Transfer Requirements - UC Berkeley

There are both, spoken and "unspoken" requirements, that you will need to be aware of when applying to UC Berkeley.

As a transfer applicant, you are competing against a smaller, but "more impressive" pool of students, for a limited number of spots. In this guide, we'll share the minimum (along with "nice-to-have") requirements as a transfer applicant to UC Berkeley.

If you are applying as a transfer to the Haas School of Business, or the Engineering School, please find additional tips towards the bottom of the guide.

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Step 1: Meet the Minimum Course Transfer Requirements

Completion of General Education and Breadth Requirements:

Students at UC are required to fulfill general education requirements that provide a foundation in all major educational disciplines - natural sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts. 

As part of the general education requirement (also called the breadth requirement), students must take specific courses or earn a specific number of credits in each of the above disciplines.

Transferring into UC Berkeley
2 Basic Requirements:
  • Minimum of 60 UC transferrable semester credits, or 90 UC transferrable quarter credits
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (all of your eligible college courses)
Transfering to UC Berkeley from another UC school:

You may transfer courses taken at another UC main campus (not UC Extension) during a regular academic term (fall, winter, spring) or summer term (source).

Transfering to UC Berkeley from a California community college:

You also have the option of completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to satisfy the lower-division general education requirements at any UC campus. 

Full IGETC requirements provided in the table below (table source).

Transfering to UC Berkeley from an out of state school:

The University of California accepts academic credit from colleges and universities in the United States that are regionally accredited. Here's a full list of all colleges and universities that qualify. 

Subject Area Required Courses Units Required Details
English Communication 2 courses 6 semester, or 8-10 quarter units One course in English composition and one course in critical thinking/English composition.
Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning 1 course 3 semester, or 4-5 quarter units N/A
Arts and Humanities 3 courses 9 semester, or 12-15 quarter units Three courses with at least one from the arts and one from the humanities.
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 courses 9 semester, or 12-15 quarter units Three courses from at least two disciplines, or an interdisciplinary sequence.
Physical and Biological Sciences 2 courses 7-9 semester, or 9-12 quarter units One physical science course and one biological science course, at least one of which includes a laboratory (ie. Chemistry).
Language (other than English) Proficiency Proficiency (2 yrs in high school) Two years of high school courses in the same language satisfies this requirement for most.
Total 11 courses 34 semester units, 45 quarter units Satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any UC campus.

Strategy Tip: Use the IB Program to Its Full Advantage

The IB Program offers a great way for Berkeley applicants to stand out among a large international student pool.

  • Extended Essay - a great talking point for your Personal Insight Questions, and demonstrating your passion
  • IB Credits - usually results in credits towards a handful of classes in your first few semester at Berkeley
  • IB Exams - high scores help to support your candidacy into UC Berkeley

AP and IB Classes

If offered by your school, the IB Program is a great way to stand out, especially to a school that garners significant interest from international students

Explore JC Courses

Your local junior college offers a diverse range of courses, that might be better suited (and is a great way to stand out from other applicants!).  

"Passion Projects"

Don't feel guilty about taking the classes you're interested in. Turn your favorite electives into passion projects, so you have something to point the admissions officer towards.

Have any questions?

Step 2: Meet Specific College and Major Requirements

Haas School of Business (B.S.)

Haas School of Business Transfer Requirements:

  • Complete all prerequisite courses with a letter grade of C- or higher, no more than five years before starting the business major.

  • You will also have to submit an additional writing sample (a good thing!) and resume (a good thing!) with the Application Update Form in January.

  • NOTE: Transfer admissions priority is given to students who are US citizens, California residents, and are transferring from a California community college (source).

If accepted, you will also be invited to participate in a Summer PreCore Program, which offers two 6-week "refresher" boot-camp type courses (with speakers, guest lecturers, etc.). This also has the secret benefit of letting you warm up, before adjusting to the Berkeley academic rigor. 

College of Engineering (B.S.)

College of Engineering Transfer Requirements:

  • A solid background in math and physical sciences (the engineering courses at UC Berkeley are rigorous, to say the least)

  • Minimum 3.5 GPA and have completed the equivalent of all required core UC Berkeley preparation courses. 

  • If a series of courses is required, all courses in the series must be completed to receive credit. No partial credit is given.

  • The Intersegmental Generation Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) offered at California community colleges is not acceptable as completion of breadth (source).

Almost 15 percent of Berkeley Engineering's undergraduate population is comprised of junior transfer students, so while competitive, a well crafted application with relevant personal insight questions responses is key.

Strategy Tip: Stand Out to UC Berkeley with your Final Courses

Berkeley's most popular (and well-known) undergraduate programs are within:

  • Engineering departments - EECS, MechE, CS
  • Undergraduate business school - Haas School of Business
  • Economics' departments - research focus, with numerous Nobel Laureates
  • Science departments - Pre-Medicine

The courses you take in your last semester can help support the central theme from your personal insight questions.

UC Berkeley - Letters of Recommendation

If during your application cycle, you are given the option to submit two letters of recommendation - take it.

Here are some ideas of people to ask for letters of recommendation:

  • An "advanced course" professor, who thinks highly of you
  • A supervisor or mentor from a professional internship
  • A coach that has seen you persevere through adversity
  • A doctor that you shadowed and learned from
  • Bonus points if they are a well-recognized Cal alumni

Next Letters of Recommendation Deadline: January 15, 2022

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Additional Requirements Based on Applicant Type

Freshman Applicants

Students currently in high school (with or without college coursework completed), as well as students who have graduated high school without taking college courses.

View Requirements

Transfer Applicants

Students who have completed coursework after high school during regular semesters at a college or university (post high-school graduation summer excluded).

View Requirements

International Applicants

Students who require a visa to stay and study in the United States. A US citizen, permanent resident, refugee, or asylee currently residing outside of the US is considered a domestic applicant with foreign credentials.

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