So, you got into UCLA after two (three? four? twenty?) long years at a CC. Pat yourself on your back, break out your checkbook (they want your money already!), and get ready for an interesting and sometimes stressful first quarter.
This FAQ will be designed as a "living" post. In other words, I'm going to add questions to it as they are asked in order to cover topics that I didn't think of before.
Here are the questions that I thought of immediately: -- OMG I GOT IN WHAT DO I DO NOW???
Wait. Be calm, and wait. Let the information come to you. One thing that UCLA is good about is giving you the necessary information, time frames, and documents in order to commit yourself to giving them your hard-earned present and future income. Don't worry, they want you to succeed in finishing the laborious tasks of signing about ten documents and writing a few large checks.
If all else fails, reread the packet (the big one) for any necessary information. If that fails, ask around here or ask someone at admissions: UCLA Undergraduate Admissions -- I got in as a ____ major but have decided that I want to be a ____ major instead, can I? What do I do?
I see this one a lot. In short, you wait-- lots of waiting, get used to it. You wait until you're settled into your matchbox in Hedrick and can spend a few hours meeting with the department admins that manage the major you really really want. For example:
Susie got in as a poli sci major, but her dream now is to be an English major. What to do? Simple, really-- Susie goes to the English department and declares her intent to be an English major. If she has the unit allowance necessary to complete the pre-reqs and reqs, the department admin says, "congratulations" and Susie enrolls herself in "Sonnets, and 17th Century Deconstructionalismazation" or something else. Susie then goes to the poli sci department and asks to be taken off the major.
You must make sure to check all residence requirements as stated in the catalog:
The College and each school with undergraduate programs establish their own degree requirements. These generally include a (1) unit requirement, which defines the total number of units to be completed, (2) scholarship requirement, which defines a minimum grade-point average, (3) residence requirement, which defines the amount of study that must be undertaken in residence at the UCLA campus, and (4) course requirements, which may include general education courses, reading and composition courses, foreign language courses, and core courses for the field of study. See the College and Schools section of this catalog for details on requirements set by the College and by each of the schools.
-- Caveats!!!-- If the desired major is impacted, it may be more complicated. You may need to complete the pre-reqs with a certain GPA and claw your way in. That does not, however, mean that you cannot get accepted into the major, but merely that it will be more difficult.
Oh, and transferring schools? Generally, fuggedaboutit. -- On-campus? Off-campus? Commute?
All else being equal, live on-campus if you can. At least for a year. The lack of responsibility for your food and bills and all that nonsense (that you will have plenty of years to deal with, trust me) is a nice thing to have your first year. Plus, dorms allow you access to social events, a large potential pool of people to make friends with, and less of an excuse to not go to class.
Oh, and do not underestimate the value of all-you-can-use air conditioning. -- Where will I end up living if I live on-campus?
In the old days, most transfers were stuck in university apartments in Westwood. Those days, for better or for worse, are over. Today, a good deal of transfers are in the high-rises, particularly in the new ones (Hedrick Summit, IIRC.)
Transfer Student Housing Guarantee (1000968)
This year (2009), Housing will put a lot of you into triples! Just keep that in mind. -- Will I be with someone my age?
The most likely answer is NO. You will probably be with someone a few years older or younger than you, owing to the diversity in ages of transfer students. However, you will probably not be living with a freshman, either.
If you prefer an older crowd, put down apartments as your preference. -- Do I need extra-long sheets?
No, those are a ripoff. Regular sheets will do just fine. I recommend the soft jersey knit kind because they are inexpensive and comfortable. Or, if you want, get the Harry Potter ones. This is your last chance to be a goofball anyway. -- What is the UCLA social scene like?
Whatever you want it to be. No, really. UCLA is a small city of tens of thousands, many of whom are your age. All you have to do is be open to meeting new people and you'll find plenty to do. I made two of my best friends at UCLA by simply chatting with them when I sat down in a new class. It's that easy to make friends. -- Where should I shop for food?
I hear there's a Trader Joe's opening up. Go there. Ralph's is for the birds.
Now the questions are from you guys, and let's grow this into a pretty nice list. Ask away! (and feel free, current students and alumni, to add your own insights!) -- Where do I send my transcripts?
Mail your transcripts to:
UCLA Undergraduate Admissions
and Relations with Schools
1147 Murphy Hall, Box 951436
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1436
Attn: Transcripts -- Besides school, what are some things I should do?
Get involved! Join clubs, get involved with student government, study abroad, do CAPPP (study in Washington, DC), or do a language study at another university. There are innumerable things you can do besides stay on campus and study all day.