Transferring to UC Santa Cruz

Koi pond at Porter College, home of the Transfer Community. Photo by Jennifer Wright.

Q: What are the deadlines for transfer applications?

A: Fall 2022: The UC Application will open on August 1, 2021, and the filing period is November 1-30, 2021.

Q: What are the academic criteria for transfer admission and selection?

A: For a full description of the academic criteria for transfer admission, please see the Transfer Admission and Selection Guide.

Q: Are there any selective majors at UC Santa Cruz?

A: Most transfer students are admitted to the campus as prospective 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 website. Many majors require specific coursework and/or GPA levels for acceptance. Junior transfers are required to declare their major no later than their second quarter of attendance.

  • Art majors: Junior transfer students are accepted into the art major after passing the portfolio review. The UC application and the Art Department Portfolio Review application are separate and independent processes. Being accepted to UC Santa Cruz does not guarantee that you will pass the portfolio review, and passing the portfolio review does not guarantee admission to UC Santa Cruz. More information on the portfolio review can be found at or by calling the Art Department at (831) 459-3551.

  • UCSC screens for major preparation in over half its majors.For a full list of selective majors and detailed information on requirements, please see our Screening Major Selection Criteria page. We also have provided a list of majors that are currently non-screening.

  • 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 website.

Q: What kinds of courses can I transfer?

A: UC Santa Cruz accepts courses for transfer credit whose content (as described in the school's course catalog) is similar to courses offered in any regular session at any University of California campus. Final decisions about the transferability of courses are only made after an applicant has been admitted and submitted official transcripts.

Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST website.

Q: What is the maximum number of credits I can transfer into UC Santa Cruz with?

A: The University will award graduation credit for up to 70 semester (105 quarter) units of coursework transferred from community colleges. Courses in an excess of 70 semester units will receive subject credit and may be used to satisfy University subject requirements.

Q: Can I fulfill lower-division requirements with the IGETC?

A: The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a series of California community college courses prospective transfer students may complete to satisfy the general education requirements at both the University of California and the California State University.

If you have chosen to follow the IGETC, you must complete it before you transfer; otherwise you will be required to satisfy the specific lower-division requirements of UC Santa Cruz.

The IGETC is not an admissions requirement. However, completing the general education requirements--either through IGETC or by taking courses that satisfy UC Santa Cruz's specific general education requirements--may improve your chances for admission to a competitive or specific program at UC Santa Cruz.

IGETC requirements must be completed with a grade of C or better. A grade of Credit or Pass may be used if the community college's policy states that it is equivalent to a grade of a C or better.

IGETC course work does not need to be completed all at the same community college. Courses taken for IGETC credit may be used only once to satisfy a subject area, even if they are listed in more than one subject area. However, courses taken for IGETC credit can also be used to satisfy UC Santa Cruz's lower-division major requirements.

However, students planning to major in the sciences and engineering are not well served by completing IGETC due to the extensive lower-division major preparation course load and related prerequisite course requirements. Students interested in these high-unit majors are encouraged to complete courses equivalent to the specific program’s lower-division major requirements first and the university’s broader general education equivalents second. Please see ASSIST to identify these course equivalents.

Q: What if I don't fulfill the general education requirements before I transfer?

A: If you don't satisfy general education requirements before transferring, you'll need to satisfy them while you're a student at UC Santa Cruz.

Q: What are the requirements to apply for the TAG program?

A: For information about UCSC's Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program and a link to the online TAG application, please see the UCSC TAG page.

Q: What is UC TAP?

A: UC Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP) is an online tool to help prospective transfer students track and plan their coursework. If you are planning to transfer to UC Santa Cruz, we highly encourage you to sign up for UC TAP. Enrolling in UC TAP is also your first step to completing a UCSC Transfer Admission Guarantee (UCSC TAG).

Q: When are acceptance notices sent out?

A: For fall quarter acceptance, notices are sent March 17-April 30.

Q: What are the Cross-Campus and Simultaneous Enrollment programs?

A: Undergraduate students enrolled at UCSC may enroll, without formal admission and without payment of additional university fees, in courses at another UC campus on a space-available basis at the discretion of the appropriate campus authorities on both campuses. Cross-Campus Enrollment refers to courses taken through UC Online, and Simultaneous Enrollment is for courses taken in person.

Q: Where can I go for more information?

A: More information can be found in on the UC website for transfer students. UCSC also offers transfer information sessions on selected Fridays.