General Requirements For Transfer

General Requirements for Transferring to a Four-Year College or University

Information on a wide variety of transfer programs is available in the PCC Counseling Center and in the Transfer Center.  Students are also encouraged to consult the web to investigate the many transfer options currently available throughout California and out-of-state. The following information will be helpful for use in developing a transfer plan to a four-year college or university.  Students are encouraged to work with a member of Pasadena City College’s counseling faculty and to utilize the services of the Transfer Center in order to make the transition from PCC to a four-year college or university easier.


Students who wish to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree typically take general education and major preparation courses at PCC. The college offers lower division major preparation for many university majors (Example:  for transfer as a Business major to a CSU, students may take ACCT 001BBUS 012ABUS 014BSTAT 050BUS 011A, and ECON 001A/ECON 001B).

In most cases, the UC and CSU require a minimum of 60 transferable units (courses numbered 001—099) to transfer at the upper-division (3rd year or junior) level.

General Education +    Major Classes & Electives    =    Total
Approximately 39 units  +    21 units minimum              =    60 units minimum

Some majors require more than 60 units to transfer due to extensive major preparation requirements. See a counselor to discuss high-unit majors such as biology, engineering, etc.


The California State University and the University of California systems have developed system-wide general education agreements which enable community college transfer students to complete lower division courses that satisfy general education requirements at many CSUs and UCs.

The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a series of courses that prospective transfer students may complete at PCC to satisfy lower division breadth/general education requirements at both the University of California and the California State University. IGETC is most helpful to students who want to transfer but have not yet decided upon a particular CSU or UC campus. It is applicable to many but not all majors, and students should consult the specific UC or CSU campus for additional information on IGETC acceptability, particularly for high-unit majors such as engineering, architecture, and a number of the physical and life sciences.

The CSU General Education Breadth (CSU Breadth) has been developed by the CSU system and the community colleges to enable a prospective transfer student to satisfy the lower-division general education requirements for many CSU campuses. The CSU Breadth list specifies community college courses that may be used to satisfy each of the CSU subject areas for general education at the lower division.

Some institutions will accept the IGETC or CSU Breadth certification from PCC in lieu of their local general education requirements. 

Students are encouraged to meet with a counselor for additional information, as well as to develop a transfer plan that includes both general education and major preparation components.


Articulation agreements are the formalized agreements outlining how PCC courses will apply to the transfer institution. 

Articulation agreements with the CSU and UC universities can be found on These agreements outline how PCC courses fulfill:

  • CSU and UC elective units
  • CSU Breadth, IGETC, and campus specific general education requirements
  • UC Transfer Admission Eligibility requirements
  • Course-to-course articulation
  • Course requirements for specific majors

Transfer requirements vary for private 4-year and out-of-state colleges and universities. Specific articulation agreements outlining the general education and/or major requirements for transfer to private and out-of state universities can be found on the Planning for Transfer webpage.