I transferred to Berkeley from a CCC, but not without a few bumps in the road with misinformation from advisors, so I sympathize with the struggle and hope these guidelines help clarify part of the process.
Note that these are the *general rules/i.
What are the main requirements if you hope to transfer to a UC?
These are the main components:
- You must have 60 semester/90 quarter transferable units completed by the final spring before UC enrollment. You do not need the 60/90 to apply during the previous fall enrollment period (the month of November).
- A top criteria will be your GPA and the completion of the major requirements at each UC. You can find these requirements by going to assist.org and entering your California Community College (CCC), the UC and your major.
- There are, at minimum, three general ed courses that need to be completed: two English composition courses and one quantitative math. However these are merely the minimum requirements so you don’t get booted to the curb. To be competitive you should plan on more than this. Which leads to…
The general education path
There are two options:
—General Breadth, which is different depending on the UC college to which you apply (e.g., College of Letters and Science, College of Engineering). The positive is there are fewer courses needed (usually) and it does not have to be competed to transfer, although there is a required base of courses. STEM majors often take this path as there are so many major course requirements. The negative is these courses may vary per major. so you need to research each major and college.
The link provides the minimum courses needed. Add-on, as necessary, depending on college/major:
—IGETC is the second path and is available only to CCCs students. While IGETC has more coursework, the positive is it covers every campus, and UC admissions honors it, no questions asked. If you choose IGETC you must finish it. You apply for Full IGETC certification your last term, or you can request Partial Certification if you are missing one-two courses.
A few caveats:
—Berkeley’s College of Engineering and Haas School of Business do not not accept IGETC, and Berkeley’s College of Letter and Science will not accept Partial.
—There is also a STEM version of Partial IGETC, which allows 3 remaining courses, but they need to be in specific categories.
—CSU IGETC is slightly different. Be sure to cross-check.
—Be sure to carefully verify the rules of your UC college and major and talk with an advisor at your CCC regarding the best path.
IGETC link: http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/transfer/general-education-igetc/igetc/index.html
IGETC acceptance by UC college or school (UCSD applicants - be wary of Revelle College):
Should I do IGETC/GE first or the major courses?
Completing as many major requirements is always ideal over any GE course. The UCs want to see the major course grades.
Major course requirements
To be competitive, try to get as many major requirements done as possible by the fall when you apply. Having one or two left for spring should OK, but there have been cases when a selective major would rather see just one course left. Try to load more GE into the final term.
Be sure to read the wording at the top of the assist.org major page. It tells you extra facts about the major, such as if AP is allowed to fulfill a major requirement, if any minimum grade is needed for a major course, and the very minimum courses needed to apply. If a section says required, then that’s what it means, unless there is a caveat above. If a section says highly recommended you can get in without them, but the more competitive the major the more you should try and get some of these in. If you’re majoring in Engineering at Berkeley, admissions will expect to see a good amount of recommended completed, even if it means driving across the universe to grab a recommended course only offered at one CCC.Also, keep in mind any courses the UC permits you to skip (as noted in the description atop the assist page) will need to be completed at the UC, which could delay your graduation and add extra tuition.
**What about extra-curricular activities?**
The UCs say these are not so important for transfers, and they do count your job as an EC. So don’t sweat tif you don’t have any. However, if you are applying to a very selective major, such as Haas School of Business, admissions expects to see a lot of leadership/volunteer activities. Likewise, if you are applying to any highly selective major, such as Biology (pre-med path), any major-related activity is a strong add. The more selective the major the better your outcome if you can add something. But time commitments (tons of courses and work) might preclude that, and admissions is understanding.
Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)
Transfer Admission Guarantee means just what it says. You are guaranteed admission to your chosen UC if you follow the TAG rules for that campus. The application window is the month of September and six campuses offer it: Davis, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Santa Cruz and Merced.
- You need to have completed 30 semester/45 quarter transferable units form any college/university by the summer before your fall TAG application. Most allow AP to be included but check!
- You must have completed a minimum of 60/90 transferable units by final spring term.
- A total of 30 semester /45 quarter transferable units must be from a CCC by the final spring term
- Your last regular year (fall/spring or fall/winter/spring) may only be at a CCC, although you can choose more than one CCC. So don’t add a CSU, etc.
- Both English courses and quantitative math need to be competed by the fall when you apply for TAG (although at least one UC wants them done by the previous summer or you wont qualify)
- Any Ds after you sign up for TAG will disqualify you.
- There are additional rules by campus, such as a higher GPA to qualify for the campus TAG, a higher minimum GPA just for certain majors, majors excluded from TAG, and minimum grades needed for very specific courses.
Here is the TAG Matrix: http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/tag-matrix.pdf
There are two TAP programs and both are different.
—UCLA’s TAP is honors-based and you need to fulfill a certain number of honors courses at the CCC. This program gives applicant priority and claims about an 80% admit rate. You may also pick an alternate major in L&S. (Normally alternate majors are not allowed at UCLA.) Not every CCC is part of the program. You can find info here: http://www.admission.ucla.edu/Prospect/Adm_tr/ADM_CCO/tap.htm
—Berkeley’s TAP program does not offer priority and is not honors-based. It is a support program. You must be one of these: minority, low-income, or first generation college student. If you fit that profile, and if your CCC is part of the program, ask your advisor when the Cal TAP rep will be coming to your campus so you can sign up. Link: http://cep.berkeley.edu/transfer-alliance-project-tap