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Early Transfer Opportunity


Early Transfer Opportunity

We are excited to offer a unique opportunity for you to get a head start on your college career! Now open for both the fall and spring terms, the University of California, Merced is inviting transfer students to join our Bobcat family earlier in their education.

Spring Into UC Merced

What makes the Early Transfer Opportunity special?

  • UC Merced is the only University of California campus to offer an undeclared transfer option to students, meaning if you were eligible to attend a UC from high school you can transfer before you have earned 60 semester or 90 quarter units and complete all of your major preparation.
  • Transferring to our campus early allows you to take advantage of UC resources and benefit from our commitment to your success, which is illustrated by:
    • An average time to degree of 4.2 years for first-time freshmen and 2.2. years for junior-level transfer students (as of 2018-19). In fact, UC. Merced ranked No. 1 in outperforming expected graduation rates (2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges)
    • A retention rate between 84 and 90% and a 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking of No. 1 in the nation for student outcomes
    • Accessible faculty who are experts in the fields that interest and excite you. If you want to know about it, they likely wrote the book on it! UC Merced was also ranked No. 13 among public universities for best undergraduate teaching.

Read on to see if you may be eligible for UC Merced's Early Transfer Opportunity!

Early Transfer Opportunity Pathway - UC Merced
Early Transfer Opportunity Pathways to Success


Undeclared Pathway - 15 units or less: Students who are eligible via this pathway:

  • Have taken 15 units or less at a community college (or other university) with a minimum GPA of 2.0 for California residents or 2.8 for non-residents
  • Are eligible from high school, meaning they earned a high school GPA of 3.0 for California residents or 3.4 for non-residents, and met a-g requirements.

Undeclared Pathway - 16-29 units: Students who are eligible via this pathway:

  • Have taken 16-29 units at a community college (or other university) with a minimum GPA of 2.5 for residents or 2.8 for non-residents
  • Completed their first transferable English composition course and mathematical reasoning and concepts and quantitative reasoning requirement, or they are in progress or planned
  • Are eligible from high school, meaning they earned a high school GPA of 3.0 for California residents or 3.4 for non-residents.

Major Pathway: Students who are eligible via this pathway:

*Note: If you did not complete your a-g course requirements or take the SAT or ACT exams, you can remedy the missing requirements by:

  • Completing with a grade of C or higher one transferable college course (3 semester or 4-5 quarter units) for each missing high school subject
  • Completing with a grade of C or higher 12 semester (18 quarter) units of transferable college coursework in case not all tests have been taken


If you are interested in the Early Transfer Opportunity (ETO), we encourage you to:

  1. Create a UC Transfer Admissions Planner (UCTAP)
  2. Schedule an appointment with a transfer adviser


Financial Aid - UC Merced
Financial Considerations

We know your budget may be a big factor in your decision to "spring into UC Merced." Our campus is committed to making your education affordable. We encourage you to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) using the UC Merced school code of 041271.

Did you know?

  • UC Merced is #1 in the nation for percentage of undergrads who receive need-based aid (2020 U.S. News & World Report)
  • During the 2019-20 academic year, 87% of UC Merced students received financial aid, and $19,300 was the average annual gift aid awarded to eligible students.
  • In 2019, UC Merced ranked in the top universities in the Western U.S. for affordability (Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges)
  • There are scholarship opportunities you can pursue, such as the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan (which will cover your system-wide fees if you are a California resident whose family earns less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid) and the Middle Class Scholarship (which provides undergraduate students with family incomes and assets up to $184,000 a scholarship to attend University of California campuses). 
  • You can find out more by visiting the Financial Aid website

Learn More

We are here to help! Book a one-on-one appointment with a Transfer Admission Advisor or contact us at, or (209) 228-7178 to see if you qualify for the early transfer option.