Transfer Admission and Selection: Fall 2021 and Winter 2022

UC Santa Cruz is pleased to announce that applications for winter 2022 will be open to transfers in the following majors. The application filing period is July 1-31, 2021.

Division of Arts, Humanities, Physical & Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism
  • Applied Physics
  • Art
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biology, B.A., B.S.
  • Business Management Economics
  • Chemistry
  • Cognitive Science
  • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Earth Sciences
  • Earth Sciences/Anthropology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Economics
  • Economics/Mathematics
  • Education, Democracy and Justice
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Studies/Biology
  • Environmental Studies/Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Studies/Economics
  • Feminist Studies
  • Film and Digital Media
  • Global Economics
  • History
  • History of Art and Visual Culture
  • Human Biology
  • Jewish Studies
  • Language Studies
  • Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Politics
  • Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology
  • Legal Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Marine Biology
  • Mathematics, B.A., B.S.
  • Mathematics Education
  • Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Music, B.A., B.M.
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Physics (Astrophysics)
  • Plant Sciences
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Science Education
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Studies
  • Theater Arts


Jack Baskin School of Engineering

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science: Computer Game Design
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Robotics Engineering

Please note: The UC Application filing period for fall 2021 is now closed.

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.

Transfer applicants are thoroughly reviewed to determine their full spectrum of academic and personal achievements, including transfer coursework completed for their major. UC Santa Cruz uses faculty-approved criteria to determine which transfer students will be selected for admission. Junior-level transfer students selected for admission are expected to graduate within two years of their initial enrollment. 

Winter 2022 Selection Criteria

To be considered for admission by UC Santa Cruz, transfer students must have completed the following no later than the end of the fall 2021 term:

  1. Complete at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of UC-transferable coursework.
  2. Complete the following UC-transferable course pattern with minimum C (2.00) grades. Each course must be at least 3 semester units/4 quarter units:
    1. Two English composition courses
    2. One course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning
    3. Four courses from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral science, and physical and biological sciences
  3. Earn at least an overall UC GPA of 2.40, but higher GPAs are more competitive.
  4. Complete required lower-division courses with the required grades/GPA for the intended major.

For students applying to majors that will be screening for completion of major preparation, please visit the *major-specific screening criteria for your proposed major. 

Students applying to Applied Physics, Physics, Physics (Astrophysics) and Sociology are expected to complete additional coursework noted below to be considered for admission.

Applied Physics: In addition to the screening criteria, completion of PHYS 5D and MATH 23B and MATH 21 and MATH 24 with grades of C or better is required.

Physics: In addition to the screening criteria, completion of PHYS 5D and MATH 23B and MATH 21 and MATH 24 with grades of C or better is required.

Physics (Astrophysics): In addition to the screening criteria, completion of PHYS 5D and MATH 23B and MATH 21 and MATH 24 with grades of C or better is required.

Sociology: In addition to the screening criteria, completion of SOCY 3A with a grade of C or better is required.

Other criteria that may be considered by UCSC include:

  • Completion of UC Santa Cruz General Education courses or IGETC
  • Completion of an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)
  • Participation in honors programs
  • Performance in honors courses

Lower-division transfer students

UC Santa Cruz will admit a limited number of transfer students before they reach junior standing, provided all required coursework is completed prior to enrollment.

Non-residents of California

The selection criteria are the same as for California residents, except that you must have a minimum GPA of 2.80 in all UC-transferable college coursework, although higher GPAs are more competitive.

Applicants with international academic records

UC Santa Cruz welcomes transfer students who have completed coursework outside the United States. A record of coursework 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.

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 your answers to the Personal Insight Questions are taken into consideration. UC Santa Cruz does not grant exceptions for the required courses in English composition or mathematics.

Please note:

Students who have completed 90 UC-transferable semester units (135 quarter units) or more are not considered for admission to UCSC, except in the following circumstances:

Students will be granted up to 70 semester/105 quarter units of credit for lower-division coursework completed at any institution or any combination of institutions. For units beyond the maximum, subject credit for appropriate coursework 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 candidates are evaluated on a case-by-case basis when enrollment allows. Check this website for more information in the fall before applying.

Related Information

UC Santa Cruz Transfer Admission Guarantee (UCSC TAG)

Application filing period

Financial aid and scholarships


In most years, UC Santa Cruz offers a one-year housing guarantee for transfer students. However, since it is not possible to know at this time whether the COVID-19 pandemic will result in changes to student housing and residential life, the University of California is not offering a housing guarantee.

Contact your representative

Prospective students and their families in California, as well as California community college counselors, may contact an Admissions Representative for more information. Please see our Admissions Representatives page.

See Also