Frequently Asked Questions

1. I might attend MiraCosta, so how does the transfer process work for me?


At MiraCosta College, our goal is to transfer a student as a junior unless the student states a different goal. To transfer as a junior, a student must complete the following steps:

2. How many units do I need to transfer?


On average students transfer 60-70 units, which are applied toward total units required for the B.A./B.S., depending on the university you attend. Most universities will require a minimum of 60 units for admission and you will be considered at junior status (third year college student) at the university.

3. How do I find out which classes to take for my major?


Articulation agreements list the major preparation (major prep) classes you can take at MiraCosta that are equivalent to courses at the university. Information can be obtained via ASSIST Web site.

NOTE: Major prep classes may be different from university to university.

4. Do I need to declare a major before I transfer?


Many universities will require you to declare a major on your university application but a few may let you apply as “undecided.” For a more expeditious transfer, it is wise to decide on a major as soon as you can. Oftentimes, your major prep courses can double-count for GE, and may allow you the possibility to have a double major or major/minor.

5. I want to double-major, what should I do?


It is possible to complete a double major (two majors), or a major with a minor. It depends on the first major chosen. Upon selecting your major, a counselor can evaluate whether you have enough units left to complete another major or minor within the 120 semester units or 180 quarter units needed to graduate with a B.A./B.S. You should complete as much course work in both majors prior to transfer as time and energy permit. Universities have varied rules about double majors, so you should check with the specific institution.

6. How can I improve my chances of being accepted into a competitive or “impacted” university or major?


At competitive or impacted universities (or majors), you will need to meet requirements beyond the minimum. Previous course work is usually the most important factor in transfer admissions. Selection criteria may include a competitive GPA, and completion of lower-division preparation courses in your intended major. Some specialized schools or majors (e.g. creative arts) will also require auditions or portfolios.

7. Can I transfer mid-year to a four-year university or college?


Many colleges and universities accept transfer students mid-year. However, some programs take transfers only during fall semester. In addition, depending on the number of students accepted in the fall, some universities can only accommodate small numbers of mid-year transfers or none at all. This is especially true for some UC campuses. In addition, students who may need financial aid and/or housing need to find out what will be available to them mid-year.

8. Can I change my major after I transfer?


The ability to change a major completely depends on the rules governing major changes at the college or university that a student will be attending.

9. Do I need an Associate in Arts (AA) or Science (AS) degree to transfer? What about an Associate Degree for Transfer (AD-T)?


California colleges and universities do not require an A.A. or A.S to transfer, unless a student intends to compete in athletics at the college or university. In many cases, it is not to the student’s advantage to follow the A.A. degree requirements. An AD-T is a specific degree for Transfer to the California State University for specific majors and universities. The AD-T may give transfer students a slight admission advantage.

10. How do universities view taking a class “pass/no pass ” for transfer?


Students are permitted to take general education or electives on a pass/no pass basis for the University of California and the California State University. "Golden four" courses, such as communication, math and English as well as preparation for the major courses, require a letter grade. There are some limitations and restrictions, so consult with a counselor. The max P/NP units for a UC is 14.

11. What is the difference between a UC and a CSU?


California has two public university systems. The UC system (University of California) emphasizes a theory-based approach to learning and offers doctorate programs in most disciplines, along with graduate opportunities in medicine, dentistry, business, law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. The CSU (California State University) offers traditional and career specific majors, with graduate opportunities at the master’s level.

12. If I already have a degree, can I transfer and get another one?


You can if transferring to some California State Universities, but rarely to a University of California. You must contact each campus to determine their policy on receiving a second bachelor’s. Many private and out of state colleges and universities allow second bachelor degrees.

13. Do I need electives to transfer?


Maybe. A simple way to understand an elective is to ask yourself if the class will be part of your GE pattern or major preparation. If the answer is no, and the class is transferable, it will most likely transfer as an elective. Ways to obtain electives are: 1) the student chooses to take interest courses that are not part of GE or prep, 2) the student changes major so classes that were formerly major prep now become electives, and 3) sometimes a student will finish all GE and major prep but will not have the minimum transferable units, so elective classes are needed.

14. Can I continue to work full-time after I transfer?


The CSU system is very accommodating to students who work full-time. There are also some private institutions that are accommodating. UC expects students to be full-time students and work part-time.

