How to Transfer

Transferring to a four year college or university can feel overwhelming to some students, but with proper preparation and planning all students can transfer. The resources and guidance available to you by the COM counseling staff and Transfer and Career Center can assist you in making your transfer plan. We recommend all students meet with a counselor to determine a personal plan, a general pattern to follow is:

Step 1: 

Identify Your Major and/or Career Interests

  • Begin the Career Exploration process: take a self assessment at California Career Zone 
  • Enroll in a counseling course to help you such as COUN 133: Career Exploration or COUN 130: Career Life Skills Planning.
  • Make a career counseling appointment with COM's Career Services and Internship Coordinator by emailing
  • Check out the resources listed on the Transfer and Career Center website under Major/Career Exploration.
  • Expect this to be a process; it takes time and lots of research to make a smart major choice.

Step 2: 

Decide on Which Colleges or Universities You Would Like to Transfer To

  • Check out our presentation for choosing your best fit school. Create a list of top choice schools and back up schools. Consider things such as cost, location, perceived prestige, culture of school, distance, career center services including internships, majors offered, etc.
  • Check out the resources listed on the Transfer and Career Center website listed under Choosing a University
  • Go on campus tours. The Transfer Club raises funds for and plans campus tours.
  • Visit with representatives from different colleges and universities. Many schools scheudle regular appointments with College of Marin students. Sign up for the Transfer Email List to get notifications of when reps are avaialble to meet. Browse our list of admissions reps with personal appointment calanders.  

    Step 3: 

    Create and Follow a Transfer Plan

    • Schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor every semester to create and follow up on your Student Education Plan (SEP) which will outline the classes you need to take to transfer to the campus and major of your choice. Track your progress of this plan in DegreeWorks.
    • Complete the required English (ENGL150 and ENGL151 or ENGL155) and math courses as early as possible.
    • Following the IGETC pattern for UCs or CSU GE Breadth pattern for CSUs will work for many students. However, it is not recommended for students who plan on majoring in STEM fields such as Engineering, Biological and Physical Sciences or majors that require extensive lower division preparation.
    • Use to learn which major prep courses are required or recommended to complete for a particular UC or CSU.
    • Learn about courses you should take for private or out of state schools, look up the admission information for each school on their websites. 

    Step 4: 

    Research What is Required to Apply to Your Chosen Schools

    • Some questions to consider:
      • What is the minimum GPA to apply?
      • What is the minimum number of transferable units you need to have completed? Maximum?
      • What are the general education requirements?
      • What are the pre-major requirements for your chosen major?
      • When is the application deadline?
      • Impacted majors at CSU campuses may have a supplemental application – be sure to research this early on in the application process




    Step 5: 

    Apply for, and Follow Up on All Application

    1. Apply for admission on time
    2. Apply for Financial Aid (priority deadline is March 2)
    3. When applying for admission, be sure to include information from every college or university you attended in the past.
    4. After applying, there will be other documents and/or materials that need to be submitted with specific deadlines. Check your email regularly as that is how most schools inform you of what needs to be submitted and when. Commonly requested documents after you apply:

    Step 6:

    Prepare for the Transfer

      Research all the resources available to you at your new school including those for transfer or re-entry students

      1. Connect with your academic department and academic advisors
      2. Secure housing (if applicable)
      3. Understand your transportation needs and plan for them
      4. Check for a bank branch near your new school or consider switching banks










      Fall Semester Transfers to UC and CSU

      UC Transfer Checklist - Printable PDF.  or  CSU Transfer Checklist- Printable PDF.