Transferring Credit

This page has information for current or returning UCSB students who want to transfer credit from another institution.  Students hoping to transfer UCSB credit to another school should check the school's transfer policies. 

The Office of Admissions evaluates and processes transfer credit. See their Transfer Credit Guidelines for 

Transferring Credit from California Community Colleges

Assist.org is an online tool that can help you if you plan to take courses at a California community college. Use it to find information about:

  • What courses are transferable to the University of California
  • Which courses you can choose to fulfill General Education Program Requirements
  • Which courses you can choose to fulfill requirements in the preparation for your major (not available for every major at every community college)
  • Course-to-course equivalencies (not available for every course)

The California Virtual Campus (CVC) website can help you find online courses offered by California community colleges.  By using both the CVC website and Assist.org, you can locate transferrable online courses that could help you fulfill UCSB requirements. 

Please keep in mind that all community college courses count as lower division units.  They cannot count toward academic residency and do not count  toward the UC GPA.  Also, students may transfer no more than 105 lower division units, and these courses will not appear on a student's UCSB transcript.

Transferring Credit from Another UC

UCSB students may earn credit  at another UC through

  • UC Cross-campus Enrollment (UC CCE) courses:  these are online courses that are offered fall, winter, or spring by the various UCs open to all UC students in good academic standing.  A UCSB student typically needs to be enrolled in at least 12 units at UCSB and can enroll in only one UC CCE course per quarter.  Students enroll in courses through the UC CCE website, and after a course is completed, it will appear on a student's UCSB transcript and will count toward a student's UC grade point average but not toward academic residency.
  • UC (not UCSB) Summer Sessions:  students may enroll at another UC during its summer session.  Upon completion of the summer session, the student must have the transcript from the other UC sent to UCSB's Admissions where it will be evaluated for transfer.  Once the Admissions finishes the evaluation, the course will appear on the student's UCSB transcript, count toward the student's UC GPA, but not toward academic residency.
  • The Inter Campus Visitor Program:  students spend a quarter or a semester enrolled as a full-time student at another UC.  Upon completion of the term, the courses will appear on a students UCSB trancript and count toward the student's UC GPA but not toward academic residency.
  • Simultaneous Enrollment Program:  a UCSB student simultaneously enrolls in courses at UCSB and at another UC.  Upon completion of the term, the courses will appear on a students UCSB trancript and count toward the student's UC GPA but not toward academic residency.
  • UC Extension (Professionnal and Continuing Education, PaCE, at UCSB). See below for details.

Please keep in mind that with the exception of few UC CCE courses, courses at other UCs are not "articulated" with UCSB courses.  That is that they do not automatically count as the equivalent of UCSB courses and apply toward specific requirements, but quite often by petition, they can be approved for general education or major requirements:  see a Letters and Science College advisor to discuss how a course from another UC might count toward a GE and your major advisor about how it might apply to your major. 

Transferring Credit from UC Extension (a.k.a. Professional and Continuing Education, PaCE, at UCSB)

UC Extensions, even UCSB Extension, a.k.a. Professional and Contkinuing Education (Pace) are almost like separate institutions:  they print their own transcripts and have different admission and enrollment policies than their UC homes.  UC Extension programs are designed to "extend" the opportunity for people in UC communities to enroll in UC courses and/or to complete professional certificates, so while non-admitted students often enroll in Extension courses, in certain situations, admitted UC students might benefit by enrolling in courses through Extension.  Students should discuss their plans with a Letters and Science College advisor if they are are considering enrollling in UC courses via extension and should keep the following in mind

  • Students need to have an Extension transcript, including a UCSB Extension transcript, sent to UCSB Office of Admissions for the units to transfer and appear on their UCSB transcript.
  • Courses taken at another UC do not apply toward a student's UC GPA
  • UCSB "Open Enrollment Courses," regular UCSB courses, taken via Extension do count toward a student's UC GPA.
  • UCSB courses with a "X" designation (TMP X 130A, X 130B, X 130C for example) do not count toward a Student's UC GPA.
  • Extension courses numbered 300 or higher do not transfer for degree credit.
  • Courses taken via Extension, even UCSB Extension, do not count toward academic residency.

Once a course taken via Extension "posts," appears on a UCSB transcript, it can apply toward a degree requirement.  If it is a UCSB course already approved for a requirement, the degree audit will apply the course to the requirement.  A course from another UC taken via Extension can be petitioned for a requirement.

Transferring Credit from Out-of-state Community Colleges and non-UC 4-year Colleges and Universities

It is possible to transfer credit from out-of-state community colleges and other 4-year schools:  please see the "Additional Information Regarding Transfer Credit" for details.  Courses taken at these schools do not apply to a student's UC GPA, do not count toward residency, and do not appear on the UCSB transcript.

Additional Information Regarding Transfer Credit

UCSB Does Not Pre-evaluate Courses for Transfer

While UCSB does not pre-evaluate course for transfer, if students carefully follow the Office of Admissions Transfer Guidelines, they should be able to successfull transfer credit.  A Letters and Science College advisor will be glad to talk about your plans and give you insights on transferring credit. 

Beware of Duplication!!!

If you take a course at another school that is equivalent to a course you competed at UCSB, it will not transfer for credit.

Don't Take a Course if You Have Completed a Higher Level Course in the Same Subject!

If you complete Spanish 3 at UCSB, for example, and then enroll at a first semester Spanish course at another school, you will not receive credit for the course.

Transfer courses may be used to fulfill course prerequisites:

If you take non-UCSB courses believe that should fill a  prerequisites for UCSB courses, you must:

  • Ask the school in question to send an official transcript to the UCSB Office of Admissions.
  • Bring a copy of your transcript along with the description and syllabus for the course that you hope will meet a prerequisite to the UCSB department of the course you hope to enroll. Staff in the department can "clear" the prerequisite and allow you to register for the course.

Transfer courses may fulfill some General Education Requirrements

  • When choosing courses that you hope to transfer, use the UCSB General Education Program Outcomes and Transfer Guide and to see how courses from other institutions, including study abroad courses, are assessed for General Education Requirements.
  • If you have questions about whether a course or courses could apply toward General Education, it is recommended that you speak with a college advisor in 1117 Cheadle Hall, but please keep in mind that an advisor cannot formally approve a course for a General Education Requirement until after a course has transferred.

Lower-Division Major Coursework

Lower-division major coursework can be completed at a community college or at a 4-year university. If you are interested in completing lower-division major coursework at a community college, visit Assist.org to determine which courses are relevant to your major.  If you are plan to take course at four year schools or at a community college outside of California, consult with your major department to see if the work can be applied to the UCSB major.  No more than 105 units of lower-division units may be transferred.

Upper-Division Major Coursework

Upper-division major coursework must be completed at a 4-year university. If you hope to transfer upper-division coursework from another university, speak with your departmental advisor and an advisor in the College of Letters and Science Advising Office.  Make sure the courses you intend to take are, in fact, upper-division. You can verify this by reviewing the  other university’s catalog.