Transfer Applicants

Be active in your research and pursuit of options; engage reflectively and honestly with possibilities. Begin by assessing your academic record to date and determining what programs will allow you to accomplish your goals. Reflecting on your academic successes and shortcomings will help you plan accordingly for the next part of your academic journey.

?Students hoping to transfer from community colleges to the Cal State or University of California systems should understand the requirements of the  articulation agreements that govern this process, which are spelled out in the Assist website

What are the parameters of your search for a college?

Geography? (Do you wish to attend in person rather than virtually?)

Hours of the day? (Do you want to continue working where you are currently employed?) Recognition of credits earned to date?

Have you followed a pathway established by articulation agreements between community colleges and state university systems?

?Do you know what course of study you wish to pursue?

Unlike freshmen applicants, students who choose to transfer are expected to have chosen a major that reflects their career goals. The University of California, which admits transfer students as juniors and through articulation agreements with community colleges, asks students to elaborate of their intended major in the required essay prompt: Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field — such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.

What is your current academic history?

?Request an official transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended; some colleges will also require high school transcripts.

Review the credits from your previous institution(s) and assess the types of course work you have completed. Classes that are classified as remedial probably won’t count for college credit.


How many college-level credits have you taken? Are they calculated in quarters or semesters? Were your grades solid or will you need to repeat courses?

Did they fulfill core requirements at your previous school?

Look at the degree requirements for the institutions where you hope to transfer, and check whether there is a limit on how many required courses for a specific major can be earned at another school.

Do you have resources or support to pay for education expenses?

How much can you work while attending college?

Do you have outstanding debts at other institutions or through loans that need to be reconciled? What level of loan debt can you realistically take on to achieve your degree?

CollegeConsult Santa Barbara