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Preparing for Transfer

For a seamless transfer from Riverside Community College District to a four-year college or university it is important that you plan early! We encourage you to meet with a counselor early upon entering RCCD to develop an educational plan that outlines the lower-division requirements for your major and general education courses. These requirements will replace the same coursework that first and second year students take at the university, thus typically qualifying you as an upper-division and junior standing student at the time of transfer. Your chances for admission and selection to your first choice campus and major will be greatly increased by your preparation for upper-division standing. As you prepare to complete your lower-division coursework, it is important that you also prepare yourself for the admission process. All students must meet minimum eligibility, but those who will be selected for admission are most likely to be the students with the best preparation for upper-division coursework. The following information can assist you in planning and preparing for transfer.


The bachelor’s degree is offered to students completing undergraduate studies at the four-year colleges and universities. To graduate from the four-year institution with a bachelor’s degree, a student must complete a minimum of 120 semester or 180 quarter units. Your intended major may determine additional units needed for graduation. Within the units required for graduation, a student must complete Lower-Division Requirements for the Major, Upper Division Requirements for the Major, Lower-Division General Education Requirements, Upper-Division General Education Requirements, U.S. History/Constitution requirement, and Electives. RCCD students are encouraged to transfer at the upper-division level (Jr. standing) by completing approximately 60 semester units toward the bachelor’s degree requirements. These 60 units should include the admission requirements, lower-division requirements for the major and, upon counselor recommendation, complete the lower-division general education requirements before transfer.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: Area of specialization

Lower-Division Major Requirements

These courses are required for the major and are offered at the university for first and second year students. These are the introductory courses that provide the foundation necessary for more in-depth and advance upper-division coursework in the discipline. Many of the lower-division courses for the major are offered at the community college level and are identified or articulated as “equivalent” courses. Check at the Transfer Center for articulation resources or link to

Note: Most four-year institutions strongly recommend that students complete their lower-division major requirements before transfer. Therefore, it is important to research early the colleges/universities that offer your intended major. Some institutions specialize in particular programs such as architecture, engineering, allied health, arts/design, etc., and may not offer the major you are seeking. Also, if you are interested in pursuing your education at the graduate or professional level, it is not too early to look into the undergraduate schools and majors that will better prepare or provide you with the opportunities for admission into these advanced degrees. For example: Medical, Dental and Law schools do not require any particular major for undergraduate studies. With this understanding, you can select a major for your bachelor’s degree in any area of interest. Although a specific major may not be required for admission into an advanced or professional degree, it may be necessary to complete specific courses to be considered for admission into these programs. For example: Both medical and dental schools require specific courses in biology, chemistry, math and physics; yet, law schools do not require any specific course preparation.

Upper-Division Major Requirements

These courses are required for the major and are offered only at the university level for third and fourth year students. The courses are advanced, more in-depth and specific to the discipline.

GENERAL EDUCATION: Provides a general appreciation of the liberal arts and sciences

Lower-Division General Education/Breadth Requirements

These courses are required of everyone seeking a bachelor’s degree regardless of the major. Lower division general education courses are often taken during the first and second year of college. General education courses provide students with the writing, analytical, critical thinking and computational skills necessary for success in higher education. These requirements also include courses in the various disciplines to provide students with a general knowledge and appreciation of the world and life’s situations. The general education/breadth requirements vary from one university campus to another. It is also very common to find more than one breadth/general education pattern within a university campus, often divided according to discipline. California community college students have different options than native university students to complete lower-division general education requirements for the bachelor’s degree. RCCD students are advised to see a counselor to determine which of the following lower-division general education patterns listed below is best suited for their individual transfer needs:

IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum)

This pattern of lower-division general education courses is recommended for students transferring to either the UC or CSU. It is also accepted by a few private colleges/universities. It is highly recommended for students interested in transferring to the UC as well as for those who may not have decided between the UC and CSU. This pattern is not recommended for students who may be considering majors in engineering, computer science, or other high unit majors. There may be other majors or campuses that may not find IGETC appropriate. Please check with your counselor for the best options for you. Students considering completion of IGETC must apply and receive “certification” by RCCD Admissions/Transcript Office before transferring. Complete certification required. Refer to the (blue) IGETC information sheet for detail of requirements.


This pattern of lower division general education is recommended for students transferring to any of the California State University campuses. It is also accepted by a few private colleges/universities. This pattern is not recommended for students who may be considering majors in engineering or computer science. “Certification” of this pattern is required before transfer. Application for certification is available at RCCD Admissions/Transcript Office. Complete certification recommended. Refer to the (yellow) CSU GE information sheet for detail of requirements.


Each individual four-year institution has at least one pattern of lower- division general education requirements that freshmen and sophomore students must complete before graduating from the university. Often these requirements differ according to the division in which the major is housed in. (e.g. Letters and Science GE/Breadth, for majors in English, History, Biology etc.; Engineering GE/Breadth for majors in Mechanical, Electrical, Computer Engineering etc.). RCCD students can follow these same lower-division GE/Breadth requirements just as the native university students by completing courses that have been articulated as equivalent to the university GE/Breadth requirements. There is no “certification” required for completion of this pattern before transfer. Since certification is not required, students with majors in engineering, computer science and other “high unit” majors are strongly encouraged to complete their lower-division major requirements and only a few courses of breadth requirements so not to exceed the unit requirement for transfer admission.

Note: Associate’s Degree/GE requirements are NOT the requirements for transfer.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Please refer to the UC & CSU TRANSFER ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS & SELECTION CRITERIA (green) information sheet for detail minimum unit, GPA, subject requirements and the selection/screening criteria for impacted campuses or majors.