CSU to UC Transfer

Hello forum,

I am going to be attending CSULA during the fall, but I want to transfer to UCI since my mom is planning to buy a house there.

I was wondering what the process would be like since I have no clue how any of this works. I know that it is easier to transfer at a CC, but my parent are deathly afraid of me going to community college and slacking off like I did in high school.

So, would transferring from a CSU to a UC be possible? How hard would it be? My major is mechanical engineering if it is relevant,

Thanks, B.

Have you already looked at the UC website?

Requirements: Basic requirements | UC Admissions

Use ASSIST when signing up for classes to see which CSULA courses will transfer to UCI.

Other types of transfer

The UC website has a list of required Mechanical Engineering courses if a student is going to transfer from a community college. You might find it helpful as a guide. Mechanical engineering | UC Admissions

You need a minimum 60 semester units to transfer to a UC. The problem with a CSU to UC transfer is that you do not get priority so community college transfers are first in line. Also CSU’s do not have transfer agreements with UC’s in regards to course articulation, so it is up to you to match your CSU courses to the UC transfer course requirements using assist.org.

UCI offers TAG for Mechanical Engineering so to be eligible for TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) you need to attend a California CC. I would lean towards the TAG option since if you meet the GPA and course requirements, you will be admitted.

Here is the TAG information for UCI:

Mechanical Engineering, B.S.

  • Have a cumulative UC transferable GPA of 3.0 (3.4 for TAG)
  • Earn a grade of C or better in all listed major-preparation courses below while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the following required courses:
    • One year of single variable calculus
    • One course in multivariable calculus
    • One course in ordinary differential equations
    • One course in linear algebra
    • Three calculus-based physics courses with labs
      • mechanics,
      • electricity and magnetism,
      • waves, optics & modern physics
    • One course in general chemistry with lab
    • One course in programming and problem solving in MATLAB or programming concepts and methodologies for engineers

The following courses are not required for transfer consideration, however the degree cannot be completed in two years without them:

  • One course in statics
  • One course in engineering graphics
  • Circuit Analysis with lab
  • One course in materials science and engineering

You can only TAG to one UC campus and not all campuses participate, only UCM, UCR, UCSC, UCI, UCSB and UCD while some majors are excluded such as Engineering for UCSB.

Some CSU to UC transfer tips from a recent CSU to UC transfer:

. Get informed and and make a plan.

Use assist and college confidential to get informed and go out to look for any answers you might have. From ASSIST you will get all the information you need for the prerequisites you need for your major. Look up the major prereqs for every school you are interested in transferring to. When you know all the information for which classes to take, make a plan. Plan out which classes you need to take each semester before you transfer and how you will reach those mandatory 60 semester units needed to transfer to a UC. This is probably the most important part of transferring. The faster you have a plan the faster you get to transfer and you will have a easier and clearer path. And look through all the threads on the website and get a sense of what you need to do and what it takes to get a UC.

  1. Don’t lose sight of the goal!

I know how hard it has been for me to keep my grades up and take enough classes to stay on track. So when you are striving to get As in those classes and you want to give up, don’t lose sight for what you are doing this for. CSU students probably have to do the most to transfer because the odds are against us. If you are not willing to put in the work and you do not have the heart then trying to transfer is not for you especially if you are a CSU student. If you do put it in the work, trust me it will be worth it.

  1. Applications have to be perfect.

When you are finally applying to those UCs, make sure they are perfect when you submit them. Call all the schools you are applying, talk to some counselors, going to workshops if you can… do everything to make sure they are perfect. And for your personal insight questions, start early and and get some expert advice on them. Every CSU has a writing center to my knowledge, go to them with your essays and have them go over it for you and they’ll help you. Talk to counselors because they know what schools are looking for in a good essay and what an applicant should write.

  1. Plan for the worst.

The truth is that CSU students have last priority for transferring to UCs right after 1st) CC and 2nd)UC students. Some of us will not get into the schools we want or might not get into any that we apply to and that is the sad truth. So make a plan for every outcome that is possible. You might go to a UC that you did not expect or you might have to stay where you are now.

1 Like

How soon is your mom planning on buying a house in Irvine? If she purchases while you are at CSULA, where will you live? It would be very difficult to commute from Irvine to CSULA.

Thank you for all the info, I really am clueless when it come to this. I have one question though, would I have to complete all of the IGETC or can I do partial?

This is direct from the UCI website:

UCI accepts the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) as an alternative to the UCI General Education Requirement. IGETC lists are available at community college transfer centers. Students should be aware that IGETC may not be recommended for students transferring to UCI in engineering, mathematics, or science majors. Whether completing the UCI General Education Requirement or IGETC, students are encouraged to select general education courses that may also be applied to admission and lower-division degree requirements.

So I would complete the 7 course GE requirement instead since IGETC is not recommended for any UC transfers pursing Engineering.

You’ve received lots of good advice on how to xfer and the benefits of going to a CC, so I want to address this part of your post.

Students don’t understand how much work is involved in science and engineering. A rule of thumb is 3 hours outside class for each hour in class (for example, https://learning.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/learning/handouts/study_ratio_recommendations.pdf) This means if you’re taking 3 math & science courses per semester which meet 3x a week, that’s 27 hours of study in addition to the class and lab time. Study means reading the chapters, doing the homework, doing practice problems on your own (get the Problem Solver books on Amazon such as (https://www.amazon.com/Calculus-Problem-Solver-Solvers-Solution/dp/0878915052 – they have them for most subjects) . You’ll be taking more than just these 3 classes, you’ll be taking some GE classes, so add time on for them.

A history of slacking off is troubling. Math/science/engineering classes are cumulative. The material you learned earlier in the semester is going to be needed later in the semester, the material you learned in earlier semesters is going to be taken for granted in later semesters. Someone that falls behind may never be able to get caught up without almost super-human effort. Maybe that’s why estimates say 40-60% of entering engineering students nationwide drop out (for example 5 Reasons Why Engineering Students Drop Out | Thomas A. Anderson, P.E. and So you want to be an Engineer... )

I don’t write this to predict you can’t make it. I write it to explain what the road ahead will be like. If you want to make it thru then you need to come up with concrete plans of how you’ll do so. “Not slack off” is vague and not actionable. You need to think back on examples when you procrastinated or skipped the work and come up with specific plans of what you’ll do differently next time similar circumstances occur. Many students find it helpful to use a day planner that lists each hour and pencil in their plans. Whether you attend a CC or CSULA they will have a study center with counselors and workshops that help college students improve their study skills.

Wow those numbers are absurd, but I’ll try to fix study habits. If it turns out that it is too much work for me, do you know of an easier alternative major? Thanks.

Well Mechanical Engineering is a really hard major, so almost any other major would be easier. But for something sort of similar, you might consider a BS in Industrial Technology. They have it at CSULA, but not sure about Irvine.

IGETC is only available to students at California community colleges, although IGETC is very similar CSU general education requirements that are common across CSUs. UC general education requirements are more variable across campuses (and sometimes divisions within a campus), but sometimes less voluminous than IGETC or CSU general education requirements.

UCI’s general education requirements are listed at Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree < University of California Irvine . For comparison, IGETC for UC is listed at IGETC | UC Admissions .

College is college, whether community college, CSU, or UC. Slacking off will have worse results in college than in high school. If you do want to transfer to a UC, you may want to check what college GPA you need to have a realistic chance to transfer: Transfers by major | University of California