Transfer Admission and Selection: 2014-2015

Graduation 2012. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

Late Application Appeal Instructions – Fall 2014

The fall 2014 application filing period for undergraduate admission is closed. In order to appeal for late application consideration for fall 2014, please provide the following:

Freshman Admission:

  • A letter of appeal indicating why you missed the filing deadline and why you feel we should consider your late application.
  • Your birth date, city of permanent residence, intended major, self-reported SAT/ACT test scores (or indicate if you took the December test), a current e-mail address, and a current mailing address.
  • Attach unofficial copies of your high school and all college transcripts to your letter.
  • If you have already submitted a UC application and want to add UCSC, please include your UC application number in your letter of appeal.

Junior-level Transfer Admission:

  • A letter of appeal indicating why you missed the filing deadline and why you feel we should consider your late application.
  • Your birth date, city of permanent residence, your intended major, a current e-mail address, and a current mailing address.
  • Attach unofficial copies of all college transcripts to your letter, including course work in progress or planned.
  • If you have already submitted a UC application and want to add UCSC, please include your UC application number in your letter of appeal.

(Our campus did not accept applications from lower-division transfer students or from applicants in senior standing, second baccalaureate, or limited status. Students in any of these categories seeking to apply should submit the same information as described under the Junior-level Transfer Admission section above.)

All appeals for late applications should be addressed to:

Blia Yang, Associate Director of Admissions
UCSC Office of Admissions - Hahn
1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Our office will respond to your appeal within three weeks of its receipt.

Please note that UC Santa Cruz does not plan to accept applications for winter quarter 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.

Transfer Student Housing
UCSC Transfer Admission Guarantee

Qualifying for UC Transfer Admission

California residents

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.

Selection Criteria

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.

  • Class standing

    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, the UC Santa Cruz General Catalog, and the appropriate UCSC academic department web site.

Related Information

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.

More information on UCSC TAG

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 ( 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, and international students may contact

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.

Contact Information

Campus Address
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, California 95064

Office of Admissions
(831) 459-4008; español: (831) 459-2594

Campus Tours

Financial Aid and Scholarship Office
(831) 459-2963

Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP)
(831) 459-2296

Disability Resource Center (DRC)
Voice: (831) 459-2089
TTY: (831) 459-4806

Housing Office
(831) 459-2394

Guide for Parents and Guardians

UCSC Home Page

Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS)
(831) 459-2552

See Also