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CSU Transfer Requirements


All the campuses of the California State University welcome applications from transfer students. If you complete college units after the summer following graduation from high school, you are considered a transfer student. The number of units you have completed at the time you enter a CSU determines the admission standards that will apply to your application. It is important to identify which admission requirements apply to you. 


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The majority of transfer students enter as upper-division transfers.  If you will have at least 60 semester or 90 quarter* transferable units completed by the time you enter a CSU, you are considered an upper-division applicant. To make admissions decisions CSU admissions offices look at three factors:

  • Your college grades

  • The college coursework you have completed especially in general education

  • Whether you are in good standing at the last college or university attended.

The better you prepare at Santiago Canyon College, the more likely you will meet admission requirements at your first-choice CSU campus.

Note: A small number of transfers will enter as lower-division transfer students.  Many CSU campuses do not accept lower-division transfers, (that is fewer than 60 units), please consult an SCC counselor if you are interested in lower-division transfer eligibility.


  • Grades are an important factor in your admission as an upper-division transfer. There are different ways grades are used in the admissions process. 

  • Your overall grade point average must be at least 2.0 (2.40 for California  nonresidents). You must have a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units and this GPA is calculated on all of your transfer units attempted to meet minimum admission requirements. 

  • Generally, 30 units of general education, Plan​ B​​, with a minimum grade of C in each course are also required. Typically you complete at least 10 general education courses with a grade of C or better. In the case of high-unit majors, you may have less than 30 semester or 45-quarter units, but the campuses will be looking at your general education grades. If you are in a high-unit major be sure to check with an SCC counselor for requirements in this area.​

  • General education courses in the English language (A2), communication (A1), critical thinking (A3), and the mathematics section (B4) must also be completed with a C or better for each course. These four classes (the Golden Four) are part of the 30 semester units of general education.

  • Remember these are minimums and in the case of high-demand majors and campuses, a 2.0 GPA may not be high enough to be admitted to some majors and campuses.


In order to transfer as an upper-division student you must be in good standing at your prior college. In simple terms good standing means you are eligible to reenroll at your last college or university.                         

For most students this is not a problem, and generally if you meet the other requirements for admission you should meet this requirement. If you are not in good standing you will have to resolve any issues with that college or university.     


Many campuses have some impacted majors that require additional admission criteria.  An impacted major means that there are more students applying for seats in a program than are available. 

If you are interested in an impacted major, you must apply during the initial filing period.  The initial filing period is defined as the first month of the filing period (October and November for fall terms).  

Several majors are impacted at one or more CSU campus. In order to maximize your opportunities, you may wish to consider as a second choice a campus that will continue accepting applications beyond the initial filing period. Generally, the impacted majors remain the same from one year to the next, but the criteria are subject to change, and students are advised to consult with an SCC counselor for the most current information or go to:​