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Transfer Steps

Transfer Steps


Get Prepared with Steps to Transfer

Career Exploration

Career Objective: Your career objective will determine the type of degree you need and your choices for selecting a major. Visit the Career Center Website and Career Planning Steps for more assistance.

Take a Personal Growth Class!


This course will teach you success strategies to enhance your academic and lifelong learning skills. You will explore topics such as motivation and attitudes, values, goal setting, decision-making processes, critical and creative thinking, personal health topics, interpersonal communication, developmental psychology, and learning and personality theories, as well as other techniques for maximizing your ability to succeed as lifelong learners. You will apply these topics as they relate to your self-development and acquire strategies to effectively deal with issues in you personal lives and educational and career plans.  This course counts as an elective for the Associate's degree, fulfills a general education requirement (Area E) for transfer to the California State University, and transfers as an elective to the University of California. 

  • PERG 130:  CAREER & LIFE PLANNING - 3 units

This course is designed for students interested in self-exploration, career transitions and career-life planning in order to achieve success in a diverse society. Various assessments are utilized through a systematic approach to career development by examining values, interests, skills, and personality types. Other topics include life roles, personal self-management, decision-making and goal-setting throughout the life span. This course counts as an elective for the Associate's degree, fulfills a general education requirement (Area E) for transfer to the California State University, and transfers as an elective to the University of California (see a Counselor for transfer unit limitations).

A major is a field of study that you emphasize in your college education. It is what you “specialize“ in with your degree. It’s important to remember that your major is what you will study at the university you transfer to. At City College, you can prepare to transfer into virtually any major at any university-there are literally thousands to choose from. To narrow down the options, students often begin to select their major by one of the following techniques:

• If you have an idea of the career field you want to enter, you can find majors that are related to, or prepare for, that career field. Majors and career fields are not always “perfectly matched.“ However, knowing your intended career field can help narrow your options. You can visit the Counseling Department or Transfer/Career Center for assistance in researching career fields.

• If you know what university you want to attend, you can select from the list of majors at that university. Lists of majors at California public universities are available at (click on “Explore Majors“).

• If you think you might be interested in a particular major but are not sure, try taking a general education class in the major and see how you like it. Students often select their major based simply on the courses that are the most interesting to them. 


Each university may have different transfer requirements, so choosing a transfer university is important to ensure you complete the right courses. Universities in the United States are organized into different systems and categories. Choosing a transfer university is also important because:

• The majors offered at each university are different.
• Each university has unique features, including factors like its student body, its location, and its extracurricular activities.
• You are more likely to do well academically in a university environment that you enjoy.

The most common universities that City students transfer to include:

Emphasizes undergraduate education (leading to a Bachelor’s degree) but also offers Master degrees. Professors spend more time in the classroom and less time on research than those in the University of California system. Emphasizes preparation for specific careers. Relatively inexpensive for California residents. San Diego State University (SDSU) and CSU San Marcos are two local universities in the 23-campus California State University system. See for details.bore sustainable VHS.

CSU Minimum Admission Requirements

Transfer students will be eligible for admission if they
meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 60 CSU-transferable semester units or 90 transferable quarter units.
  2. Obtain a minimum 2.0 GPA (2.4 for California non-residents). Impacted majors may have higher GPA Requirements.
  3. Complete “The Golden Four“ (Oral Communications, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning) with a grade of “C” or better. Pass/No-Pass grades are not recommended in these areas.

Students are urged to complete a General Education pattern such as CSUGE-Breadth or IGETC (see appropriate section of this guide for details).

Students are strongly recommended to meet with a counselor to discuss additional requirements for competitive admissions based on major and campus choice.

Associate Degrees for Transfer are another option to transfer to the CSU system. See your counselor or Transfer/Career Center for details.


Combines undergraduate education (leading to a Bachelor’s degree) with emphasis on graduate program (Master and Doctorate degrees) and research. Relatively inexpensive for California residents. UC San Diego (UCSD) is one of the 10 universities in the University of California system. See for details.

