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Getting started

We want you to succeed at UC. That’s why it’s important to think about your two options for applying: As a freshman or junior-level transfer student. Make sure to contact our campus admissions staff who can help you determine which option is right for you.


  • You graduated from high school but have not enrolled in a regular (non-summer) session at a college or university.
  • You've completed college courses during high school (through summer after graduation).

Good to know:

  • ROTC cadets may qualify for scholarships
  • UC campuses support leave of absence for deployment and training

Learn more about freshman admissions


  • You enrolled in a regular session (fall, winter or spring) at a college or university after high school. (Taking a class or two during the summer term immediately following high school graduation doesn’t make you a transfer student.)

Good to know:

  • Most of our student veterans started out at a California community college
  • Depending on your situation, you may want to consider postponing the use of your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits

Learn more about transferring to UC

Starting at community college

Community college is a good way to get ready for UC. We give California community college students first priority over other transfer applicants, and community college can offer you a solid foundation in classes you’ll need for your bachelor’s degree. Even if you're not yet ready to apply, there are steps you can take now to prepare:

  • Talk with your college counselor about what courses to take

    It’s a good idea to meet with a counselor or adviser during your first term to figure out your interests and education goals. Based on these, your adviser can help you decide what courses to take to prepare for UC.

  • Learn about UC’s transfer process

    Our admissions website will help you learn all the steps you'll need to take — and when — to be considered for UC admission.  You can also find out what financial aid is available to you and how it works with your benefits.

  • Stay on track with UC’s Transfer Admissions Planner (UC TAP)

    Once you’ve started planning your classes, you can start entering them into UC TAP – a tool that tracks your progress toward meeting UC admission requirements.  It can also serve as your application for the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG), a program that offers guaranteed admission for well-prepared transfer students.