Frequently Asked Questions


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What is Transfer?

Transfer is continuing your education at a four-year college or university, usually after completing your first two to three years at a community college. Transfer 101 Video.

  • What should you consider?

  • Your career objective, which determines the type of degree you need and your choices for selecting a major. 

  • Your major, or the field of study you will emphasize at the university.

  • Your transfer university, if it has the programs you would like to study.

What is an education plan?

An education plan is a pattern of courses you take at community college that prepares you to transfer a college or a university in a specific major. It usually includes:

How do I apply?

Many universities require you to apply for admission about one year prior to your expected transfer date. If you wish get help with your application to CSU, UC, or private/out-of-state universities, visit Application Help on our website. 

I am interested in transferring out-of-state. What should I do?

Check the Transfer Center website to see if we have any direct contacts with admissions personnel from transfer institution you are targeting. Email the Transfer Center @  to receive further help.


What is the difference between lower division and upper division course work?

Lower-division courses are offered for freshman and sophomore level credit. All courses offered at a community college are lower-division courses. Upper-division courses are offered for junior and senior level credit. These courses are not offered by community colleges.

What is articulation?

Articulation is the process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed at one institution (a community college), will meet the requirements at another institution (a college or university) for the purposes of admission, transferable units, general education or major preparation.  It is this process that ensures that the classes you take at Cuyamaca College will be credited toward your bachelor's degree requirements when you enter a college or university.  Articulation agreements are formal documents that describe which coursework is accepted.  All segments of the public higher education system in California have agreed to have a single repository for articulation agreements between the community colleges and the universities.   That repository is the ASSIST web site, which is accessible to the public at


What is the difference between the California State University and the University of California? 

The California State University (CSU) began as a system of teacher's colleges and evolved into a broader system of higher education.  It is one of the three segments of California public higher education, the others being the University of California (UC), and the California Community Colleges.  The CSU grants Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees that have a practical, career orientation.  There are now 23 CSU campuses.  The UC was established as the focal point for academic and scientific research within the higher education system.   UC grants Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate and professional degrees.  The emphasis at the bachelor's level is on theoretical learning.  There are 10 UC campuses, (though one is a professional school only).

Which Cuyamaca College courses transfer to four-year college or university?

A listing of courses that are transferable to the CSU and UC system is available at  In addition, course transferability is listed in the course description section of the Cuyamaca College Catalog.

How many units do I need to transfer?

You will achieve full junior standing when you have completed 60 transferable semester units. UC and CSU campuses require a minimum of 60 transferable semester units for upper division transfer.  However, it is important to note that you must complete the appropriate GE pattern and major preparation courses while earning the minimum of 60 transferable units prior to transfer.  See a Cuyamaca Counselor to assist you with an individual student education plan.

If I earn an Associate degree, will I be prepared to transfer?

Generally, meeting the requirements for an Associate degree, (other than the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)), will not prepare you for transfer admission into CSU or UC.  The ADT degree gives priority admission to the California State University system. However, it is possible to earn a Cuyamaca College Associate Degree and transfer into Degree Completion Programs. See a Cuyamaca Counselor for more information about earning an ADT degree or general AA/AS degree and how it can enhance your transfer process.

What if I take more than 70 transferable units at a community college?

The 70-unit limit applies only to the total number of lower division units that will be counted toward graduation at a CSU or UC and does not affect the admission.  The transfer institution will always grant subject credit for course content to satisfy requirements for general education and major preparation. 

What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) required for transfer admission? What is a competitive GPA for transfer?

The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the CSU is 2.0 for California residents.  The CSU has designated some highly popular majors or campuses as "impacted," for which higher GPAs and/or minimum course completion are required.  SDSU is an impacted campus and the GPA requirement varies for each major.


The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the UC is 2.4 for California residents.  UC campuses have designated some highly popular majors as "selective," for which students have to meet competitive selection criteria (higher GPAs and minimum course completion requirements) to be admitted. UCSD has selective majors that require certain courses to be completed for admission into a major. Grade point averages necessary for transfer to independent and out-of-state universities vary.  Consult the institution's printed or online catalog.


