UCSD Transfer Acceptance Rate and Requirements — 2024

December 18, 2023

ucsd transfer acceptance rate, uc san diego

If you want to attend UC San Diego as a freshman, you’ll need to possess close to a 4.0 cumulative high school GPA. However, if you fell short of perfection in high school, there is still a viable path toward becoming a Triton. In fact, an astounding 12,000+ transfer applicants are offered that chance every year, and the UC San Diego acceptance rate is higher than you might guess. This blog will share the UCSD transfer acceptance rate as well as other essential pieces of information like the UCSD transfer deadline, the requirements for applicants, the UCSD transfer decision date, and much more.

UCSD Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available UCSD transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

For entry in the fall of 2023, UCSD received 19,964 applications and accepted 12,464. This means that the UCSD transfer acceptance rate is 62.4%.

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to also look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rates from year to year. However, this is not the case here. As you can see, UC San Diego is pretty steadily in the 49%-57% range.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2022 57.2%
2021 54.7%
2020 55.9%
2019 56.2%
2018 49.5%
2017 54.3%

UC San Diego Transfer Acceptance by Major

At a school of UCSD’s size, it’s also essential to consider acceptance rates by major. Here are some of the transfer acceptance rates for some of the most popular majors at the University of California San Diego:

Major Acceptance Rate
Biology 59%
Psychology 68%
Economics 60%
Communication Arts 73%
Mechanical Engineering 9%
Computer Science 14%

According to the school, their most selective majors include Business Economics as well as all majors in the following schools: Biological Sciences, Data Science, Engineering, and Public Health.

UCSD Transfer Deadline

For every academic program, the UCSD transfer deadline is November 30. The application window opens on August 1, so you can begin completing all materials at that time. The FAFSA deadline is March 2.

UCSD Transfer Requirements

All students must submit the following items as part of their UC San Diego application:

Official transcripts and letters of recommendation are not part of the UCSD transfer requirements. In fact, they are not even accepted during the admissions process. However, by January 31, all applicants will need to complete a Transfer Academic Update (TAU) that provides their fall grades and planned spring coursework. If accepted, you will need to provide final, official transcripts.

In addition to meeting the transfer requirements, you’ll need to have achieved/earned the following:

  • Minimum 60 UC-transferable semester credits (90 UC-transferable quarter units). To clarify, this school only admits transfer students at the junior level.
  • Overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in all transferable college-level coursework
  • Completed minimum Major Preparation Courses. These vary widely according to major, so be sure to do your research.
  • Completed Transfer General Education Requirements, including the 7-course pattern.
  • Attended a California community college. Over 90% of accepted transfer students hail from CA community colleges.

Moreover, we recommend thoroughly reviewing the UC Transfer Application Guide.

UCSD Transfer GPA

According to the university, the mid-50% GPA range for enrolled transfers was 3.48-3.91. In our experience, students with a 3.7 or above can make a very strong case for admission.

University of California San Diego Essays

Required UC San Diego Essay:

Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university.

UCSD Transfer Acceptance Rate (Continued)

Choose 3 of the following 7 questions (in addition to the mandatory prompt above):

  • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  • What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  • Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  • Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  • What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  • Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

All essays have a 350-word maximum, and applicants are encouraged to answer the three that align most closely with their individual experiences and circumstances.

UCSD Transfer Decision Date

The UCSD transfer decision date occurs on a rolling basis between March and April.

Final Thoughts – UC San Diego University Transfer Acceptance Rate

The mission of the admissions staff, in their own words, is “to identify and admit students who are fully prepared to excel in our challenging academic environment. We’re looking for students who represent strong academic achievement, exceptional personal talent and the broad diversity of abilities, personal experience and backgrounds characteristic of California.” Additionally, if you are accepted as a transfer student to UC San Diego, you’ll be in good company—approximately 33% of the undergraduate student body are transfer students.

If you are looking for information on how to apply to UC San Diego as a first-year student, you may find the following blogs to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages/blogs: