Transfer of Units


Prior to approving a request to transfer units, the Department Graduate Advisor should be satisfied that the courses being transferred are equivalent to UCSB offerings, particularly if they involve substitutions for departmental requirements. A General Graduate Student Petition is not necessary if the department is recognizing competencies attained in previous coursework rather than in unit credit.


Students must complete one academic quarter at UCSB before petitioning to transfer units. The student's department and Graduate Division must approve the request.


Students may transfer, to UCSB, units from upper-division and graduate courses that were completed while the student was enrolled in another graduate program. A grade of B or better is required and courses already applied toward a degree awarded are not transferable.

Students may transfer a maximum of 8-quarter units from an accredited college outside of the UC system and a maximum of 12-quarter units from another UC. Transferred units do not affect UCSB academic residency requirements.

Currently enrolled graduate students may not take courses through UCSB Professional and Continuing Education (formerly UCSB Extension) that can be completed through regular enrollment at UCSB. If courses are taken, no unit credit will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Transferred units appear on transcripts as follows:

  • Non-UC institutions - only total number of units transferred appear on unofficial and official transcripts
  • Other UCs - name, course title, units and grade appear on unofficial and official transcripts
  • UCSB Professional and Continuing Education - course title, units and grade appear on unofficial and official transcripts


Summer Sessions

If a student enrolls in UCSB Summer Sessions immediately prior to their admitted quarter (pre-matriculated students), their Summers Session courses will automatically appear on the transcript and will be part of the graduate grade point average.  Students in this situation do not need to submit a General Graduate Student Petition to have their Summer Session courses appear on their official transcript.

Continuing UCSB graduate students who attend a Summer Session at another UC may submit a General Graduate Student Petition requesting to transfer the units to their UCSB transcript. Please review the above Transfer of Units section for eligibility and policy requirements.

UCSB Professional and Continuing Education (formerly UCSB Extension)

Students who had applied to a UCSB graduate program at the time they completed coursework through the UCSB Professional and Continuing Education's Open University Program, if admitted, may transfer up to 12 units and the grade points earned in those units.

Units taken through UCSB Professional and Continuing Education prior to submitting an application cannot be transferred.

In order for a current graduate student to enroll in UCSB Professional and Continuing Education courses and have those courses transferred for credit toward their degree, students must submit an exception memo from their department requesting permission to take courses and have units transferred along with the General Graduate Student Petition.

Education Abroad Program (EAP)

Reciprocity students who are subsequently admitted to a master's and/or doctoral degree program can transfer up to 12 units taken at UCSB while in non-degree EAP status.

One quarter of UCSB residency may be granted, but not guaranteed, to EAP students who are later admitted to graduate status. All UCSB fees and tuition must be paid for the quarter to be counted toward academic residency.

Waiver of Graduate Council Requirements

In situations where there is a request for a waiver of Graduate Council requirements, students in consultation with their departments should contact Graduate Division Academic Services.

Permission for Dual Enrollment

Occasionally, a UCSB undergraduate who has been admitted to a graduate program needs an additional quarter to complete a requirement for the bachelor's degree. In cases where this delay was outside the student's control, the Graduate Division may allow the student to petition for "dual enrollment." Under dual enrollment, the student is allowed to begin graduate studies and have graduate student privileges (e.g. holding an academic apprenticeship) while completing the bachelor's degree. Students facing this situation should contact the Graduate Division Academic Services.