UC Minimum Admission Requirements

Transfer students will be eligible for admission if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester units or 90 transferable quarter units.
  2. Obtain a minimum 2.4 GPA (2.8 for California non-residents). The GPA for admission can be significantly higher due to the applicant pool.
  3. Complete two UC-transferable college courses in English composition (3 semester or 4–5 quarter units each) and one transferable college course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning (3 semester or 4–5 quarter units).
  4. Complete four UC-transferable college courses chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, physical and biological sciences.

The UC gives high priority to students who complete major preparation coursework early in their academic career.

Students who complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern prior to transferring to the UC system will meet the transfer eligibility coursework requirement listed above (for details on IGETC, see appropriate section of this guide for details). Students are strongly recommended to meet with a counselor to discuss additional requirements for competitive admissions based on major and campus choice.

UC Transfer and Physical Education Activity Courses

The University of California grants a maximum of four semester units of credit for appropriate Physical Education activity courses. Courses that are subject to this limit are listed as such on the college’s UC Transfer Course Agreement, available on web ASSIST at under the UC Transferable Courses link. Physical Education Theory courses or courses that do not fit either the Theory or Activity category are not included in the four semester credit limit.

UC Transfer and Variable Topics Courses

These courses are also called “Independent Studies“, “Special Studies“, “Special Topics“, “Internships“, “Field Work“, etc. Credit for variable topics courses is given only after a review of the scope and content of the course by the enrolling UC campus. This usually occurs after transfer and may require recommendations from faculty. UC does not grant credit for variable topics courses in Journalism, Photography, Health, Business Administration, Architecture, Administration of Justice (Criminology) or Library Departments because of credit restrictions in these areas.


Colleges and universities that are not funded by public taxes, sometimes also called “independent.“ Each university is unique with its own programs, majors, and degrees. Some offer academic programs grounded in a specific religion or philosophy. Others offer programs in only one discipline, such as the arts or technical degrees. Others specialize in providing continuing education to working adults. Usually smaller and more focused in academic emphasis than public universities. Useful websites:, 


Usually have a majority African American student body, although students of all races attend them. May be private or out-of-state public schools. Most are located in the southern United States. See for details.


The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is a national educational association that represents colleges and universities committed to Hispanic Higher education success in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Latin America, and Spain. HACU has 193 member Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) located in 11 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. To be considered a Hispanic Serving Institution, the Hispanic enrollment at a college or university must be at least 25 percent of the total student enrollment. California is home to 54 Hispanic-Serving Institutions. See for details.


There are 35 federally recognized Tribal Colleges and Universities in the United States. Located mainly in the Midwest and Southwest, Tribal Colleges and Universities service approximately 30,000 full- and part-time students. They offer two-year associate degrees in over 200 disciplines with some providing a bachelor’s and master’s degree. They also offer 200 vocational certificate programs. See for details.


Colleges and universities that are not in California. May be public or private. Useful websites: 




Some majors require specific lower-division courses to be admitted to a major upon transfer. For public universities in California, visit for this articulation information. Articulation is the process whereby a course (or set of courses) offered at one institution is accepted as equivalent to or in lieu of a comparable course (or set of courses) at another institution. For current City College articulation agreements with private/independent universities, visit the Transfer Center website at 



General Education requirements are courses required of everyone regardless of major. Each university has different general education patterns. City students can choose from the following:

a. Complete specific general education requirements for an individual university, or 

b. Complete the approved Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) pattern of courses acceptable at all campuses of the CSU, most campuses of the UC, and some private institutions, or

c. Complete the approved CSUGE-Breadth pattern of lower-division courses acceptable at all campuses of the CSU system.

It is strongly advised that you work closely with a counselor before making a decision. 



General Education Certification is a legal agreement between the UC or CSU systems and the California Community Colleges that permits a student to transfer from a community college to a UC or CSU campus without the need to complete additional lower division general education courses to satisfy university GE requirements after transfer. City College will provide an IGETC or CSUGEBreadth certification to one university campus when specifically requested by the student. This certification may include courses taken from other colleges, or credit earned through other means, such as Advanced Placement (AP) test credit. Students do not have “catalog rights” to a certification pattern. Additional information on certification rules that are specific to the IGETC and CSUGE-Breadth patterns are discussed later in those sections.

