Frequently Asked Questions
- How many units do I need to transfer?
Most students transferring to the CSU enter at the junior level with a minimum of 56 units; 60 is recommended for full junior status. See your counselor or ask the visiting college reps. for individual campus requirements; some CSUs are beginning to require 60 units for transfer. Many private universities and out-of-state colleges will accept transfer students with fewer units.
- Is there a maximum number of units I can transfer?
As a general rule universities will apply a maximum of 70 semester units toward your bachelor’s degree.
- Will the four year colleges accept more than 70 units?
Most colleges and universities will accept 70 semester units toward the total number of units needed to complete a bachelor’s degree. If you have taken more than 70 units the content of the courses will be used to satisfy needed requirements. Students who have already attended a four-year institution should see a counselor about their unit limits.
- What is the minimum grade point average for transfer?
The minimum GPA needed to transfer to a California State University (CSUs) is 2.0 (2.4 for non-residents). The minimum GPA needed to transfer to the University of California (UCs) is 2.4. The GPA needed for transfer to private colleges varies. Note: Some majors and some colleges are impacted and will require higher GPA’s for admission.
- What is GE?
GE (General Education) is a program of courses in the arts and sciences. Courses are usually introductory and provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge in English, arts, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, physical and biological sciences. The CSU GE pattern is one way for students who transfer to the CSU system to complete the CSU lower division GE requirements at the community college level before transferring. Completing the entire CSU GE pattern is not a requirement for transfer. It is not possible to complete all of the GE needed to graduate from a CSU at the community college level.
- What is IGETC?
IGETC is the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum. It is a general education program which community college students can use to satisfy lower division general education requirements at any CSU or UC campus. Completion of IGETC is one option for students to use when preparing to transfer; it is not a requirements for transfer to either the CSUs or the UCs. IGETC may not be recommended for some majors such as engineering and science. Students who are planning to transfer to a CSU may complete the CSU GE pattern.
See a counselor to plan your transfer.
- What is a major?
A major is a program of study which leads to a degree. See the college catalog, articulation agreements, or a counselor to determine which classes are required for a specific major.
- What is a minor?
A minor is a secondary field of study with fewer classes than the major. There are no options to do a minor at the community colleges.
- Do I need to declare a major before I transfer?
Not all colleges require you to declare a major prior to transferring; however, many do. For a specific CSU or UC campus, see the college’s application for admission for major requirements. For other colleges check the catalog or contact the college’s admissions office for major requirements.
- How do I find out about transfer requirements for the school I plan to attend?
There are several ways you can learn about transfer colleges. First, see your counselor. The college Career/Transfer Center is a resource of information on colleges. The Center has catalogs for all California colleges, plus you can use the computers for on-line search to research the transfer requirements. You can make an appointment with the visiting college representatives. See the Career/Transfer Center calendar of colleges scheduled to visit. You can attend a college night at one of the Peralta campuses; these are held the end of October. Vista does not have space to hold the event but the other campuses are convenient. Lastly, and one of the best ways to learn about a college you are considering, you can visit the college.
- What is certification and why is it important for transferring?
Certification of CSU GE or IGETC is the official notice verifying that a transfer student has completed courses satisfying lower division general education requirements. See your counselor about how to process the certification form verifying that you have met all your transfer requirements.
- What is the difference between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree?
An associate degree is a two-year degree granted by a community college to students who complete a specified program of study, usually totaling 60 units. A bachelor’s degree (or baccalaureate) is a four-year degree granted by four-year colleges or universities upon completion of at least 124 semester units or 180 quarter units. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are offered by the California State Universities (CSUs), the University of California (UCs), and by private four-year colleges.
- What is the difference between a CSU and a UC?
The California State University (CSU) system of higher education in California grants the most bachelor degrees. (See the list of majors posted in the Career/Transfer Center.) It is considered the more practical, career-oriented of the two systems. The University of California (UC) system is considered more of a research institution. The UC grants professional and doctorate degrees as well as bachelor and master degrees. It is considered the more theoretical in approach of the two systems