CSU Transfer

The California State University (CSU) system has 23 campuses across the state. The CSU offers students the choice of more than 1,800 bachelor's and master's degree programs in 240 subject areas.

To obtain a bachelor's degree from a CSU campus, students must complete a minimum of 120 semester units (180 quarter units). A maximum of 70 units of transferable credit will be accepted for courses completed at MiraCosta or any California community college. Information about which courses transfer to the CSU is included in the catalog course descriptions (see How to Read Course Descriptions). This information can also be found at http://www.assist.org/.

Minimum Transfer Requirements

The vast majority of community college students enter the CSU as upper-division transfer students. In order to be eligible to transfer to the CSU, students must meet the minimum requirements described below.

Upper-Division Transfer Minimum Eligibility Requirements

To be admitted to the CSU as an upper-division transfer student, the student must

  • have completed a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable coursework;
  • have an overall college GPA of at least 2.0 in all transferable units attempted (note: In high-demand majors and campuses, a GPA of 2.0 may not be sufficient to be admitted.);

  • be in good standing at the last college or university attended (i.e., the student is eligible to re-enroll);

  • have completed four general education courses in the areas of written communication, oral communication, critical thinking, and mathematics/quantitative reasoning with a "C-" or better; and

  • have completed additional courses that fulfill lower-division general education breadth requirements.

Lower-Division Transfer Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Due to enrollment demands, most CSU campuses restrict or prohibit the admission of lower-division transfer students who have earned fewer than 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units). However, campuses may accept applications from lower-division students who are applying to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics majors if they 

  • have a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable college units attempted;

  • are in good standing at the last college or university attended (i.e., they are eligible to re-enroll);

  • meet the Eligibility Index required of a first-time freshman (www2.calstate.edu/apply/eligibility-index); and

  • meet the college-preparatory course requirements for a first-time freshman or have successfully completed necessary courses to make up any deficiencies in high school records.

Note: Most CSU campuses will not accept lower-division transfer students.

Associate Degrees for Transfer (AA-T and AS-T ) Programs

California community college students who earn an associate degree for transfer are granted priority admission to the CSU into a similar baccalaureate degree program with a guarantee of junior standing as long as the student meets all prescribed admission requirements. Degrees that are deemed similar at specific CSU campuses can be found at http://www.calstate.edu/transfer/adt-search/search.shtml. Once admitted, students are required to complete no more than 60 additional prescribed units to qualify for the similar baccalaureate degree.

An AA-T or AS-T degree does not guarantee a student admission to any CSU campus, but it does give a student priority-admission consideration to the local CSU campus offering a similar degree. The local CSU campus for MiraCosta students is California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Students considering transfer to CSUSM or to other CSU campuses are strongly encouraged to consult with a MiraCosta counselor to determine the most appropriate and efficient pathway to transfer.

Associate degrees for transfer offered by MiraCosta are listed both in this catalog under the discipline offering the degree and on the MiraCosta College articulation website at www.miracosta.edu/studentservices/articulation. A list of AA-T and AS-T degrees offered at all community colleges can be found at www.sb1440.org.

Courses from other U.S. regionally accredited colleges will be reviewed for placement on the associate degrees for transfer based on existing C-ID numbers and/or course comparability to the transfer model curriculum template developed by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College Level Examination Program Credit

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit can be used to satisfy the required 60 transferable units. The Advanced Placement GuideInternational Baccalaureate Guide, and College Level Examination Program Guide identify which exams can be used for general education credit and CSU admission units.

Impacted Programs

An undergraduate major, program, or campus is designated as impacted when there are more eligible applicants than there are available spaces. Impacted majors, programs, or campuses are authorized to use supplementary admissions criteria to screen applicants, such as the following:

  • Completing specific courses

  • Earning a specific grade point average

  • Meeting advance application deadlines

  • Participating in interviews or special evaluations.

The list of impacted programs may vary from year to year, as majors are added and deleted frequently. Also, a major impacted at one campus may be open at another; therefore, students should consult www.assist.org, a MiraCosta counselor, or a representative at their intended transfer campus to receive updated information about impacted majors.

