1. What does transfer mean?
The term "transfer" describes a students academic advancement from a community college to a university. Transfer means that you begin your bachelor's degree at a community college and complete it at a university.
2. What is the relationship between community colleges and the university?
Universities offer both lower division (freshman and sophomore) and upper division (junior and senior) coursework. Community colleges offer lower division courses only. The university accepts certain community college courses as comparable to courses that are required for freshman and sophomore students at the university through a process called articulation. In that way, community college courses become transferable and are counted toward the requirements to graduate from the university with a bachelor's degree.
3. What is articulation?
Articulation is the process of evaluating courses to determine whether coursework completed at one institution (e.g. a community college) will meet the requirements at another institution (e.g. a university) for the purposes of admission, transferable units, general education or major preparation. It is this process that ensures that the classes you take at Butte College will be credited toward your bachelor's degree requirements when you enter a university. Articulation agreements are formal documents that describe which coursework is accepted. Some articulation agreements are "course-to-course agreements", meaning that they show a specific course from one institution and the comparable specific course from another. Other articulation agreements are "major agreements", meaning that they show a set of courses that are acceptable to fulfill an entire requirement for major preparation. All segments of the public higher education system in California---the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California--have agreed to have a single repository for articulation agreements between the community colleges and the universities. That repository is the ASSIST web site, which you will find on our main navigation bar.
4. What is the difference between the California State University and the University of California?
The California State University (CSU) system of higher education in California grants the most bachelor degrees. It is considered the more practical, career-oriented of the two systems. There are now 23 CSU campuses. The University of California (UC) system is considered more of a research institution. The UC grants professional and doctorate degrees as well as bachelor and master degrees. It is considered the more theoretical in approach of the two systems. There are ten UC campuses (though one is a professional school only).
5. What is the difference between a semester and a quarter?
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). Some semester-based schools also 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 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). A few quarter-based schools offer a forth Summer Quarter, but it is not considered an official term in the academic year. Butte College is on the semester calendar.
6. Which Butte courses transfer to a university?
The University of California will accept most Butte courses numbered 1 - 99 and most Athletics and Physical Education courses, regardless of the course number, up to a limit of 4 units of "PE activity" courses and 4 units of theory. Students should refer to the Butte UC- IGETC list of all Butte courses accepted by the UC as transferable. The California State University also accepts Butte courses numbered 1 - 99 and all PE units numbered between 1-99. Independent and out-of-state universities may not have specific agreements with Butte that relate to our course-numbering system. Generally, it is advisable to take UC-transferable coursework. However, if you are interested in transferring outside the California public university system, you should make early contact with the campus of your choice. A Butte transfer counselor can assist you in that communication. Butte counts courses numbered 100 -199 toward an Associate degree, but courses numbered 100 - 199 are not accepted for transfer to a university.
7. How many units do I need to transfer?
You will achieve full junior standing when you have completed 60 transferable semester units. If you wish to transfer as a lower division student, the university will consider your high school record in determining whether to admit you. The University of California requires 60 UC-transferable semester units for upper division transfer. Some UC campuses infrequently accept students as lower division transfers. The California State University currently grants junior standing at 60 semester units (but not for financial aid or scholarship purposes). Some CSU campuses are open to lower division transfers, but grant them lower priority for admission. Independent and out-of-state universities often accept students with fewer than 60 semester units and will require out-of-state tuition. Please check the printed or online catalog for the specific university to which you want to transfer for their requirements. A Butte transfer counselor can assist you with that.
8. If I earn an Associate degree (A.A./A.S.), will I be prepared to transfer? Do I need this degree to transfer?
Generally, meeting the requirements for an Associate degree will not prepare you for transfer admissions. Not all courses that are counted toward an Associate degree are accepted for transfer, and General Education requirements differ as well. (See question 13, "What is General Education (GE)" below.) However, it is possible to earn a Butte Associate degree by completing 60 Associate degree units and fulfilling all of the GE requirements for transfer. See a counselor for more information about earning an Associate degree as part of your transfer process.
You do not need an A.A. or A.S. degree to transfer. For the UC and CSU systems, No. The A.A./A.S. degree is not required or considered as an admissions requirement. Many students choose to obtain an A.A./A.S. degree prior to transferring for personal or professional reasons. The program of study for the A.A./A.S. degree can overlap with the lower division preparation for transfer. Privates, out-of-state and international schools vary. If your objective is to transfer, be sure to seek the advice of a Transfer Counselor for the appropriate program of study.
