Admission Guarantee (UCSC TAG)
The UC Santa Cruz Transfer Admission Guarantee (UCSC TAG) Program is designed for California community college transfer students at the junior level. The UC TAG application must be submitted online between September 1 and 30, 2013 for fall 2014 consideration. UCSC accepts transfer admission agreements for fall quarter only.
Application filing period
The application for fall quarter is available October 1, and the filing period is November 1-30.
Applying for admission
Apply to UC Santa Cruz by completing the UC application.
The online application explains the filing process and instructions for submitting your application.
To ensure that you will be considered for admission to the university, you must file your application during the November filing period shown above.
Financial aid and scholarships
All applicants are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 2 online (the School Code for UCSC is 001321). This application is used to determine eligibility for all grants, scholarships, work-study, and federal education loans for students and parents. California residents must also submit a GPA Verification Form by March 2 to be considered for the state Cal Grant (www.calgrants.org). Detailed information is available at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office web site.
If you are not eligible to submit a FAFSA, are a California resident, and think you will qualify to be considered for the AB540 Nonresident Tuition Waiver, apply for Cal Grants, UC grants, and UC scholarships using the California Dream Application. You must also submit the GPA Verification Form as described above. More information is available at the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office web site.
Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan
UC's Blue and Gold Opportunity plan guarantees that eligible California resident undergraduates with family incomes up to $80,000 will receive gift assistance that will, at a minimum, cover all their mandatory systemwide fees during the academic year. Blue and Gold Opportunity Site
Comprehensive articulation information, including transferable course agreements (TCAs) for all California community colleges, is available on the ASSIST web site.
Two years of university housing are guaranteed for new transfer students entering single-student housing, as long as all deadlines are met. New transfer students requesting university housing are housed in the Transfer Community at Porter College.
Contact your representative
Prospective students and their families in California, as well as California community college counselors, may contact an Admissions Regional Representative for more information. Please see our Regional Representatives page. Out-of-state students may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and international students may contact email@example.com.
The Slug Connection
Sign up for the Slug Connection, your personalized online connection to UC Santa Cruz Admissions! Includes information about important dates and deadlines, financial aid, majors, and specialized information for military veterans and former foster youth. admissions.sa.ucsc.edu/prospect
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064
Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS)