Transfer to the University of California (UC) System

Santa Monica College takes great pride in leading the state in the number of students who successfully transfer to the UC system. This system has ten campuses, the following nine of which have undergraduate programs: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. Admissions representatives from UC campuses visit SMC’s Transfer/Counseling Center on a regular basis. Stop by the Center to obtain a calendar of these scheduled visits, or check online at (click on “Transfer Services”).

UC Priority Application Filing Periods

To Attend: Apply:
Fall November 1-30
Winter July 1-31
Spring October 1-31

All UC campuses accept applications for Fall admission. To determine which UC campuses accept in Winter and/or Spring, call the specific campuses or check for details.

Admission Requirements for the University of California (UC)

Students transferring to the UC system from Santa Monica College may, in most cases, follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to meet lower-division general education requirements for the UC system. For more information please refer to page 43.

To meet the minimum UC system eligibility requirements, residents of California must have a grade point average of 2.4 and nonresidents must have a grade point average of 2.8. However, higher grade point averages are required to be a competitive transfer applicant to most UC campuses. Students are advised to visit SMC’s Transfer/Counseling Center for a realistic estimate of the current grade point average actually required for admission to various major programs at various campuses, and to verify whether IGETC will meet their lower-division general education requirements.

To determine eligibility of high school students for admission as freshmen, the University of California requires completion of an “a to g” pattern of high school subjects. (As used here, “a to g” refers to categories of subjects rather than course grades in these subjects). The “a to g” pattern of high school subjects includes one year of history, four years of English or college preparatory courses in English composition and literature, three years of mathematics, one year of laboratory science, two years of a single foreign language, and two advanced courses in at least two of the following areas: History, English, Advanced Mathematics, Laboratory Science, Foreign Language, Social Science, Visual & Performing Arts. This “a to g” pattern of courses is still a consideration when students transfer to the UC system from other colleges, as shown below.

To be minimally eligible to transfer to the UC system, and assuming ineligibility from high school, a student with California residency must accumulate a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester units from an accredited college or university while maintaining a minimum 2.4 grade point average. Nonresidents must accumulate 60 UC-transferable semester units and have a minimum grade point average of 2.8.

All branches of the University of California allow up to 70 transferable semester units from a community college. Students who have already completed 70 or more transferable semester units at a community college may still complete courses for credit (e.g., to finish IGETC or major requirements) at a community college, but will not be able to transfer more than 70 semester units of credit to the University of California.

In addition to having a competitive record, one of the sets of requirements listed below must be met in order for students to transfer.

   1.   If students were eligible for admission to the UC System when they graduated from high school—meaning they satisfied the Subject, Scholarship, and Examination requirements, or they were identified by the University as eligible in the local context and they completed the Subject and Examination Requirements in the senior year—the students are eligible to transfer if they have a C (2.0) or higher grade point average in their transferable college coursework, and the campus they apply to is accepting lower-division transfer students. NOTE: Being “eligible” for admission in NO way guarantees admission. Higher grade point averages are required by most UC campuses, and students with 60 or more transferable semester units receive priority consideration for transfer admission.

   2.   If, out of high school, students met the Scholarship requirement but did not satisfy the Subject requirement, they must take transferable college courses in the subjects they are missing, earn a grade of C (2.0) or higher in each of the required courses, and earn an overall grade point average of C (2.0) or higher in all transferable college coursework to be eligible to transfer. Please see NOTE above.

   3.   If students were not eligible for admission to the UC System when they graduated from high school because they did not meet the Scholarship requirement, they must:

   A.   Complete 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable college credit with a grade point average of at least 2.4, and

   B.   Complete a course pattern that includes (1) two transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) in English composition, and (2) one transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) in Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning; and four transferable college courses (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units each) chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: the arts and humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and biological sciences. NOTE: This seven course pattern will be met automatically if the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is followed.

UC General Education Requirements

There are two ways for a student to complete general education requirements for the UC system: (1) complete the general education pattern specific to a particular UC campus, or (2) complete the IGETC.

UC Impacted Majors

Some majors at UCLA and other UC campuses are highly competitive, or “impacted.” This means that certain courses in the major must be completed with achievement of a high GPA prior to transfer. Please consult with SMC’s Transfer/Counseling Center for details.

Advanced Standing Selection Criteria for the University of California

The University of California tries to provide a place on one of its campuses for all California resident applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements and file an application during the appropriate filing period.

In recent years, the number of applicants for some campuses and some majors has far exceeded the number of spaces available. When a campus cannot accept all eligible applicants, it uses standards that are more demanding than the minimum requirements to select students. These criteria are:

   •   Completion of a specified pattern of courses that provide continuity with upper-division courses in the major;

   •   Completion of a specified pattern of courses that meet general education or breadth requirements;

   •   Attainment of a specified GPA in all transferable courses;

   •   Participation in academically selective honors courses or programs;

   •   Special talents, achievements, and awards in a particular field, such as the visual and performing arts or in athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; or experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the applicant’s promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus;

   •   Completion of special projects undertaken either in the context of the college/university curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs cosponsored by the college/university, community organizations, post-secondary educational institutions, other agencies, or private firms, which offer significant evidence of an applicant’s special effort and determination or that may indicate special suitability to an academic program on a specific campus.

   •   Academic accomplishments in light of the applicant’s life experiences and special circumstances, which may include, but are not limited to, disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status, or veteran status; and/or

   •   Location of the applicant’s college of residence, which will be considered to provide for geographic diversity in the student population, and also to account for the wide variety of educational environments existing in California.

(Information Source: Introducing the University of California, a publication of the UC Office of the President. For your own copy, please contact the Transfer/Counseling Center or check for details.)

UC Transfer Requirements for Admissions in Advanced Standing (Junior Transfers)

Students planning to transfer as juniors to a UC campus should keep the following in mind:

   •   Applications for Fall transfers are due November 30th for priority consideration.

   •   Not all UC campuses accept in Winter/Spring. Check with an SMC counselor.

   •   Complete 60 UC-transferable semester units

   •   Earn at least a 2.4 GPA or 2.8 GPA for California nonresidents (PLEASE NOTE: a 2.4 GPA is the minimum GPA for UC eligibility. However, many UC campuses require a higher GPA to be competitive. Consult your SMC counselor for specific information)

   •   Complete a specific pattern of courses: two transferable English courses, one transferable math course, four transferable courses chosen from at least two of the following areas: Art and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Physical and Biological Sciences

Completion of IGETC will automatically fulfill these requirements.

Please refer to for information on major requirements.

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