UC Transfer

The University of California (UC) system includes nine undergraduate campuses across California. They are located in the following areas: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. These campuses and the majors they offer are described on the University of California Admissions website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions.

To obtain a bachelor's degree from the UC, a student must complete a minimum of 120 semester units (180 quarter units). A maximum of 70 units of transferable credit toward a bachelor's degree will be accepted for courses completed at any or all California community colleges. The transfer status of MiraCosta College courses is noted in their catalog course descriptions (see How to Read Course Descriptions).

The UC may limit the amount of credit received for some courses. For example, no credit will be given for an introductory course if it is taken after a more advanced course, credit may be limited for courses with overlapping content, and duplicate credit will not be awarded for both the honors and non-honors version of a course. The UC credit limitations that apply to MiraCosta College courses are identified in their catalog course descriptions.

Priority Eligibility for Transfer Students

The UC will consider a student a transfer applicant if they enrolled in a regular session at a college or university, except while in high school or summer session, immediately following high school.

Students who transfer to a UC campus from MiraCosta or any California community college with 60 transferable units are given priority over all other transfer applicants, including those from four-year institutions, if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They were enrolled at one or more of the California community colleges for at least two terms (excluding summer session).

  • The last college they attended prior to enrollment at a UC campus was a California community college (excluding summer session).

  • They have at least 30 semester UC transferable units at one or more community colleges.

Upper-Division Transfer Admission

The vast majority of students transfer to the UC as upper-division transfer students. Students must fulfill both of the following criteria for upper-division transfer eligibility:

  • Complete 60 semester (90 quarter) units of transferable college credit with at least a 2.4 GPA. No more than 14 semester (21 quarter) units may be taken "P/NP" (Pass/No Pass).*

  • Complete the following requirements, earning a grade of "C" or better in each course:

    • Two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4–5 quarter units each) in English composition

    • One transferable college course (3 semester or 4–5 quarter units) in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning

    • Four transferable college courses (3 semester or 4–5 quarter units each) chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical and biological sciences.

Note: Students who complete 60 transferable units that include the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) will meet the minimum admission requirements described above.

*Meeting the minimum transfer admissions eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to the major and UC campus of the student's choice. Most UC campuses require a higher GPA for admission and for major-preparation courses. In cases where there are more eligible applicants than transfer openings, applicants with the strongest academic preparation are given priority. To learn more about requirements that can be met to make an applicant more competitive for admission to a specific UC campus as well as important application deadlines, students should meet with a MiraCosta College counselor, visit the Transfer Center, or review information available on the University of California Admissions website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions.

Lower-Division Transfer Admission

Students may be eligible for lower-division transfer if they were eligible for UC admission as freshmen upon high school graduation and had a 2.0 GPA in their transferable college coursework.

Students who met the Scholarship Requirement in high school but did not satisfy the a-g Subject Requirement may become eligible to transfer by taking transferable college courses in the subjects they are missing, earning a minimum grade of "C" in each of these required courses, and earning an overall "C" (2.0) average in all transferable college coursework. Students can find more information about the Subject, Scholarship, and Examination requirements on the University of California Admissions website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions.

Note: Most UC campuses will not admit transfer students who have fewer than 60 transferable units completed even if they were eligible out of high school.

Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit can also be used to satisfy the 60 transferable units. The Advanced Placement Guide and International Baccalaureate Guide identify which exams can be used for general education credit and UC admission units. Please note for all major prep, each UC school has unique guidelines on how the AP or IB courses may be applied.

Impacted Programs

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

  • Completing specific courses

  • Accumulating a specific number of college units

  • Earning a specific grade point average

  • Meeting advance application deadlines

  • Participating in interviews or special evaluations.

Impacted programs vary from year to year, depending on the number of applicants to the program. A major impacted at one campus may be open at another; therefore, students should consult the ASSIST website at www.assist.org, a MiraCosta College academic counselor, or a representative at their intended transfer campus to obtain updated information about impacted majors. (ASSIST is the official transfer and articulation system for California’s public colleges and universities.)

Transfer Planning

As soon as possible after registering at MiraCosta College, students whose educational goal includes transferring to a UC campus should meet with a MiraCosta College academic counselor to develop an appropriate educational plan. A comprehensive student education plan, or CSEP, is a guide that consists of the general education courses, major preparation courses, and any transferable elective courses that are required by the student's desired UC transfer destination. The college’s academic counselors will also ensure students are aware of UC application deadlines as well as the entrance and graduation requirements that are specific to their desired UC campus. 

General Education Requirements: IGETC (Plan C)

To earn a bachelor's degree from UC, students must complete a program of general education (GE). They have the option of completing either the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern (Plan C) or a campus-specific lower-division GE pattern. The UC campus-specific GE patterns mirror the GE requirements of students who enrolled at UC as freshmen. Students who follow a campus-specific GE pattern must complete the MiraCosta courses that are specified in the GE articulation agreement, which can be found on the ASSIST website at www.assist.org.

