skip to Main Content

How to Read Your UC Provisional Contract

Once admitted to a UC as a transfer, every student gets a unique Provisional Contract. It’s crucial that you read it carefully and follow it to the letter.  Don’t let people tell you, oh so and so got a C and they didn’t get rescinded.  True, a lot won’t get rescinded with a C, but some will.  It depends on a lot of factors — prestige of the UC, selectivity of the major, your GPA, and so on.  Don’t chance it. If you break the contract rules and get rescinded, it’s almost impossible to launch a successful appeal. 

Sample Provisional Contract stipulations

  • Complete the last spring term with a 3.2 GPA overall
  • Complete the last spring term with a 2.0 GPA overall 
  • Complete a specific in-progress course with a 3.0 GPA
  • Maintain your current cumulative GPA
  • Contact admissions if you get any C’s, Ds or Fs
  • Contact admissions if you get 2 or more Cs
  • Do not drop any of your spring courses

As noted, students DO get rescinded, especially in selective majors.  Other times, especially with the vaguer contracts, a UC may provide a bit more leeway.  And no UC ever looks favorably on Ds or Fs , especially in major pre-requisites.  If you get a D in a major prep course, prepare to kiss the UC goodbye.

Breaking a Provisional rule
If by the end of the spring term you know you will be breaking the contract with a lower term GPA, or a lower course grade, or some other contract violation, be sure and contact the UC as soon as possible. They likely won’t give much input until they see the final grade, but starting the process early helps the outcome.  

I realize it’s hard to be pro-active when there is a potential downside, but time and again, I have seen the UCs willing to work with a student (within reason) as long as admissions gets a heads up. It obviously depends on the circumstance, but very occasionally a UC will let you make up a course in summer with an extended provisional contract (often with the proviso that you get a B in the course). If your fear of reprisal is so strong that you wait until right before the SIR deadline, or later, it’s less likely to result in a happy outcome.  

Also, one thing you never want to do is SIR to a campus on June 1 when you have violated a provisional contract and are waiting to hear the outcome.  I’ve seen the result:  A student was so sure things would work out he didn’t SIR to his alternate campus, and then got rescinded. By then, it was too late to SIR elsewhere. 

Dropping a course last term
If you have fulfilled your 60 semester unit minimum for admission and have completed pre-reqs and general education courses, you may be thinking you would like to drop a non-essential course you were taking in spring, possibly needed for another UC, a CSU, or maybe non-transferable.  Before you make any move, contact the UC and ask if you can drop the class for a W.  Most provisionals will not let you drop any course, no matter how inconsequential, without prior approval.

And don’t forget your TAG agreement!
If there are term GPA minimums or other criteria that need to be maintained in your TAG contract and you fall short, you will lose the TAG. It then becomes an issue of whether the UC will keep you on as a regular student without your TAG. 

Summer courses
Provisional contracts cover coursework through the final spring term. They do not usually extend to summer, unless specifically noted within the contract, or later amended.  (Example: You are permitted to extend your IGETC completion through summer, but you are required to get a B in the summer course as part of your extended provisional.)

However, assuming you have fulfilled your provisional contract by the end of spring term, summer courses should not have any related provisional stipulations.  (Example: If your provisional required you to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA during your last spring term, the rule usually reverts to the standard 2.0 GPA minimum for summer.)

However, this generalization may not always be true.  If you wish to take summer courses at your CCC or your new UC, you MUST get pre-approval from the UC. They will tell you what they expect.


The above is excerpted from How to Transfer to a UC from a California Community College: The Unofficial Guide, available on Amazon and iTunes.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lindy King

Lindy is an independent UC admissions consultant, who works with both transfers and freshmen. She also has just completed her first novel, a supernatural thriller set in San Francisco.

Back To Top