Transfer Planning

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a MiraCosta College counselor to develop an appropriate transfer plan. A transfer plan consists of general education courses, major preparation courses, and, if additional units are required, transferable elective courses. The counselors ensure students are aware of CSU application deadlines and all necessary transfer requirements.

General Education Requirements: CSU GE-Breadth Courses (Plan B)

All students obtaining a bachelor's degree from a CSU campus must satisfy general education (GE) requirements. A minimum of 48 semester units of GE is required: 39 units of lower-division and 9 units of upper-division courses. All of the lower-division GE courses may be completed at MiraCosta before students transfer to a CSU campus. To satisfy the GE requirements, students must take specified courses in the following areas:

Area A — English Language Communication and Critical Thinking

Area B — Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning

Area C — Arts and Humanities

Area D — Social Sciences

Area E — Lifelong Learning and Self-Development.

This pattern of courses, called CSU GE-Breadth, is illustrated on Plan B. Students may also choose to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern of courses, illustrated on Plan C, to complete CSU general education requirements.

Major Preparation

Students need to identify a major and complete the required admission courses for that major. MiraCosta has articulation agreements with most CSU campuses. These agreements, which can be viewed at www.assist.org, tell students which courses at MiraCosta can satisfy a major requirement at a CSU campus. The associate degree for transfer will also specify coursework that will be acceptable as major preparation at participating CSU campuses and may be used in lieu of published articulation agreements.

At some CSU campuses, the required GPA in these major preparation courses may be higher than the admission criteria GPA. And at some CSU campuses, completion of all major preparation courses will make an applicant much more competitive in the admission's process.

Transferable Electives

If additional units are needed to meet the 60-unit admission requirement, students can complete transferable elective courses. Students may explore areas of interest through any course work at MiraCosta as long as the course is designated as CSU transferable. The course descriptions in the college catalog and schedule of classes indicate this designation where it applies.

History, Constitution, and American Ideals

All CSU campuses have a graduation requirement  known as History, Constitution, and American Ideals. Students may be certified as completing this requirement at MiraCosta by completing one of the five groups of classes listed on Plan B.

CSU GE-Breadth Certification

MiraCosta is authorized to certify a minimum of 39 lower-division general education units. Certification means the CSU will accept the courses approved to meet the CSU GE-Breadth areas on Plan B. Students should request certification of coursework that meets CSU GE-Breadth requirements because certification ensures students will not be asked to complete additional lower-division GE courses after they transfer.

MiraCosta can certify each subject area (Area A, B, C, D, or E) or the whole pattern. Students may apply for full or partial certification at the MiraCosta Admissions and Records Office at the time they request a transcript be sent to a CSU campus. The specific rules that apply for CSU GE-Breadth Certification are as follows:

  • All courses taken in Areas A and B4 must be completed with a grade of "C" or better. A grade of "P" (Pass) is acceptable if it is equivalent to a grade of "C" or higher at the institution where the work was completed. Acceptable courses from non-California community colleges may be completed with a minimum grade of "C-" in these areas.

  • Courses taken at another California community college will be applied to the subject areas in which they are listed at the institution where the work was completed.

  • A course taken at a United States regionally accredited institution (which does not maintain a CSU GE-Breadth certification list) may be approved for certification if that course is equivalent to a MiraCosta College course or it has been approved for general education in a comparable category at the institution where the work was completed.

  • Courses completed at foreign institutions are not acceptable for CSU GE-Breadth certification.

After transfer to a CSU campus, students will need to complete the nine additional GE units that are taught at the upper-division level.

Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education

Students who complete the entire CSU GE-Breadth certification pattern of courses are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement in CSU General Education. These courses, which satisfy lower-division GE requirements to any CSU campus, are listed on Plan B. (Note: This program may not be appropriate for some high unit majors in science, technical, engineering or math disciplines, so students should consult with a MiraCosta College counselor to develop an appropriate educational plan for their intended major and CSU campus.)