Steps to Transfer to a University or College

What does "Transfer" mean for community college students?

Transfer is the process of continuing your education at a university/college that confers baccalaureate degrees (commonly referred to as a Bachelor degree - BA).  Students who begin their studies at community college may prepare to apply and gain acceptance to a university or college after completing required general education and major preparation course work.  This preparation may be completed within two years at a community college, but sometimes may take additional time (i.e. one or two more years depending upon initial community college academic readiness and selected major). If planned correctly with the assistance of a community college counselor, the courses that you pass at community college will count towards requirements for your baccalaureate degree just as if they had been taken at university/college institution.

There are four basic transfer areas that students will focus on prior to transfer:

  • General Education Requirements
  • Preparation for Major Courses
  • Minimum Required Transferable Units
  • Minimum Required GPA

Specific requirements vary depending on the college/university and major. Check to make sure you know and meet ALL the deadlines.

Three Important Steps to Transfer:

1. Choosing a Major: A major is a field of study that you emphasize in your college education. It is what you "specialize" in with your degree. To narrow down the options, students often begin to select their major by one of the following techniques:

  • If you know what university you want to attend, you can select from the list of majors at that university. Lists of majors at California public universities are available at (click on "Explore Majors")
  • If you think you might be interested in a particular major but are not sure, try taking a general education class in the major and see how you like it. Students often select their major based simply on the courses that are the most interesting to them.
  • Research majors at and

While it's true that some majors do relate to specific careers, most majors do not. In fact, the majority of majors will actually help prepare you for many career possibilities. You can visit the Counseling Office or Transfer and Career Center for assistance in researching career fields, which may help you decide on a major.

2. Choosing a Transfer School: It is important to investigate transfer universities early in the transfer planning process. This is because each university typically has different transfer requirements, including different sets of courses you should complete prior to transfer. Students who do not select a transfer university early often complete many more courses than necessary.

Choosing a transfer university is also important because:

  • The majors offered at each university are different.
  • Each university has unique features, including factors like its student body, its location, and its extracurricular activities.
  • You are more likely to do well academically in a university environment that you enjoy.

To help you consider different options we encourage you to utilize Transfer Center services and Online Resources.

3. Planning Your Transfer Courses: Once you have decided what major you plan to pursue and your transfer university, the next step is to plan out your transfer courses and create an Educational Plan.

  • An educational plan serves as a crucial step in the transfer process ensuring that you are completing the necessary courses to be eligible for admission at your transfer university and determining a realistic timeline to transfer. Specific requirements vary depending on the college/university and major. So, transfer students are encouraged to make an appointment with a counselor to develop an educational plan early in the transfer process. You may speak with a counselor about different options to assist you in transferring, such as the Associate Degrees for Transfer, UC Transfer Admission Guarantee, IGETC, and CSU GE.

Caution: The final responsibility for a successful transfer program rests with the student. This information changes frequently and can impact your admission to the university/college. It is highly advised that you meet periodically with counselors at Ventura College AND advisors at the prospective university/college to confirm your choice of classes and educational plan.