6 Things You Must Do to be Competitive for UC Transfer

Getting excited or anxious about how well you are preparing for UC transfer? Here is a list of must-dos to help you gain a competitive edge!

Things You Must Do

  1. Look into the requirements for Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) at the six UC campuses that offer them (Berkeley, UCLA, and San Diego do NOT offer TAG). Carefully review the chart that outlines the TAG program restrictions, filing deadlines, major limitations, and eligibility information (make sure you read the entire document and remember that the information is updated every year, usually by late summer). For links to the TAG program at each UC campus, go to the Campus-Specific Admission Information and Transfer Programs section of my website and look under each UC campus for the link to the TAG program.
  2. While Berkeley, UCLA, and San Diego do NOT offer TAG, each campus has other transfer programs available; go to the Campus-Specific Admission Information and Transfer Programs section of my website and look under each UC campus for the program links.
  3. Make sure you complete your English and Math requirements ASAP. If you are applying for TAG, many campuses set English and Math completion deadlines to Fall term prior to transfer for TAG (UCI is the earliest with some deadlines set for Summer term before the TAG filing period). Even if you are not applying to TAG, you should still complete your English and Math requirements as soon as possible (many UCs shy away from applicants with in-progress Spring English or Math requirements because of the risk of having to cancel the admission offer when applicants drop or receive non-passing grades in those courses).
  4. Academic achievement is the single most important factor in transfer admission evaluation. Your grades and the completion of your major preparation requirements are essential for successful transfer (completion of general education requirements can help speed up your time to graduation). While it’s important for you to demonstrate interest in your major through extracurricular or academic enrichment activities, your grades and coursework should ALWAYS come first.
  5. Aim to complete ALL major preparation requirements by the end of Fall term prior to transfer. When deciding how to schedule major preparation requirements and general education courses, always take the major preparation requirements first. Your academic preparation for your major carries significant weight in the admission evaluation process and having the grades available for evaluation will give you an edge.
  6. If you receive a D or F grade, make sure you repeat the course to erase the bad grade from GPA calculation and fulfill your course requirement (although you MUST report both the non-passing grade AND the repeated grade on the UC Application when you apply). For courses you didn’t pass and don’t intend to repeat, make sure you look into “academic renewal” (AR) at your community college (for other colleges/universities, inquire about “retroactive withdrawal” option); the process is different at every college so make sure you time everything just right so you have it done by the time you apply to the UCs (you MUST report every AR or W you have received on your UC Application).

What You Should NOT Worry About

An occasional withdrawal (“W” grade) is not a big deal; the UCs simply disregard them during admission evaluation (however, you MUST report every W grade you have received on your UC Application). If you have a string of W grades, then you should provide an explanation on your UC Application. Exceptions: 1) Haas School of Business frowns upon W grades in major preparation requirements so you MUST provide an explanation if you have any W grades in those; 2) Merced prefers that you provide an explanation for every W grade you received.

BONUS! Additional UC Transfer Resources

Sign up for the UC Transfer Admission Planner and update your college coursework and grades at the end of each term. The UC TAP allows you to express interest to the UCs where you plan to apply and the information you fill in will be used to apply for TAG.

Check out Quick Reference Guide to UC Admissions, a comprehensive resource guide put together by the UCs that explains EVERYTHING there is to know about freshman and transfer admissions (if you need something in writing as proof, this is where you’ll find it).

Get More Help

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