Getting Started in Chemistry - Transfers


Students are admitted to UC Santa Cruz with a "proposed major" in most cases, and later petition to officially declare the major. Admission does not guarantee acceptance into a particular major, although transfer students' records are screened for preparation for many majors at the time of admission. Junior transfer students must be formally declared by the deadline in their second quarter of enrollment.

Qualification requirements and/or prerequisites for the major:

Review major qualification requirements in the General Catalog:

Transfer students who intend to pursue this major should do the following prior to the beginning of their first term…

  • Ensure your official transcripts arrive at UC Santa Cruz by July 1; all official test scores, including AP scores, must arrive by July 15.
  • Complete parts 1 & 2 of the Slug Orientation Course process to receive your enrollment appointment date.
  • Students who have taken college-level transferable classes that may apply to the requirements of this major should submit an unofficial transcript to the  prior to July 1, in addition to the official transcript that is required by the UCSC Admissions Office.
  • See the Transfer Students & Transfer Credit Requests section of the Chemistry Advising webpage for more details.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete courses equivalent to the following courses prior to transfer. Students who only complete the minimum major prep/major requirements will take more than two years to complete their degrees.
    • CHEM 8A/L
    • CHEM 8B/M
    • PHYS 6A/L
    • PHYS 6B/M 
    • MATH 21 or MATH 24 

…and should take these courses their first term:

  • CHEM 163A: Quantum Mechanics 
  • PHYS 6C/N: Introductory Physics III

This plan is based on completion of all recommended transfer course work (NOT just the minimum coursework). Incoming transfer students will receive email advising from over the summer regarding  their personalized academic plan. Transfer students are encouraged to discuss that personalized academic plan directly with Chemistry advising.

Transfer students are also encouraged to enroll in CHEM 139 during their first quarter at UCSC.

  • This course is designed to assist in developing skills and strategies to solve problems in upper-division science courses and in scientific research. The course should assist in becoming a proficient problem-solver; performing well in challenging courses; developing scientific creativity; and gaining a competitive advantage for industry or graduate school. CHEM 139 also fulfills the Practice: Collaborative Endeavor (PR-E) general education graduation requirement.

If unable to enroll in the courses listed above:

Please email Include your first and last name, student and ID and issue you are experiencing. 

Special enrollment procedures:

Enroll in classes during your online enrollment appointment time. 

The Chemistry advisor will be emailing transfer students in early to mid July with more information and recommended courses for fall - please check your UCSC email/spam folder for emails from

Skills important for success in this major:

Critical and logical thought, complex problem solving using scientific rules and methods, deductive and inductive reasoning.

Although not required for the major, students in this major might benefit from:

Knowing that the suggested course load is two major requirement classes per quarter, along with their associated labs. If students do not have additional general education requirements to satisfy, they can utilize the third course each quarter to pursue other interests and get to full time enrollment as necessary.

Other Information:

Please see the Chemistry Major Advising Webpage for more information.

Links to Review:

Catalog Program Description: B.A.
Catalog Program Description: B.S.
Department Website
ASSIST.ORG - resource to find course equivalency information before transferring

Advisor Contact Information:

Marla Hesselink
Physical Sciences Building (PSB) 230C
Make an appointment with Marla here!
Chemistry & Biochemistry Advising Webpage