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All About Major Requirements When Transferring to a UC

There are numerous reasons why a transfer student might get rejected by a UC.  Obviously, GPA and any test scores play a huge part. But it is not necessarily uncommon to see a student with a 3.89 GPA get rejected, which of course, immediately raises the specter that it is going to be hell on wheels to get in. Panic ensues.

More often than not, from my experience talking to students who were rejected, and seeing other various results, one of the major reasons high GPA students get rejected is that they did not fulfill the requirements for the major at their chosen UC. (Another is miscalculation of units, but that’s another post for another day.)

I cannot stress enough that you need to look at the major requirements for every UC you plan to apply to, and make sure those requirements are met  – or change the major on the application, and possibly try switching majors once accepted. If a required course is not articulated at your community college, meaning there is no course that is equivalent, the UCs will allow you to take the course at the UC,as long as it isn’t at a nearby community college.  So unarticulated courses are usually a free pass — however, the more selective the major, the more the UC is going to want to see as many completed as possible.

To reiterate: if your intended major lists courses that are required for admission, and they are offered at your CC, and you have not fulfilled them, don’t apply to that major  – because you are wasting $70 and are bound for disappointment – no matter what your GPA.

You may read from some online advisors that the major requirements need to be completed by the fall prior to your enrollment. This is not true. You can continue taking major pre-reqs through your in-progress spring term. (However, for best practices, try to ensure the math and at least one English course requirement is completed by fall.)

When you see a rejection of a student with high GPA, more often than not (unless the major is severely impacted), something was not completed as per department requirements. So don’t let it get you down.

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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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