In addition to the specific transfer FAQ’s outlined below, please consult our pre-major FAQ as many of those questions are also relevant to transfer students.


Any transferred coursework that you wish to count toward the pre-major (or full major) must be articulated on or approved by the Department of Communication, so you should be sure to submit the following to the Undergraduate Advising Office via email or in person in SSMS 4005: 1) A copy of all unofficial transcripts from all institutions previously attended 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.

For courses taken at any non-UC 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 (regardless of whether you earned a letter grade or a Pass). But the grades will have no effect on your UCSB record. Your GPA at UCSB is based only on the letter grades you receive at UCSB or other UC institutions.

No. All incoming transfer students are admitted to the Pre-Comm major. If you believe you have already completed all of your pre-major coursework at your transfer institution before coming to UCSB, you'll first need to submit your unofficial transcripts to the Comm Advising Office for confirmation (Instructions for submitting your unofficial transcripts can be found in the Online Transfer Orientation Module.) Once you have received confirmation that you have completed equivalents of all four pre-major courses, you'll need to submit a Change of Major Form to advance from Pre-Comm to Comm in order to be able to enroll in Upper-Division Comm courses. Please allow up to six weeks of processing time.

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.

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 (usually in the fall). Please contact the Registrar's office right away if you notice anything that is not correct.

2. Use GOLD to run a Major Progress Check. This audit tracks your progress with your major as well as with the College of Letters & Science.

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

4. Make sure to visit the College of Letters & Science advisors in the Transfer Student Center whenever you have a question about requirements outside of your major.

UCSB's Office of Admissions website provides a list of tips to help you make a successful transition. UCSB's Transfer Student Center provides resources, workshops, and activities to help transfer students acclimate to UCSB. 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 and utilize resources like CLAS workshops. 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!