At UC Berkeley, the world’s premier public university, you can excel beyond, exchange ideas and, ultimately, change the world.
You are a transfer student if you have completed coursework during a regular session at a college or university after high school. (The summer session immediately following high school graduation does not count.) While UC gives California community college students first priority over other transfer applicants, we also accept those from four-year institutions.
Comprehensive Review and Minimum Requirements
The Transfer Admissions process uses Comprehensive Review. While no one attribute or characteristic guarantees the admission of any applicant to Berkeley, transfer students can be most competitive by excelling in the academic areas. The minimum requirements for Berkeley transfer admissions are as follows:
- General Education / Breadth requirements.
- Some colleges accept a full UC IGETC or Essential Skills. Check ASSIST.org for more information. (If you are attending a college that is not a California community college, on ASSIST.org, select “UC Berkeley”, then select any college in order to see the Berkeley requirements.
- To find courses that satisfy the Reading and Composition requirement that are offered at institutions other than California Community Colleges, students can review the R&C transfer information for a list of courses by institution.
- Minimum 60 UC transferable semester (90 UC transferable quarter units) by the end of the spring prior to fall matriculation
- Minimum GPA of 3.0 in all transferable college-level coursework for most majors
- Major preparation courses (Check ASSIST.org or guide.berkeley.edu for more information).
Learn about transfer admissions information by college.
While academic indicators are weighted more heavily than other parts of the application, other factors are considered in the Comprehensive Review process. The following are examples of qualities and attributes we consider in the Comprehensive Review process:
- The applicant’s full record of achievement in college-level courses, including number of units, general education, and major preparation courses.
- Personal qualities of the applicant, including leadership ability, character, motivation, insight, tenacity, initiative, originality, intellectual independence, responsibility, maturity, and demonstrated concern for others and for the community are considered.
- These factors can be demonstrated in different ways whether it is traditional clubs/organizations, home life, work life, or other life experiences.
- Likely contributions to the intellectual and cultural vitality of the campus. In addition to a broad range of intellectual interests and achievements, admissions readers seek diversity in personal background and experience.
- Achievement in academic enrichment programs, including but not limited to those sponsored by the University of California or California Community Colleges.
Race, ethnicity, gender, and religion are excluded from the criteria.
All achievements, both academic and nonacademic, are considered in the context of the opportunities an applicant has had, and the reader’s assessment is based on how fully the applicant has taken advantage of those opportunities. For an applicant who has faced any hardships or unusual circumstances, readers consider the maturity, determination and insight with which the applicant has responded to and/or overcome them. Readers also consider other contextual factors that bear directly upon the applicant’s achievement, including linguistic background, parental education level, and other indicators of support available in the home.
The review recognizes a wide range of talent and creativity that is not necessarily reflected in traditional measures of academic achievement but which, in the judgment of the reader, is a positive indicator of the student’s ability to succeed at Berkeley and beyond.
Transferring from Four-Year Institutions and Unit Maximum Policy
Students who wish to transfer to Berkeley from another UC campus or another four-year institution are considered in light of their personal circumstances and the availability of space in their prospective major; these students must apply as junior transfers with a minimum of 60 UC transferable semester units or 90 UC transferable quarter units (not to exceed 80 UC transferable semester units or 120 UC transferable quarter units). These units must be completed by the end of the spring prior to fall matriculation. Lower division units at any institution except for other UC campuses are capped at 70 units. Upper division units are added to determine if the student is eligible by not surpassing 80 semester units. All UC courses are transferable to another UC campus and count toward minimums and maximums.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Exam Credit
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams can be used to benefit students in two ways. Exams with scores of 3 or higher on AP exams, or 5 or higher on IB higher-level exams can be used for unit credit. Units from credit-bearing exams can help students meet the unit minimum requirements but will not be counted if it disadvantages students by making them reach more than the 80 semester (120 quarter) units. Students can also use some AP and IB exams for general education and/or subject credit and are encouraged to review ASSIST.org or guide.berkeley.edu for more details. For more information on how AP credits can be used, review the UC Exam Credit Matrix.
International students have the same transfer admission requirements as all other students. International English Exams (i.e. TOEFL or IELTS) are not required for admission since English proficiency is assumed when completing the Reading and Composition requirement or completing an IGETC certification. However, they can be beneficial to the student’s success if admitted to Berkeley.
How to Stand Out
Next, get familiar with what makes an applicant stand out in our pool:
- How Berkeley Selects Students
- Student Profile
- Personal Insight Questions
- Transfer Applicant Resources
- Transfer Applicant Checklist
UC Berkeley Transfer Admissions (webinar)