All transfer applicants should plan to complete as much major preparation coursework before transferring as possible. If you are interested in transferring into one of UCSB's selective majors listed below, certain requirements must be completed before transferring. For all other majors, view the Transfer Major Preparation Guide PDF or www.assist.org for recommendations. 

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College of Creative Studies

If you're applying to Creative Studies, you must submit 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

If you're applying to Letters and Science, you should complete as many of their major preparation courses as possible before you transfer in order to make normal progress toward completion of the degree. Some performance majors – including Dance B.A. and B.F.A., Music B.M., and Theater B.F.A. – also require an audition. Selective majors in this college include all biology, mathematics, economics, and physics majors – these majors will require specific coursework listed below. 

All Biology (Aquatic Biology B.S., Biochemistry-Molecular Biology B.S., Biological Sciences B.A. or B.S., Cell and Developmental Biology B.S., Ecology and Evolution B.S., Microbiology B.S., Pharmacology B.S., Physiology B.S., Zoology B.S.) applicants must:

  • Complete a one-year sequence of general chemistry with laboratory with no individual grade lower than "C."
  • Complete a sequence 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.
  • To graduate within two years of transferring, we strongly recommend that you complete 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. 

Important Notes:

  • When submitting your UC application, you should select a biology major as your first choice major. If you would consider studying in an alternate field, consider selecting an alternate major outside of biology for the greatest opportunity for selection at UCSB. 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.
  • You may not change into a biology major after enrollment at UCSB.

All Economics B.A. and Economics & Accounting B.A. applicants must:

  • Complete four required major preparation courses - macroeconomics, microeconomics, and two calculus courses - and attain a GPA of 2.75 or better in these four courses with no individual grade lower than "C."         

Important Notes:

  • Advanced Placement exams in macroeconomics and microeconomics may NOT be used to satisfy major preparation requirements.
  • When submitting your UC application, you should select an economics major as your first choice major. If you would consider studying in an alternate field, consider selecting an alternate major outside of economics for the greatest opportunity for selection at UCSB. 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.

All Mathematics B.A. or B.S. and Applied Mathematics B.S. applicants must:

  • Complete Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 (courses articulating with UCSB’s MATH 3A and 3B).
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better in the required courses listed above with no individual grade lower than “C." (If MATH 3A and/or 3B were satisfied with AP/IB exams or with pass/credit grades in college courses, then grades in additional pre-major math courses will be used so that two letter grades go into the screening GPA.)

Important Note: This is a minimum requirement. You are advised to take as many pre-major and major preparation courses as possible before you transfer to ensure timely progress to graduation.
 

Starting with fall 2022 applications (November 2021 application filing period), all Physics B.A. or B.S. applicants must:

  • Complete the UC Physics Transfer Pathway courses with at least a 3.4 GPA. The Physics Transfer Pathway courses are:
    • Calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers (full introductory sequence through modern physics with labs). At UCSB, this is: PHYS 20-21-22-23-3L-24-4L-25-5L/25L.
    • Single variable calculus (full sequence). At UCSB, this is MATH 3A-3B.
    • Multivariable calculus (one semester course). At UCSB, this is MATH 6A.
    • Linear algebra (one course). At UCSB, this is MATH 4A.
    • Differential equations (one course). At UCSB, this is MATH 4B
    • General chemistry (full sequence with labs). At UCSB, this is: CHEM 1A-1AL-1B-1BL-1C-1CL.

College of Engineering 

UCSB is home to one of the smallest engineering programs in the UC system. Due to this, admission to UCSB's College of Engineering is extremely competitive. In order to be eligible for a major in the College of Engineering as a transfer applicant, you are required to complete specific courses by the spring term prior to transfer. Successfully completing these courses with the best grades possible will make you selective in the admission process. In general, each of the majors in the college will recommend a minimum major preparation GPA between 3.6 to 3.8, with no individual grade lower than "C."

All Computer Science B.S. applicants must complete the following major preparation courses:

  • Calculus for mathematics and engineering majors (1 year)
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • Programming courses in C or C++, data structures in C++, and discrete mathematics/discrete structures
  • A year and a half of calculus-based physics*

*It is recommended that you complete the physics series at one college to ensure that all topics are covered.

All Chemical Engineering B.S., Computer Engineering B.S., Electrical Engineering B.S., and Mechanical Engineering B.S. applicants must complete the following major preparation courses: 

  • Calculus for mathematics and engineering majors (1 year)
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • A year and a half of calculus-based physics*
  • A first course in general chemistry for science and engineering majors (full year mandatory for chemical engineering)*
  • Programming in C or C++ (computer engineering and electrical engineering)
  • Circuits and devices (not required for chemical engineering)
  • Course in MATLAB (chemical engineering and mechanical engineering)

Additional lower-division subjects for the specified major:

  • Organic chemistry (chemical engineering)*
  • Digital logic (computer engineering and electrical engineering)
  • Statics and dynamics (mechanical engineering)

Important Note: California community college students should refer to ASSIST for specific coursework required to prepare for the major.

*It is recommended that you 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.
 

Application Resources for Transfers

You probably have questions about how your courses will transfer to UCSB. Our downloadable brochures can help. 

 

Guide to Course Transferability

Use this guide if you are a student transferring from any college or university that is not a California community college.

Guide to Course Transferability PDF

 

Transfer Major Preparation Guide

Use the major preparation guide as a quick reference for recommended and required courses in your intended major.

Transfer Major Preparation Guide PDF