Frequently Asked Questions
- What does "transfer" mean?
Generally "transfer" is movement between any two educational institutions. Here, however the term is specifically used to describe advancement from a community college to a university. Transfer means that you begin your bachelor's degree at a community college and complete it at a university.
- What is the difference between a CSU and UC?
The California State University (CSU) system offers a practical, career oriented approach to learning. There are twenty-three CSU campuses. The University of California (UC) system, in contrast, offers a theoretical, research-based approach. There are nine UC campuses (one is a professional school only).
- How many units do I need to transfer?
To transfer to a CSU or UC as an upper-division junior level student, you must complete 60 transferrable semester units prior to transferring from VVC.
For private or out-of-state college/university, you may be eligible to transfer with a minimum of 12-30 semester units.
- Is there a maximum amount of units I can transfer?
The California State University and University of California will count a maximum of 70 transferrable semester units towards a bachelor's degree. Units above the maximum will be given subject credit.
Private and out-of-state colleges/universities will vary in their limits. Check their catalog or admission website for more information.
- What if I take more than 70 transferrable semester units?
The 70-unit limit applies only to the number of units that will be counted toward graduation and does not apply to courses. The university will grant subject credit for course content needed to satisfy requirements for general education or major preparation, even if they do not count the units for all of your courses toward graduation.
- What is the minimum GPA required for transfer admission?
The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the CSU is 2.0 for California residents, 2.4 for non-residents. The CSU has designated some highly popular majors or campuses as impacted or high demand, for which higher GPAs and/or minimum course completion are required. The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the UC is 2.4 for California residents, 2.8 for non-residents. UC campuses have designated some highly popular majors as selective, for which students have to meet competitive selection criteria (higher GPAs and minimum course completion requirements) to be admitted. Grade point averages necessary for transfer to independent and out-of-state universities vary. Consult the institution's printed or online catalog.
- What is an impacted or selective major?
Impacted or selective majors are those for which the university receives more applications for admission than the campus can accommodate. Impacted is also an official designation by the CSU system that allows the department that offers an impacted major to require a higher GPA or specific major preparation. Selective is a term used by the UC system to describe majors for which the same conditions exist and for which the university imposes the same kind of selection criteria (GPA and major preparation) to screen for the most qualified applicants.
- Do I need to declare a major before I transfer?
You will declare a major when you become a junior. Some universities require that you declare a major for admissions purposes. In most cases you will be required to have major preparation coursework completed before you transfer to ensure an easier transition to the university.
Some majors require very little such preparation, while other majors require many courses. It is important to choose a major early and find out about the preparation that you will need to be admitted to your major.
- What is General Education (GE)?
General Education is a set of courses through which you will become broadly educated by taking classes that cover a wide range of disciplines. GE courses are usually introductory in nature and provide you with fundamental knowledge in English, mathematics, the arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. You will complete the majority of GE coursework needed to receive a bachelor's degree while you are lower division (freshman/sophomore) student at a community college. After transfer to the upper division (junior/senior) at a university, you will be required to take only a few GE courses, so you can focus on your major.
The GE unit requirements of independent and out-of-state institutions vary, but the ration of lower division to upper division is similar. GE courses are divided into subject areas and GE patterns describe the number of courses that you must take in each subject area to meet total GE requirements. Each institution has its own GE (sometimes called breadth or core) pattern. There are also GE patterns that are accepted by the entire CSU and/or UC systems for transfer to any campus in that system.
- What is CSU GE Breadth?
The California State University General Education (CSU GE) Breadth is the pattern of coursework accepted to meet the GE requirements for a bachelor's degree at any CSU campus.
- What is IGETC?
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a general education program that California Community College transfer students can use to fulfill lower-division general education requirements at a California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), as well as some California private universities and out-of-state universities.
If you have questions about which GE pattern to use, see your VVC counselor. For some high unit majors, such as engineering or biological science, the IGETC is not recommended.
- What is GE Certification?
GE Certification is verification that you have completed lower division general education requirements (CSU GE Breadth or IGETC). Becoming GE certified means that the university cannot require that you take any additional lower division GE. (You will probably be required to fulfill some upper division GE requirements for graduation from the university.) The certification is sent to the university to which you have been accepted and where you plan to enroll.
- How do I find out what classes to take to prepare for my transfer major?
Universities must show the course requirements for each of the degrees they offer in their catalogs, which can be accessed online. Some universities provide information about articulation by major on www.assist.org
- What is ASSIST?
Articulation System Stimulating Inter Institutional Transfer (ASSIST) is an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California’s public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information available about student transfer in California: www.assist.org
- I already have a bachelor’s degree. Can I transfer and get another one?
You must contact each campus to determine their policy on admitting students for a second bachelor’s degree.