Transfer Information for Private Colleges/Universities

Planning to transfer to a private college/university? There are five main components to consider when planning your transfer.

Transfer Basics

1. What are admission requirements to Private Colleges ?

Admissions requirements vary from institution to institution. In addition to setting its own unique admission requirements, the private college takes into account the talents and academic promise of the individual student.

A few private colleges only accept the top students who apply. Many of the California private colleges have admission requirements similar to either the University of California system or the California State University. Go to the AICCU website for additional information on private colleges in California.

2. What advice can you give me about transferring to Private Colleges?

  • Complete English and Math requirements as early as possible
  • While completing minimum admission requirements, focus on completing major preparation course work whenever possible
  • Complete all courses by end of spring quarter before your transfer in the fall.
  • Apply to several private schools.
  • Visit the campus of your choice. The private colleges sponsor information open houses. It is usually also possible to receive an individual tour by contacting the admission's or outreach office of the campus.
  • Meet with an Admissions Officer or Department Advisor at the Private College to make sure you are designing an educational plan that will lead to your successful transfer.

3. Where can I find additional application, transfer and financial information for private colleges?

1. What is Major Preparation for Private Colleges?

  • In addition to completing the admission requirements for the Private College, it is essential that you complete the Freshman and Sophomore requirements in your major.
  • Many majors will not accept you if you have not completed these courses which prepare you to be a true "junior-level transfer".
  • Major Preparation is particularly critical for the sciences and engineering majors, and highly selective majors and campuses.

2. Where can I find the lower division requirements for my Major?

  • Detailed lower-division requirements in the major are listed in the catalog of every university. Catalogs can usually be found on the college's website.
  • Counselors are available to help you through the process of searching out these requirements.
  • City College has some major agreements with colleges and universities in California and Out-of-State. This information may be limited in scope and does not include admissions, selection, GE or other requirements. Be sure to check with admissions and department personnel at the university of your choice to be sure that you are taking appropriate courses.

3.  Which Private colleges and universities offer my major?

Go to AICCU private college web pages. Usually, the majors are listed under academics or degrees.

5. What should I do if I am not sure of my major?

  • Start researching major/career options immediately. Do not procrastinate.
  • Enroll in courses of interest that fulfill general education (G.E.) requirements. Talk to instructors about their fields of study.
  • Explore universities/majors by visiting Private Colleges websites
  • Meet with a Counselor in the Career Center to discuss your choice of major
  • Choose a program that interests you (usually that means that you are good at it!)

6. Can I transfer to the Private Colleges with an undeclared major?

It is best to decide on a major as early as possible. In addition to having time to complete the lower division prerequisites in your major, you want to be sure that the college of your choice has your major.

Guidelines for transferring to a private school with an undeclared major will vary by individual private school. In most cases it is more likely that they will take you as an undeclared major if you are a sophomore. Once you reach junior status they will most likely want you to have declared a major and done preparation for the major.

7. What is an impacted major or program?

When more applications are received than can be accommodated by the campus.  If you are interested in an impacted major, you will be subject to supplementary admission.

1. What is General Education to the Private University?

The Private Colleges want you to follow a general education (GE) pattern of courses as well as complete admission requirements and lower-division prerequisites in your major. The pattern consists of a variety of courses from a broad range of disciplines designed to give you breadth in your education.

2.  How do I know which GE pattern to follow?

Your unique circumstance (previous college work, major focus) will determine which plan is best for you. Some majors prefer that you do not concentrate heavily on general education. Meet with an academic advisor or counselor to determine which plan meets your needs.

3.  Does every private college have its own GE pattern?

Yes, every private college has its own GE pattern. Visit the College Catalog of the college to you're interested in to review their GE Pattern.

4. Can I follow IGETC or CSU GE if I am planning to attend a private college?

Some private colleges will honor IGETC or CSU GE if it is certified by the Community College. Most often the college also wants the students to complete 1 or 2 other lower division GE requirements. Check with the university to see which of these patterns it will accept.

1. What does 'eligibility' to the Private College mean?

Meeting minimum requirements for admission to a specific private college or university.

2. What does 'selection' to a private college mean?

Minimum eligibility requirements may not be sufficient for you to obtain entrance to the campus or major of your choice. Each private college establishes screening (selection) criteria designed to make selections where there are more applicants than spaces available.

3. Where can I find screening criteria?

Screening criteria are often listed in:

  • academic programs or in the section 'admission for prospective students' on campus websites
  • catalogs* (paper or electronic)
    *This is a paid service; however, there is a free trial option. If you choose to continue usage, a subscription will be required.
  • Go to the AICCU website for additional information regarding your choice of private university in California.

4. Does preparation in the major serve as part of the selection criteria?

Yes, the completion of all or most of the lower division major preparation is frequently a type of selection criteria for transferring to private colleges.

1. What are electives for Private Colleges and Universities?

Electives for private colleges are courses that transfer to a specific private college and are completed in addition to admission, GE and major requirements. Private colleges vary in their requirements for transferable courses. Some private colleges accept courses that are transferable to the California State University system and/or to the University of California System.

2. Does every transfer student take electives?

Most transfer students take electives. However, students with high unit majors (such as engineering) may not need to take electives, because preparation courses for their major (along with admission and GE requirements) reach or exceed the required units designated by the private college for transfer.

3. What private colleges have a list of specific electives approved for City College?

View articulation agreements between CCSF and private/independent colleges.

4. What criteria should I use in choosing electives?

The choice is entirely up to the student as long as the course is transferable. Some suggestions for taking courses are:

  • obtaining skills for the job market
  • increasing the depth and breadth of your major
  • preparing for a minor at the university
  • improving speaking, writing, reading, organizational, personal skills
  • learning a second language
  •  balancing your study load
  • interest, fun, health

5. How do electives fit into the overall Transfer Track to the Private Colleges?

A student must complete a designated amount of transferable quarter units set by the specific private college (including admission requirements, preparation in the major, selection criteria, general education and electives).