Transfer to Four-Year Colleges & Universities

Preparation for Transfer 

As an integral unit of the California system of public higher education, the College provides programs of study providing students the opportunity to prepare for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The College aspires to do this in such a manner that students may transfer without loss of time or credit.

Most professions and careers requiring study beyond that available at College of the Desert are such that the first 60 college level units may be completed before transferring from College of the Desert to another institution of higher education. To assure transfer students of obtaining the maximum benefit from their College of the Desert experience prior to transferring, it is important for students to engage in careful, long-range planning. In general, students planning to transfer should follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Tentative Choice: Because course requirements vary among colleges and universities, it is advantageous to research and select the school(s) to which students plan to transfer as early as possible in their college career. The College Transfer Center offers a research library to help students prepare to transfer, including catalogs from California public and private institutions, as well as from many out-of-state colleges. Transfer admission information, applications, and other reference materials are also available. The Transfer Center is located in the Cravens Student Services Center.
  2. Catalog: Examine catalogs of prospective colleges and universities. Carefully study those sections that cover requirements for (a) transfer admission, (b) the major, and (c) graduation. Finding all requirements often warrants a review of the entire catalog, as requirements may be listed in different sections of the catalog. Many of these requirements must be taken during the freshman and sophomore years. Failure to do so can unduly extend the time required for transfer admission and graduation.
  3. Financial Aid: Apply for financial aid as directed on the College website. Financial aid information is also available in the Financial Aid Office, located in the Cravens Student Services Center and online.
  4. General Education Requirements: Students may complete their lower division general education or breadth requirements while at College of the Desert. COD has articulation agreements with the California State Universities (CSU) and the University of California (UC) systems that allow students to be certified for these requirements. To select the pattern that is most appropriate, consult a counselor or faculty advisor.
  5. Application Filing Period: Check carefully the dates of the application filing period. This is the time between the first date applications will be received and the deadline. Many colleges have initial filing periods ten months before admission. In all cases, submission of applications early within the filing period is recommended.
  6. Letters of Recommendation & Rating Forms: Some independent colleges require letters of recommendation or rating forms. Students should get to know their instructors well enough so that they can comment accurately on the students’ characteristics.
  7. Grade Point Requirements: Grade Point Average requirements for admission and selection to majors vary. Study catalogs carefully for all requirements.
  8. Admission Requirements of the Public California Institutions: The filing periods for CSU are the months of October and November. The filing period for UC is the month of November. These are the initial filing periods for fall admission. Both CSU and UC require completion of 60 transferable units to enter as a junior.
  9. Admission to Independent California or Out-of-State Colleges: Students who follow transfer courses of study find they are given credit for most, if not all, courses when they transfer to independent or out-of-state colleges and universities. Some colleges require a certain number of completed units before considering students as eligible for transfer, while others accept students at any time. Admission requirements are outlined in the respective college catalogs. Catalogs are available for use in the College of the Desert Transfer Center. Independent colleges encourage students to make an appointment with their Office of Admissions in order to discuss transfer opportunities on a personal basis.
  10. Transferable Courses: Courses transferable to the California State University system are indicated by “CSU” and those transferable to the University of California system are indicated by “UC” under the course description in the “Courses of Instruction” section of this catalog. The CSU or UC designates courses accepted for elective credit. Such courses count for the 60 units required for advanced standing transfer to CSU or UC. Students interested in transferring to the University of California should refer to the University of California Transfer Course Agreement, available in the Transfer Center, to make sure they have enough units, since we offer several UC transferable courses for which credit is decreased by one or more units by UC; such courses are marked in this catalog with an asterisk, as CSU, UC*. This acceptance can change annually. Students should visit the ASSIST website to confirm how each college’s course will be accepted at a particular four-year college or university for transfer credit. Consult the Transfer Center for more detailed information.

Transfer Admission Agreement (TAA) & Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)

COD has entered into a Transfer Admissions Agreement (TAA) with CSU San Bernardino and a Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) with UC Riverside. These agreements guarantee university transfer admission to students who meet specified lower division requirements for course completion and Grade Point Average (GPA). Students should request an agreement prior to completing thirty (30) semester units in order to ensure appropriate course planning and selection. Students interested in transferring to one of these campuses may schedule an appointment with a COD counselor to learn more about TAA options and opportunities and complete a Student Education Plan (SEP) for transfer.

Admission to the University of California

Students transferring to the UC system from College of the Desert may, in most cases, follow the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to meet lower-division general education requirements for the UC system. To meet the minimum UC system eligibility requirements, residents of California must have a GPA of 2.4 and nonresidents must have a GPA of 2.8. However, higher grade point averages are required to be a competitive transfer applicant to most UC campuses. Students are advised to visit a COD counselor for a realistic estimate of the current GPA actually required for admission to various major programs at various campuses, and to verify whether IGETC will meet their lower-division general education requirements.