15. What is the difference between a quarter and semester system?


Each university has an academic year with terms marking the start and end of classes. The semester system is an academic year with approximately 15 to 18 weeks of instruction offered two times a year, during fall and spring. The quarter system is an academic year with 10 weeks of instruction offered three times a year, during fall, winter, and spring.


NOTE: Some CSU’s will offer a full term in the summer. Check with the Transfer Center for details. MiraCosta College is on the semester system.


Conversion formula: Semester units multiplied by 1.5 = quarter units
Quarter units divided by 1.5 = semester units
Example: 60 semester units X 1.5 = 90 quarter units

16. How can I have my transcript from MiraCosta sent to another college?


Please request your official transcript online through the Admissions and Records Office.

17. Can someone evaluate my transcripts from my prior college(s)?


When a student arrives at MiraCosta from another college, a counselor can unofficially give advice on possible transferability of courses. After a student completes 12 units at MiraCosta and is currently enrolled, he/she is eligible to make an appointment with a counselor who will fill out a form to have the transcripts officially evaluated by the Admissions and Records staff. The process takes approximately four weeks and when the evaluation is complete, the student makes a follow-up appointment with the counselor to interpret the results.

18. Do schools care how long it takes me to complete my requirements at MiraCosta?


UC and CSU are very accommodating to part-time, gradually progressing students, but USC and some elite institutions put a great deal of importance on a strong and rigorous curriculum each term.

19. How long will it take to transfer?


The time it takes to transfer depends on the number of units completed each term, and the minimum number of units that a transfer institution requires for admission. Most students take between 24 and 36 months to complete their lower division course work.

20. How do I get my GE certified (CSU GE or IGETC)?


Fill out a Transcript Request Form in the Admissions & Records Office. Be sure to check the boxes to have the transcript sent to the four-year institution “after CSU GE or IGETC is posted.”

21. What courses do I need to complete before I transfer?


A student needs to complete minimum university admission requirements (depending on the college or university a student wants to attend), coursework in your major, and general education. These usually add up to a minimum of 60 units.

22. Is it possible to take too many units, then not be able to transfer?


If a student has only attended a community college, NO. But if you have attended a university or a four your college, there could be some problems, and you need to consult with the Transfer Center.

23. I heard MiraCosta College can guarantee my transfer to the University of California (UC). Is this true?


There are currently several UC schools who have transfer admission guarantees and one that has a transfer priority program with MiraCosta College. Please see the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee page on this web site.

24. Are all MiraCosta College courses transferable?


No. Only courses specially designated as transferable will transfer to a college or university. Check the MCC catalog for the transferability of courses.

25. When do I apply to transfer?


For the CSU system, the application period for fall is October – November of the prior year. The UC system accepts applications in November the year prior to transfer only for fall transfers. Private and Out of State schools have different deadlines and you should call the target school directly.

26. I earned poor grades at another college. Do I have to tell MCC and my target transfer school?


Yes. You are required to report all previous institutions that you have attended.

27. What happens if I do not report all previous institutions that I have attended?


A student will have provided false information, and could potentially have your admission or degree revoked.

28. How do “W’s” affect my ability to transfer?


In most cases, W’s are not a focus of admission decisions unless there is an excessive number over a long period.

29. What GPA do I need to transfer to a UC or CSU?


The GPA necessary for admission varies from campus to campus and from major to major. Please consult with the Transfer Center for the latest information published by the UC and CSU systems.

30. May I use my foreign coursework when transferring?


Yes. There will be some limitations based on where the work was completed.

31. Will my high school grades and SAT scores count when I transfer?


The UC and CSU systems do not require high school grades or SAT scores from students when they transfer at the junior level.

32. What does it mean to minor?


To “minor” in a subject means to take a prescribed number of courses relating to a specific subject, which is usually noncontiguous to the major.

33. How long will it take to finish once I transfer?


The time to complete a degree is a result determined by the number of requirements a student completes prior to transfer, the number of requirements remaining to be completed, and the amount of units a student completes each term. If a student completes all of the GE, lower division major requirement, 60 units, and continues at the transfer institution full-time, the student should be able to complete the degree in 24 – 36 months.