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10 Things To Know About The UC Transfer Academic Update

10 Things to Know about the UC Transfer Academic Update

Post Series: By the Numbers

Every transfer applicant who applied to a UC in November needs to fill out the Transfer Academic Update (TAU) in the month of January.  Here is just about everything you need to know.


UC TAU time frame1. How will I know when to fill out the form?

After you apply to a UC you will get a confirmation.  In the November application you added your In-Progress (IP) courses for the current fall, plus any Planned (PL) courses for winter or spring.  In January you will get an email from the UC to go onto the TAU page and update those terms. It usually opens around January 6th or 7th.


2. Priority Consideration

If you want to stay in the running and not get rejected outright you need to follow through and update the TAU in the month of January.  Let me reiterate — the month of January is the time frame that gives you priority consideration. During that time period, you will do two things:

  • Add your final grades for the previous fall.
  • Re-enter your IP or PL courses for winter and/or spring. Don’t worry if the courses changed from what you put in the application. The UCs know that courses might conflict, they might not be offered, or you might change your mind. Just list the courses, even if they are the same as what was listed in the application. Also, if a course is starting shortly you can choose either PL or IP, your choice.

changes to TAU3. Can I update the TAU?

You can make as many changes as necessary. The key to priority consideration, is to have the first entry in the month of January.


how long to update TAU4. How long can I update the TAU?

January is the TAU priority month but you may continue to update, I would say, through about early March.  Sometimes the UC will note that the TAU window has been extended to sometime in February. If they give a specific time extension every UC will look at the TAU up to that date. Passed the cut-off date listed you really don’t know if each UC will continue to look. That is why any updates after the final date noted online should be put on the TAU and also emailed to each UC through its portal.


changes to TAU5. Can I make changes to courses taken before fall?

No. The only things to add in the TAU are the previous fall, In-Progress or Planned.  If you made a mistake with a course in an earlier term (for instance, the grade is wrong, you forgot to add it, etc) you must email the UC at ____ with the change. Someone will get back to you within about five days and your application will be updated across all platforms. You might not see the update on your end but if you get the email they are seeing it on their end.


extra curricular activities6. Should I mention extra-curricular activities in the TAU?

The UC is not interested in any ECs after fall. One big reason is they want to make it an equal playing field for everyone.  However, I will throw out my personal caveat: if the EC is spectacular — like you got an internship at NASA — I say toss it into the Additional Comments. No harm. No foul.


email each UC with grades7. Should I send my winter grades to the UC?

The UCs do not calculate the GPA beyond the fall, but if you have a grade you think may have value (such as an A in Calc 2) you could send it. Each UC will determine how it wants to take it into consideration. In this case, since it will be beyond the January TAU deadline, you may still add it up there, but keep in mind not every UC will necessarily see it. Best practice is to double hit:  TAU and emailing each UC through its portal with the grade info.


UC Berkeley 8. If applying to Berkeley there are extra forms

All Berkeley applicants have the TAU and one or two extra forms.  Expect an email when the Berkeley forms window is open, which usually coincides with the TAU notification (January 6 or 7).  You must fill out both the TAU and any forms that Berkeley requires.  Failure to do so can lead to an outright rejection. (Yep. I’ve seen it happen.)


glitch in TAU9. Possible glitch regarding course entry

I am adding this because I have seen a glitch with the 2020 TAU. It may be corrected by next year but here is a do-around, if needed. It applies to students who added a course in a future term  in the November application, and then decided not to take any course that term. The TAU was requiring them to add a course that term or it would not process.  If that happens, and say your final spring you are now not planning any courses but the TAU is insisting you add something, these are the two best choices for my money:

  • Add a non-UC-transferable course and then write in the Additional Comments that you are not taking it but the TAU is forcing you to add something. The UC does not care about non-transferable courses so it won’t even register with them.  (Each CCC should note which courses are non-transferable. These are usually vocational-oriented, so Marketing or Intro to Photoshop will be non-transferable. There is a link at the bottom of assist.org which will let you see what courses at your CCC will not transfer. And you can ask your advisor.)
  • The other option is to just grab a one-unit PE course, and then put in the Additional Comments the same as above.

These two scenarios should create zero impact as it’s either a course that is not calculated or one that is just a single unit.


Don't forget TAU10. Forgetting = Rejection

Finally, I just need to drill it in once again that you need to update the TAU. Failing to do so is a leading cause of rejection.

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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.

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