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Prospective Transfer FAQ

Applying to the College

1. When can I apply for admission to Berkeley Engineering?

The UC system application period is November 1–30 for admission to the following fall semester. Learn more about the admissions process at Berkeley’s admissions website.

2. Will I be admitted?

The answer depends on the quality of the applicant pool and the number of spaces available in the major to which you apply. In the 2012-13 admissions cycle, the College of Engineering admitted 254 transfer students (14.4 percent of applicants), who had an average GPA of 3.87.

3. 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.

4. How many units will I need to complete 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.

5. What courses should I complete to be eligible for transfer admission?

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.

Transfer applicants are encouraged to consult the following website: http://coe.berkeley.edu/HSS for more information on the lower-division humanities/social science requirements if they would like to complete suitable courses prior to admission.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Is the personal statement important?

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 their selected major, experiences (work, school, etc.) that were influential in the decision of the selected major, and goals and aspirations.

10. 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 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 should help you ascertain which major is the best choice for you. Each major's curriculum can be found in the Guide by clicking on "Curriculum Overview."

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.

The number of courses required in joint majors makes it extremely challenging for a transfer student to finish in less than six semesters (three years). Please carefully review the curriculum of the joint major you are considering before applying to be sure it is the best option for you, and be prepared to extend your undergraduate education beyond the usual two years. You may petition for a fifth semester. Six semesters are rarely granted.

11. 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.

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

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

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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. Due to this all out of state and international students should budget to pay non-resident tuition for each of their undergraduate years at Cal. You may learn about residency here:registrar.berkeley.edu/registration/residency.html.

General undergraduate program

1. What is the graduation rate for undergraduate students in the College of Engineering?

Approximately 83 percent of incoming engineering students graduate from the College of Engineering and 91 percent from UC Berkeley overall.

2. Do I have to graduate in four semesters?

Since a number of 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.

3. Can I change my major?

The college and/or major can be changed only during the November application filing period by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Admissions no later than November 30. Once you have been admitted to the College of Engineering, you may not change your major.

4. What AP tests will I get credit for?

The College of Engineering gives AP credit for most AP tests. Depending on the test and score, students will get UC credit and/or College of Engineering subject credit. More information can be found in the College of Engineering Undergraduate Guide.

5. What is the difference between the computer science major in the College of Engineering’s EECS department and the computer science major in the College of Letters and Science?

The lower-division requirements for the EECS computer science option offered in the College of Engineering emphasize science and math and lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. Computer science in the College of Letters and Science does not emphasize science and math and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. More information about the two computer science majors can be found on the EECS website.

6. When can engineering students apply for internships or research?

Faculty and companies typically search for students who have completed their first and second year of engineering foundation courses. This means that securing an internship or research is most likely to occur in the junior and senior year or summer. Cal’s Career Center offers job and internship fairs throughout the academic year. For more information about research opportunities, visit the research websites for the College of Engineering and Berkeley campus.

7. What is the job placement rate for engineering students after graduation?

Job prospects are very good for our graduates. Many students who are chosen for internships are hired by those same companies after they graduate. Others find great prospects with the help of job fairs and the campus Career Center. For additional information, consult the Career Center’s job placement statistics.

8. When will I enroll in classes if admitted to Cal?

New students should plan to attend one of the one-day sessions of the Cal Summer Orientation (CalSO) program held in June. At CalSO, students will meet with their assigned academic adviser to learn about requirements and to enroll in courses for their first semester. New students who do not attend CalSO will enroll in courses after the CalSO sessions are completed. Admitted students receive information about CalSO after they submit their Statement of Intent to Register.

Student life

1. Will there be time for co-curricular activities?

Yes, in fact, we encourage students to join organizations, participate in recreational sports and pursue outside interests. The College of Engineering offers over 50 different groups and organizations that students can join, and UC Berkeley has more than 700 registered campus-wide student organizations.

2. 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.

3. Is the campus safe?

UC Berkeley has its own police department. Campus police patrol the perimeter by car and the interior by bicycle. There are also emergency beacons situated around campus to help alert students, faculty and staff to any campus-wide emergencies that may arise. The police offer night safety services, including shuttles and BearWALK, to the campus community.

4. What kind of computer should students bring?

In general, you should buy what is affordable and convenient; there isn’t a particular brand or model that is preferred. For additional information about campus computing facilities, classes or purchasing a computer—including educational discounts on personal computers at the Cal Student Store—visit Berkeley’s Resource website.

5. What is the parking situation on campus?

Parking is limited on campus, and all faculty, staff and students must have a campus parking permit displayed in their vehicle at all times while parked in a parking structure or residence hall. Students can purchase daily or annual parking permits from the Parking and Transportation office.

6. What kind of advising services are available to engineering students?

All College of Engineering students are assigned a faculty adviser, an Engineering Student Services (ESS) adviser and a departmental adviser. Faculty advisers are mentors and help students select the appropriate courses to complete their major. Students are expected to meet with their assigned faculty adviser at least twice a year to discuss course selection and to obtain an adviser code that is used to access the Tele-BEARS enrollment system. ESS advisers help students navigate university and College of Engineering policies and procedures, and they are a lifeline for other questions and concerns that students may have during their academic career at Cal. Departmental advisers guide students toward opportunities within their field of study. They provide referrals to student groups relative to the student’s major and handle all aspects of faculty advising and research opportunities. Peer Advisers are also available to answer general questions regarding policy and course requirements during the academic year.

Other helpful links

Still have a question?

Visit Berkeley’s admissions website for more information on eligibility and the application process. If you have questions specific to the College of Engineering’s application requirements, curriculum or student life, feel free to contact Engineering Student Services.