To be minimally eligible to transfer to the UC system, assuming ineligibility from high school, a student with California residency must accumulate a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semester units from an accredited college or university while maintaining a minimum 2.4 GPA. The 60 units will consist of general education and major requirements. Nonresidents must accumulate 60 UC-transferable semester units and have a minimum GPA of 2.8. Specified high unit majors do not completed the transfer general education pattern and must meet with a COD counselor for general education requirements for graduation.

NOTE: Being “eligible” for admission in NO way guarantees admission. Higher grade point averages are required by most UC campuses, and students with 60 or more transferable semester units receive priority consideration for transfer admission.

Admission to California State University

Students must complete either the CSU General Education Certification Course Pattern (page  65 ) or the IGETC (page  67)  and the major requirements as specified in the program of study for the declared major for a total of 60 units.  You may consult with a COD counselor or visit the ASSIST website for the major requirements. Specified high unit majors do not complete the transfer general education certification and must meet with a COD counselor for general education requirements for graduation. A student must complete 60 or more transferable semester units with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (C) or higher (2.4 for nonresidents), be in good standing at the last college or university attended, and have completed or made up any missing college preparatory subject requirements. Certain “impacted” programs, which have more applicants than there are spaces available, have additional screening requirements. Please see a COD counselor for details.

NOTE: Being “eligible” for admission in NO way guarantees admission. Higher grade point averages may be required by CSU campuses, and students with 60 or more transferable semester units receive priority consideration for transfer admission.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

The IGETC is a general education program that California community college transfer students can use to fulfill lower-division general education requirements at a California State University or University of California campus. This curriculum provides an alternative to CSU General Education-Breadth requirements and UC campus GE/Breadth requirements. IGETC can be a good option if students know they want to transfer, but do not know if they will go to a CSU or a UC, or if they do not know which major to pursue.

Courses must be completed for all areas with a grade of “C” or better. Completion of IGETC is not an admission requirement nor does completion of IGETC guarantee admission to the campus or program of choice; pattern is outlined on pages 67 and 68.

CSU General Education-Breadth Certification Course Pattern

The CSU General Education-Breadth (GE-Breadth) program allows California community college transfer students to fulfill lower-division general education requirements for any CSU campus prior to transfer. This curriculum provides an alternative to the IGETC requirements and campus-specific GE-Breadth requirements. This can be a good option if students know they want to transfer to a CSU but do not know which campus they will attend, or if they know which campus they will attend but do not know which major to pursue.

It is important to note that CSU GE-Breadth certification is not an admission requirement nor does completion guarantee admission to the campus or program of choice. The GE-Breadth program requires that students who select this option complete at least 48 semester units of general education to receive a baccalaureate degree. At least nine of these units must be upper-division level and taken at the university. (See page 65 for CSU General Education requirements.)

Students planning to transfer should consult with a COD counselor early in their first semester of enrollment. Counselors and faculty advisors will assist students with program planning and course options.

General Education classes are designed to educate students to: think, write, and speak clearly and logically; reason quantitatively; gain knowledge about the human body and mind; the development and functioning of human society; the physical and biological world; and human cultures and civilizations; and develop an understanding of the principles, methods, and values of human inquiry.

General Education Certification

Verification by the College of a student’s completion of lower division General Education/Breadth requirements for the California State University or the University of California must be requested by the student at the time transcripts are requested to be sent to the university.

CSU Government/History Certification

College of the Desert, pursuant to Title 5, Section 40404 of the California Administrative Code and in accordance with Executive Order 405 from the Office of the Chancellor, California State University (effective date 11/15/82), certifies the following course/examination combinations as meeting the baccalaureate requirements in U.S. History, Constitution and American Ideals at CSU, except that no student may meet the requirement by examinations alone. It is important to note that certification may take place if and only if an entire history/government combination has been completed. (Requirements at CSU institutions may vary; consult your faculty advisor or counselor.)

A student may fulfill the history/government requirement by completing Political Science 1 (PS 1) and either History 17 (HIST 17) or History 18 (HIST 18). AP Government credit does not fulfill this requirement at CSU.

Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID)

The Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID) is a statewide numbering system independent from the course numbers assigned by local California community colleges. A C-ID number next to a course signals that participating California colleges and universities have determined that courses offered by other California community colleges are comparable in content and scope to courses offered on their own campuses, regardless of their unique titles or local course number. Thus, if a schedule of classes or catalog lists a course bearing a C-ID number, for example COMM 110, students at that college can be assured that it will be accepted in lieu of a course bearing the C-ID COMM 110 designation at another community college. In other words, the C-ID designation can be used to identify comparable courses at different community colleges. However, students should visit the ASSIST website to confirm how each college’s course will be accepted at a particular four-year college or university for transfer credit.

The C-ID numbering system is useful for students attending more than one community college and is applied to many of the transferable courses students need as preparation for transfer. Because these course requirements may change and because courses may be modified and qualified for or deleted from the C-ID database, students should always check with a counselor to determine how C-ID designated courses fit into their educational plans for transfer.

Students may consult the ASSIST database for specific information on C-ID course designations. Counselors can always help students interpret or explain this information.