Selective Majors for Transfer

UCSB seeks to enroll well-prepared transfer students who clearly meet the University of California's minimum requirements for admission at the time they apply. UCSB accepts junior-level transfers and will give priority consideration to those from California community colleges. The College of Letters and Science and the College of Engineering do not accept applicants who have achieved senior-level status (this is applicable only for students who have attended another four-year institution).

Frequently, the number of applications exceeds the number of enrollment spaces available. When this occurs, selection criteria beyond the minimum admission requirements are used to determine admission status.

Students are strongly encouraged to begin taking English composition and mathematics coursework early in their academic careers. Early completion of the minimum requirements for admission makes an applicant more competitive for admission spaces available.

College of Creative Studies

Applicants who apply to UCSB's College of Creative Studies must fill out a supplemental application in addition to the UC application. Applicants are selected on the basis of outstanding academic and personal achievement, special talent and capacity for excellence in one of the eight available majors.  

College of Letters and Science

Students are selected primarily on the basis of overall academic achievement and completion of the course pattern required for upper division transfer. All transfer students are encouraged to complete as many of their major preparation courses as possible prior to transfer, in order to make normal progress toward completion of the degree. Some performance majors (dance, music B.M. and theater B.F.A.) also require an audition.

All Biological Science Applicants Must:

  • Complete a one-year sequence of general chemistry with laboratory with no individual grade lower than "C."
  • Complete a sequence (two to three terms) of major-applicable general biology with laboratory with no individual grade lower than "C."
  • Attain a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better in the required courses listed above.
  • For students to graduate within two years of transferring, we strongly recommend the completion of one year of organic chemistry with laboratory, one year of general physics with laboratory and one year of calculus or calculus with statistics. Any of these courses completed with a grade lower than "C" might not satisfy course prerequisites at UCSB. 
  • When completing an application for admission, applicants intending to major in biology should select a biology major as their first choice major. Applicants who would consider studying in an alternate field and who want the greatest opportunity for selection at UCSB, should consider selecting an alternate major outside of biology. Students who are not admitted to biology may be admitted to an alternate major, but should expect to complete their degree in the major to which they were admitted.
  • Students may not change into a biology major after enrollment at UCSB.
All Economics Applicants Must:
  • Complete four required major preparation courses: macroeconomics, microeconomics and two calculus courses.         
  • Advanced Placement exams in macroeconomics and microeconomics may NOT be used to satisfy major preparation requirements.
  • Attain a grade point average of 2.75 or better in the four required major preparation courses with no individual grade lower than "C."
  • When completing an application for admission, applicants intending to major in economics should select an economics major as their first choice major. Applicants who would consider studying in an alternate field and who want the greatest opportunity for selection at UCSB, should consider selecting an alternate major outside of the Department of Economics. Students who are not admitted to economics may be admitted to an alternate major, but should expect to complete their degree in the major to which they were admitted.

College of Engineering 

Transfer applicants are screened for the amount of preparatory coursework completed, the grades earned in that coursework and the cumulative GPA. Consequently, transfer students should complete all required major preparation coursework with the best grades possible. Applicants should have a minimum 3.60 GPA in their major preparatory courses--with no individual grade lower than "C"--to be competitive for admission. Applicants with a GPA between 3.20 and 3.60 will also be considered for admission but will be less competitive than applicants with higher GPAs. 

Major Preparation for Computer Science B.S.:
  • Calculus for mathematics and engineering majors (1 year)
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • Programming courses in C or C++, data structures, discrete math/discrete structures, computer organization with logic design
  • A year and a half of calculus-based physics*
Major Preparation for B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Computer  Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering:
  • Calculus for mathematics and engineering majors (1 year)
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • A year and a half of calculus-based physics (critical to admissibility)*
  • A first course in general chemistry for science and engineering majors (full year mandatory for chemical engineering majors)*
  • Programming in C or C++ (computer engineering and electrical engineering majors)
  • Circuits and devices (not required for chemical engineering majors)
  • Course in Matlab (chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering majors)
  • Additional lower division subjects for the specified major:
    • Organic chemistry for chemical engineering*
    • Digital logic for computer engineering and electrical engineering
    • Statics and dynamics for mechanical engineering
California community college students should refer to ASSIST for specific coursework required to prepare for the major.

*It is recommended that students complete the physics series at one college to ensure that all topics are covered. This is also recommended for the general chemistry series and organic chemistry series if they are required for the major.