Mesa Journeys



Transfer FAQs

Transfer Center

Top Transfer Questions

If you know what your major is, keep your options open and select universities. Know the kind of environment that you consider to be valuable and seek it out. Are the following factors important to you?

  • Does the university offer the major(s) that I am interested in?
  • How many students attend the university?
  • What is the faculty to student ratio?
  • What kinds of student support services are offered?
  • What is the community like around the campus?
  • Is there housing and transportation?
  • How many students are in a typical class?

If you have not decided on a major, then start in the Career Center, located in I4-306 (same location as the Transfer Center). You can walk in during hours of operation and take the career assessment. Give yourself an hour to complete this. You will meet with a career counselor for interpretation, which should help you to determine your career objective and your major.

Click here to learn about Transfer Planning.

To see if your classes are transferable to a UC or CSU, just go to, click on the community college where you took the course, go to the bottom of the page and click on UC transferable courses or CSU transferable courses. If your course is on that page during the corresponding time period, then your courses are transferable.

For transferability to non-UC or CSU universities, determination of transferability is made by the receiving institution. Many universities will not be able to provide you with a direct response until you have applied. However, if we have an agreement with the university, we may have course to course articulation that exists. Check the articulation section of our website.

For the UC and CSU system, you will need to have 60 transferable units to transfer. For all other institutions, it depends on the receiving university. Many universities will accept transfer students with fewer than 60 units. Some universities may require the SAT or ACT if you don't have enough to be considered a transfer student. Check the university website for the required number of units.

Click here to learn about College and University transfer unit requirements.

Articulation agreements allow for us to see the equivalence of our courses at universities. These agreements help with educational planning as it will let you know which courses they want you to take to fulfill their general education pattern or the major that you are targeting. Articulation agreements are useful tools to help you to transfer.

If we do not have an articulation agreement with your target institution, it does not mean you cannot transfer there. You can still apply and be admitted.

Click here to view Mesa's Articulation Agreements.

Public institutions are funded by the state, which keeps tuition lower. Typically, in-state students pay lower tuition than out-of-state students and in many cases receives preference for admission. Public universities often have a larger and more diverse student body with a variety of student organizations.

Private institutions are supported by tuition, fees, and gifts, resulting in higher tuition rates. However, they tend to offer more financial aid options and more scholarships. Private universities typically have a smaller student population, a community atmosphere, small class sizes, close relationships with instructors, and some are affiliated with a particular religion.

Don't be quick to rule out private institutions due to cost. With the financial aid and scholarships along with the timely factor of getting in and getting out, your early earning potential may make up for much of the difference of going to a public university.

Click here to learn more about differentColleges and Universities.

Each university sets its own minimum GPA requirement. Some of the UC's and CSU's may publicize it on Some universities may publicize an average GPA for its entering class while others may simply state a minimum GPA.

In some cases, universities will look at academic progress versus overall GPA, so if you started poorly but have done well since then, it may be taken into consideration.

Click to learn more about College and University requirements.

Check with the Transfer Center to see if we have any direct contacts with an admissions personnel from the university you are targeting. If we do, contact them and start working on a plan. There are many local representatives from out-of-state universities in this area and we may be able to connect you to them.

Check the university's website for deadlines, transfer student requirements, and application requirements. If you delve deeper, you can also see the general education units that are required at the university and take courses that you know may count for those requirements. Some universities may not specify the exact coursework they are looking for. Work with a counselor to create an educational plan towards your goal.

Click here to learn more about Out of State Colleges and Universities.

GE is a program of courses in the arts and sciences that provides a broad educational experience. Courses are usually introductory in nature and provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge. It may also help you make decisions regarding your major.

The UC and CSU have a set pattern of GE courses you can follow. For the CSU system, you can choose from the CSUGE Breadth or from IGETC. The UC system will accept the IGETC. You can find the advising sheets in the Transfer Center or Counseling Department. Please note that there are some schools that recommend not following the IGETC. Please work with a counselor.

Certification of a general education pattern means that you are done with a lower division general education pattern. Many universities will accept this certification and will not require you to take additional lower division general education coursework. Universities will request GE certification once they admit you. Click here to learn how to request general education certification.

You will need to have your official transcripts sent to Mesa and request to have them evaluated to determine how it may count. Contact the college you attended to have them send the transcripts here. Typically, transcripts are sent directly from institution to institution. If you pick up the transcripts and bring them in, bring them in sealed. The moment you open the envelope, the transcripts are considered unofficial and will not be accepted.  Click here to learn how to have your transcripts evaluated.

If you need clearance of a prerequisite in a timely manner, you may bring a copy of your transcripts to the Counseling Department and have a counselor clear the prerequisite for you. If you are unable to be on campus, you may fax it in to the Counseling Department to have the prerequisite cleared.  Click here to learn more about clearing prerequisites.

No. You need to meet the minimum admission requirements for your target university. However, it may be possible that you have completed requirements for an associate's degree. Meet with a counselor to determine your eligibility for a degree.

HOWEVER - A new program call A Degree with  A Guarantee is now available for the CSU System.  View the information on the Transfer Guarantee webpage for more information.

Lower division refers to the freshman and sophomore level courses. Upper division refers to junior and senior level courses. All courses offered at Mesa are lower division courses.

A TAG is a formal agreement that outlines the requirements that must be met before transfer in order to be guaranteed admission into the university. Currently, Mesa has TAGs with UCSD, UCI, UCD, UCSC, UCM, UCSB, UCR, and SDSU. 

Click here to learn the details for TAGs.

The Transfer Center has college catalogs, computer stations, workshops, events and knowledgeable staff to respond to your questions about transfer. During the major application periods, use the Transfer Center to work on your application and have it reviewed before you submit. The Transfer Center will also advocate on your behalf to ensure smooth transfer. Should you have any problems with transfer, please stop by and see us in the Student Services Center, 3rd Floor, Room I4-306.

A video from a Mesa Transfer Student

10 Tips for a Successful Transfer

  1. Meet with your counselor early and often to discuss your transfer plans
  2. Meet with representatives from your target institutions to ensure that the institution will be the right fit for you.
  3. Decide on your major by the end of your second semester at Mesa College. Utilize Career Center services to help you with the process.
  4. Visit your target institutions even if they are right down the road. Is it a good fit for you? Is your major offered at the campus?
  5. Attend Transfer Center workshops to learn how to arrange your educational plan to best maximize your time and successfully transfer
  6. Take Math and English courses early. Don't wait until the last minute to take these core courses.
  7. Do well in your courses. GPA's are easy to bring down, but difficult to bring up.
  8. Know how to use the college catalog – course descriptions, prerequisites, policies are information you will need to plan your time here
  9. Talk to faculty, students, administrators, staff about their experiences in college so you have an understanding of what to expect
  10. Use the services of the Transfer Center. We are here to support you with your transfer goals.

Transfer Data

View how many students transferred from San Diego Mesa College to UC and CSU since 1988 - 2010. Please note this data does not represent the number of students that were accepted to these universities, only the number of students who accepted transfer admission and attended.