Information for Transfer Students: Fulfilling Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree


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This section provides a guide for transfer students in understanding how their coursework from another collegiate institution applies to fulfilling UCI degree requirements. Transfer students should use this information in conjunction with the Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree. Transfer students are required to meet University, general education, school, department, and major requirements described in the Catalogue. The courses and descriptions in this Catalogue may be used by prospective transfer students as a guide for selecting courses of similar content and purpose in their own institutions. No student who has taken a course which is accepted for credit by the Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools (OARS) and which has been mutually determined with a community college as being acceptable toward completion of the UCI general education requirement shall incur any loss of credit in satisfaction of the requirement.

Transfer students are strongly advised to check with the academic counselor in their prospective major or the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools about courses that may be used to satisfy UCI requirements.

Transfer Students: Completion of the UCI General Education Requirement

Students transferring to UCI must satisfy the UCI general education (GE) requirement by completing either:

  1. The current UCI GE requirement;
  2. one of the options listed in the Catalogue Rights section; or
  3. the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum.

Transfer students should not feel that the UCI GE requirement must be completed prior to matriculating to UCI. The GE requirement, which must be completed prior to graduation, may be satisfied by college-level courses appropriate to UCI offerings and may be met at any time during the undergraduate years, except in the case of the lower-division writing requirement, which must be completed within the first three quarters of residency at UCI.

NOTE: Transfer students should be aware that UCI is on the quarter system. For the purpose of counting courses for the UCI GE requirement, one semester course is equivalent to one quarter course, and two semester courses are equivalent to three quarter courses.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum

California Community College transfer students may receive credit for the UCI GE requirement by completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). The IGETC consists of a series of subject areas and types of courses which will satisfy the general education requirements at any campus of the University of California. Fulfillment of the IGETC does not satisfy the UCI upper-division writing requirement.

Students who do not complete IGETC prior to transfer may be eligible for partial certification from their community college. Partial certification is defined as completing all but two (2) courses on the IGETC pattern. Warning: Students need to meet minimum UC transfer admission requirements. Therefore, partial certification that acknowledges a deficiency in Area 1 and/or Area 2 may also indicate a student does not meet minimum transfer requirements.

Please note:

  1. IGETC must be completed in total or partial IGETC certification must be completed prior to enrolling at UCI;
  2. students are responsible for requesting IGETC certification from their community college; and
  3. the IGETC certification should be submitted to the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools no later than the end of the first quarter of UCI enrollment.

Courses used to fulfill the IGETC must be completed with a grade of C or better. (Courses may also be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis provided Pass is equal to a letter grade of C or better.)

Lists of specific approved courses which may be taken in fulfillment of the IGETC are available from California Community Colleges and at the ASSIST website.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum

Area 1. English Communication: One course in English composition and one course in critical thinking/English composition.

Area 2. Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning: One course in mathematics or mathematical statistics which has a prerequisite of intermediate algebra.

Area 3. Arts and Humanities: At least three courses with at least one from the arts and one from the humanities.

Area 4. Social and Behavioral Sciences: At least three courses from at least two different disciplines.

Area 5. Physical and Biological Sciences: At least two courses, with one from the physical sciences and one from the biological sciences; one course must include a laboratory.

Area 6. Language Other Than English: Proficiency equivalent to two years of high school courses in the same language.

Transferability of Credit

The University is committed to serve as fully as possible the educational needs of students who transfer from other California collegiate institutions. The principles covering transferability of unit credit and course credit are explained below and, unless otherwise indicated, are much the same whether transfer is from a two-year or a four-year institution.

Duplicate Credit is Prohibited. Students may not receive unit credit or earn grade points for college courses in which the content duplicates material of a previously completed course or examination for which the student has been granted college credit. Exceptions related to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit and repeat of deficient grades can be found in their respective sections.

