Preparation for Transfer

PLEASE NOTE: The requirements listed on the following pages are SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. For updated information, please check with your Santa Monica College counselor periodically, or look online at

Preparation for Advanced Standing at Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Students whose goal is to transfer to a four-year institution should identify which transferable courses are required for both their major and general education. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a counselor to develop an academic program best suited for their transfer institution and intended major.

The following checklist should help a student establish transfer goals:

   1.   Identify admission requirements.

   2.   Identify general education courses.

   3.   Identify preparation for the major.

   4.   Determine whether the program is “impacted.”

   5.   Determine the competitive GPA for the major.

   6.   Establish a relationship with a counselor who will help to make the student the most competitive applicant possible!

Santa Monica College offers courses similar to courses offered in the lower division (i.e., the first two years) of four-year universities and colleges. Course requirements for graduation vary from one institution to another, so it is to a student’s advantage to choose his or her transfer university or college as early as possible. Students are advised to complete the courses at SMC that best satisfy the lower-division course requirements of their particular transfer institution. Lower-division course requirements typically include a set of “general education” courses and a sequence of courses in the student’s chosen “major” field of study.

For more up-to-date, detailed or extensive information regarding transfer requirements, students are encouraged to drop by the Transfer/Counseling Center or visit the website ( The Transfer/Counseling Center also maintains and provides “transfer sheets” and “major sheets” that summarize the current course and major requirements of various local colleges and universities. Students can also access this information online (go to Students are invited to visit the Transfer/Counseling Center to discuss their transfer strategy with a counselor or with one of the representatives of colleges or universities, who periodically visit the Center. Various general education patterns for some of the most popular transfer institutions for Santa Monica College students are described below. Selected lower-division major requirements for some four year institutions are included in the Major Requirements section of this catalog.

Students interested in transferring should also be aware of critical application filing periods and procedures. This information—as well as applications to most four-year institutions in California—can be obtained online at

Student Responsibility for Meeting Transfer Requirements

Students are strongly advised to gather as much information as possible about their chosen transfer college or university. Counselors will assist students with the transfer process, including appropriate course selection and information regarding the admission process and requirements. However, it is up to each individual student—working with a counselor—to decide upon an educational goal, to take responsibility for devising a long-range educational plan to achieve this goal, to read the catalog of his or her chosen transfer institution, and then to choose the appropriate Santa Monica College courses to satisfy the requirements for transfer to that college or university.

Transfer to University of California (UC) System and California State University (CSU) System

Students at a California Community College may use the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for almost all schools in either the CSU or UC system.

For more information please refer to the IGETC link. Completion of IGETC does NOT constitute completion of all admission requirements. Please consult with an SMC counselor to develop a comprehensive transfer strategy.

Identification of UC and CSU Transfer Courses in this Catalog

Courses designated “UC” in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog will transfer as baccalaureate credit for at least elective credit to the University of California. Students should be aware that some courses satisfy specific transfer requirements designated in the major fields of study, some courses satisfy general education requirements, and some courses transfer only as elective credit.

Courses designated “CSU” in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog have been determined by Santa Monica College to be baccalaureate appropriate and acceptable for transfer to the California State University as at least elective credit.

Transfer to Independent Colleges and Universities

Admission requirements of independent colleges and universities vary. Course transferability and course credit allowed at independent colleges and universities also vary. Students should consult the transfer school’s catalog for specific requirements and transferability, or better yet, make an appointment at the Transfer/Counseling Center to clarify admission standards.

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