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Steps to Transfer

What Is Transfer?

Transfer is the process of continuing your education at a four-year college or university, usually after completing your first two years at a community college. If planned correctly, the courses that you pass at community college will count towards requirements for your Bachelor degree just as if they had been taken at the four-year institution.

Miramar College students transfer to a wide variety of four-year institutions within California and throughout the world.

There are four basic transfer areas that students will focus on prior to transfer:

  • General Education Requirements
  • Preparation for Major Courses
  • Minimum Required Transferable Units
  • Minimum Required GPA

Specific requirements vary depending on the college/university and major.


Getting Started

Starting the Transfer Process

There are three important decisions you need to make in order to choose the right courses to prepare you for transfer:

  1. Your career objective, which determines the type of degree you need and your choices for selecting a major.
  2. Your major, which is the field of study you will emphasize at the university (your major at the university might be different than your major at community college).
  3. Your transfer university.

It's best to begin exploring your options for each of these decisions while you also begin taking the most common courses required for transfer.

How to Begin

If you are not already a student at Miramar College, you should go through the steps to enroll. See for information on how to apply to the college.

If you are already a student at Miramar College, get started by following these steps:

  1. Ensure that official transcripts from all previously attended institutions have been sent to Miramar College, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores.
  2. Request to have your previous transcripts evaluated at the Evaluations Office.
  3. Complete math and English assessment testing through the Counseling Office.
  4. Meet with a Miramar College counselor to discuss your options and your best path to transfer.
  5. Enroll in the math and English courses recommended to you as a result of your assessment, as well as any other courses you decide on during your meeting with your counselor. (For example, students often enroll in a college success class, one or more transfer general education classes, or other transfer-level courses.)

Choosing a Major

A major is a field of study that you emphasize in your college education. It is what you "specialize" in with your degree. It’s important to remember that your major is what you will study at the university you transfer to. At Miramar College, you can prepare to transfer into virtually any major at any university—there are literally thousands to choose from. To narrow down the options, students often begin to select their major by one of the following techniques:

  • If you have an idea of the career field you want to enter, you can find majors that are related to, or prepare for, that career field. Majors and career fields are not always "perfectly matched". However, knowing your intended career field can help narrow your options. You can visit the Counseling Office or Career Center for assistance in researching career fields.
  • If you know what university you want to attend, you can select from the list of majors at that university. Lists of majors at California public universities are available at (click on "Explore Majors")
  • If you think you might be interested in a particular major but are not sure, try taking a general education class in the major and see how you like it. Students often select their major based simply on the courses that are the most interesting to them.
  • For descriptions of the 75 most popular majors, visit

Most students attend college because they believe it will lead them to better employment. Since careers are related to employment, simple logic suggests that if you are attending college to obtain better employment, there should be a relationship between majors and careers. While it's true that some majors, do relate to specific careers, most majors do not. In fact, the majority of majors will actually help prepare you for many career possibilities.

3 Different Types of Majors

Non-Vocationally Specific
The non-specific major is not oriented toward employment in a specific career or a particular field. When combined with related experience and internships, such a program results in a career-oriented degree. Some good examples are history, political science, and sociology. For some, these types of majors are preparation for advanced training, either on the job or in graduate school.
Vocationally Oriented
Vocationally oriented majors are aimed at a specific field of employment but not at a particular job. With this major, you'll be ready for entry employment at a trainee level.
Vocationally Ready
The vocationally ready major involves specific preparation for a particular job or occupation. Often times these programs are designed to meet the educational requirements of licensure or certification in a profession.

Many occupations today require a college educated individual who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly and work well in teams. This means that college graduates use their education in a wide variety of fields, and your future career may relate more to your personal career interests, work values and transferable skills than any specific academic major.


Choosing a Transfer School

It is important to investigate transfer universities early in the transfer planning process. This is because each university typically has different transfer requirements, including different sets of courses you should complete prior to transfer. Students who do not select a transfer university early often complete many more courses than necessary.

Choosing a transfer university is also important because:

  • The majors offered at each university are different.
  • Each university has unique features, including factors like its student body, its location, and its extracurricular activities.
  • You are more likely to do well academically in a university environment that you enjoy.

We recommended selecting at least three universities that interest you:

  1. Your first choice university should be the university you would choose to attend if you knew for sure that you would be admitted.
  2. Your second choice university should be a university you would be happy attending and where you feel you have a good chance of being admitted.
  3. Your third choice university should be a university you would be happy attending and where you believe you would definitely be admitted. (This is a "safety net" choice in case for some reason you are not admitted to your other two choices.)

The most common university categories that Miramar students transfer to include:

Local San Diego and Online Colleges and Universities
Some students are unable or unwilling to leave the San Diego area due to work, family or other commitments. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of colleges and universities located in the San Diego area and many others that offer degree programs through distance learning.
University of California (UC)
The UC system combines undergraduate education (leading to a Bachelor degree) with emphasis on graduate programs (Master and Doctor degrees) and research. Tuition and fees are relatively inexpensive for California residents.

Planning Your Transfer Courses

Once you have decided what major you plan to pursue and your transfer university, the next step is to plan out your transfer courses and create an Educational Plan. An education plan is a pattern of courses you take at community college that prepares you to transfer to a university in a specific major. It usually includes:

  • General Education, which are courses from a variety of disciplines that help you develop a well-rounded education.
  • Minimum transferable units: typically 60 semester units for public schools and varies for private institutions (additional courses may be necessary to meet the overall units required to transfer, be aware that not all courses may be transferable)
  • GPA: most schools require a minimum overall GPA with additional major requirements depending on impaction
  • Preparation for Major courses, which are courses you take to prepare to study your major at the university.
  • Electives, which are additional courses taken to meet the number of units required to transfer or earn a degree.

An educational plan serves as a crucial step in the transfer process ensuring that you are completing the necessary courses to be eligible for admission at your transfer university and determining a realistic timeline to transfer. Transfer students are encouraged to make an appointment with a counselor to develop an educational plan early in the transfer process.

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