Admission as a Transfer Student

The University of California defines a transfer applicant as a student who has been a registered student in a college or university, or in college-level extension classes following high school graduation. Summer session attended immediately following high school graduation is excluded in this determination. If you are a transfer applicant, you cannot disregard your college record and apply for admission as a freshman.

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. Meeting the minimum qualifications for the university does not guarantee you admission as a transfer student. It is expected that students will have completed the lower-division courses required by their intended major prior to transfer. See Screening Major Selection Criteria for an annual listing of all majors that require specific courses/grades prior to transfer to UCSC.

Transfer applicants are thoroughly reviewed to determine their full spectrum of academic and personal achievements, including transfer coursework completed for their intended major. UCSC uses faculty-approved criteria to determine which transfer students will be selected for admission. UC Santa Cruz gives the highest priority to junior-level transfer students coming from California community colleges.

Information regarding the admission and selection process for UC Santa Cruz can be accessed at the Undergraduate Admissions website. This site provides information on the minimum qualifications for the University of California for students in California, in other states, and outside the U.S.

UC Santa Cruz Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) Program

UC Santa Cruz's TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) Program is designed for California community college transfer students at the junior level. The benefits of participating in UCSC TAG include informational mailings and invitations to events. All California community colleges participate in the UC Santa Cruz TAG program.

The UC TAG application must be submitted online between September 1 and September 30 for the following fall quarter. UCSC accepts transfer admission agreements for fall quarter only.

Further information may be found at Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) Program.

UC Transfer Admission Planner (TAP)

The UC Transfer Admission Planner is an online tool designed to help prospective UC students transferring from California community colleges track and plan their coursework, including those students who are seeking a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) with one of the participating UC campuses.

Further information may be found at UC Transfer Admission Planner.

Credit for Courses Taken Elsewhere

The university gives unit credit to transfer students for courses they have completed at other accredited colleges and universities, including courses taken at recognized institutions outside of the U.S. To be accepted for credit, your courses must be comparable to those offered at the university, as determined by the UC Santa Cruz Undergraduate Admissions Office. The UC Santa Cruz department sponsoring your major decides which transfer courses may be used to satisfy major requirements.

A total of 70 semester units (105 quarter units) of lower-division credit toward a university degree may be earned at other colleges/universities. Only subject credit will be granted for courses taken in excess of that cap. Please note that credit from another University of California campus is exempt from this limitation.

Applicants will not be considered for admission if they have completed 90 semester units (135 quarter units) or more of UC–transferable upper-division and lower-division combined credit. If students have earned all of their credits as lower-division credits, they are not affected by this limit. All coursework completed at California community colleges is considered lower division. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBH) credit is permitted to exceed the 90-semester unit maximum by the number of AP or IBH units granted.

Opportunities to take courses at UC Santa Cruz as a nonmatriculated student are available through Summer Session, Concurrent Enrollment through UC Extension, and Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment.

UC Santa Cruz Transfer Services

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides information to all students who wish to transfer to UC Santa Cruz. For prospective transfer students and their families,  Undergraduate Admissions offers Transfer Information Sessions. Transfer Information Sessions are small-group meetings in which an adviser presents information about transfer admissions and transfer-related student services. Please note that pre-evaluations of transcripts are not available as part of the sessions. These sessions are designed for students who have not yet applied to UCSC. Students and their families may make reservations at the Transfer Information Sessions web page.

Student-led guided tours take place year-round and also require advance reservations. Please see the Undergraduate Admissions website to make a reservation.

In addition, UC Santa Cruz Admissions counselors visit many community colleges in California. Check with your counseling department or transfer center to determine whether a UCSC counselor will be visiting your community college.

UC Santa Cruz Office of Admissions Transfer Preparation Program (TPP)

The UC Santa Cruz Transfer Preparation Program (TPP) supports prospective transfer students from California community colleges and assists them in enrolling at UC Santa Cruz, as well as at other campuses. TPP Admissions representatives work most closely with students who are attending one of the 13 community colleges in the region to plan a successful transfer program, but will assist any California community college student who has questions.

The Transfer Preparation Program also collaborates with programs and initiatives that strengthen the transfer process and support individual students in making a successful transition to a four-year institution.

Further information may be found at the Transfer Preparation Program web page.