Transfer Vocabulary

Articulation Agreements – Guides to equivalency between PCC courses and those at many CSU, UC, and California independent colleges and universities.

Basic Skills Courses, Precollegiate – Courses numbered in the 400s, 300s, 200s or 100s designed as preparation for college-level work. PCC offers these courses in reading, writing, English as a second language, other English skills, and mathematics.

IGETC or CSU GE Certification – The process in which four-year institutions recognize the general education courses taught at California community colleges as meeting  particular general education (GE) requirements.

C-ID – The Course Identification Numbering System. C-ID is a supranumber that identifies a lower-division, transferable course commonly articulated between the California Community Colleges and universities (including Universities of California, the California State Universities, as well as with many of California’s independent colleges and universities). The C-ID number means that any other course elsewhere, bearing the same number, will be accepted by the institution.

Corequisite – A course in which a student is required to enroll at the same time that he or she is enrolled in another course. In the corequisite course, the student acquires certain skills, concepts and/or information which are essential to success in the concurrent course.

Elective – A course which is not specifically required for a major, but which may be taken by choice for unit credit.

General Education (GE) Requirements – A specific group of courses taken outside of a student’s major to meet the need for broad knowledge of the world and to satisfy either PCC degree requirements or requirements for transfer to UC, CSU, or an independent college or university.

Grade-Point Average (GPA) – The GPA is on a 4-point scale and is computed by dividing the total grade points earned by the number of units attempted. For example, if the number of grade points earned is 28 and the number of units attempted is 14, then the GPA would be 2.0.

High-Unit Majors – High-unit majors are those areas of study that place more emphasis on preparatory courses within the major rather than the completion of general education courses. Usually these are majors in the physical and life sciences and engineering. Examples of these majors include: biology, chemistry, physics, geology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer science, mathematics, and many others.

Students who choose a high-unit major should place their primary focus on completion of courses in mathematics and the appropriate science courses. General education courses based on the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) should be completed as they can be fitted into one’s schedule. It is not necessary to complete all GE courses prior to transfer, but upon transfer it will be required that a student complete the general education requirements of the particular school where they have been accepted.  

Impacted Major or Program – An impacted major or program at a four-year college or university is one where more applications are received from students than the campus can enroll. As a result, sometimes those high-demand majors or programs may have additional admission or selection criteria. See a counselor for additional information.

Independent Institutions – Private colleges and universities such as USC or Art Center, as opposed to public institutions such as CSUs or UCs.

Prerequisite – A condition of enrollment, such as satisfactory completion of another course (defined as a grade of A, B, C, or “P” (Pass) that must be met before a student can register for a course or educational program. By meeting the prerequisite, the student demonstrates readiness for that course or program.

Recommended Preparation – A Recommended Preparation statement in a course description means that a student is advised, but not required, to complete the identified course(s) prior to enrollment in another course or educational program.

TAG – Transfer Admission Guarantee agreement. These are an alternative to completing the normal transfer pattern. Various CSU and UC schools provide plans whereby a student agrees to complete a specific set of courses and a minimum grade point average with the provision that he/she will be accepted to a particular school upon successful completion of the plan. Information about TAGs is available in the Transfer Center and in the Counseling Division.

Transferable Course – A course accepted for credit toward a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution.

  • CSU Transferable courses are baccalaureate level and will transfer for credit to all CSU campuses. Courses are designated in the catalog and schedule of classes as Transfer Credit: CSU. The units may also count toward the AS, AA, and AD-T degrees at PCC.  
  • UC Transferable courses are baccalaureate level and will transfer for credit to all UC and CSU campuses. Courses are designated in the catalog and schedule of classes as Transfer Credit: CSU;UC. The units may also count toward the AS, AA, and AD-T degrees at PCC.  

Transcript – The official historical record of a student’s high school or college work.

UC Credit Limitation – UC limits credit for some transferable courses. Students contemplating transfer to a UC campus should consult with a PCC Counselor, and/or view PCC’s list of UC transferable courses at Find Pasadena City College. Find UC transferable courses.  

UC Transfer Pathways – If you’re unsure which UC campus you will attend, or if you want to prepare for as many UC campuses as possible, the UC Transfer Pathways will help you identify coursework that will prepare you for multiple UC campuses. These “paths” summarize the requirements and major preparation coursework at each UC campus for similar majors, and highlight the common requirements shared by a majority of UC campuses. The UC Transfer Pathways provides information about Transfer Admission Eligibility, general education, what’s generally required for a UC degree, and becoming a competitive applicant. Information can be accessed at:

Undergraduate, Lower Division – Up to 59 semester units towards completing general education requirements and introductory courses for an academic major. Lower division courses are usually taken during the first and second years of study at a university.

Undergraduate, Upper Division – 60 or more semester units with concentration in an academic major. Upper division courses are usually taken during the third and fourth years of study at a university.

Unit – The amount of college credit given for a course based upon the number of hours the course meets weekly. One (1) unit represents one hour per week of actual class time in a lecture or discussion section.