Unit Credit for Work Taken Elsewhere

The University of California grants unit credit for courses completed at other accredited colleges and universities when such courses are consistent with the functions of the University as set forth in the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Equivalent advanced standing credit from institutions on the semester calendar may be determined at a ratio of one semester unit to one and one-half quarter units. (To graduate from UCI a minimum of 180 quarter units, equivalent to approximately 45 UCI quarter courses, are needed.)

Limitations on Transfer Credit

Students will be granted up to 70 semester/105 quarter units of credit for lower-division coursework completed at any institution or combination of institutions. For units beyond the maximum, subject credit for appropriate coursework taken in excess of this unit limitation will be granted and may be used to satisfy requirements.

Please note:

1. Units earned through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or A-Level examinations are not included in the limitation and do not put applicants at risk of being denied admission.

2. Lower- or upper-division units earned at any University of California campus (including regular academic year enrollment, summer session enrollment, extension courses, cross/concurrent enrollment, and the UC Education Abroad Program) are not included in the limitation, but are added to the maximum transfer credit allowed. Excessive units may put applicants at risk of being denied admission.

In addition, there is a limit to the number of units for which UC grants credit in the following areas:

  • English as a Second Language courses: a maximum of 8 semester (12 quarter) units
  • Physical Education activity courses: a maximum of 4 semester (6 quarter) units
Community Colleges

Students anticipating transfer to UCI are urged to consult with their community college counselors. The counselors, with the aid of that college’s UC Transfer Course Agreement (UCTCA), can advise students about California Community College courses and units which will transfer to the University. In addition, staff in the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools can advise students about the transferability of courses. UCTCAs for all California Community Colleges are available at the ASSIST website.

Four-Year Institutions

Unit credit is granted for courses consistent with the University of California’s functions and which have been completed in colleges or universities accredited by the appropriate agencies. Limitations of credit may be imposed in certain subject areas. No defined maximum number of units which can be earned toward the degree is set for students transferring from four-year institutions. However, see the Residence Requirement in the UCI Requirements section.

University of California Extension

Extension courses prefixed by XB, XD, XI, XR, XSB, and XSD are granted unit credit on the same basis as courses taken in residence at any accredited collegiate institution.

Students intending to transfer Extension course credit for a degree at another college or university should verify acceptance of the course with that institution. Resident students of the University of California must obtain the consent of the dean of their school or college prior to enrolling for credit in an Extension course. Extension courses are not accepted as part of the residence requirements of the University. Grades earned at University Extension may, though not in all instances, be calculated as part of the University GPA.

Decisions regarding the acceptability of extension courses taken in institutions other than the University of California rest with the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools. Decisions regarding the applicability of such courses toward specific degrees and majors rest with the student’s academic dean.

Course Credit for Work Taken Elsewhere

The policies above refer only to the unit transferability of courses and are uniformly implemented on all UC campuses. Thus, courses which are determined by the University of California to be transferable are assured only of being granted elective course credit. The application of transfer work to specific course and major requirements is determined by the student’s academic dean.

The Irvine campus makes every effort to eliminate all barriers to orderly progress from California Community Colleges into UCI’s programs. To this end, courses from many California Community Colleges have been reviewed by UCI faculty and approved as acceptable toward meeting lower-division major or general education requirements. Although course equivalencies for the general education requirement may be liberally interpreted for purposes of transfer, courses to be applied toward school and departmental major requirements must be more precisely equated with UCI courses in unit value and in content.

All California Community Colleges have entered into articulation agreements with UCI so that the specific application of their courses to UCI’s general education, school, and/or departmental major requirements may be readily communicated to prospective transfer students. By careful selection of courses, it is possible for students to satisfy some or all of the lower-division requirements of their intended program or school prior to transfer. It is recommended that transfer students complete as much of the lower-division general education, school, and major requirements as possible prior to transferring to UCI. Articulation agreements are available at the ASSIST website.

Students are urged to consult community college counselors or the UCI Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools for information on planning a program for transfer. Prospective transfer students with specific questions about coursework in their major should contact the respective school or department at UCI.

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