Upper-Division Transfer

Who is an Upper-Division Transfer Student (UDT)?

If you will have at least 60 semester or 90 quarter transferable units completed by the time you enter a CSU, you are considered an upper-division transfer applicant.

Admission Requirements for UDT Students

To be admitted to the California State University as an upper-division transfer (UDT) student, you must:

  • have completed a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of tran​sferable coursework;
  • have an overall college GPA of at least 2.00; your GPA is calculated using all your transfer units attempted. In high-demand majors and campuses a GPA of 2.00 may not be sufficient to be admitted;
  • be in good standing at the last college or university attended. In simple terms, “good standing” means you are eligible to re-enroll at your last college or university;
  • have completed 10 general education courses (30 semester units or 45 quarter units) of basic skills courses, with a grade of C- or better, and, specifically, four courses completed in the following areas (in either column):
General Education-Breadth
Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum* (IGETC)

Area A - English Language ​Communication and Critical Thinking

Area 1 - English Communication

A1 - Oral Communication

1A - Written Communications

A2 - Written Communications 1B - Critical Thinking
A3 - Critical Thinking1C - Oral Communications
Area B - Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning Area 2 - Mathematical Concept and Quantitative Reasoning
B4 - Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning 

* IGETC is a series of courses that prospective transfer students from California Community Colleges may use to satisfy the lower -division/general education breadth requirements at both the California State University and the University of California.

The CSU General Education-Breadth (GE-Breadth) program allows California Community College transfer students to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for any CSU campus prior to transfer. This curriculum provides an alternative to the IGETC requirements and can be a good option if you know you want to transfer to a CSU but don't know which campus you will attend, or if you know which campus you will attend but don't know which major you will pursue. For more information, visit ASSIST.org.

​​​California Community Colleges or other approved institutions can certify up to 39 lower-division GE-Breadth semester (58.5 quarter) units. Certification means that the CSU will accept these courses to meet the CSU GE-Breadth areas designated by your CCC.

Students who are certified with 39 semester units of lower-division GE-Breadth units will only be required to complete a minimum of nine semester (13.5 quarter) units of upper-division general education work after they transfer, just like other students attending their CSU campus.

If you are applying to a high-unit major such as science, technology, engineering and some math-based fields, be sure to check with the CSU campus for their requirements in this area or with your California Community College transfer counselor.


  • All undergraduate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English or who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years of full-time study at an institution where English is the principal language of instruction, must demonstrate English competency by receiving a minimum score on an approved English proficiency exam or must present a score of 500 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Approved exams may vary by campus, but some examples are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP), and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The CSU minimum score for the internet (iBT) version of the TOEFL is 61; some campuses may require a higher score. Contact the CSU campus for the most current minimum score requirements.
  • Transfer students may earn general education or lower-division major credits by taking a CSU-accepted external examination in place of a course. The CSU faculties have determined the passing scores, minimum units of credit earned, and certification area (for General Education Breadth and/or U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals) of standardized external examinations, such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College-Level ​Examination Program (CLEP). Each campus in the California State University system determines how it will apply credits earned by external examinations toward the degree major.
  • Elective courses are those that count toward total transfer units needed for admission but are not used to fulfill lower-division admission, pre-major, general education, or graduation requirements. If you have not chosen a major, taking elective courses in different fields is a good way to explore your career interests and aptitudes. Check your college catalog carefully to be sure these courses are transferable to the CSU for at least elective credit.
  • Many transfer students report that the biggest difference between their classes at a California Community College and those at the university is the amount of writing required at the CSU. While you’re taking courses that prepare you to transfer, you should also work on continued improvement of your reading and writing skills. Obtaining assistance with writing while you’re at a California Community College will prepare you for the demands of university study and help you prepare to satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement for the baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is designed to improve access and retention of historically low-income and educationally disadvantaged students. The program provides admission and academic assistance to EOP-eligible undergraduate students. In many cases, the program also offers financial assistance to eligible students. Campuses tailor their programs to accommodate the needs of their student population.

Every CSU campus has an EOP for low-income undergraduate students who are California residents or qualify for an AB540 non-resident tuition exemption and are disadvantaged because of their economic and educational backgrounds

EOP accepts students who do not meet regular admission criteria, as well as those who qualify for regular admission. Be sure to indicate on the undergraduate application for admission if you are applying through EOP and ensure you complete the supplemental EOP Application along with the two letters of recommendation by the deadline determined by the campus.

Note: The criteria for acceptance to the EOP program at the CSU are more restrictive than those of the Extended Opportunity Program & Services (EOP&S) program at California Community Colleges. Therefore, you may not be accepted to an EOP program at the CSU even though you may be an EOP&S student at a California Community College.

More information about the EOP program is available at Calstate.edu.

