Please go to the UCSB General Catalog's "Credit From Other Institutions" page for complete details about transferring credit from other institutions.
How Transferability is Determined
The Office of Admissions determines transferability of coursework after you present an official transcript of the work. You can contact the College Advising Office or the Office of Admissions for advising and information before enrolling in an outside class, but the final decision rests with the Office of Admissions after your transcript is received.
In other words, you cannot have complete assurance about whether or not your outside coursework will transfer. The following guidelines can help you avoid disappointment:
- Your course must be completed at an accredited college or university and must be reported on an official transcript.
- Your course must cover the same depth and breadth of a subject as UC courses.
- Your course must be listed and described in a college's catalog for the regular year. Note that courses taken through non-University of California extension programs are not always transferable. Within the University of California, UC Extension courses are transferable only if numbered 1-199.
- Credit will not be allowed for any coursework that substantially duplicates a course you already have completed.
- Credit also will not be allowed for any math or foreign language course that is less advanced than those you already have completed.
- Keep in mind that courses within traditional academic disciplines (e.g., science, literature, and social sciences) generally are transferable. The following types of courses are not transferable:
- Courses that are vocational, technical, or professional in nature (e.g., advertising, real estate, electronics)
- Remedial courses
- Personal enrichment (e.g., to how to use your personal computer).
If you are already a UCSB student, when you choose to take courses at another school factors into whether you may receive credit.
- During summer sessions, students may take courses at other institutions without asking for permission, whether or not they are also taking courses at UCSB. However, it is wise to check with an advisor to make sure you are not duplicating credit you have previously earned and to make sure you fully understand how the transfer work will affect your degree.
- During a regular term (Fall, Winter, or Spring), if a student is NOT enrolled at UCSB, they may take courses at other institutions without asking permission.
- During a regular term, if a student IS enrolled at UCSB, permission to take courses at another institution (including courses taken through UCSB Extension, such as Extension TMP courses) in addition to a student’s regular UCSB course load MUST be obtained before the outside course begins. This is called “Concurrent Enrollment.” If concurrent enrollment is not approved, credit earned at other institutions will not apply toward a student’s UCSB degree, even if a course is passed. Concurrent enrollment is not generally approved for courses that apply to a student’s pre-major. Only students on regular academic standing are eligible for concurrent enrollment. Concurrent enrollment petitions and further information can be found at 1117 Cheadle Hall.
If you take non-UCSB courses that you hope will count as prerequisites for future UCSB courses, you must do both of the following:
- Ask the school in question to send an official transcript to the UCSB Office of Admissions.
- Bring a copy of your transcript to the appropriate department (the department in which you are attempting to enroll in a course) for verification. Staff in that department can then mark your record to show that you have fulfilled the prerequisite(s) needed for the course you wish to take.
Other schools may also enforce prerequisites for courses. It is wise to keep your transcript(s) accessible at all times.
California Community College Courses
Assist.org is an online tool that can help you if you plan to take courses at a California community college. Use it to find information about:
- What courses are transferable to the University of California
- Which courses you can choose to fulfill General Education Program Requirements
- Which courses you can choose to fulfill requirements in the preparation for your major (not available for every major at every community college)
- Course-to-course equivalencies (not available for every course at every community college)
General Education Courses
There are two ways to help increase the likelihood that your GE coursework will be accepted for credit:
- When you are choosing a course, carefully review the UCSB GE Program Requirements for each subject area. Pick courses that seem to correspond to UCSB’s program.
- Before you enroll in an off-campus course, meet with an academic advisor in the College Advising Office to confirm whether your desired coursework is applicable to the GE Program. Also see the UCSB General Education Program Outcomes and Transfer Guide to see how courses from other institutions, including study abroad courses, are assessed for General Education Requirements.This can provide some assurance of the course's applicability to a GE by petition, though the course must still be accepted for credit before such a petition would be possible. The final decision on transferability of course credit rests with the Office of Admissions after you complete the course and submit your transcript.
Lower-Division Major Coursework
Lower-division major coursework can be completed at a community college or at a 4-year university. If you are interested in completing lower-division major coursework at a community college, visit Assist.org to determine which courses are relevant to your major.
Upper-Division Major Coursework
Upper-division major coursework must be completed at a 4-year university. If you hope to transfer upper-division coursework from another university, speak with your departmental advisor and an advisor in the College of Letters and Science Advising Office.
Upper-Division Coursework at Another Institution
All upper-division coursework must be completed at a 4-year university. In addition, each course you take at another university must be considered upper-division by that school in order for UCSB to accept it for upper-division credit.
Make sure the courses you intend to take are, in fact, upper-division. You can verify this by reviewing your other university’s catalog.