Transfer Students

Upon admission, all prospective Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are accepted into the Pre-Chemistry major.  Students who have completed all pre-major coursework, as outlined on the Pre-Chemistry major sheet, prior to transfer may petition to declare the full major immediately upon matriculation to UCSB.

A UC GPA of 2.00 or above is required in each of the six required pre-major course sequences.  Only applicable UC courses will be included in the GPA calculation, regardless of course transferability.  For example, if the equivalent of Math 3A is completed prior to transferring, then a student must achieve a GPA of at least a 2.0 in Math 3B and 3C at UCSB.

UCSB Transfer Student Center


Preparation for the Major

Prospective transfer students are strongly encouraged to complete all or nearly all of the “Preparation for the Major” coursework prior to transfer in order to ensure timely progress to degree.  Preparation courses for the Biochemistry B.S., Chemistry B.S., and Chemistry B.A. include:

  • General Chemistry:  Chem 1A or 2A, 1B or 2B, 1C or 2C
  • General Chemistry labs:  Chem 1AL or 2AC, 1BL or 2BC, 1CL or 2CC
  • Organic Chemistry:  Chem 109A, 109B, 109C
  • Organic Chemistry labs:  Chem 6AL and 6BL
  • Math:  Math 3A-B, 4A, and 6A
  • Physics:  Physics 1-2-3-3L-4-4L or 6A-AL-B-BL-C-CL

Biochemistry B.S. (additional requirements)

  • Biology:  MCDB 1A-AL-B; EEMB 2, and either MCDB 1BL or 2L

Chemistry B.S.(additional requirements)

  • Organic Chemistry lab:  Chem 6CL
  • Math:  Math 4B
  • Physics:  Physics 1-2-3-3L-4-4L

Failure to complete these requirements prior to transfer is likely to delay graduation.

For a full list of major requirements and sample schedules, please visit the degree requirements section of this website.

Upon Admission to UCSB

After filing the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), new transfer students must submit unofficial or official transcripts from all previous colleges attended to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  The math and science departments check and enforce prerequisites so it is required that students provide the chemistry department with this information, separate from the official transcripts that are required by the Office of Admissions.  Once transcripts are reviewed, it may be determined that syllabi or other course information is needed to further evaluate transfer coursework.  Newly admitted transfer students who have filed a Statement of Intent to Register will receive an email from the Undergraduate Advisor in early to mid-summer with further instructions. 

Transferring Major Course Work

California Community Colleges

Students who have completed course work at a public California community college should refer to for major articulation agreements between UCSB and individual colleges.  Major-specific articulation information on ASSIST can be used to determine acceptable course substitutions. 

Please note, however, that ASSIST articulates sequence-to-sequence equivalencies rather than course-to-course equivalencies.  Individual courses within equivalent sequences are not equivalent unless a course-to-course articulation also exists.  For example, states that Chemistry 211 and 212 at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) together are equivalent to Chemistry 109A, 109B, and 109C together at UCSB. A course-to-course articulation does not exist for these courses, thus if a student only completes Chem 211 at SBCC he/she will not  earn credit for Chemistry 109A at UCSB.  Though two semesters of coursework at SBCC cover the same material as three quarters at UCSB, the order in which topics are presented vary from one campus to another and thus individual courses in a sequence do not always cover the same material as corresponding courses in an equivalent sequence.  Students are highly encouraged to complete the entire series at their Community College prior to transfer as there is a chance the student may not receive any credit for a partial sequence.

Note also that “transferable” is not the same as “equivalent”.  While a course may be acceptable for credit (units or General Education credit, for example), it is not necessarily an acceptable substitute for a specific course at UCSB. DO NOT make assumptions about how transfer work applies to the major.  Students should be sure to contact the Undergraduate Advisor in the department offering the course (for math courses, students should contact the Math Department Undergraduate Advisor, for example) if there is any uncertainty about acceptable course substitutions.  Students who have completed partial Chemistry course sequences should follow the steps outlined below.

Determining Acceptable Course Substitutions

Please note, Chemistry and Biochemistry majors in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry are not permitted to take partial sequence Chemistry courses at other institutions.  If you are a Chemistry or Biochemistry major, and wish to take courses at a community college over summer, you must take the entire year series in order to receive any credit.  

Students from other departments who have completed or who wish to complete Chemistry courses at an institution other than UCSB and who are unable to determine course equivalents using ASSIST (i.e. students who have completed a partial sequence at a CA Community College, any course(s) at another UC, or any course(s) at another four-year institution), must submit course syllabi for review.  Current students should contact the Undergraduate Advisor PRIOR to enrolling in the course.  Prospective or incoming transfer students should contact the Undergraduate Advisor AFTER filing the Statement of Intent to Register. 

Step-by-Step Articulation Process

Upon contacting the Undergraduate Advisor, students are required to submit catalog descriptions and detailed syllabi for all chemistry courses not articulated on ASSIST or those not previously articulated by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB.  Lecture syllabi must include applicable textbook information and specific chapters or topics covered as well as all other pertinent course details.  Lab syllabi must include applicable textbook information and titles of all experiments as well as all other pertinent course details. Once the Undergraduate Advisor has received the appropriate course syllabi, a faculty reviewer will determine to which UCSB course(s) the transfer courses are equivalent, if any, and the student will be notified of the determination via email.  The faculty reviewer may be contacted in the event that students have questions or concerns regarding the course articulation.

Upon completion of a course that is deemed equivalent to a UCSB Chemistry course, current students must (1) have the official transcripts sent to the Office of the Registrar and (2) submit a copy of the unofficial transcripts to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergraduate Advisor.  Applicable course pre-requisites cannot be cleared until the Undergraduate Advisor has received the transcripts.  As this may delay registration, it is advisable to complete required coursework at UCSB whenever possible.  Please also note that the College of Letters and Science does not permit concurrent enrollment at other institutions.


Tel: (805) 893-3295


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510