Students who transfer without certification may have to meet additional GE requirements at the university. This often means taking additional courses after transfer.

Completion of the IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth pattern also fulfills the requirements for a Certificate of Achievement in General Education. Students who complete one of these patterns and additional transfer coursework may also qualify to complete the City College associate degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences. The following Areas of Emphasis or Specialization are available: 

• Language Arts and Humanities

• Scientific Studies Biological Science

• Scientific Studies Mathematics and PreEngineering

• Scientific Studies Physical and Earth Sciences Specialization

• Social and Behavioral Sciences

• Visual and Performing Arts 



Electives are additional courses taken to meet the number of required units or to meet additional lower-division graduation requirements. Make sure the courses you select are transferable courses by referring to the course descriptions in this catalog.



Some transfer students are best served by following a general education pattern other than the IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth patterns. These typically include students who fall into one of the following three categories:

1. Students entering high unit majors such as an engineering or science discipline. Major preparation for the engineering and science fields typically consists of a high number of units. Most universities prefer (and some require) that these preparation for major courses be completed prior to transfer. Therefore, it may be more beneficial for students entering these majors to complete relatively fewer GE courses and more major preparation courses at the community college, while still meeting the minimum admission requirements of the university. Students should review the catalog or other published advising materials of the university and major to which they intend to transfer and then consult a City counselor for assistance in selecting appropriate courses.

2. Students transferring to a private/independent or out-of-state university. Some private/ independent and out-of-state universities accept IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth, but most do not. Instead, each university has its own unique GE pattern. City College has established articulation agreements with many of these institutions. These agreements specify the courses students can complete at City to fulfill the university’s GE requirements. For more information on transferring to a private/ independent or out-of-state university, visit the Transfer Center (A-301) or see a counselor.

3. Students who wish to complete the general education requirements of one specific university. Some students decide to complete the GE requirements for one specific university, rather than the more universally applicable IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth patterns, for several reasons:

• Some universities and/or majors do not accept IGETC and instead suggest following the university’s own GE pattern.

• Some students know that they will attend only one university (such as those with a guarantee of transfer admission) and so plan to complete the specific GE pattern for that institution only.

• Some university-specific GE patterns require
fewer total units than IGETC or CSUGEBreadth.

Each university’s unique GE pattern can be found in the university catalog. In addition, some UC and CSU campuses have posted their unique general education patterns to the ASSIST website at



City College offers a number of Guaranteed Admission Programs. Come to the Transfer Center for program requirements. Plan early as some agreements must be signed at least a year in advance of the transfer semester/quarter. Interested students are strongly urged to meet with a Counselor for program details as requirements and eligibility often change. Please refer to Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T) for California State University (CSU) offered at San Diego City College.



Meet with a counselor - schedule a 1 hour appointment
Develop an Education Plan
Attend Transfer Center workshops
Attend Transfer Fairs & University Events
Meet with University Representatives


About applying for admission

Universities require you to apply and be admitted before you start attending school there. All students who apply must meet the minimum requirements (usually certain coursework requirements and a minimum transferable GPA). Some schools accept all transfer students who meet the minimum requirements, while others go through a selection process to determine which students will be offered admission.

Application dates and deadlines

Different systems have different dates and deadlines to apply. If you plan to attend a private/independent or out-of-state university, you should check with that school to find their application deadline and procedures. The following dates and deadlines apply to California public universities only:

California State University
Term of Transfer 
Initial Filing Period
Summer February 1–28/29 of current year
Fall October 1–November 30 of preceding year
Winter June 1–30 of preceding year
Spring August 1–31 of preceding year

University of California
Term of Transfer
Initial Filing Period
Fall Semester or Quarter November 1–30 of preceding year
Winter Quarter July 1–31 of preceding year
Spring Quarter October 1–31 of preceding year

All campuses are open for any given Fall term. For Winter/Spring terms, students should verify that the specific campus accepts transfers for that specific term. Check for CSU
campuses and for UC campuses.

