Welcome to the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine!
Congratulations on choosing to pursue your education at UC Irvine. As a new transfer student, it is important to review the information below, which will assist you in navigating UCI's academic climate and assist you throughout your academic career with our campus.
Your First Three Steps
a) Complete UCI lower division general education courses
b) Clear the lower division writing requirement and provide access to upper division writing courses.
Without UC IGETC certification, you MUST complete UCI’s General Education requirements OR request a GE Evaluation
We encourage you to attend an Academic Planning Workshop to learn how to read DegreeWorks and plan your courses. If you have specific questions, please visit our office for a same day appointment.
Utilize Your Resources
- This handy guide will explain all the key elements you need to begin your educational journey at UCI.
- These pre-recorded workshops will help you better understand topics such as academic planning, getting involved in research, deciding to double major, and more.
- This workshop and the accompanying Transfer Roadmap are designed specifically with you in mind!
- Interested in starting to learn about Field Study? Explore the Field Study website and begin your planning process!
- Learn about different transfer students' experience at UCI.
- LARC connects "what to learn" with "how to learn" in a student-centered, collaborative learning experience.
- Services such as: Disability Center, Child Care Services, Student Health Center, and Counseling Center.
- FRESH Basic Needs Hub is a student-initiated effort that promotes equitable access to basic needs through student empowerment, community collaboration, and institutional integration.
- Explore UCI's Study Abroad Center to learn more about opportunities to study abroad, including locations, the process, and how to begin planning.
As a transfer student, you'll have a lot of questions! Here are frequently asked questions by our transfer students to assist you in your transition.
What is a UC IGETC? How do I know if I have one?
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a series of courses that California community college students can complete to satisfy freshman/sophomore level general education requirements before transferring to most colleges and majors at UC campuses. A certified UC IGETC will complete UCI lower division general education courses and clear the lower division writing requirement and provide access to upper division writing courses. If you are unsure whether or not you have a UC IGETC, please contact your community college.
How do I send my UC IGETC?
Your community college needs to send your UC IGETC to UCI Admissions. Once your IGETC has been sent, you will need to fill out a Current Student Update Form. More information about how to send a UC IGETC and the Current Student Update Form can be found here.
Is every IGETC the same?
There are two types of IGETC: one for the California State University system (CSU), and one for the University of California system (UC). It is very important that you request your community college send your UC IGETC, as a CSU IGETC will not be accepted.
An IGETC can be complete, which means you have met all the requirements to fulfill all GE's except the Upper Division Writing Requirement. An IGETC can also be partial, which means you have completed some of the GE requirements, but you will need to complete the rest of the GE requirements, either here at UCI or back at your community college.
I have a complete UC IGETC. Do I still need to complete Upper Division Writing?
Yes, the upper division writing requirement is required for all UCI students, and must be completed here at UCI. For more information on this requirement, you can view our workshop here.
I have a partial IGETC. How do I fulfill the rest of my GE requirements?
There are two options to complete a partial IGETC:
1. Return to your community college and take the required classes there to complete your IGETC. Your community college would need to resend your UC IGETC after you complete it.
2. You can take the required classes at UC Irvine. You will need to look at your IGETC and determine what class(es) at your community college would be required to complete your IGETC. You would then use www.assist.org to find the equivalents of these classes at UCI. After you choose a few options to complete your IGETC, we encourage you to reach out to Social Ecology Undergraduate Advising to confirm these classes will indeed complete your IGETC.
How can I check if any of my community college courses can be applied to school or major requirements here at UCI?
You can use www.assist.org to determine if any of the courses you have taken at your community college will fulfill any lower division school and/or major requirements. When using assist.org to check for school and/or major requirements, you can use the most recent academic year, and then choose the major you are interested in.
The UCI course will be listed on the left, and the equivalent community college course(s) will be listed on the right. Not all UCI courses will have a community college equivalent. If the community college courses are listed with an "AND" you must complete all the courses listed to receive credit here at UCI. If the community college courses are listed with an "OR" you may choose one of the options to receive credit.
If you have completed a course outside of UCI at a different university (i.e out-of-state schools/community college courses not articulated on assist.org), you can submit a Course Waiver Petition. For out-of-state community colleges, only lower-division courses can be petitioned. If you are considering petitioning a course, you can use the General Catalogue to find a similar course here at UCI. You will also need to prepare supplemental documents to include in the form (i.e., syllabi, course assignments, course description, homework, etc.).
Can my community college classes be applied towards upper division requirements?
No, community college classes are all lower division, so they cannot be applied to any upper division requirements here at UCI. Upper division courses are those numbered 100-199.
