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10 Easiest Transfer Majors: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD

All About Majors
1. Guide to Business, Econ, Math and Finance Majors by UC
2. Best Majors for Criminology and Law at a UC
3. 10 Easiest Transfer Majors: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD
4. 10 Easiest Transfer Majors: UCI, UCD, UCSB
5. 10 Easiest Transfer Majors: UCSC, UCR, UC Merced
6. Capped + Selective Majors by UC Campus 2018
7. 12 New Majors at the University of California, 2018
8. A Multi-Career Approach to 9 UC Majors

The non-popular UC majors

We all know those majors that a tremendous amount of students want.  These popular majors at all the UCs are also the most difficult to get into as it’s all about supply and demand.  But what about those applicants that are straddling the fence in terms of GPA, or maybe they haven’t fulfilled the major requirements for their initially desired major, or maybe they just want to get into their dream school? Whatever the reason, I get many students wanting to know the easier majors to help get them to a UC. And by easy I don’t mean easy once you get to the UC; I simple mean easy in terms of transfer GPA and number of required courses at the CCC.

To help figure out a game plan, I have collected the top 10 majors that will give a borderline student more of a flighting chance. I have left a few out of the lists. These are:

  • language majors, which are always lower admit GPAs and always have a higher admit rate. This applies across all UCs.
  • Creative arts, which always has a lower admit GPA, but involves a portfolio, so is usually harder to get in to.
  • Occasionally, a STEM major has a slightly higher admit rate than usual. I have left these out as they will inevitably include a great many pre-req courses.

How to interpret the lists

Mid-range GPA:  This is the mid-50% of GPAs for those admitted to the UC in that major for fall 2015.  There were 25% admitted that had lower GPAs and 25% admitted that had higher GPAs. To be competitive and increase your odds, you wan to be in that mid-range or higher, if at all possible.

Admit Rate:  This is the percentage of applicants that got offered admission.  In other words, if an admit rate is 50% that means half of all that applied to that major got offered admission. (Contrast that with some engineering majors with a 4% admit rate.)

To see the Top Ten lists for Irvine, Davis and Santa Barbara, click here.
Click here for 10 Easiest at Santa Cruz, Riverside and Merced.

10 Easiest Majors to Transfer into UC Berkeley

1.Development Studies3.72 - 3.9341%
2.Environmental Economics Policy3.42 - 3.7849%
3.Society and Environment3.57 - 3.9154%
4.Landscape Architecture3.11 - 3.639%
5.Conservation and Resource Studies3.40 - 3.9837%
6.American Studies3.72 - 3.8935%
7.History of Art3.53 - 3.8640%
8.Comparative Literature3.60 - 3.8741%
9.Peace and Conflict Studies3.59 - 3.8444%
10.English3.60 - 3.9237%

10 Easiest Majors to Transfer into UCLA

1.African American Studies3.21 - 3.4155%
2.Asian Humanities3.51 - 3.7963%
3.Gender Studies3.32 - 3.6759%
4.Pre-European Studies3.10 - 3.3867%
5.Art History3.40 - 3.7860%
6.Comparative Literature3.17 - 3.6862%
7.Classical Civilization3.34 - 3.7664%
8.American Lit & Culture3.30 - 3.6962%
9.Pre-History3.45 - 3.8561%
10.Geography3.44 - 3.8561%

10 Easiest Majors to Transfer into UC San Diego

1.Interdisciplinary: Computers & the Artsmasked75%
2.Linguistics: Cognition and Language3.40 - 3.9170%
3.Undeclared3.50 - 3.8192%
4.Management Science3.53 - 3.8754%
5.Sociology3.46 - 3.81*51%
6.Political Science3.45 - 3.83*58%
7.Poli Sci: Public Policy3.43 - 3.77*51%
8.Poli Sci: Public Law3.47 - 3.79*53%
9.Poli Sci: International Relations3.43 - 3.83*60%
10.Global Health3.52 - 3.83*58%

* – these UCSD majors have a substantially lower enroll GPA, meaning many applicants within that mid-range did not accept the UCSD offer. (Those lower GPA admitted applicants may have been in the bottom 25% or on a waitlist.) Additionally, Sociology has numerous sub-specialties not listed above that are also in the same GPA/admit range.

Be sure to check out this link for more detail.:

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. We have a teenager attending A junior College and preparing to transfer to a UC school. We would like to get some advice and counsel. Are you available for consultation?

  2. I am a current student at a high school and a junior and have an exact 4.0 GPA in the UC GPA Calculator. But, I want to get into UC Berekely and want to know what the easiest major to get into that school and what I need to show in order to get into that easiest major.

    1. If that 4.0 is reasonably difficult (attained through rigorous advanced placement classes/college courses) then I would just apply with whatever major you have the most interest in.

      In the end, students at Cal tend to major in whatever they are most passionate about/interested in.

      If that is Engineering, you are in good hands. Same with most any major.

      A 4.0 with a HONEST essay and 2 extracurricular activities is more than enough to get into a school like Berkeley.

      Just put whatever you actually LIKE to do because admissions staff are not naive. They can sniff out a letter from a mile away.

