Transfer Planning

Transfer Planning

Frequently Asked Questions about Transfer

  1. What does the term "transfer" mean?
  2. What is articulation?
  3. What is the difference between the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC)?
  4. What is the difference between a semester and quarter system?
  5. Which De Anza courses transfer to a four-year university?
  6. How many units do I need to transfer?
  7. Can I transfer as an undeclared major?

1.  What does the term "transfer" mean?
Transfer describes a student's academic advancement from a community college to a university.

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2.  What is articulation?
Articulation is the process of developing a formal, written agreement that identifies a course or a sequence of courses offered by a "sending" campus that are comparable to, or acceptable in lieu of, specific course requirements at a "receiving" campus.

Successful completion of an articulated course assures students and faculty that the student has taken the appropriate course, received the necessary instruction and preparation, and that similar outcomes can be assured, enabling progression to the next level of instruction at the receiving institution.

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3.  What is the difference between the California State University and the University of California?

The California State University (CSU) system grants the most bachelor degrees among the higher education segments in California. There are currently  23 campuses in the CSU system. The focus of study at the CSU is considered the more practical, career-oriented of the two systems. The CSU grants bachelor and master degrees and doctorate degrees in conjunction with the UC.

Compared to the CSU the focus of study at a University of California (UC) campus is more theoretical and research-oriented. There are currently 10 campuses in the UC system (though one, UC San Francisco, is a professional school only). The UC grants professional and doctorate degrees as well as bachelor and master degrees.

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4.  What is the difference between a semester and a quarter system?

Each academic institution operates according to an academic calendar, with terms marking the beginning and end of each session of classes.  A semester is a calendar that divides the academic year into 15 - 17 week terms.  There are generally two semesters per academic year: Fall (beginning in August or September) and Spring (beginning in January or February - winter inter-session).  Some semester-based schools may offer a Summer session that is shorter than a regular semester and is not a part of the regular academic year.

A quarter is the other most common type of academic term.  Each quarter is 10-12 weeks in length and there are usually three quarters in an academic year: Fall (beginning in September), Winter (beginning in January), and Spring (beginning in March or April).  Some quarter-based schools may offer a forth Summer Quarter, but it is not considered an official term in the academic year.

De Anza College follows a quarter system.

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5.  Which De Anza courses transfer to a university?

Generally, the UC will accept most De Anza courses numbered 1-49. The CSU generally accepts De Anza courses numbered 1-99. However, transfer credit for some De Anza courses may be limited by the UC or CSU or both. Students should refer to the ASSIST Web site and click on the De Anza College/UC - Transferable Course Agreement link or the De Anza College/CSU - Transferable Courses link to view De Anza courses that are transferable to the UC and CSU and any limitations. At the UC, physical Education courses are transferable up to a maximum limit of 6 quarter units of "PE activity" and 6 quarter units of theory.  

If you are interested in transferring to an independent college or university you should contact the transfer institution of your choice as early as possible to review the institution's transfer credit policy.  Though many independent and out-of-state universities award transfer credit for UC-transferable course work, it is important to determine how and which De Anza courses will receive transfer credit.

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6.  How many units do I need to transfer?

The UC and CSU grant highest priority for transfer admission is given to junior-level California community college applicants with 90 quarter (60 semester) units.  Keep in mind that given cuts to enrollment budgets many CSU and UC campuses limit enrollment of or do not admit lower division transfer students.

The UC requires 90 UC-transferable quarter units for upper division transfer.  The CSU grants junior standing once a student completes at least 90 transferable quarter units.  Independent colleges and universities often accept students with fewer than 90 quarter units.  Please check the minimum unit requirements for transfer in the printed catalog or campus Web site for the independent college or university of your choice.

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7.  Can I transfer as an undeclared major?

In general, very few CSU and UC campuses allow transfer students to apply as "undeclared".  Most campuses require transfer applicants to declare a major at the time of application.  Students interested in an impacted program or selective major at the CSU or UC must apply to the major. 

Transfer admission policies will vary by campus for independent and out-of-state colleges and universities.  Contact the admissions office of the transfer institution of your choice for more information about applying as "undeclared".

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Transfer Planning
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Last Updated: 4/15/10