Majors & Transferring
Majors & Transferring
Our primary goal for these majors is to provide guidance to transfer students as to how to most successfully transfer and complete a degree in their field of interest in 4 years. If in the process of following these guidelines, a student also wishes to receive an Associate's degree, then the declared major ensures that the student has developed a foundation on which to build in the workforce or future studies. These majors have been approved by City College and the State Chancellor's Office.
- Pathways to Science
- Pathways to Environmental Science (coming soon)
Transferring for Undergraduate degrees in the Bay Area
(B.A. or B.S.)
General Advice: To successfully transfer to an Environmental program at a 4-year college, you will need to complete certain prerequisites, especially if you plan to graduate 2 years after entry to the 4-year college. TO BE ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT YOU ARE TAKING THE CORRECT CLASSES, you should research the programs you plan to transfer to and see what their freshmen and junior majors are required to take. Be sure to look at all the math, physics, chemistry, and biology requirements. These are the classes that you most want to take at City College. Unfortunately, most of your "fun" environmental classes should wait until you transfer.
B.S. vs B.A.
Some programs offer Bachelors of Sciences (B.S.) -- others Bachelors of Arts (B.A.). To find out exactly what each requires, you should check with school to which you are transferring. Generally speaking, the B.A. requires less math and physics than the B.S.
General Advice: A Masters Degree gives you a shorter exposure to the academic world than a PhD does, but still lets you learn about your future career options, while building your resume at the same time.
To get accepted to a graduate program, you usually have to have a strong background in math & science (less math for biological programs). I recommend that you contact the department of interest (do some on-line research ahead of time – so you don’t waste their time) or, even better, directly contact a faculty member whose research you find interesting. Request more information on their department, application requirements, opportunities to view the department, etc.
- UC Berkeley -- Environmental Science Program -- Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
- San Francisco State University –
- California State University – Hayward – Geography & Environmental Studies Department
- (more coming soon)
- Opportunities exist: The physical sciences programs at U.C. Berkeley and many other 4-year colleges are under-enrolled. Minorities, women and other traditionally underserved populations are also under-represented. Everyone is encouraged to apply.
Take foundation level classes now: Transfer students are at
an advantage if they have already completed foundation level classes
because they avoid having to enroll in these large classes at the
4-year college. Student-to-faculty ratios at City College are much
lower here, giving you better access to resources and support during
these critical foundation level courses.
Build relationships now: Many opportunities exist that will
help you meet and build relationships with faculty and students at
the college of your choice. Building relationships with faculty is
vital for getting into graduate programs and can help you refine you
choice of program for your undergraduate program as well as give you
some “talking points” for when you write your statement (see
- Check out the department’s website and look
into what type of research faculty are conducting. Contact
faculty you are interested in meeting and perhaps arrange to
meet with them or sit in on of their classes.
- U.C. Berkeley allows students to enroll concurrently at U.C.
while they are still enrolled at City College. San Francisco
State may allow the same. Look into it if the college of your
choice is nearby.
- Attend seminars offered by the
department. Check out their website for more information. This
is a great way to meet students and faculty.
- Contact the undergraduate discipline clubs to find out about
- Attend open houses on campus
where you can meet students and faculty and get information on
what the program has to offer. Example: for U.C. Berkeley, go to
Cal Day on the 3rd Saturday of April. Departments will be having
- Make connections with partner
organizations such as the California Academy of Science, the
U.C. Space Science program and Lawrence Berkeley Labs.
- Check out the department’s website and look into what type of research faculty are conducting. Contact faculty you are interested in meeting and perhaps arrange to meet with them or sit in on of their classes.
Don’t sell yourself short: If you already have a bachelor’s
degree and are thinking of a graduate degree, you can apply to the
M.S./M.A programs or apply to PhD programs.
- Write a good statement: Many colleges, including U.C. Berkeley, focus a lot of attention on the statements its applicants write. More specifically, you need to answer the question “Why this specific college and department? If you have already built a relationship with the program through the suggestions above, you’ll be in a good position to answer that question concretely and convincingly.
- Gather experience: Work as a lab aide in the CCSF classes or a tutor. Volunteer or become an intern over the summer or weekends at local labs or museums. The more experience you get, the stronger your understanding of the science, the greater your confidence, and the better your interview, application, and future experience once you actually arrive at graduate school.