Each campus accepts applications until the end of the filing period or until capacities are reached. If applying after the initial filing period check the campus websites to verify if the campus is still open.


How to apply

The UC and CSU systems strongly encourage all students to apply using the online application process. Not only does it make it easier to read and evaluate your application, but the websites also “check your work“ to make sure you are not missing any required information before you submit your final application.

The UC application is available at: 

The CSU application is available at: 



Attend Application Assistance Workshops

Many universities require you to submit documents, take assessment exams, attend orientations, or meet other requirements before you enroll. It’s also a good idea to apply for your degree and General Education certification from City College prior to transfer. You should do as much as you can now to make the transition to your university as smooth as possible.



Graduation from City College is not automatic. You must apply to graduate online at to receive your degree or certificate. We recommend you apply to graduate even if you are only completing transfer coursework. Most transfer students are eligible to receive a General Education Certificate and/or an Associate degree in a transfer-related subject area. You should apply to graduate during your second to last semester at City College.



GE certification is a legal agreement between City College and a California public university (UC or CSU campus) that all of your lower division GE requirements have been completed. Certification can be awarded for completion or part of completion of the IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth patterns. Some California private/independent situations also accept IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth certification. IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth certification also fulfills the requirements for a General Education Certificate. You should file for GE certification when you are enrolled in your final GE courses and know which university you will be attending. Apply online here.



Some universities require a supplemental application or application update in January where you will report your grades from your fall semester as well as your planned classes for spring. Please check your email and/or your university admissions paperwork for deadlines and details.



You don’t have to attend City College graduation to transfer or to receive a degree, but it’s a great way to celebrate and be publicly recognized for your achievement. You earned it! Information about the graduation ceremony is available on the City College website at



Are you using public transportation to commute to your new university? It’s a good idea to figure out your best route to the university now, before you start attending.



After offering you admission, most universities require you to send a statement of intent to register (SIR), official transcripts, a deposit, and sometimes additional materials. Review your university admission paperwork for details. Information on ordering transcripts from the San Diego Community College District is available at : 



Most universities offer a new student orientation day, where you learn about university services and requirements, get academic advising, tour the campus, etc. Review your university admission paperwork for details.



Some universities require transfer students to complete assessment tests either prior to enrollment or during their first year of attendance. Review your university admission paperwork for details



Are you going to live on campus? If so, you will need to apply for campus housing. See your university admission paperwork or the university website for more information. If you are living off campus you may need to start searching for housing in the local community. Most universities have housing assistance offices to help you.



You are usually required to send your university a final official transcript after the end of your last regular semester prior to transfer. Information on ordering transcripts from the San Diego Community College District is available at: 



Most universities require you to provide documentation of immunizations against certain communicable diseases, like measles or rubella. Review your university admission paperwork for more information.



First Gen Transfer: A Transfer Guide for First-Generation California Community College Students
By Lezra Chenportillo, M.Ed

Fall Admissions: Transfer Students Deadlines & Time Frames*


Access the UC application


Submit your UC TAG application (by September 30th deadline)

Oct. 1st–Nov. 30th

Submit your UC Applicaton and/or CSU application(s)


Complete the UC Transfer Academic Update (by Jan. 31st deadline) and/or Supplemental Application (deadline for CSU Supplemental Applications or Application Updates will depend on the CSU campus)


Admission notifications begin

Housing contracts become available

Housing: Since campus housing is highly impacted and assigned first-come, first-served, it is recommended that you submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), housing contract or application, and first housing payment as early as possible.

May 1

CSU Deadline to submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

SDSU Transfer Admission Timeline

June 1

UC Deadline to submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

UC Transfer Admission Dates & Deadlines

July 1

Deadline to submit your final transcripts/documents for coursework completed through end of spring


Fall Quarter/Semester begins


*This is a general transfer timeline. Some campus timelines may vary. Please check your specific campus for exact deadlines.