9. Is there a maximum number of units that I can transfer?
California public universities will count a maximum of 70 community college units toward the total number of units you need to complete for a bachelor's degree. Independent and out-of-state institutions vary in their limits and you should check their catalog or web site for information. Different limits may apply if you have already attended a "four-year" institution and you should meet with a counselor right away.
10. What if I take more than 70 transferable units?
The 70-unit limit applies only to the number of units that will be counted toward graduation and does not apply to courses. The university will grant subject credit for course content needed to satisfy requirements for general education or major preparation, even if they do not count the units for all of your courses toward graduation.
11. What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) required for transfer admission?
The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the CSU is 2.0 for California residents, 2.4 for non-residents. The CSU has designated some highly popular majors or campuses as impacted or high demand, for which higher GPAs and/or minimum course completion are required. The minimum GPA accepted for transfer to the UC is 2.4 for California residents, 2.8 for non-residents. UC campuses have designated some highly popular majors as selective, for which students have to meet competitive selection criteria (higher GPAs and minimum course completion requirements) to be admitted. Grade point averages necessary for transfer to independent and out-of-state universities vary. Consult the institution's printed or online catalog.
12. What is a competitive GPA for transfer?
Grade point averages necessary to compete for admission to impacted or selective programs vary from year to year, depending on the pool of applicants for any given academic year. Generally, a GPA of 3.0 is considered competitive, though even higher GPAs may be required to gain admission to majors and campuses for which the most students apply. A Butte College transfer counselor can tell you whether that is the case for the major or campus of your choice.
Click here to calculate your GPA online!
13. What is General Education (GE)?
General Education is a set of courses through which you will become broadly educated by taking classes that cover a wide range of disciplines. GE courses are usually introductory in nature and provide you with fundamental knowledge in English, mathematics, the arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. You will complete the majority of GE coursework needed to receive a bachelor's degree while you are lower division (freshman/sophomore) student at a community college. After transferring to a university with upper division (junior/senior) status, you will be required to take only a few GE courses, so you can focus on your major. For example, you will be required to complete at least 48 units of GE to graduate from a CSU, 39 of which are completed at the lower division level. The GE unit requirements for independent and out-of-state institutions vary, but the ratio of lower division to upper division is similar. GE courses are divided into subject areas and GE patterns and describe the number of courses that you must take in each subject area to meet total GE requirements. Each institution has its own GE (sometimes called breadth or core) pattern. There are also GE patterns that are accepted by the entire CSU and/or UC systems for transfer to any campus in that system. Butte, like all community colleges, has adopted a pattern of GE requirements for the granting of an Associate degree.
14. What is CSU-GE? What courses do I need to complete before I transfer to a CSU?
The CSU-GE is the pattern of coursework accepted to meet the GE requirements for a bachelor's degree at any CSU campus. An advising guide that shows the subject areas and the Butte courses that count to fulfill area requirements is available. CSU-GE is one way for you to complete the lower division GE requirements for a bachelor's degree from the CSU at Butte prior to transfer. Completing the entire CSU-GE pattern is not a requirement for admission. However, the CSU requires that students complete most of their lower division GE before transfer. There is an upper division GE requirement of at least 9 units to graduate from a CSU. It is not possible to complete all of the GE needed to receive a bachelor's degree from a CSU at a community college.
In order to transfer to a CSU at an upper-division level the following minimum requirements must be done for admission purposes only: have completed 60 transferable units, have a minimum 2.0 transferable GPA. Also have at least 30 units of G.E. (these are part of the total 60 units) completed with grades of "C" or better. The 30 units of G.E must include one from each area: A1: Oral Communication, A2: Written Communication, A3: Critical Thinking and B4: Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning on the CSU GE Requirements sheet.
15. What is IGETC? What courses do I need to complete before I transfer to a UC?
IGETC (pronounced eye-get-see) stands for Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum. It is a course pattern that community college students can use to satisfy lower division GE requirements for either the CSU or the UC. Completion of IGETC may not be a requirement for admission to the CSU or UC. IGETC is one option for students preparing to transfer. CSU students can use each campus' GE pattern or the CSU-GE pattern (see above). UC students can use the GE pattern for their campus, or complete an IGETC. A few independent California universities also accept IGETC as fulfillment of their lower division GE. If you have questions about which GE pattern to use, see your Butte transfer counselor. For some high unit majors, the IGETC is not recommended. Important: Students who choose to use the IGETC must complete the entire pattern, in order to receive certification from a community college that they have completed lower division GE equirements.
