Other Higher Education Institution

Overview

Transferring courses from other higher education institutions (CSUs, private, out of state schools, non-UC study abroad programs) can be challenging. Because very few courses from these institutions have been pre-reviewed, it can be a lengthy process to get assurance that you have chosen a course that will transfer. Additionally, some institutions may not have courses that meet UC standards, so while a course may sound similar to one found at UC Berkeley, it may not be transferable. 

Taking coursework at one of these institutions can be tricky. This page will walk you through the steps to take. If you cannot get your course pre-reviewed because you cannot obtain a syllabus, you will have to decide whether you believe it is worth the risk to take the course. 

Some basics about this type of transfer credit:

  • Will not count in UC GPA. 
  • Will not show on transcript outside of "transfer credit" unit summaries. 
  • Will not count for residence requirements, including upper division in residence, senior residence, or major residence. 
  • Not guaranteed to transfer. See (Pre-)Review for Requirements below to understand how to get this type of transfer coursework evaluated. If you do not have the information needed to have a Pre-Review of your coursework, you will need to decide whether taking this coursework is worth it even without assurances that it will transfer. 

IMPORTANT: If you are
     -  an incoming/new UC Berkeley student
     -  a graduating senior
     -  planning to take transfer coursework during a Fall/Spring semester while also enrolled at UC Berkeley
click on the appropriate links above to learn critical information before moving forward.

(Pre-)Review for Requirements

Assessing coursework from other higher education institutions is a two-step process. First, the credit must be judged as transferable for your undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley. A course being judged as transferable means you can receive units for the course and that the course meets standards of the UC system, allowing it to potentially apply to degree requiremetns. Second, the course must be assessed for any specific degree requirements beyond units, such as general education or major requirements. 

You can consult the database of pre-approved domestic courses (or the Admissions’ list of pre-approved Reading and Composition) to see if the coursework you plan to take has already been pre-approved for transfer. 

Assessing Transferability

Steps for taking courses at another higher education institution for continuing (not incoming/new) students: 

  1. If you are planning to take a courseopen a case with Cal Student Central to have the coursework assessed for transferability before enrolling. Review the Transfer Credit page. 
  2. If you have already taken the coursework, skip Step 1 and contact the institution at which you took the course to request your transcript be submitted to UC Berkeley. More information on the Admissions’ Submitting Transcripts page. 
  3. If your course is not in the pre-approved lists above, not a UCEAP course, and not a course in the CA community college system, you can submit your syllabus for the course to be evaluated for Essential Skills or 7-Course Breadth (instructions below).  A course must be a minimum of 3 semester units (4 quarter units) in order to be eligible for satisfying a 7-Course Breadth requirement. 
  4. Contact your major department for coursework to be assessed for major requirements. 

Assessing for Major Requirements

It is ideal to get your coursework reviewed before taking the course. This gives you a guarantee that a course will count in the way you are planning. However, you may have found this information after taking the course, or may not be able to get a syllabus for review before taking the course. The procedure for review is the same whether it is before you have taken the course or after the course has been posted to your record. 

For Major Requirements

Bring your syllabus to your major department for review. If the course is in a different department from your major (i.e. a math course that will apply toward your Psychology major), your major department may have you go to the matching department on campus for review (in this example, the Math Department) and then submit the results of that review to your major department. Ultimately it is up to your major department whether they will accept a transfer course toward a particular requirement. 

Assessing for Essential Skills or Seven-Course Breadth

It is ideal to get your coursework reviewed before taking the course. This gives you a guarantee that a course will count in the way you are planning. However, you may have found this information after taking the course, or may not be able to get a syllabus for review before taking the course. The procedure for review is the same whether it is before you have taken the course or after the course has been posted to your record. 

For Essential Skills or Seven-Course Breadth

If your course is not a UC Berkeley Study Abroad course, or a California Community College course, and is not on one of the pre-approved lists, complete the Breadth and Essential Skills Transfer Review Google Form and attach a PDF of the course syllabus. 

  • All syllabi must be dated within one year of the term in which you took the course. For example, if you took the course in Summer 2019, the syllabus must be dated for that term or no earlier than Summer 2018. 

  • A course description is not an acceptable substitution for a course syllabus and will not be reviewed. 

  • It is recommended to review the Degree Requirements page for the requirement you are petitioning for to make sure your syllabus aligns with the goals of that requirement. 

  • Please allow 6-8 weeks to receive a response from the Transfer Credit Review Committee. Failure to provide all required information will delay the review of your request. 

The College of Letters and Science cannot review syllabi for Entry Level Writing, Reading and Composition, American History and Institutions, or American Cultures.

After completing the course(s)

Request for your official transcript to be sent to UC Berkeley. See the Admissions webpage on Submitting Transcripts for more details. 

If you did not have your coursework pre-reviewed, wait for the credit to post to your Academic Progress Report, then follow Step 2 above to have your credit assessed for degree requirements. 

Tips

  • If you have already started at UC Berkeley, Entry Level Writing must be completed before Reading and Composition can be taken at another institution.
  • Because the review process can take 6-8 weeks, it can be a good strategy to submit more than one course for review if you have any doubts the course you have selected will be approved. 
  • If you are on Financial Aid, discuss your plan with them to see if it will be covered.