Berkeley Transfer Admission Update

This is a repost of my last public Berkeley transfer admission update (from Fall 2016) and, no, I do NOT have a separate UCLA transfer admission update. I no longer make the updates publicly available due to multiple incursions by the UCs.

To obtain current updates, you have the option to wade through comprehensive information provided by the UCs in the Quick Reference Guide to UC Admissions (86 pages; about half of the guide covers transfer admissions) or the presentation slides/notes from the September 2023 UC Ensuring Transfer Success conference. If you want to get my notes (include my opinions and interpretation of the updates) of the sessions I attended (systemwide/campus updates, advanced evaluation, and UC Application), you may purchase a back issue of my September 2023 transfer newsletter here for $25 (remain on the payment page after you pay and you will be redirected to the PDF – please note, purchase of a digital product is NONREFUNDABLE).

Most of the information below was accumulated from previous years and is, for the most part, still valid.

General Information

  • Transfer admission evaluation emphasizes academic preparation (you MUST complete your major prerequisite requirements and also the appropriate general education pattern if applicable; NEVER trade grades or completion of your required courses for extracurricular activities), although the campus is very interested in students who will take advantage of what Berkeley has to offer and become the agents of social change.
  • You can see the admission stats and profile for freshman and transfer applicants on the Berkeley website here.

Transfer Admission Information

The bare minimum you have to achieve to be considered for admission:

  • Complete the minimum 60-semester/90-quarter UC-transferable units by the end of Spring term prior to transfer which MUST include:
    • 7-course pattern (IGETC is generally ok for L&S majors but typically not applicable to majors in other colleges), AND
    • Major prerequisite requirements (super important!)

To be competitive for admission evaluation, you need:

  • Very strong UC-transferable GPA (including Fall term prior to transfer, from the Transfer Academic Update to be submitted in January); the minimum GPA requirement for admission consideration is 3.0 but you need to aim for at least a 3.5 to be competitive just for nonselective majors (higher for selective majors)
  • Sustained academic achievement or upward trend in grades
  • Completion of all major prep AND all breadth requirements by the end of Spring term prior to transfer
  • Strong Personal Insight Questions response – clearly stated interest in your major
  • Activities/Awards/Volunteering/Employment
  • Additional consideration given to the following special populations (please explain what you are able to achieve given your circumstances!):
    • U.S. Military (veterans, active duty military programs such as MECEP or STA-21)
    • Re-entry (25+ years old)
    • Student-parent

Elaboration on Activities/Awards/Volunteering/Employment:

  • Demonstrated interest in the major
  • Extracurricular accomplishments
  • Employment – hours and level of responsibility
  • Personal qualities – leadership, motivation, determination, etc. (leadership doesn’t necessarily mean leadership position, but initiative and drive to achieve)
  • Potential to contribute to the campus

Remember that all factors, both academic and non-academic, are considered in context of each applicant’s circumstances, resources, opportunities, and accomplishments. Also remember that California residents transferring from California community college are ALWAYS given priority for admission consideration.

Berkeley is particularly interested in applicants who show:

  • Demonstrated interest in their intended major and intellectual curiosity
  • Evidence of ability to think and write analytically
  • Personal qualities such as maturity, perseverance, tenacity, leadership, and/or service to others
  • Not just what they have done but the choices they’ve made and what they gained as a result of those choices

In the June 2023 Annual Report on Undergraduate Admissions Requirements and Comprehensive Review, Berkeley provided an updated description of how transfer admission evaluation is conducted.

Special Notes for the Different Colleges

College of Chemistry – Remember that the majors in this college are not really set up for pre-med; you really need to just be interested in chemistry. IGETC ok but may not satisfy general education requirements.

College of Engineering – 100% completion of “Required Courses” is a MUST for admission consideration. You are expected to complete at least some “recommended” courses even if your home college does NOT offer any “recommended” courses (look at surrounding community colleges or courses offered online). The 3.5 minimum GPA is enforced! IGETC is not required nor recommended.

College of Environmental Design – You are expected to take the major prep courses at one of the 26 community colleges that offer articulated courses even if your home college does NOT offer them; students without articulated major prep are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Haas School of Business – All prerequisites MUST be completed within 5 years prior to enrollment at Berkeley and taken with a letter grade. There is no minimum GPA requirement; you won’t be screened out based on GPA only. IGETC is not required and not recommended; completion of Haas-specific breadth is helpful but not required (does not affect admission evaluation). There are no specializations within the major.

College of Letters & Science – You are evaluated based on major prep but you are admitted to the college only, not into the major (you must petition to declare the major when you get to Berkeley). IGETC or L&S Essential Skills (Reading and Composition, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foreign Language) is required for admission consideration. There is a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement, which you must achieve by the end of Fall term. For Fall 2021, Berkeley’s Admissions, Enrollment, and Preparatory Education (AEPE) Committee (part of the Academic Senate) published an updated transfer admission scoring guideline (look under “Committee Resources, Documents, and Links”).

Rausser College of Natural Resources – The majors provide a solid science foundation with a social science twist; the Personal Insight Questions response is extremely important – you must articulate passion for your intended major. All science requirements must be completed to be competitive for admission. IGETC ok but may not satisfy all general education requirements.

Other Important Information

Please remember that Berkeley requires a separate update (MAP@Berkeley) apart from the Transfer Academic Update which you must fill out by the end of January. Failure to complete the Berkeley update will render you ineligible for admission consideration to that campus.

If you plan to use coursework from a 4-year college or non-California Community College to satisfy the Reading and Composition requirement, check the articulated Reading & Composition course list.

Miscellaneous Information

  • The Spring (deferred) admission only occurs in the humanities and social sciences divisions.
  • Transfer applications to the College of Letters & Science are evaluated by the admissions office staff and some external readers. Transfer applicants to other colleges/schools (Chemistry, Haas, etc.) are evaluated by faculty, dean, or student affairs staff within those colleges/schools.

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