Transferring to UC Merced FAQ

Transferring to UC Merced FAQ

1. What is the most important thing I should know about transferring to UC Merced?

Completion of the minimum admission requirements for the University of California is necessary to your successful transfer. Major preparation is also critical to your success and can give you an edge over other students. Remember, we’re the ones who best know what you need to do at your college before you transfer. The sooner you contact us for advice, the better.

2. Do I need to choose my major right away?

Freshmen applicants have the luxury of not needing to decide their major at the time they apply. In contrast, transfer students are required to know, which means the sooner you determine their area of interest the greater your chances of transferring at the desired time. To be competitive, transfer students need to take as many classes for their major as they can before enrolling at UC Merced. For more information, please see Major Preparation and Academics.

3. How will I know if my classes transfer to UC Merced?

Classes transfer if they are essentially the same as courses that are offered for undergraduate degree credit at any UC campus. Specifically, courses should have same or very similar prerequisites, level of instruction and content. If you attend a community college, you can find a listing of UC-transferable courses, including courses that can substitute for UC Merced major preparation and general education courses at, the official repository of articulation for California colleges and universities. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions. All students, but especially students enrolled at four year colleges and out of state institutions, can get helpful information by viewing UC Merced’s UCM Transfer Credit Policy statement online.

4. What if I want to transfer from a California State University (CSU) or college from outside of California?

UC Merced encourages transfer students from colleges outside California or the California State University (CSU) system. These students will have more difficulty than California community college students in identifying the transferability of their classes and are asked to consult the UC Merced’s Admissions office for advice. If a course is questionable, students can submit course syllabi, sample assignments and reading lists to UC Merced’s articulation officer for review. In addition, non-resident and international students are required to achieve a 2.80 GPA or better in their courses.

5. What are my chances of getting admitted to UC Merced as a California Community College student?

Community college students in California receive priority consideration for admission to the University of California. Transfer students are so important to the intellectual life of UC Merced. Community college students should take a look at the minimum admission requirements that require a 2.40 GPA or higher for California residents.

6. Are math and English important?

You must complete the English and math minimum admission requirements by the end of the spring term prior to enrolling at UC Merced in the fall. We encourage you to complete these requirements as early as possible since your success in many advanced subjects will be influenced by your performance in these courses.

7. Do I need to take a foreign language to be admitted?

Studying a language other than English can be beneficial but is not required for UC minimum admission requirements. Some UC Merced majors require two years of college-level study in a foreign language and it may be in your best interest to complete this kind of major preparation prior to admission.

8. Do I need my associate's degree or general education before I transfer?

Completing an associate's degree or general education pattern is not required, nor does it guarantee admission to UC Merced or a specific program of choice. Major preparation is key to successfully transferring to UC Merced. The IGETC available at California community colleges is a recommended plan for students who have not decided on a major. Although not required by UC Merced, completing general education (or breadth) requirements can give students a competitive edge over students who have already completed their minimum admission requirements and major preparation.

9. Are there any special programs for transfer students like me?

Several programs are available for students in California who are interested in transferring to UC Merced. The program most directly related to transfer is UC Merced's Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. For more information on TAG, email Another supporting program that can provide unique opportunities for students preparing to travel after transferring to UC Merced, is the Education Abroad Program (EAP).

10. What calendar does UC Merced follow?

UC Merced follows a semester system calendar. The academic terms are fall and spring, with summer as an option. All other UC campuses except Berkeley follow a quarter system calendar.

11. Can I change my major after I apply to UC Merced?

Incoming transfer students are typically not allowed to change their major after they have been admitted to the University.  Students should work closely with their academic advisor regarding all changes to curriculum.  For additional details please contact your academic advisor:

How long will it take for me to graduate?

There are many factors that contribute to the time it takes for an individual to graduate; including but not limited to: major, study habits and time management skills, major preparation, etc. For more information about transfer student graduation rates, visit this link.

12. Why Can't I use VISA card to pay my SIR on Epay?

The university's current contract with VISA does not allow us to offer online payment options with the terms and condition identical to MasterCard, Discover and American Express card. To comply with this contractual obligation, we are unable to accept VISA as a payment option for enrollment-related fees on Epay.