Image of Merced College Logo   Transfer 1A: The Basics    

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University Starts Here!

Being a transfer student means that you are beginning your bachelor's degree right here at Merced College. Here's how it works:

  1. Unit requirements: The average bachelor's degree program requires that you complete 124 units. Those units are divided into lower division (freshman and sophomore) and upper division (junior and senior) coursework. You must complete at least 60 units to reach junior standing (upper division status). Like other community colleges, Merced College offers the lower division courses accepted as comparable to the ones that freshmen and sophomores must take at a university (thus, they are transferable). Community colleges do not offer upper division coursework, so you will transfer to a university to complete those units and graduate with a bachelor's degree.

  2. Subject requirements: In addition to the unit requirement for your degree, there are subject area requirements. Those requirements may be for general education or major preparation. If you complete all of your subject requirements and have not reached 60 units, you will take elective courses of your choosing before you can transfer.

  3. General education: Most of your lower division courses will be for the purposes of general education (GE). For example, you must complete at least 48 units of GE to graduate from a California public university, 39 of which are lower division. The GE requirements for independent and out-of-state universities may differ, but the ratio of lower to upper division units is similar. Each institution has it's own GE pattern that describes the number of units in each subject area that you must complete for graduation. There are also GE patterns that are accepted by the entire California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems for transfer to any of their campuses. The CSU requires that students complete most of their lower division GE before transfer.

  4. Major preparation: Your bachelor's degree will be granted in a specific discipline (your major). The university faculty that teaches in your major determines the unit and subject requirements for the degree. (You will petition to enter your major as a junior.) Among those requirements is lower division major preparation through which you demonstrate interest and ability in your chosen major. Some majors require very little such preparation, while other majors require many courses. Some of the preparation for your major can also be used to meet GE requirements. It is important to choose a major early and find out about the preparation that you will need to be admitted to your major. The UC requires that students complete most, if not all, of their major preparation before transfer.

  5. Grades: Your overall academic performance, as measured by your grade point average (GPA), is another factor in being admitted to a university and earning your degree. There are minimum GPAs (usually around a "C" average) set for transfer students that vary slightly by system or institution. A higher minimum GPA is required for admission to popular campuses or majors. It is important for you to find out how to do well in your classes in order to increase your transfer choices and chances.

Merced College offers a rigorous course of study to prepare you for success when you transfer. The Transfer Center provides accurate, up-to-date information and a set of coordinated resources activities, and services that support the transfer process. Make an appointment with one of Merced College's many transfer counselors to find out more about how to transfer to the university of your choice.

Steps to Successful Transfer

  • Attend an orientation
  • Learn how to succeed in college
  • Meet regularly by appointment with a counselor
  • Choose a major
  • Complete English and math early
  • Choose some target universities
  • Create an educational plan
  • Meet with university representatives
  • Visit university campuses
  • Learn about the application process



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Merced Community College, 3600 M Street, Merced CA 95348
The Transfer Center is located on the 3rd Floor of the Lesher Building, Room 312. Phone: 209 384 6218
Transfer Center Counselor: Greg Soto

Website made by Juan Eduardo Alvear - 209 381 6514 -
Last Update: 11/17/2009 11:12:54 AM