Information for Prospective Transfer Students

Whether you are still only considering transferring to UCSB, or you have already been admitted, there is much you can do now to smooth your transition and maximize your success upon arrival.   It's very important that you contact our Undergraduate Advisor as early as possible.  We pride ourselves on being one of the most supportive departments on campus.  So if you send an unofficial transcript, we can evaluate your work and tell you what you have out of the way, and what you still need to complete.  Our email address is

A brochure that gives a broad overview of the different mathematics majors is available here:
A Guide to Our Majors [PDF]

The pre-major requirements for each specific major are here:

There is a great deal of overlap between these, and you may change your mind later, but it is vital that you've made good progress towards at least one of the pre-majors above.

The UCSB Mathematics General Catalog gives full descriptions of all our courses; you can view it here:
UCSB Mathematics General Catalog

If you are attending a California Junior College, you can see the equivalents of the courses here:

We strongly recommend that you complete as much of your pre-major as possible before transferring.  This is because of the 200 unit rule which says that 'Students who are admitted as juniors and remain continuously enrolled will be allowed 6 regular quarters at UCSB' i.e. you have two years to finish the degree.  In mathematics, unlike some other subject, most classes are linearly ordered, each one serving as prerequisite for the subsequent one.  Completing the degree in two years is not easy.

One of the most crucial courses, and the one that is not offered at many California Junior Colleges, is the equivalent of UCSBs Math 8, A Transition to Higher Mathematics.  If an equivalent course is not offered at the school you are attending and you have any opportunity to come to UCSB for Summer Session to take it, you should make every effort to do so.  It will make all the difference in your progress toward graduation.

Your school probably offers courses in both Differential Equations and Linear Algebra.  At UCSB, these topics are intermixed, with both topics appearing in Math 4A and in Math 4B. For that reason, if you take only one of these two subject at your school, you will probably need to take both Math 4A and Math 4B at UCSB.  It is best if you can complete both Linear Algebra and Differential Equations before you transfer (Alternately, you may more easily find courses which transfer as the equivalent of Math 6A and Math 6B).

General advice about what to expect when you transfer to UCSB:

What to Expect When You Transfer