Admission Information for Transfer Students
General UC Admission Information
The University of California system has 9 undergraduate campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. There is also a San Francisco campus but only graduate-level degrees are offered there. All of the campuses use the same set of admission criteria (Comprehensive Review) and all campuses, except Berkeley and UCLA, offer Transfer Admission Guarantee.
Transfer admission is selective by major so the admit rate will vary quite a bit depending on your chosen major. UC transfer admission generally focuses on grades, completion of your general education and major prerequisite requirements and demonstrated interest in your field of study. Make sure you maintain good grades, complete all required courses and participate in clubs/community service/internship/job in your chosen field to demonstrate your interest.
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UC Admission Stats
You can see detailed admission/enrollment data provided by the UCs at the UC Information Center. The most useful data sets are Transfers by Major data table, which shows the number of applicants, number of admits, admit GPA range, and admit rate by UC campus and major, and Transfer fall admissions summary dashboard, which includes detailed breakdowns of transfer applicants admitted to each UC campus by GPA range.
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UC Admission Information – Major-Specific
Transfer admission is selective by division or major so the admit rate will vary quite a bit depending on your chosen field of study. Listed below are some specific admission information for the majors I receive the most questions about.
Every UC campus offers some form of study in business but not all are Business Administration majors. Many offer business economics, management, and other related majors.
- Berkeley – Business Administration in the Haas School of Business. Many applicants are considered ineligible for admission due to incomplete requirements or incomplete applications. You must complete ALL required major prerequisites AND file the Haas supplemental application on time to be eligible for admission consideration. Fall 2020 transfer admit rate for eligible applicants was 33.8%. Selection is based on student characteristics and achievements that are in line with the core values of the business program (Haas is looking for students who have the right “fit,” students who will contribute to the program and benefit from the education). Study the defining principles of Haas and strive to achieve them in your studies and extracurricular activities. Other business-related majors include Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Operations Research and Management Systems, and Political Economy.
- Davis – Business-related majors include Economics, Managerial Economics, Mathematical Analytics and Operations Research, and Sociology – Organizational Studies.
- Irvine – Business Administration or Business Information Management in the Paul Merage School of Business. The Business Administration and Business Information Management majors are both very competitive, with Fall 2019 admit rates of 12.3% and 16.0%, respectively. Other business-related majors include Business Economics, Economics, Mathematics (concentration in Mathematical Finance), and Quantitative Economics.
- UCLA – Business-related majors include Business Economics and Economics. Both majors are very competitive, with Fall 2020 admit rates of 12% and 17%, respectively. Transfer applicants must be admitted directly into these majors. Other business-related majors include Financial Actuarial Mathematics (37%) and Mathematics/Economics (37%).
- Merced – Business-related majors include Economics and Management and Business Economics.
- Riverside – Business Administration in the School of Business Administration. Other business-related majors include Business Economics, Economics, and Economics/Administrative Studies.
- San Diego – Business-related majors include Economics, Mathematics-Economics, International Studies – Economics, International Studies – International Business, Management Science, and Real Estate & Development.
- Santa Barbara – Business-related majors include Actuarial Science, Economics, Economics and Accounting, and Financial Mathematics and Statistics.
- Santa Cruz – Business-related majors include Business Management Economics, Economics, Environmental Studies/Economics, and Global Economics.
- Berkeley offers Legal Studies for students interested in the law and Nutritional Sciences-Toxicology for students interested in forensic sciences (effects of natural and human-made toxic agents).
- Davis has a Forensic Chemistry Emphasis in its Chemistry major which focuses on the “identification and quantitative analysis of scientific evidence,” a Forensic Science & Regulatory Toxicology Emphasis in its Environmental Toxicology major, and a Law and Society Emphasis in its Sociology major that is “designed for students interested in the study of law, politics, and research.”
- Irvine offers a Criminology, Law and Society major that “focuses on the problem of crime and on understanding the social, cultural, political, and economic forces that interact with the law.”
- San Diego has a Public Law Concentration in its Political Science and a Law and Society Concentration in its Sociology major.
- Santa Cruz offers Legal Studies for students who want to “study legal issues and to use the conceptual framework of the law to illuminate empirical and theoretical concerns in the various disciplines.”
Engineering admission evaluation is focused on grades and completion of your major preparation courses. Extracurriculars in the math, science, and engineering fields, especially in selective research programs, are highly desirable.
- Berkeley College of Engineering publishes a comprehensive Prospective junior transfer FAQs that should answer most questions you have regarding admissions.
- UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has detailed transfer requirements and transfer admission stats available online.
