How to Transfer to UCLA From a Community College


The University of California at Los Angeles is one of the most prestigious universities in California and one of the most competitive. Of the transfer students accepted into UCLA each year, 84 percent come from California community colleges. Moreover, 93 percent of all students at UCLA are California residents. Conversely, only 6 percent of transfers come from schools outside California and 4 percent from schools in California that are not community colleges. Thus, in your effort to gain acceptance into UCLA, it helps greatly if you transfer from a California community college.

  • Complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, if you're transferring from a California community college. IGETC is a series of courses that satisfy lower-division general education requirements at all University of California schools. Completing IGETC credits is best for students not yet decided on a major, but is not ideal for everyone. Those looking to transfer into engineering or the physical, biological or natural science majors should complete the UCLA general education requirements and the prerequisite courses required by those majors to maximize their chances for acceptance.

  • Maintain as high a grade point average as possible throughout your community college coursework. UCLA cites a minimum transfer eligibility GPA of 2.4. This figure, however, is misleading. According to the UCLA Transfer Admission Guide, the average GPA for admitted transfer students is now well above 3.5. Impacted majors, such as communication studies, economics and all the biological sciences, require a 3.4 GPA or higher. Majors such as those in the School of Engineering and Applied Science have an average transfer admittance GPA of 3.65 to 3.82.

  • Attend a transfer workshop at your community college's counseling or transfer services center. Santa Monica College is the top transfer college to the UC system of any school or university in the world. It offers a myriad of workshops to assist in your transfer to UCLA, including "How to Transfer to UCLA and Other UCs," "The UC Personal Statement Workshop" and "Using the Web for Transfer Information — Secret Websites." If your community college does not offer these workshops, visit your school's counseling center for transfer application guidance.

  • Fill out your UCLA application, include your personal statement and submit them both during the Nov.1-30 UCLA application filing period to gain admittance into the fall quarter the following year. Craft your personal statement thoughtfully. UCLA is looking for "evidence of your intellectual curiosity and your interest in personal development," according to its Personal Statement web page. The personal statement gives the university the opportunity to distinguish between applicants with similar academic records, and offers you the chance to make the case for why you should be admitted into the school. Craft your statement early, be clear and focused and cite specific examples to elaborate on your ideas. Remember to allow plenty of time for revisions.


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