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English Requirements To UC

Completing English When Applying as a Transfer to UCB, UCLA or any UC


Students hoping to transfer to a UC, especially those applying to a STEM major, often confuse what general education courses are required for a successful admission.

The minimum UC requirement for transfer admission:

  • two English composition courses
  • one quantitative math course
  • four transferable courses chosen from at least two of the following subject areas:
    • the arts and humanities
    • the social and behavioral sciences
    • the physical and biological sciences

 NOTE:  If you’re a California community college student doing breadth, depending on your major, one of the composition courses might need to be fulfilled with a blended Critical Thinking and Composition course (not composition), so be sure to check.

The above is the MINIMUM.

Both English courses must be completed. If you think this is not the case, you are misreading your major course requirements.  If you only complete one English course, you are almost 100% guaranteed not to gain admission. If by some time-warp continuum glitch, you do get admitted (?? not happening!), depending on the department, they may not even count the first English course — as the two are a sequence deal — and you might be forced to retake the first one.

What about those four extra courses?

Those four subject area courses must be completed.  As an example, if you’re applying to EECS at Berkeley, you will come upon this requirement on assist:

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science / Berkeley:
Required core courses for admission (all these courses must be completed to be considered for admission):

  • UCB Math 1A, 1B
  • UCB Math 53, 54
  • UCB Physics 7A, 7B
  • UCB English R1A and R1B
  • One from UCB Astronomy 7A or 7B or Bio 1A & 1AL or Bio 1B or Chem 1A/1AL or Chem 1B or Chem 3A/L or 3B/L or Mcellbi 32 & 32L or Physics 7C

The above are simply the core required courses for the EECS major. Conveniently, it covers some of the minimum admission requirements:  both English courses, the one math course, and two science courses. However, it does not cover the remaining two courses from either arts and humanities and social and behavioral science, or a combination of the two. You must take those extra two courses. If you don’t, you have not met minimum UC eligibility.

As to what exams or tests might fulfill these various courses, please refer to the UC page on minimum eligibility.

Final Thoughts

I run into students occasionally who think they don’t need the second English, or only need the courses listed in their STEM major. Not true. So be sure to have that last English course by your final spring term at the latest.

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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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