      Best to be honest in your case since your grades are of NO hindrance.

      As long as you have good social skills and can prove interest in some area then you will have no issues being accepted.

      In fact, the whole admissions process for freshman (NOT CC transfers) is based on you as an individual. I’m sure you have something interesting to share so you should have no problem working that into a short essay.

      – Someone who has major insight into Cal Admissions 😉

      Good luck!

      1. Tell that to all the 4.0s who reach out to me in desperation for appeal letters and who also have a ton of extra-curriculars. It isn’t that simple and sometimes it’s not even clear why a person was rejected while someone with lesser stats got in. Each case is unique..

      2. When you refer to a 4.0, do you mean Weighted or Unweighted? Currently I have a 4.2 Weighted and a 3.7 Unweighted. I have been told that the UCs use both GPAs, and if I finish this upcoming semester with all A’s, I can definitely get both of the GPAs above 4.0.

      3. Im curious what you would have to say to my Son who has a UC GPA or 4.5, is ranked in the top 4% of his high school, 3 years Speech & Debate, varsity sports all 4 years, working, plus 7 years at his volunteer organization. Last summer he was accepted to the UCSB summer research academy and spent 40 hours per week doing that program….Denied to Berkely, UCLA and UCSB. These kids deserve more-

      4. Unfortunately, this is a fairly standard result these days — especially if you chose an impacted major. Better to choose an easier major and switch later. And in terms of an appeal, you cannot appeal requesting for a different major. I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

  3. When you refer to a 4.0, do you mean Weighted or Unweighted? Currently I have a 4.2 Weighted and a 3.7 Unweighted. I have been told that the UCs use both GPAs, and if I finish this upcoming semester with all A’s, I can definitely get both of the GPAs above 4.0.

    1. Kevyn if your current GPA is below 4.0 unweighted and yours is well below that then it is impossible to raise it above a 4 unweighted. This should be clear to any middle school math student. You would be benefitted by thinking this through and truly understanding your situation.

  4. Forgot to mention I am in high school in California. Class rank 10/68 (my rank will get higher as some students will be moving from my school)

  5. My daughter is a senior in high school, she has a 4.0 and is involved in sports and clubs. She has no idea what she wants to do. She is interested in UCLA and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Should she just put “undeclared” on her application? Will that hurt her chances of acceptance?

  6. I’m currently in the process of applying. My gpa is not the best.. it’s a 3.2 but im confident in my essays and I have included ‘good quality’ extra-curriculars. Could I choose whichever major I’d like to get accepted to any UC (besides Merced) ?

    1. Good luck and have a backup plan. My daughter did not get into any UC besides SC, Merced and Riverside with a 3.8 gpa, 9 APs, 3 years of 2 sports (1 varsity) and Sr. year with a p/t job. Test scores were kind of average (not a good test taker). She cried and then went to JC in the honors program, got her transfer AS and got into both Cal and UCLA. In the process she saved us $60,000.

  7. Excuse me, i was wondering if you know any tips to help someones resume to get into UC psychology major? Or to enhance the chances of someone getting accepted?

  8. Hello, I will apply to Cal next year from DVC. I have 4.0 unweighted GPA. Completed all the required classes. I think I would give it a shot. Also from reading other comments, seems like extra curricular is one of the most important Cal look for. I do work most of the time outside of school. So what things are considered quality extra curricular? I played 3 year sport but thats in high school.

  9. My son will be a high school junior and he would like to study business/finance. Which UC school would be best for a Business/Finance undergrad degree?

  10. My daughter has a 4.6 GPA, 1510 SAT. She wants to attend UCLA as an incoming Freshman. She’s not sure about her major but she like Biology and Chemistry and thinking about doing something in medical field. Should she apply as Undeclared- Science? vs BioChemistry major?

  11. Is there a way to put a 1st and 2nd choice for UCLA application? As in, 1st choice would be Design and Media, but if her portfolio isn’t what they would accept her for, to apply also to major in linguistics? She has interest in both.

    1. UCLA does not accept an alternate major unless you are in the TAP honors program — and even then the alternate can only be in Letters and Science (with some majors not allowed). So pick the major you want as only one will be looked at.

  12. Lindy, when my son applied to UCLA for 2023, UCLA did ask for an alternate major. Both are in the sciences (not engineering). Just FYI.
    We haven’t heard back yet, but it’s only late February. If anyone has heard back, please let me know. Thanks in advance.
    The waiting is killing me. My son, on the other hand, is plowing ahead and not giving it much thought. Maybe that’s the best approach. His GPA is 4.6 (weighted), 1520 SAT. We’ll see how it goes.

  13. Hi Lindy,
    My son majored Mathematics at UCSB for 2 years, this summer he was accepted to transfer to UC Berkeley, now he is 50/50 to make a decision. If he changes majors and does he need more time to complete 4 years?

    1. He can change majors right after he gets into Cal, assuming it is a major that will allow that. Depending on the requirements he will need for the new major, he could still do it in two years. Cal allows a certain overage of units beyond the 120. You need to talk to the college.

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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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