In order to transfer to an UC at an upper-division level the following minimum requirements must be done for admission purposes only: have completed 60 transferable units, have a minimum transferable GPA of 2.4 to 3.0. Have completed 2 English Courses with a "C" or better, one math with a "C" or better and 4 classes from 2 of the 4 remaining subject areas on IGETC. Or complete IGETC. IGETC Course sheets are available online or in our office.
16. What is GE certification and why is it important?
GE certification is a document that is signed by a community college and states that you have completed lower division GE requirements. Becoming GE certified means that the university cannot require that you take any additional lower division GE. (You will probably be required to fulfill some upper division GE requirements for graduation from the university.) The certification is normally prepared and sent to the university to which you have been accepted and where you plan to enroll at the same time that your final official transcripts are sent. It may appear on the transcript itself or on a separate certification form. If you attend more than one community college, your GE certification must be provided by the last one you attend. That college will do so using all the GE courses you have completed at all higher education institutions you have attended. IGETC can be certified upon completion of all IGETC coursework with a C or better. Partial certification can be received for up to two missing classes. In this case the four year university will complete the IGETC certification upon the completion of IGETC coursework on their campus.
17. What is a major?
A major is a program of coursework in a subject area or discipline that leads to a degree. Your major is the primary area of study in which you will develop the greatest depth of knowledge. The university faculty that teach in the department of your major will determine the unit and subject area requirements you must meet to be granted your degree.
18. What is an impacted or selective major?
Impacted or selective majors are those for which the university receives many more applications for admission than the campus can accommodate. Impacted is also an official designation by the CSU system that allows the department that offers a major to require a higher GPA or specific major preparation as a way to reduce the pool of applicants to those who are best prepared to enter the major. Selective is a term used by the UC to describe majors for which the same conditions exist and for which the university imposes the same kind of selection criteria (GPA and major preparation) to screen for the most qualified applicants.
19. Do I have to declare a major and can I change it after I transfer?
You will declare a major when you become a junior. Some majors that are selective or impacted will have you apply as a pre-major. Upon completion of prerequisites, you would petition the department for admission. Some majors require very little such preparation, while other majors require many courses. It is important to choose a major early and find out about the preparation that you will need to be admitted to your major. For example, the UC requires that students complete most, if not all, of their major preparation before transfer.
The ability to change a major completely depends on the rules governing major changes at the college or university that you will be attending. Don't assume this is easy to do. In some majors thate are impacted, changing your major is discouraged once you arrive at the university.
20. How do I choose a major?
The very best way to choose your major is by participating in a career exploration process or internship. You are probably becoming educated in order to enjoy a prosperous and interesting life and your work will a big part of that life. Along the way to discovering what you want to do with your time and energy, you will get information about the education you need to have in order to do it. That is your major. Some students also use a sampling method that involves taking GE courses in a number of disciplines to determine which one interests them most. One disadvantage of this method is that it can take a long time for such a process of elimination. Certainly, if you use this method, it is important to learn what you might do with your major and decide whether any of the possibilities appeal to you.
21. How do I find out what classes to take to prepare for my major?
All public universities provide information. Universities must show the course requirements for each of the degrees they offer in their catalogs. A large selection of printed catalogs is available in the Transfer Counseling Center or you can access them online. You can also find a link to Advising Guides for Transfer in Specific Majors on the Transfer Counseling Center home page. These guides show the requirements for the most popular majors at universities with which Butte has articulation agreements. Nearly all universities provide information about articulation by major at the ASSIST web site, located, for your convenience, on our navigation bar. A Butte transfer counselor can help you make use of any of these resources.
22. What is a minor?
A minor is a secondary focus of study that you may choose to augment your major for career purposes, for graduate education, or simply out of interest. Most minors require 18-24 units to complete. Minors are only available for some majors and not all schools offer minors.
23. How do I find out about the transfer requirements of any particular school?
Information for transfer students is published in the catalog (either printed or online) of any institution. The Transfer Counseling Center has an extensive library of catalogs and supplementary material that is sent to us from universities all over the country. Transfer Counseling Center staff is available to assist you in locating and using these resources. In addition, a number of universities send representatives to the annual Transfer Day event that is held in September. Some of those representatives also visit Butte on a regular basis to meet with students individually.
