Transfer Credit Guidelines

This information is intended to assist you in receiving credit toward your biology major for courses taken at another institution.

If you plan to take coursework for your major outside of UC San Diego, we recommend you consult with a Biology Advisor prior to course enrollment to determine if this will impact your ability to meet prerequisites, complete the upper-division unit requirement, or satisfy the Biology Residency Requirement.

Please note that we do not recommend taking courses from a sequence at two different institutions.  Also, many professional schools recommend that courses used to meet admission requirements be taken at a four-year institution.

All courses required and used toward any biology major requirements must be passed with a grade of “C-“or better. The minimum grade requirement applies to all lower-division and upper-division courses, required courses taken in other departments, as well as courses transferred and used toward major requirements.

All official transcripts should be sent to the UC San Diego Admissions office for evaluation and posting to your academic history. Note: It takes approximately 10-12 weeks from the time you send transcripts for them to be received, evaluated and posted to your academic history.

Prospective transfer students who plan to apply for admission to a biology major should review information on Transfer Major Preparation.

California Community College Coursework

If you will be completing biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics coursework at a California Community College, please refer to ASSIST for all course articulations between California Community Colleges and UC San Diego. When reviewing ASSIST, make sure you are reviewing the agreement for the academic year in which you plan to take the course. 

  • Please be aware that just because courses are UC transferable does NOT mean they are equivalent to the courses required for your major.
  • Please note that many of the agreements are series equivalencies, not course-for-course equivalencies. Completing only part of a series at the community college could yield no course equivalency at UC San Diego.
  • If you plan to take organic chemistry outside UC San Diego, please note that if it is taught at the lower-division level, the units will not apply to your upper division unit requirements (major or university).
  • If you have questions regarding a particular agreement listed on ASSIST, please consult a UC San Diego advisor with the respective department for clarification.

Non-California Community College Coursework

If you will be completing coursework from a non-California community college or four-year university, transferable courses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the course(s) you would like to have evaluated to determine if the course(s) can be applied toward biology major requirements.

It is imperative to retain syllabi and other course materials that will be useful in the evaluation process.

If you plan to take biology coursework that is NOT from a California Community College, please refer to the Undergraduate Petitions page for additional information on the petition process.

If you plan to take chemistry, mathematics, or physics course work that is NOT from a California Community College, contact the respective UCSD department regarding their process to determine course equivalency.

The Division of Biological Sciences will follow the respective department's recommendations for equivalency. In some cases, attaining full content equivalency will require a student to complete more than two semesters in a subject.

Questions? Contact Student & Instructional Services (Pacific Hall 1128) through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) or by phone at (858)534-0557.