UCs with undergraduate nursing programs:
- UCLA – Nursing. Fall 2020 admit rate was 5%. A supplemental application is REQUIRED for admission consideration. There is a ranked waitlist for the nursing applicants who are not initially accepted. Alternate major is NOT considered.
- Irvine – Nursing Science. Fall 2019 admit rate was 12.8%. There is no separate supplemental application required for admission consideration. Alternate major is considered if the student qualified for UCI admission but was not accepted into nursing.
UCs with undergraduate pharmacology programs:
- Davis – Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Irvine – Pharmaceutical Sciences
- San Diego – Pharmacological Chemistry
- Santa Barbara – Pharmacology
UC Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Transfer Applicants
The UCs have painstakingly put together a UC Campus Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Transfer Applicants table that explains campus-by-campus policies and procedures for evaluating transfer applicants. You can find it in the Quick Reference for Counselors (pages 40-47) that should answer most questions you have about transferring. The table covers topics like how GPA is used for application evaluation, how major preparation is evaluated, if the response to the Personal Insight Questions is used for admission evaluation, and more. Some answers are described in detail by individual campuses and are worth taking some time to read through.
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Information for U.S. Veterans
U.S. veterans receive priority consideration when applying to the UCs. The UC Office of the President has a dedicated Veterans Resources website that provides information on educational benefits, general admissions information, and contact information of veteran service representatives at each UC campus. Remember that veterans are encouraged to use the Personal Insight Questions section of the application to describe how their military service has been instrumental in developing their educational plans; see Veterans Resources – How to apply for details.
Dependents of U.S. veterans who meet eligibility requirements can qualify for College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit that waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus.
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Intercampus (UC-to-UC) Transfer
It is possible to transfer from one UC campus to another but the requirements can be difficult to decipher since you must complete the major prerequisites for the destination UC, not your current UC, in order to be competitive for admission consideration. The UCs have published campus-by-campus list of major preparation paths for certain majors and that is a good place to start your research on intercampus transfer requirements.
To minimize delays in graduation, you should also complete the general education (lower-division) requirements at your UC campus prior to the end of your sophomore year. The UC reciprocity agreement allows you to use the requirements from your UC campus to fulfill the requirements at the destination UC campus. You may still successfully transfer without completing these requirements; however, you may be required to comply with the lower-division requirements at the destination UC after transfer and that could prolong your time to graduation.
Berkeley generally discourages intercampus transfer. Applicants with compelling reason for needing the transfer and those who have exceptional academic records and/or leadership potentials are more likely to be considered for admission. UCLA gives the same priority to intercampus transfer applicants as California community college transfer applicants. The rest of the UC campuses have varying degrees of preference but all will consider intercampus transfers.
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Transfer Admission Guarantees (TAG)
See the Transfer Admission Guarantee Matrix for complete information. You are allowed to TAG with only one UC campus, so choose wisely. Some UCs require you to meet the TAG filing requirements as early as the end of summer term before you apply, so make sure you fulfill all requirements within the timeline imposed by those campuses. To start the process, you may complete the Transfer Admissions Planner (TAP) at any time and use that form to file for TAG during September prior to you filing your UC Application. Additional campus-specific TAG information can be found below in the Campus-Specific Admission Information and Transfer Programs section.
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Campus-Specific Admission Information and Transfer Programs
- No Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Transfer Programs: Transfer Alliance Project (caters to underserved students) and Starting Point Mentorship Program (all California community college students are eligible to participate)
- Berkeley Transfer Admit Data
- Berkeley Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- Davis Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Davis Transfer Admit Data
- Davis Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria (scroll down to “Selection Criteria”)
- Irvine Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Irvine Transfer Admit Data
- Irvine Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- No Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Transfer Program: Transfer Alliance Program
- UCLA Transfer Admit Data
- UCLA Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- Merced Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Merced Transfer Admit Data
- Merced Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- Riverside Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Riverside Transfer Admit Data
- Riverside Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- No Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Transfer Program: UniversityLink
- San Diego Transfer Admit Data
- San Diego Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- “Capped” Majors
Your chance of admission is NOT affected as long as you select an alternate major that is not “capped” and does not require completion of major preparation coursework.
- Seven-College System
Each of the seven colleges has its own theme, additional general education requirements, traditions, and student body; so be sure to rank the colleges based on your preference. How you rank the seven colleges will NOT affect your chance of admission.
- Santa Barbara Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Santa Barbara Transfer Admit Data
- Santa Barbara Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria
- Santa Cruz Transfer Admission Guarantee
- Santa Cruz Transfer Admit Data
- Santa Cruz Campuswide Transfer Selection Criteria (scroll down to “Selection Criteria”)