Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!) For Transfer Students

How do I get credit for the pre-comm classes I took at my other college? As a transfer student, can I skip the pre-major at UCSB and transfer directly into the full comm major? 

You can be admitted directly to the full comm major only if you have already successfully completed all of your pre-major coursework at your transfer institution before coming to UCSB.  If this is the case, you need to fill out a Change of Major petition ASAP upon arrival at UCSB in order for your major status to become official. 

Any transferred coursework that you wish to count toward the pre-major (or full major) must be approved by the Department of Communication, so you should be sure to bring the following to the Undergraduate Advising Office (SSMS 4005):  1) A copy of the a transcript from your prior school demonstrating satisfactory completion of each of the courses for which you are seeking credit, and 2) a copy of the course syllabus (if requested). We are unable to evaluate courses based on catalog descriptions alone. 

Please see the Undergraduate section of the Comm Dept website for more complete information and details about the required courses, and be sure also to consult with our Undergraduate Advisor (SSMS 4005) or with a Peer Advisor (SSMS 4005) about your own specific transfer record. 

If I am able to transfer coursework from another school toward the pre-major (or major) in communication at UCSB, will my grades transfer too?

The only grades that transfer are from courses taken at another UC institution. For courses taken at any other college or university, your letter grades will NOT transfer.  If UCSB approves the transfer credit, then you will receive the units, and if the Comm Dept approves the course, then you will also receive credit toward the major for having taken the class. But the grades will have no affect on your UCSB record. Your GPA at UCSB is based only on the letter grades you receive at UCSB or other UC institutions.

I transferred some of the pre-major classes from my other college, but I still have to take at least one pre-major class at UCSB. How will my pre-major GPA be calculated? 

Your pre-major GPA is calculated based only on the pre-major courses you take at UCSB (or another UC campus).  For example, if you transferred to UCSB with credit for having taken the equivalent of Comm 87 (statistics), then your pre-comm GPA will be the average of your letter grades in Comm 1, 88, & 89 at UCSB (no matter what grade you got in stats at your other college).  If you took all but one pre-comm course at a community college, then your pre-major GPA will be based entirely on the grade you get in the ONE remaining class you have to take at UCSB! It would be critical, in that case, to get a B or better in that course, because there are no other pre-major classes that you would have to average in another grade.

 I transferred to UCSB specifically for the communication major, how do I make sure that I will get into the major?

To get into the full comm major, you must either a) successfully complete all of your pre-major coursework at your transfer institution before coming to UCSB, or b) achieve at least a 3.0 GPA in the pre-major courses you take at UCSB.  If you do not achieve a high enough pre-major GPA (and/or are unsuccessful on appeal), you must find another major.  This is why it is important that while you are taking your pre-comm classes you also prepare a real and feasible back-up plan for another major, just in case.

 I transferred as a junior, but I have to take pre-comm classes at UCSB, so I'm worried about graduating on time.  How do I stay on track with my requirements for graduation?

First, you need to complete the pre-major in a timely manner, so it is important that you make a plan for which courses to take during which quarters of your first year at UCSB.  If you have not already done this at your transfer orientation, be sure to consult with an advisor in the Comm Dept (SSMS 4005). 

Second, it is important that you prepare a real and feasible back-up plan for another major, in the event that you do not achieve at least a 3.0 GPA in the comm pre-major.  We suggest that you take classes that can apply to your back-up major while you are taking your pre-comm classes. That way, if you do not reach the 3.0 pre-major GPA by the time you are finished with your last pre-major class, you can slide right into your other major without delaying graduation.  You do NOT want to end up in the position of being a senior and having to start a new major from scratch at that point!

Some additional tips for keeping track of your progress at UCSB:  

1. Be sure to check your new student profile as soon as it is available.  Please contact the Registrar's office right away if you notice anything that is not correct.

2. Use GOLD to run progress checks and or degree audits. A degree audit tracks your progress with your major as well as with the college of L&S.

3. Make sure to email or stop by the Undergraduate Advising Office in the Communication Department (SSMS 4005) whenever you have a question.

 I've heard that it can be difficult for transfer students to adjust to the quarter system or to the higher academic expectations at UCSB. Do you have any tips for success?

UCSB's admissions website provides a list of tips to help you make a successful transition.  In addition, for success in the comm major (pre-major as well as full), we particularly recommend that you:

1. Develop excellent time management skills. The quarter system goes by quickly, and you cannot afford to get behind. You also need to learn how to balance your activities and responsibilities with your schoolwork. There are lots of opportunities at UCSB for involvement (clubs, internships, etc.), and although these are great activities, they also put strains on your time and energy.  Know your limits and abilities, and do not overload yourself. 

2. Prioritize the improvement of your academic skills. For example, a paper that received an "A" at your prior college may at UCSB look average when compared with your peers' writing skills. So you need to elevate your performance. Also, you need do well on the things that count. At many colleges, a good portion of your grade comes just from turning in homework or showing up to class. At UCSB, and in the comm pre-major in particular, these behaviors are merely EXPECTED of all students, so they usually count little toward your grade and will not make up for poor test scores. Often, your grade in a UCSB course may be based entirely on your performance on a midterm, a final, and one paper!