I’m a junior going senior at my current university. I didn’t do so well back in community college due to financial reasons and could only go to one safety school. Now I really regret transferring and want to transfer to a UC. Problem is, I don’t know if I should apply to UC or head back to CC. I’ve already earned credits in CC, and I’m pretty sure I can’t retake the courses I’ve taken there. Can anyone give me any insights or maybe share some experiences from those who transferred in senior year standing?

You need to check page 34 for High unit transfer policies for the UC campuses before you leave your current university to see if it will be feasible.

How many lower division units do you have now? Do you taken any upper division courses? If so how many units so far?


What is your goal in transferring in as a senior? What is your field of study?

So far I’ve taken 120 semester units lower division, I haven’t taken any higher division courses at my uni yet

My goal is to get to a UC, my major is compE. My current university has little to no activities for engineer majors, and equipments are all broken and outdated. I don’t think I can handle just being in a broken down system at our school, and wish to go somewhere better for my major.

Lower division units will be capped at 70 semester/105 quarter units. Any upper division units will be added to the 70/105 cap.

Have you completed UC transfer requirements for CE at your current university?

CC transfers get priority over CSU to UC transfers but you also need to determine how many of the lower division courses will articulate and transfer to the UC’s. A CSU to CSU transfer might be a better option depending upon which courses will transfer.

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I’ve completed the lower division requirements for CE that’s transferable to UC. I have contemplated going to another CSU but I was wondering if there would be a chance for me to go to UC instead.

What is your UC transferable GPA?

This might help determine if you are competitive.

UC Transfer GPA by major and campus: Transfers by major | University of California

It’s a 3.4 right now, I’m not sure if it’s competitive though…

Based on the link I provided, possible target schools would be UC Merced, Riverside and Santa Cruz.

I see, for page 35 can you explain what the counting units are? I’m not quite sure what that is

Since you only have lower division units so far, those will be capped at 70 semester/105 quarter units if you transfer to a UC. If you take any upper division courses prior to transfer, these units are added to the 70/105 cap which could put you into a High unit transfer category. Based on the chart, you may be limited to which UC campuses may accept you as a transfer but if you just have lower division units it will not be an issue.

Okay, thank you very much for helping with explaining these. I wasn’t quite sure where to look but seeing these info gives me somewhat an idea what to do and how to view my units. :smiling_face:

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Going back to a CC is better since it appears it will allow you to qualify as a CCC transfer. They get priority in admission over transfers from 4-year colleges. According to if you have 30 semester units at a CCC and the last college you attended was a CCC then you’re considered a CC xfer

From a CC then it looks like you’d be eligible for a TAG admission guarantee at some UCs (see link above). You’d want to work with the xfer counselor at the CC and the UC rep who visits that CC to make sure you’ve picked a school where you will meet all the TAG rules. TAG only works for CC transfers, you can’t do it if the last school you attended is a CSU.

Also if you have any D or F grades then at the CC you should look into academic renewal which may be able to remove them.

First a warning: I am from the opposite side of the country and I am not particularly knowledgeable about the public universities in California. I did get my master’s degree in California, but at a private university. Then I worked out there for a couple of years and then I moved back east (a long time ago).

For most universities you need to spend two full years at the university and take half of the required credits at that university in order to graduate. This means that if you transfer to a new university, you will only be half way through your bachelor’s degree regardless of how many classes you have already successfully completed before you transfer there.

When I read “junior going on senior” I interpreted this as meaning that at the end of the current academic year, you will have completed enough classes to be 3/4 of the way through the requirements to graduate. Is this correct? In most universities you do not necessarily study for four years. Instead, you study until you complete the graduation requirements. This did happen to take 4 years for me, but it is not uncommon for it to take 4 1/2 years or 5 years, or some other length of time. If you are one or two semesters or one or two or three quarters behind what might have been expected to this point, that is okay and common. You just will study for one more semester or one more quarter or one more year before you graduate.

Another option is to complete your bachelor’s degree where you currently are, then optionally work for a year or two, then look for a master’s degree. If you are (as of the end of the current academic year) already 3/4 of the way through your bachelor’s, then this might not take any longer compared to transferring, and you might end up with a master’s degree. You would need to get accepted to a master’s degree program, but this is not necessarily any more difficult compared to getting accepted as an undergraduate transfer student.

My understanding is that at least some of the CSUs are very good. I have for example worked with some computer science graduates from San Jose State University. Instead of transferring to a University of California, you could also try to transfer to a different CSU.

To me the downside of going back to community college is that there is no guarantee that you will end up being able to transfer to a University of California at the end of the process. To me it seems safer to try now to transfer directly to UC Merced, Riverside, Santa Cruz, or a “better” CSU, and if you get accepted then you transfer, and if you do not get accepted then you can complete your bachelor’s where you are.

You also might want to look for an internship over the summer. Internships can be very helpful when it comes to looking for a job after you graduate.

And striving to improve your grades as much as possible, and looking for an internship, will help regardless of whether you succeed in transferring or not.

Yes, this is effectively what the 70-semester-unit limit on lower division transfer credit at UC does, and the reason for UC policies limiting admission of high-unit juniors and seniors who have upper division transfer credit added to make a total of >80 semester units of transfer credit.

The OP in post #4 mentions having 120 semester units of only lower division courses, so the OP is likely to need two years for upper division course work anyway, whether at the same university or a different four year university.

(“lower division” = frosh/soph level; “upper division” = junior/senior level; “semester unit” = semester hour credit; “quarter unit” = quarter hour credit = 2/3 semester hour credit)

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From what he’s written the OP will qualify for TAG at some UCs if he goes to a CCC next year, which is a guarantee of admission.