24. Will my high school grades and SAT scores count when I transfer?
The UC and CSU system do not require high school grades and test scores when a student transfers as a junior, 60 or more transferable units.
25. What is the best school for my major? How can I find the best schools?
Resources exist in the Transfer Counseling Center and on this website. US News & World Report rankings is another great resource.
Be sure to know the particular factors used in generating the rankings because they define "best" and their definition may not be yours. Talk with faculty here who teach courses related to your selected major to get their ideas about the best schools. Visit universities and talk with the faculty and teaching assistants from the department offering your major of choice.
26. What is a Transfer Admission Agreement (TAG)?
A TAG is a contract written prior to the application filing date. A TAG guarantees your admission to a participating UC campus. We offer TAGs with UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara.
To qualify for a TAG you must have at least 30 graded, transferable units completed at the time you sign the TAG contract and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.4 to 3.2 (depending on your major). Impacted or highly competitive majors may require a higher GPA. Set a Transfer Counseling Center appointment to find out if you meet the UC TAG requirements today!
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27. What are my chances of being admitted to a UC? How do I increase my chances?
If you meet the eligibility requirements, there is a place for you at one of the UC campuses. California community college transfer students receive first priority over other transfer applicants to UC, including applicants from four-year institutions and the University's own inter-campus transfers.
Your chances for admissions to the University of California increase significantly when you apply to several campuses. 90% of students who apply to four or more UC campuses are accepted. Completing major preparation coursework while at Butte College can also make you a more competitive applicant. Make an appointment with the Transfer Counseling Center to see how you can be more competitive.
28. When do I apply to transfer and what if I missed a deadline?
This depends on the deadlines given by the institution you are applying to, and the term for which you are applying. But, find out this information early so you can be ready to apply when the time comes. Generally, you apply one full academic year before you are ready to enroll. You will be applying to transfer well before you have all your requirements completed. The Transfer Counseling Center offers CSU application workshops and UC application workshops if you need help with the application process.
Applications past the filing deadline are accepted on a campus-by-campus basis. Universities determine a specific number of transfer admissions and when that number is reached, admission is closed. The more popular universities easily fill their admissions quota with applicants filing on time. Other universities continue to take applicants past the filing period/deadline.
29. Are there advantages to starting your college career at a community college rather than the four year school?
Yes, there are several important advantages. The community colleges are much less expensive, and often have smaller class sizes than the four-year schools. Also, it is often easier to get into the university of your choice at the junior level than it is to get in at the freshman level directly out of high school.
In some classes you can choose the Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading option rather than a letter grade. The deadline to notify your instructor that you prefer the CR/NC grade option is on the semester calendar in the schedule of classes. Grades of CR and NC are not factored into your GPA. A CR is a passing grade indicating satisfactory completion of course requirements. A NC grade is not a passing grade but will not hurt your GPA.This grading option is not intended for courses required by your major. Transfer students should meet with a counselor prior to taking math or English composition courses via the CR/NC grading option. Generally, math and English composition courses should be taken for letter grade.For A.A./A.S. degrees, up to twelve semester units may be CR grades instead of letter grades.
Acceptance of "D" grades is based upon individual campus decisions. Butte College will not certify "D" grades for inclusion in the IGETC.
In most cases, W's are not a focus of admission decisions unless there is an excessive number of W's over a longer course of time.
32. I have attended another college, how do I know if these courses transfer?
Nearly all courses transfer to Butte College, but if you want to know if the course transfers to a university or college, you either need to meet with a representative from the college or university you wish to transfer to, or check with a Butte College transfer counselor.
What is the Cross Enrollment Program? Can I take classes at both Butte and CSU Chico?
The Transfer Counseling Center offers dual admission for current Butte students planning to transfer to CSU Chico. The Cross Enrollment Program (XEN) allows students to enroll in one class at Chico State at no charge-no application fee, and no unit fees. This program is available to all Butte students who have completed English 2, demonstrated progress in mathematics and completed a minimum of 30 transferable units. Students are eligible to participate in the program for up to two years. Students receiving financial aid at Butte must maintain 12 units of enrollment at Butte College to continue receiving their full financial aid award. Students participating in Cross Enrollment will not have access to the Chico State Recreation Center or Health Services. Space is limited, so sign up early! Come into the Transfer Counseling Center for more information.