Transferring to UCSB

Since you have been to college before, you already know some things about college-- its requirements, expectations, challenges and rewards. Nevertheless, it is important for you to keep in mind that UCSB is a new school, with its own rules and regulations.

This section contains important information relevant to future and current UCSB transfer students.

Transfer Policies

If you are transferring to UCSB, it is important that you carefully review the policies described below. Please keep in mind that this is not a complete listing or explanation of all policies. For complete details, consult the General Catalog.

Upper-Division Unit Requirement

To earn a bachelor's degree from the College of Letters and Science at UCSB, you must complete a minimum of 60 upper-division units. Most majors require fewer than 60 upper-division units, so you probably will need to complete some upper-division elective courses.

Note that you will have opportunities for upper-division coursework in most General Education Program areas (if you still have some GE units to complete).

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

Unless you have completed prior coursework on a regular transcript from within the University of California, you will be starting a new University of California (UC) GPA upon your transfer to UCSB. Keep in mind that only your UC GPA is used to determine your eligibility for:

  • Honors at graduation (and you must have completed a minimum of 60 letter-graded UC units)
  • Continued enrollment at UCSB
  • Admission to a full major if you currently are considered a pre-major
  • Graduation from UCSB

Credit limits and requirements

There are several important policies regarding credit limits and requirements for transfers:

Lower-Division Transfer Unit Limit (Non-UC): Once you have earned 105 quarter units (70 semester units) of lower-division credit from any non-UC institutions, no further unit credit will be awarded for additional coursework you complete at a non-UC institution. Subject credit, however, will be allowed for coursework in excess of 105 units.

Credit Duplication: You cannot earn credit for coursework at UCSB that substantially duplicates credit you have already earned elsewhere. In addition, credit will not be allowed for coursework you complete elsewhere if you have already completed a very similar course at UCSB.  Credit duplication is sometimes not discovered until students’ records are reviewed for graduation, so we recommend that you contact the College Advising Office if you have any concerns about possible duplications.

Math and Foreign Language Levels: Credit will not be allowed for mathematics and foreign language courses at a level that is less advanced than coursework for which you have already earned credit.

Sequence Courses for Majors: If you have completed part of a year-long sequence that is required for your major, consult the advisor in your major department to determine what additional course(s) you will need to complete at UCSB.

UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (formerly called Subject A): You must satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing requirement within your first three quarters at UCSB, unless you satisfied it with prior transfer work. Review your New Student Profile (available through GOLD) to check your status in fulfilling this requirement.

Exercise and Sport Studies/Physical Education: No more than 6 total units will be accepted toward your bachelor's degree from UCSB ES 1- (formerly PA 1-) courses and their transfer equivalents, typically called “physical education” or “recreation” at other schools. These are courses in which you play a sport or carry out an exercise program. If UCSB has accepted any such coursework, it will be shown on your New Student Profile (available through GOLD).