Grade point averages necessary to compete for admission to impacted or selective programs vary from year to year, depending upon the pool of applicants for any given academic year.  Generally, a GPA of 3.5-3.7 is considered competitive, however, this does not apply to all universities. Please consult a counselor for further information.

When should I work with Transfer Center?

Students typically work with the Transfer Center (TC) during application periods, when they are admitted or denied admission, when they have complicated cases with multiple college transcripts, and/or if they have attended a four-year university and would like to come back to Cuyamaca. The TC will always advocate on your behalf to ensure smooth transfer. The TC also has college catalogs, computer stations, workshops, events, and knowledgeable staff/faculty to respond to your questions about transfer. 


Is there a guaranteed admission program to UCSD and other UC's?

Cuyamaca College participates in the  Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program with UC schools and SDSU. UCSD does not participate in TAG, however has a guaranteed program for HS seniors, Former Foster Youth, and Veterans, called UniversityLink program.

Is there a guaranteed admission program to HBCU?

California Community Colleges Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) developed the Transfer Guarantee Agreements that will facilitate a smooth transition for students from all of the California Community Colleges to partnered HBCUs. Learn more on Cuyamaca College HBCU website. 


What is the difference between public and private universities?

Public institutions are funded by the state, which keeps tuition lower. Typically, in-state students pay lower tuition than out-of-state students and in many cases receives preference for admission. Public universities often have a larger and more diverse student body with a variety of student organizations. Private institutions are supported by tuition, fees, and gifts, resulting in higher tuition rates. However, they tend to offer more financial aid options and more scholarships. Private universities typically have a smaller student population, a community atmosphere, small class sizes, close relationships with instructors, and some are affiliated with a particular religion. Don't be quick to rule out private institutions due to cost. With the financial aid and scholarships along with the timely factor of getting in and getting out, your early earning potential may make up for much of the difference of going to a public institution.

What is GE certification and why is it important?

GE certification is a document that is signed by a community college and states that you have completed lower division GE requirements. Becoming GE certified means that the transfer institution cannot require that you take any additional lower division GE. (You will probably be required to fulfill some upper division GE requirements for graduation from the college or university.) The certification is normally prepared and sent to the transfer institution to which you have been accepted and where you plan to enroll at the same time that your final transcripts are sent.  You can request your GE certification from the Cuyamaca Admissions and Records office.  If you attend more than one community college, your GE certification must be provided by the last one you attend. That college will do so using all the GE courses you have completed at all higher education institutions you have attended. IGETC policies allow for partial certification, though not recommended. CSU-GE policies also allow for partial certification, though not recommended. See a counselor for further details.

What is an impacted or selective major?

Impacted or selective majors are those for which the transfer institution receives many more applications for admission than the campus can accommodate. Impacted is also an official designation by the CSU system that allows the department that offers a major to require a higher GPA or specific major preparation as a way to reduce the pool of applicants to those who are best prepared to enter the major. Selective is a term used by the UC to describe majors for which the same conditions exist and for which the university imposes the same kind of selection criteria (GPA and major preparation) to screen for the most qualified applicants.


How do I access my unofficial Cuyamaca Transcripts?

You need to log into your Self-Service Account and find your unofficial transcripts under Academic Profile.

How do I get copies of my Advanced Placement (AP) Scores? How do I get copies of my SAT/ACT scores?

You can request copies of your AP scores and SAT/ACT scores from The College Board.


If I attended Cuyamaca and Grossmont, do I need to submit separate transcripts for each school? 

You do not need to submit separate transcripts for each school, both Cuyamaca and Grossmont College courses will be included in your Cuyamaca College transcript.

Do I need to send my High School transcripts to my transfer institution if I have 60 or more transferable units?

It is recommended that if the college or university asks you to send them, go ahead and request that your high school send an official copy of your transcripts.  However, if you believe you will have difficulty accessing your high school, contact the college or university.

How do I know how many of my previous college units count toward transfer?

You will need to have your official transcripts sent to Cuyamaca College Admissions and request to have them evaluated to determine how they transfer. Typically, transcripts are sent directly from institution to institution.


How do I request my official Cuyamaca College Transcripts? 

Visit the Cuyamaca College Admissions and Records web pages for further information or watch this short video tutorial on how to request official transcripts through Self-Service.  












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