If a UCI class is listed on the Schedule of Classes with both a lecture and discussion, do I need to enroll in both?
It depends! Sometimes discussion sections are mandatory, while other times they are optional. Discussion sections are used to supplement the lecture and provide students with a chance to interact with lecture material in a deeper way, so we encourage you to enroll in the discussion regardless. If you only enroll in a lecture, WebReg will give you an error message if the discussion is also required, so please be alert when registering.
What are elective classes and why would I need them?
Elective classes are any class not required for General Education (GE), school, or major requirements. They are used to help you reach the 180 unit requirement for graduation and they give you a chance to explore interests outside your major. Typically, if students have a major in the School of Social Ecology and choose not to double major or minor, they will need some amount of elective courses to graduate. Elective courses can be upper or lower division, and in any school!
Some students are able to enroll in more than 20 units. How can I be approved for this too?
Students who would like to enroll in more than 20 units need to submit a 20+ Unit Petition, found here. This form needs to be completed each quarter you would like to take more than 20 units, and is not guaranteed to be approved. Please note that this form cannot be submitted before the 18+ unit restriction is lifted by the Registrar. The dates for this can be found on the UCI Academic Calendar.
I would like to add a minor, how do I do that?
To add a minor, you will need to submit a DegreeWorks Update Form, found here. It's that easy! If you choose a minor within the School of Social Ecology, you will be able to receive advising on the minor from us. If you choose a minor outside the School of Social Ecology, you will need to contact the school of the minor for specific questions about requirements and classes.
Am I able to double major as a transfer student?
Double majoring is possible as a transfer student! You may need to take courses during summer session, or enroll in more than 12 units depending on the major(s) you choose. If you would like to double major, you will first need to find and complete the change of major requirements found here. Once you have met the change of major requirements for your desired second major, you will apply to add the major using the "Applications" tab on Student Access.
You can find out more about the requirements for the majors offered at UCI here, as well as by using the "What-If" function on DegreeWorks. We also offer workshops on double majoring versus minoring and academic planning on our website. You can use these workshops to see if double majoring is right for you, and if it is feasible!
I got an A- and it brought my GPA down! Why is that?
To get a 4.0 GPA, you will need A's and/or A+'s. A's and A+'s are worth the full amount of grade points, while an A- is worth slightly less. You can find out more about grade points here.
Is Field Study the same as Work Study?
No, Field Study is a school requirement for the School of Social Ecology, meaning it is required for all majors in our school. Field Study is a class, combined with hands-on experience with an approved community partner (similar to an internship). You can find more information about Field Study and the requirements here.
If I double major in the School of Social Ecology, will I need to complete Field Study twice?
No! Since Field Study is a school requirement, it only needs to be completed once, regardless of how many majors you have within the School of Social Ecology.
How long do I have to finish my degree from Social Ecology?
As a transfer student, you have 9 quarters to finish your degree from Social Ecology. If you are double majoring in a school other than Social Ecology, you will need to check with that school to confirm what their policies are, as well. If you are on financial aid, you will also need to consult with them to determine how much aid you have available for a third year.
How can I make an appointment with a counselor?
To make an appointment with a Social Ecology academic advisor, you can visit our appointments page here. Please note that advanced appointments are for students with a declared major in the School of Social Ecology only.
Make the most of your time at UCI
Feeling overwhelmed? Below are a few things to consider each year:
Focus on your academics! Adjusting to the quarter system can be difficult and requires constant focus and attention on your academics throughout the quarter. Consider taking only 12-13 units your first quarter.
Attend Office Hours on a regular basis.
Submit your official UC IGETC (see step 2 above or this page.)
Attend a Field Study workshop to understand the steps for preparing for Field Study.
Consider applying for Social Ecology Honors or Advanced Field Study. Applications for SE Honors open in Spring quarter and applications for Advanced Field Study open in Spring quarter for the following academic year.
Prepare for Life After UCI
Complete Field Study (ideally in the Fall or Winter quarter).
Complete all degree requirements.
Continue to engage in research.
Consider running for a leadership role in a club or organization.
Gain experience in your field of interest. Conduct informational interviews, engage in internships, and strategically choose jobs that will help you explore your interests as much as possible.
Take graduate school exams and submit graduate school applications, if applicable.
Take your resume and cover letter to the Division of Career Pathways for review.
As a transfer student, you are eligible to remain at UCI for nine quarters (which does not include Summer Session).
Some students choose to remain for a third year to finish their degree requirements.
If you are interested in staying for a third year, consult with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if you are eligible for financial aid for a third year.