Prospective junior transfer FAQs

When can I apply for admission to Berkeley Engineering?

The UC system’s application period is November 1–30 for admission to the following fall semester

What are my chances of being admitted?

The answer depends on the quality of the applicant pool and the number of spaces available in the major to which you apply. For the 2014–15 academic year, the College of Engineering received more than 2,000 junior transfer applications and 11.3 percent were admitted.

How does Berkeley make its admission decisions for transfer students?

Berkeley gives the highest priority for admission to California community college applicants. Lower priority is given to applicants from other UC campuses, other four-year institutions or non-California community colleges. Applicants are evaluated primarily on their completion of lower-division required courses (and, if available, the strongly recommended courses for admission), as well as the level of academic achievement reflected in their GPA (minimum 3.3 GPA is required to apply). Only applicants who have completed 100 percent of the required core courses for Berkeley Engineering — as outlined on ASSIST — will be considered for admission.

This includes courses that satisfy Berkeley’s reading and composition requirement (English 1A & 1B). Other lower-division courses required for graduation are strongly recommended to strengthen one’s application. The required personal statement is also reviewed for evidence of interest in the student’s chosen major and thoughtful match between the academic program and the student’s academic and career objectives. Test scores and letters of recommendation are not requested as part of the admissions process for transfers.

For additional information about Berkeley’s application and selection process, please see the transfer admission flyer.

How many completed units will I need to enroll as a transfer student?

Applicants must complete a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester units by the end of spring term prior to fall admission. Applicants with excessive transferable semester units (89 or more from a four-year institution or those who complete coursework at a community college and then transfer to a four-year institution) are ineligible for admission.

What courses should I complete to be eligible?

Transfer applicants must meet UC admissions requirements, which are detailed online at the University of California’s admissions website. In addition, applicants must satisfy the general requirements for admission to Berkeley, as well as the lower-division required courses for their intended major, as listed on ASSIST. The undergraduate degree requirements can be found in the College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide. Please note, the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) offered at California community colleges is not accepted by the College of Engineering.

Applicants must complete all of the required courses for admission and as many of the strongly recommended courses that are available at their school for their intended major. Technical courses must be taken for a letter grade. Applicants must also complete the equivalent of UC Berkeley’s English 1A and English 1B for a letter grade. If a combination of courses is required to satisfy a particular requirement or requirements at Berkeley, then all courses in that combination must be completed in order to receive credit; no partial credit is given. For example, per ASSIST, De Anza College’s combination of Math 1A and Math 1B are both required to satisfy Berkeley’s Math 1A requirement. Both courses must be taken at De Anza to satisfy the Berkeley Math 1A requirement. Required courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to fall enrollment.

If they would like to complete suitable courses prior to admission, transfer applicants are encouraged to visit our page on humanities and social sciences requirements for more information.

Which courses at my community college will satisfy Berkeley Engineering requirements?

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has established course equivalencies, or articulation agreements, with California community colleges (see ASSIST). In cases where formal equivalencies have not been established, ASSIST can be used as a guide to determine what required courses must be completed prior to admission.

Does it matter where I complete my lower-division preparation?

For transfer admissions, California residents attending a California community college are given the highest priority over applicants from any other institutions, including UC campuses, other four-year colleges or non-California community colleges. The College of Engineering does not consider applicants to be community college students if they have completed a significant amount of coursework at a four-year college.

How many units will I be able to transfer from my school?

Students can transfer a maximum of 70 units from a community college; they may also receive subject credit for courses taken at a community college beyond the 70 unit maximum. Students who attend a four-year college may have all units transferred, however, earning units at four-year colleges (or in programs combining community college and four-year college credit) could result in excess units that can affect transfer eligibility. Applicants with 89 or more semester units from a four-year institution or those who complete coursework at a community college and then transfer to a four-year institution are not eligible for admission to the College of Engineering.

How important is the personal statement?

The personal statement on the application for admission is very important. Our faculty members are particularly interested in learning about the applicant’s interest in engineering and selected major, experiences that were influential in the decision of the selected major, and career goals.

When and how do I decide on a major?

You must choose a specific major when you apply for admission to Berkeley Engineering; we do not admit transfer students as undeclared. All of the engineering majors are described in the academics section of our website as well as in the College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide. Before selecting a major, it is critical that you review and understand the courses you will have to complete once you are admitted. A review of the major requirements and curriculum should help you ascertain which major is the best choice for you.

Each major has its own area of specialization and curriculum requirements that will affect your lower-division preparation. You may want to discuss professional opportunities with your college counselors before making a final decision on a major. You may also address questions about Berkeley Engineering curricula to the department housing your intended major.

Junior transfers are not able to apply for joint majors. Students admitted as junior transfers who can show after one semester of attendance at the university that they would be able to complete a joint major in the time allotted, and who meet predetermined GPA requirements, may speak to their ESS adviser about the possibility of applying to a joint program. Applicants interested in a joint major with chemical engineering must apply to the College of Chemistry.

Can I change my major once I'm admitted?

No, the College of Engineering does not permit junior transfers to change their major once admitted to Berkeley.

Does Berkeley Engineering consider an alternate major on the admission application?

No, we do not consider an alternate major when making admission decisions.

If I am unable to attend the semester for which I am admitted, will Berkeley defer my admission?

Admission to Berkeley Engineering is valid only for the term in which the applicant is admitted. Applicants who wish to attend Berkeley in a future term must reapply for admission and compete with other applicants who apply for the same term.

What if I drop or don’t enroll in courses I reported on my application for admission?

If students are admitted to Berkeley but then fail to complete core courses as reported on their application, their admission may be cancelled. Changes in enrollment for your final term at your community or four-year college must be reported immediately to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

I already have a bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply for admission?

No, the College of Engineering does not accept second bachelor’s degree candidates.

If I'm an out-of-state or international student can I establish residency for tuition purposes?

It is extremely difficult for an out-of-state or international student to establish residency. Therefore, all out-of-state and international students should expect to pay nonresident tuition for each of their undergraduate years at Berkeley. Learn more at the Office of the Registrar website.

Do I have to graduate in four semesters?

Since some lower-division courses required for our majors are not offered at community colleges, it can be challenging to complete a degree in four semesters; many transfer students need a fifth semester. Admitted students missing three or more lower-division technical requirements will be granted a fifth semester.

What are the housing options for transfer students?

Housing is guaranteed to all fall transfer admits who apply by the deadline. The Living at Cal website can help you sort through the available housing options, both on and off campus.