Transfer Preparation

Preparation for Prospective Transfer Students

Watch this video, created by the UCSB Office of Admissions, for an overview of the requirements to transfer.

Community college transfers: Students preparing to transfer into an undergraduate major in the UCSB College of Engineering from a California Community College should use for major specific course requirements. 

Transfer from other institutions: Students preparing to transfer to UCSB from any other institution should carefully review the admissions eligibility and course requirements found at the Office of Admissions, Transfer Applicants site

Current UCSB, non-engineering transfer students: Students who enter UCSB as transfer students are only permitted to major in a College of Engineering major if they were directly admitted into that specific major when they matriculated as a transfer student. Transfer students may not petition to change or to add an engineering major.


When admitting transfer students, the College of Engineering considers the amount of preparatory coursework completed, grades earned in those courses, and cumulative transferable GPA. Consequently, transfer students should focus on completing all engineering preparatory courses offered at their college with the best grades possible and then finishing their General Education requirements after matriculation to UCSB. California Community College students should refer to for more specific information about transferring. 

Tips for transfer for all majors:

  • We strongly recommend finishing Physics and Chemistry courses at one college or institution.  Mixing series between multiple schools can require additional coursework in these areas at UCSB.
  • Most transfer students in the College of Engineering require three years to complete their degree.  See major specific notes below.  There are subtleties and nuances to each specific student's situation but our goal is to be transparent about time to degree.
  • Focus on major coursework rather than on completing IGETC.  Students who will attend UCSB for three years have time to complete GEs.  If IGETC is complete this will help lighten the course load for two year degree plans.
  • Very little major coursework is available during UCSB Summer Sessions.

Transfer coursework required for admissions to the College of Engineering varies by major.  Use for detailed information on required and recommended coursework.

Mechanical Engineering 

  • One year calculus for science majors
  • Differential equations
  • Linear algebra
  • Vector Calculus
  • Three semesters calculus-based physics
  • One semester general chemistry
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Matlab
  • Circuits and devices

Note: It is recommended students complete the dynamics course requirement prior to transfer or during UCSB Summer Sessions.  If dynamics is not complete before the start of the first fall quarter, the degree is a three year degree. Click here to see sample two year vs three year degree plans.

You’ve been admitted: what now?

Congratulations! Admission into the UCSB College of Engineering is a highly selective honor. We hope you will submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). Please view our helpful information for newly admitted students, including summer early preparation opportunities.