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Pt 2: UC Application Tutorial – Course Fulfillment

Post Series: UC Application Tutorial

Now that we’re moving into prime UC application territory, I am continuing my overview of the transfer application process. In Pt 1: UC Application Tutorial – Unit Calculations, I covered the various pitfalls and vagaries connected with calculating your 60 UC-transferable semester units. This section concerns entering courses into the application, including repeat classes, courses from other colleges, as well as noting IGETC completion. 

Listing colleges
As you move through the application, you will eventually come to the college section. You must include every single college attended, even if you dropped out. Even if it was a one-unit course with a W. And don’t forget any colleges you attended while in high school, or in another state or another country. You must also list every course taken, along with all grades, including Ws, NPs, Ds and Fs. The UCs utilize the National Student Clearinghouse which lists every college you ever stepped foot on. You don’t want to be caught leaving something out and get denied admission.

Ideally, you have copies of all your transcripts at the ready. First, you will be asked to list colleges chronologically. Make sure to input the institution name correctly (find it on the transcript or the website).  That seems like a simple task but often it is done incorrectly. Additionally, if you went to a UC summer school or UC Extension, be sure to find the exact UC Extension college name or UC summer session name – don’t pick the actual UC. 

List course work and grades
After you list a college, you will be asked to input all courses attempted or completed, by term. If the courses are from a CCC they will be noted in the drop-down menu. Simply match them to your transcript. If the courses are from a non-CCC, you will need to manually enter them a bit further down. Be sure to write the course name exactly as shown on the transcript, along with the exact grade, including plusses (+) and minuses (-), as these are calculated into the UC-transferable GPA.  Do not arbitrarily add a plus or minus because it can get you disqualified.

The UCs want to know every course you took. This includes non-transferable courses, such as remedial, technical, or vocational. These non-transferable courses will not be listed in the CCC course drop-down menu. Be sure to manually enter them.

Include NP, D, F, W, AR (Academic Renewal), P, and I (Incomplete).  Whatever is noted on the transcript, put it in.

Exception to listing a college
There is one exception to noting all your colleges by term. If by some chance you enrolled in a college but never followed through (meaning you never registered for classes and thus, there is no transcript), do not list the college, as the application will not let you move forward unless you list a course. Instead, when the application notes a gap in your college career, you will be asked what you did during that time frame. It is a small 555-character text box. If there is not enough room, mention that you will cover it in the larger Additional Comments further down. Wherever you fit it, get in the name of the college, the term, and that you never registered for any courses.

When you reach the current fall term, list the courses you are currently enrolled in, and note them as IP (In-Progress). For the upcoming winter session and/or spring term, list your planned courses and note them as PL.

Incompletes, Academic Renewals, and Ws
Incompletes —If you add an Incomplete, the UCs will definitely get back to you about when you plan to get it completed. They will also want to know the CCC’s policy on Incompletes. Some CCCs allow a year, some one term. During the time frame it is not completed, the UC will consider it GPA neutral, meaning if it is a major requirement they will consider it unfulfilled.  If it is not completed by the time frame required it will roll over to an F.

Academic Renewal — If you applied for AR and it has not finalized, do not put AR in the application. Instead, mention in the Additional Comments when it is set to transition. While AR may look nicer to you, the UCs know it’s hiding a D or an F, so it’s all the same to them. Just let the campus know it will be converting. Another reason not to jump the gun is your transcript may indicate the date AR went into effect. Don’t be caught saying it transitioned before it did.

Withdrawals — Don’t worry about Ws. The UCs generally look at them neutrally, especially if they are all bunched together. Simply note the reason in the Additional Comments.

Duplicate courses
If you are repeating a course with a sub-par grade (C- or lower) at the same CCC, the application should catch it. It may even catch it coming from different CCCs. However, if you took a course at a CCC that is meant to replace a course from a non-CCC, the application will not recognize it, so be sure to note it in the Additional Comments. The GPA in the application will not be correct, but don’t worry. It will later correct.

AP credit
Be sure to list all AP exams, even scores of 1 or 2. The UCs don’t care about the lower numbers and it will not detract in any manner from your application. But if you are accepted and later send in the CollegeBoard scores and they find some that weren’t listed, you could be in hot water.

A question sometime arises, should you list AP exam scores in the application if the only scores you got were a 1 or a 2? I say list them all, and then if accepted, ask the UC if they want them sent in. Also, the application may note that you are missing a requirement (such as an English course) that is actually fulfilled with an AP score. Just note in the Additional Comments that an AP score fulfilled the requirement.

Key things to keep in mind:

  1. Be sure the required courses for your major are completed by spring. Recommended or highly recommended courses have some leeway, but if it’s a competitive major (engineering, econ, computer science, etc) be aware the more completed the better.
  2. If a required series for your major says full sequence on assist that means the entire sequence must be completed in advance at the same institution or you will not get credit.
  3. If IGETC will be completed by spring, click the IGETC box in the application. Do NOT click the box if you are planning partial IGETC, meaning 1-2 courses will be missing by the end of spring. IGETC needs to be completed by spring to get fully certified. Otherwise don’t check it.
  4.  Ideally, your math quantitative reasoning requirement is completed by fall. Fall completion is required of all TAGs, and essentially required of all Santa Barbara applicants, unless you have another math course (even remedial) with a letter grade.
  5. Ideally, your first required English course is completed by fall. Even better—both are completed.
  6. You do not need an AA degree, so don’t worry.

This is just a basic overview of the mid-part of the application, but it should serve you adequately when filling it out.

The UC application window is open Nov 1-30.  Click here to apply online

Coming up next:
Pt 3:  UC Application Tutorial – ECs, Additional Comments and Submission

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Lindy King

CA College Transfer offers college admissions services to students hoping to transfer to a UC. Lindy King is the author of the best-selling UC transfer book, "How to Transfer to a UC from a California Community College," now in its 2nd edition. Available on Amazon and iTunes.

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