IGETC is most helpful to students who want to keep their options open, such as those who know they want to transfer but have not yet decided upon a particular campus or major. Students are strongly encouraged to complete IGETC prior to transfer as doing so can be advantageous in the admission's process for many majors on most UC campuses. However, students who intend to transfer into majors that require extensive lower-division preparation, such as engineering or the physical and natural sciences, should concentrate on completing the many prerequisite courses for the major that the college screens to determine eligibility for admission. All students are strongly advised to work with a MiraCosta College counselor to determine which option for completing general education is most appropriate for their educational goal.

Note: California community college transfer students may complete the IGETC pattern to satisfy the lower-division GE requirements at both the UC and CSU. Students who began college at a UC campus and who intend to transfer back to that campus cannot use IGETC. However, students who began college at a UC campus and intend to transfer to a different UC campus may use IGETC.

Major Preparation

Students need to identify a major and complete the required admission courses for that major. MiraCosta has articulation agreements with all UC campuses. These agreements, which can be viewed on the ASSIST website at www.assist.org, tell students which courses at MiraCosta can satisfy a major requirement at a UC campus. At some UC campuses, the required GPA in these major-preparation courses may be higher than the admission criteria GPA.

Students should choose their major as early as possible for the following reasons:

  • UC campuses admit transfer students to specific majors.

  • Admission to most majors and campuses is competitive, and being fully prepared for a major improves the student's chance of admission.

  • Choosing a major early allows students to stay focused on completing requirements before they transfer.

  • Changing majors is difficult after a student is admitted and usually delays graduation.

The University of California system has collaborated on identifying common major preparation requirements, called UC Pathways, for the most popular transfer majors. These pathways guide students who want to make themselves competitive across the UC system; some campuses may want fewer courses for admission, but none will expect more. This information can be found on the University of California Admissions website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions.

Transferable Electives

Students who have completed all requirements for their major and have selected courses appropriate for the general education pattern at a UC campus may need to complete additional UC transferable courses to earn the required 60 transferable units. These courses are often referred to as electives. The course descriptions in the college catalog and schedule of classes indicate when a course is UC transferable.

University of California Transfer Admission Programs

Many UC campuses offer guaranteed admission to California community college students who meet specific requirements.

Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)

Six UC campuses offer a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. By participating in a TAG, students receive early review of their academic records, early admission notification, and specific guidance about major preparation and general education coursework. For complete information about TAGs offered at participating UC campuses, students should see a MiraCosta College counselor, visit the Transfer Center, or locate information on the University of California Admissions website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/.

UC Los Angeles (UCLA) Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) 

The Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) is a collaboration between the MiraCosta College Honors Scholar Program and UCLA College of Letters and Sciences in conjunction with Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools. The program is designed to foster academic excellence at MiraCosta and other participating community colleges and to promote diversity and retention in the UCLA transfer population. Students wishing to participate in this program must meet the following criteria:

  • Enroll in and complete the MiraCosta College Honors Scholar Program.

  • Meet with a Transfer Center counselor their first term at MiraCosta College to develop a comprehensive student education plan (CSEP).

  • Complete ALL major prep listed on assist.org

  • Complete a minimum of 60 transferable units, including 15 units of honors classes, with a competitive GPA.

As a Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) participant, if you are not selected for admission to your first-choice major, UCLA will also review your application for an alternate major. TAP students are also eligible to apply for TAP scholarships.

UC San Diego (UCSD) University Link Program

UCSD UniversityLink is designed for freshmen, active duty military and veterans, current/former foster youth, and students whose family income is no more than $40,000 per year. This program represents a partnership among UCSD, MiraCosta College, and local high schools. It guarantees admission to UCSD if the student completes their first two years of college coursework at MiraCosta and meets specific UCSD admission and GPA requirements. Students in the program receive individual academic advisement and counseling, informational workshops and tours, invitations to special events at UCSD, and contact with current UCSD students.

Students must sign and submit the University Link agreement form no later than by the end of their first year of enrollment at MiraCosta. More information about this program can be found on the UC San Diego UniversityLink website at www.admissions.ucsd.edu/transfer/universitylink.

IGETC Certification

Prior to transfer from MiraCosta, students can request certification of the IGETC pattern (Plan C). Certification ensures students will not be asked to complete additional lower-division general education courses after they transfer. The following rules apply to IGETC Certification:

  • All courses must be completed with a "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.

  • 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 U.S. regionally accredited private institution will be placed in the subject area for which MiraCosta College or another community college has an equivalent course.

  • Courses completed at foreign institutions are not acceptable for IGETC except for certification of language proficiency (Area 6).

Partial IGETC Certification

Students who have completed all but two courses on the IGETC pattern may apply for partial certification. Each CSU/UC campus will inform students who submit partially certified IGETC of the specific timelines and courses needed to complete the IGETC after transfer. Once a student has transferred, it is the transfer institution's responsibility to verify that the missing IGETC coursework has been completed. Students can request IGETC Certification from the MiraCosta Admissions and Records Office when they request transcripts be sent to their intended transfer institution.

Certificate of Achievement in IGETC

Students who complete the entire IGETC certification pattern of courses are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement in IGETC. These courses satisfy lower-division general education requirements at California State University and University of California campuses. (Note: This program may not be appropriate for some high unit majors in technical disciplines related to science, engineering or math, so students should consult with a MiraCosta College counselor to develop an appropriate educational plan for their intended major and UC campus.)