Frequently Asked Questions


What is Transfer?

Transfer is continuing your education at a four-year college or university, usually after completing your first two years at a community college. If planned correctly, the courses that you successfully complete at community college will be used for your Bachelor degree just as if they had been taken at the four-year school. Cuyamaca College transfers students to many public and private/independent colleges and universities. In addition, Cuyamaca College has articulation agreements with all the CSU's, UC's and other private/independent colleges and universities that make the educational planning and course selection process easier to follow.


Why should you transfer?

The purpose of transferring is to earn a Bachelor degree from a university. Students choose to earn a Bachelor degree for many different reasons, including:

  • Preparation for a specific career or major

  • Promotional opportunities within a current career

  • Academic interest

  • Personal growth and development

  • Preparation for a professional degree (law school, medical school)

What should you consider?

There are important decisions you need to make in order to choose the right courses to prepare you for transfer:

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

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

  3. Your transfer university important questions to ask when choosing a university.

What is an education plan?

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

  • General Education, which are courses from a variety of disciplines that help you develop a well-rounded education. can give you specific information about general education requirements for the CSU and UC systems.

  • Preparation for Major courses, which are courses you take to prepare to study your major at the university.  See  for information about various majors within the CSU and UC systems.

  • Electives, which are additional courses taken to meet the number of units required to transfer or earn a degree.

How do you apply?
Many universities require you to apply for admission about one year prior to your expected transfer date. If you wish to apply to a CSU, visit, or the UC at
What does "transfer" mean?

In general, "transfer" indicated moving from one educational institution to another.  However, this web site uses the term "transfer" to describe advancement from a community college to a four-year college or university.  It means that you begin working on your bachelors degree at the community college and finish it at a four-year college or university.


What is the relationship between the community colleges and the university?

Universities offer both lower division (freshman and sophomore) and Upper division (Junior and senior) coursework.  Community colleges offer lower division courses only.  The university accepts certain community college courses as comparable to courses that are required for freshman and sophomore students at the university through a process called articulation.  In that way, community college courses become transferable and counted toward the requirements to graduate from the university with a bachelor's degree.


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 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 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 and Master's 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.  In addition to bachelor's and master's degrees, the UC grants doctorates and professional degrees.  The emphasis at the bachelor's level is on theoretical learning.  There are ten UC campuses, (though one is a professional school only).


Which Cuyamaca College courses transfer to a 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.  The UC and CSU requires 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 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) and University Studies), will not prepare you for transfer admissions.  However, it is possible to earn a Cuyamaca College Associate Degree for Transfer by completing 60 Associate degree units and fulfilling all of the GE requirements for transfer.  ADT degree gives priority admission to the California State University. See a counselor for more information about earning an ADT degree as part of your transfer process.


What if I take more than 70 transferable units?

The 70-unit limit applies only to the number of units that will be counted toward graduation at a CSU or UC and does not apply to courses.  The university will grant subject credit for course content needed to satisfy requirements for general education or major preparation, even if they do not count the units for all of your courses toward graduation with your bachelors degree.


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

The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the CSU is 2.4 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.  See SDSU impacted majors for specific information.  The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the UC 3.0 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.  Grade point averages necessary for transfer to independent and out-of-state universities vary.  Consult the institution's printed or online catalog.


What is a competitive GPA for transfer?

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 3.0 is considered competitive, however in Fall 2013 UCSD required a minimum of 3.4 to gain admission as a transfer student.  Therefore, you may be required to have an even higher major to gain admission to some impacted majors.  Please consult a counselor for further information.


What is General Education (GE)?

General Education is a set of courses through which you will become broadly educated by taking classes that cover a wide range of disciplines. GE courses are usually introductory in nature and provide you with fundamental knowledge in English, mathematics, the arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. You will complete the majority of GE coursework needed to receive a bachelor's degree while you are lower division (freshman/sophomore) student at a community college. After transfer to the upper division (junior/senior) at a university, you will be required to take only a few GE courses, so you can focus on your major. For example, you will be required to complete at least 48 units of GE to graduate from a CSU, 39 of which are completed at the lower division. The GE unit requirements of independent and out-of-state institutions vary, but the ratio of lower division to upper division is similar. GE courses are divided into subject areas and GE patterns describe the number of courses that you must take in each subject area to meet total GE requirements. Each institution has its own GE (sometimes called breadth or core) pattern. There are also GE patterns that are accepted by the entire CSU and/or UC systems for transfer to any campus in that system. Cuyamaca, like all community colleges, has adopted a pattern of GE requirements for the granting of an Associate degree.


What is CSU-GE?

The CSU-GE is the pattern of coursework accepted to meet the GE requirements for a bachelor's degree at any CSU campus. CSU-GE is one way for you to complete the lower division GE requirements for a bachelor's degree from the CSU at Cuyamaca prior to transfer.  SDSU requires that all transfer students complete the CSU GE Breath  pattern prior to transfer.  There is an upper division GE requirement of at least 9 units to graduate from a CSU. Upper division courses are not offered at a community college.


What is IGETC?

IGETC (pronounced eye-get-see) stands for Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum. It is a course pattern that community college students can use to satisfy lower division GE requirements for either the CSU or the UC.  IGETC is one option for students preparing to transfer. CSU students can use each campus' GE pattern, or the CSU-GE pattern (see above).  UC students can use each campus' GE pattern. A few independent California universities also accept IGETC as fulfillment of their lower division GE. If you have questions about which GE pattern to use, see a Cuyamaca transfer counselor. For some high unit majors, such as engineering or biological science, the IGETC is not recommended. If you are in one of these majors, see a counselor about alternative GE requirements that apply to you. Important: Students who choose to use the IGETC must complete the entire pattern, in order to receive certification from a community college that they have completed lower division GE requirements.


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 university 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 university.) The certification is normally prepared and sent to the university 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. The community college can certify your fulfillment of any GE subject area that you have completed.  See a counselor for further details.


What is an impacted or selective major?

Impacted or selective majors are those for which the university 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 find out what classes to take to prepare for my major?

Universities must show the course requirements for each of the degrees they offer in their catalogs. A large selection of printed catalogs is available in the Transfer Center or you can access them online. CSU and UC universities provide information about articulation by major at the web site Cuyamaca also has articulation agreements Independent and private colleges.  An Cuyamaca transfer counselor can help you make use of any of these resources.


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 and Veterans, called UniversityLink program.


How do I get copies of my Advanced Placement (AP) Scores?

You can request copies of your AP Scores from The College Board.


Do I need to send my High School transcripts to a university 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 to I get copies of my SAT/ACT scores?

You can request SAT/ACT information from The College Board.


How do I send my Cuyamaca Transcripts to my transfer institution?

See the Cuyamaca College Admissions and Records web pages for further information.





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