If You’re Not a California Resident and Want to Transfer

Many CSU campuses have higher admission standards for nonresident students (out-of-state and international students). For more information, consult the Nonresident Eligibility Index. Some campuses also have higher standards for particular majors.

If you’re a nonresident or private school transfer student, it’s recommended that you complete at least 60 semester units or 90 quarter units before applying to transfer.

It’s recommended, too, that at least 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education requirements in written communications, critical thinking, speech, and quantitative analysis (mathematics) are completed.

You can contact the CSU campus to which you are applying and request an evaluation of your transferable coursework.

For help answering questions about residency, or to complete the reclassification form, go to Determining California Residency.

CSU Transfer Planner

The CSU Transfer Planner is an online tool that empowers California Community College students to explore and plan a successful transfer to any of the 23 California State Universities. With the CSU Transfer Planner, you can:

  • Learn more about any of the 23 California State Universities, their programs and transfer-admission requirements.
  • Save degree programs of interest to your online account so you can access all of them in one place.
  • Log your community college coursework to track general education progress and compare your current GPA against the transfer-admission requirements.
  • Receive helpful tips about how to successfully transfer to your chosen CSU campus as efficiently as possible.

Whether you’re already on track to transfer to a California State University or just thinking about transferring in the future, don’t wait! Create an account or log in to your CSU Transfer Planner account now!

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the CSU with a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree, you will need to meet the following requirements:


The California State University requires every student receiving a baccalaureate degree to be knowledgeable about the Constitution of the United States, American history, and state and local government. This requirement is generally known as the American Institutions and Ideals Requirement.

You may even complete this requirement while at a community college. All California Community Colleges (CCC) have designated courses that satisfy the CSU's American Institutions and Ideals Requirement.

Most CSU campuses permit courses that meet this requirement to satisfy General Education-Breadth requirements providing a CCC certifies your General Education-Breadth and American Institutions and Ideals requirements.


All CSU students must meet the minimum of 48 semester units of General Education (GE)-breadth requirements in order to earn the bachelor's degree. The GE requirement includes 39 semester units of lower-division coursework and at least nine semester units of upper-division coursework.

The CSU GE-Breadth Requirements is a lower-division 39-semester/58.5-quarter unit pattern with specified courses in the areas of:

  • Area A — English Language Communication and Critical Thinking
  • Area B — Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Area C — Arts and Humanities
  • Area D — Social Sciences
  • Area E — Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
  • Area F — Ethnic Studies (effective 2021 catalog) *

Some majors include courses that meet both GE and major requirements. This is referred to as “double-counting.” It is recommended that students work with their academic advisor or transfer counselors to identify which courses can satisfy both GE and lower-division major course requirements.

Transfer students can complete up to 39 semester units of lower-division coursework prior to transferring to the CSU.

*Undergraduate students who have maintained continuous attendance at a CSU or a CCC may elect to qualify for graduation from the CSU under catalog requirements in effect either:

  1. At the time they began attending any CCC or CSU campus;
  2. At the time they entered the CSU campus from which they will graduate; or
  3. At the time they graduate from the CSU.

Contact your counselor for additional details.

Students who began at a CCC or CSU prior to fall 2021, and maintained continuous enrollment, will not be held to the Area F Ethnic Studies requirement due to their pre-2021 catalog rights. CCC students who did not maintain continuous enrollment, but their transcript indicates completion of an Associate Degree for Transfer, Full GE Breadth certification, or IGETC certification, are not required to complete a course in Ethnic studies prior to graduation.


IGETC is another pattern that California Community College students can use to fulfill all lower-division general education requirements at any CSU or University of California campus.

The IGETC pattern requires completion of a minimum of 37 semester/49 quarter units of lower division work with a C grade or better in each course (C- is not allowed).

Requirements of the IGETC are as follows:

  • Area 1 - English Communication
  • Area 2 - Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Area 3 - Arts and Humanities
  • Area 4 - Social and Behavior Sciences
  • Area 5 - Physical and Biological Sciences

Because the IGETC pattern is accepted by both the CSU and University of California, with minor differences, it’s a good option if you’re undecided about the system to which you will transfer.

If you’re enrolled in a major that requires extensive lower-division preparation, you may not be able to complete all the coursework for the IGETC pattern prior to transfer.

You should consult with your community college counselor to determine which general education program is most appropriate for you.

Besides requirements for the major and general education, CSU campuses may require other courses for a bachelor’s degree. Read the catalogs of the CSU campuses to which you’re considering transferring to familiarize yourself with their graduation requirements. For example, some campuses require foreign language study as a part of the preparation for certain majors or for graduation


See how credits you've earned at a public California college or university can be applied when you're transferring to the CSU.

Go to ASSIST.org

Impacte​​d Majors & Campuses Se​​​arch

This database can tell you if a program or campus you're interested in has enough available spaces.

Search the Impaction Database 

Campus Sites for Transfer Students