How to Transfer From One UC to Another

Make a seamless switch from one University of California campus to another.

By Ashley Henshaw | February 17, 2017

UC Santa Cruz has an entire college dedicated to transfer students.
Photo: UCSC.edu

The University of California (UC) has nine undergraduate campuses, all of which offer excellent academic programs. If you’re a current University of California student who loves the UC system but doesn’t feel like your campus is the right fit, you may be able to apply for an intercampus transfer. Whether it’s for a specific academic program, the desire to live in a different area of the state, or for personal reasons, the move will go easier if you plan ahead and follow this advice.

Though intercampus transfers aren’t a priority for UC admissions teams, it’s important to pursue this change if you truly believe it will improve your academic experience or personal circumstances.

Meet the Requirements

Students can apply for an intercampus transfer if they are currently or were previously enrolled in a regular semester at a UC school, provided that they have not been registered subsequently in a regular term at another college or university. Make sure you send the appropriate transcripts from your current or previous UC campus when you apply.

Follow UC’s Recommendations

Students who wish to transfer from one UC campus to another are encouraged to consider the following recommendations to help increase their chances of being admitted to a different UC school:

  • Focus on your schoolwork. You’ll need to leave your current UC campus in good academic standing to be considered for a transfer to a different campus.
  • Before applying for a transfer, complete the General Education (GE) requirement for the UC campus where you’re currently enrolled. In most cases, this will exempt you from the GE requirement at your next UC school.
  • Don’t wait until it’s too late. Some UC campuses do not accept intercampus transfers from students who have completed more than 120 quarter (80 semester) units.
  • Explain your situation. Intercampus transfers are considered with your personal circumstances in mind, so be upfront about why you want to switch campuses.
  • Remember that availability plays a key role. Junior-level applicants who attended a California community college get first priority among transfer applicants. Furthermore, the space available in your prospective major may also play a role in the admissions decision.

Understand the Application Process


When it comes to applying for an intercampus transfer, UC students should approach the application process like any other transfer student. There are three key factors you should be aware of when applying as a transfer student:

  • Academic requirements: Transfer applicants are expected to meet minimum academic requirements in order to be eligible for admission. Your GPA and individual course grades will be scrutinized by the admissions team. In addition, your course choices will also be considered; each UC school will want to see your progress towards completing both your GE requirement and lower-level classes for your major.
  • Credit transfers: Because you’re potentially moving from one UC campus to another, most of your credits are likely to transfer provided that you received a grade of C or higher. However, intercampus transfer applicants should still use the Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer (ASSIST) online tool to confirm which credits will count. Check with a college counselor on your campus to make sure you’re signing up for the appropriate courses to be considered for admission at another campus.
  • Comprehensive review: Each UC campus uses a set of eight criteria in order to evaluate transfer applicants. In addition to academic requirements, this review includes consideration of a student’s personal interests and talents. Intercampus transfer applicants can use this information to boost their chances of acceptance by demonstrating their strengths and achievements. The eight criteria are as follows:

1. Completion of the appropriate number and pattern of courses to meet general education requirements
2. Completion of the appropriate number and pattern of courses to provide continuity with upper-division courses in the student’s chosen major
3. GPA in all transferable courses
4. Participation in academically selective honors courses or programs
5. Special talents, awards in a particular field, special interests, leadership experience, significant achievements, etc.
6. Completion of special academic or school-related projects
7. Academic accomplishments in light of the student’s life experiences (disability, low-income, veteran status, etc.)
8. Location of the college and the student’s residence

When it comes to applying for an intercampus transfer, UC students should approach the application process like any other transfer student.
Photo: Thinkstock

In addition to these components of the application process, remember to pay close attention to the application details, including the dates and deadlines that you need to follow as a transfer applicant. If you’d like to switch to a different UC campus for the purpose of enrolling in a specific academic program, you may be able to check the availability of space in your major before applying.

Though intercampus transfers aren’t a priority for UC admissions teams, it’s important to pursue this change if you truly believe it will improve your academic experience or personal circumstances. Schedule an appointment with a college counselor to discuss which UC campus might be a better match for you and to prepare for the application process.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

CSU or UC: What’s Right for You?
Cal State vs. Cal Poly: What’s the Difference?
Community College Students: How to Transfer to the UC System
How to Transfer From One UC to Another

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