For Transfer Students Admitted Fall 2023 & After

For fall 2023, transfer students who are offered admission to L&S, and have selected one of the majors below on their application, will be directly admitted into the major. These students will not have to go through the process of applying to or officially declaring their major because they will have already been admitted (or declared) into their major.


Which L&S Majors are in the Pilot?

Berkeley Letters & Science has 25 majors that are participating in the pilot:


Ancient Greek & Roman Studies Data Science History of Art Social Welfare
Applied Mathematics Environmental Earth Science Interdisciplinary Studies Field (ISF) Sociology
Art Practice Gender & Women’s Studies Mathematics with Teaching Concentration South and Southeast Asian Studies
Atmospheric Science Geography Marine Science Theater and Performance Studies
Cognitive Science Geology Music  
Computer Science Geophysics Planetary Science  
Dance and Performance Studies History Physics  



This pilot is for transfer students applying to UC Berkeley’s College of Letters & Science for Fall 2023 admission.


Why is L&S Making This Change?

This pilot is designed to improve the transfer student experience. Traditionally, Berkeley Letters & Science (L&S) transfer students select their intended major on the UC application. After students are offered admission to L&S, they officially declare their major (following department application procedures, policies and requirements) during their first semester on campus. The declaration process can be complex and time-demanding, resulting in a stressful introduction to the L&S student experience. Transfer students will be better served when they have been directly admitted to their major of choice, upon making their selection on the UC application. This pilot program enables the College to shift the student’s advising conversation from focusing on declaration to focusing on graduation. This process, which aligns with how transfer students are currently admitted to other colleges and schools on campus, is also expected to foster a more diverse and sustainable student enrollment. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What if the transfer student’s intended major is not included in the admission-to-major pilot?

Transfer admission and major declaration procedures will not change for majors that are not participating in this pilot program. Students should refer to and the major’s website for more information on the process of declaring the major.


Q: Can transfer students change their major after being directly admitted into one of the pilot majors?

The process for changing from a pilot to a non-pilot major depends on the new major (high-demand or non-high demand) you wish to change into:

  • Changing to a non high-demand major: Non-high-demand majors will accept new students who wish to change to their major. As always, it is in the best interest of the student to complete as many major preparation requirements as possible prior to transferring to UC Berkeley to ensure that students can complete their degree within the unit ceiling.


  • Changing to a high-demand major:
    • Before admission to Berkeley Letters and Science: Applicants can request to change to their majors on the UC application before the January 31st deadline for major change requests. Applicants can request a major change through their MAP@Berkeley portal.
    • After a student is offered admission to Berkeley Letters and Science: Students can contact the adviser in their intended major to inquire about an application process. Due to limited capacity in high demand majors, it is important to know that not all high-demand majors will allow transfer students to apply to their major after students receive their L&S offer of admission. Admission to a high-demand major is not guaranteed, and students may be subject to a comprehensive application review which includes quantitative and qualitative criteria, academic and personal accomplishments by the student along with consideration of the context of those accomplishments and opportunities afforded to the student. Admission to high-demand majors based on these criteria is overall a more fair and equitable process instead of the current criterion of the student’s major prerequisite GPA.

If students are interested in a high-demand major, it is very important to select the high-demand major on the UC application for the College of Letters & Science.


Q. Will L&S accept an alternate major at the time that a student submits their UC application?

Students can select a primary major and an alternate major. Berkeley only guarantees the review of the primary major, but may consider alternate majors if space is available when we conduct our waitlist and appeals review processes.


Q. What happens if incoming transfer students do not have all of the major preparation requirements completed prior to transferring to L&S?

Students should complete all major preparatory courses listed on for their intended major. If the major does not have all major preparation courses articulated on, the student should plan to take those remaining courses during their first semester on the Berkeley campus. The student should work with their undergraduate major adviser to create a program plan that will allow them to complete all of their remaining major requirements within the unit ceiling.


Q. What if the transfer institution does not offer articulated courses for the student’s intended major?

Students are still eligible for the major, but students that have all major preparation courses completed will be better prepared for the major, and more competitive for admission to L&S.


Q. What if the transfer institution offers articulated courses for the student’s intended major, but the courses were not completed? Will students be ineligible if they don’t complete major preparation coursework?

Students might be eligible for the major. The student should plan to complete the articulated major preparation course before they transfer to L&S. Students that have all major preparation courses completed will be better prepared for the major, and more competitive for admission to L&S.


Q: How will non-CCC transfer students know if they have all of their major preparation courses completed?

Students will need to find and complete comparable major preparation courses at their current college. Students should use the course descriptions in the Berkeley Academic Guide ( to help them find similar courses at their college.


Q: Where can students find information about fall 2023 admission changes to Berkeley Letters & Science? Under the “Program” or “Requirements” section on the agreements, information was added about the direct admission-to-major transfer pilot for all majors participating in the pilot program.

The Admissions website: Check this webpage for any updates about the pilot program.

The L&S application: For high-demand majors participating in the pilot (Art Practice, Computer Science, Data Science, and Social Welfare), a notation was added to the L&S application to encourage students to select the major on the application if they intend to declare the major in L&S. There is also a link that will direct the student to the Academic Programs and Majors page on the Admissions website for more information on why it is important to select that major at the time that they apply to L&S.


Helpful Links

L&S Unit Ceiling and Semester Limit page

Academic Programs and Majors page