Do California Community Colleges accept credit from out of state CCs?
October 16, 2007 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Do California Community Colleges accept credit from out of state CCs?

I am seriously thinking of relocating to the Bay Area, due to general frustration with my East Coast home turf. There's tons of stuff to figure out, of course, but one of the more pressing things is that I'm about a year into Community College here, with definite plans to do same there.

I can't really justify making the move however, if I'm facing a brickwall upon registering for say, Berkeley City College, and being told that my previous credits won't count. Especially after the year-long wait for residency tuition (which is INSANELY cheap - one of my reasons for the move).

I know that out-of-state credits in general are going to be on a case-by-case basis, I'm just wondering how reasonable they are as far as course equivalents for classes that seem to cover the same ground (as many foundation/core classes generally do). Is it something they generally don't do, do sometimes, do always?

If it helps I'm looking primarily at Berkeley CC and then transferring to SFSU. I assume once credits are accepted at one of the in-state CCs I should have no problem when I transfer in-state, no?

Also if anyone has any recommendations for Bay Area schools I'm all ears.
posted by tremspeed to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Call the schools you are interested in and ask them about your specific situation. A general answer here might be reassuring, but it won't be enough to base your move on, so you'll have to call them eventually anyway to make sure. Call the admissions office, ask to talk to someone who deals with transfer credits; they might send you over to the registrar, but the admissions office is the place to start.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:19 PM on October 16, 2007

A few things:

- Unless an admissions officer happens upon this AskMe you WILL NOT find a satisfactory answer here. Contact the colleges you're interested in, speak with people in admissions. Chances are even then you won't get an answer on what will transfer until they look at your transcript.

- Just because one community college accepts your credits from another doesn't mean that a four year institution will. To be on the safe side you should speak with admissions at four year schools you're considering. Generally these schools work well with local two year schools, but are less likely to take credit from schools which are out of area.

- Don't forget to check on residency requirements! You may wind up paying thousands of dollars extra (even at a two year school) if they treat you as an out-of-state student. Residency requirements vary like crazy... and may be either easy or hard to meet...
posted by wfrgms at 5:49 PM on October 16, 2007

Yes, you have to call both institutions. By "transfer in state" I'm assuming you mean to SFSU- not all CC courses transfer, but Peralta Colleges (of which Berkeley is one) are pretty good about communicating which classes are accepted by UC and SU schools (not always the same classes, however).
posted by oneirodynia at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2007

I agree that you'll need to talk to someone at the schools. I think they often accept credits, but not always.

Keep in mind that our cheap tuition is more than countered by our insane, and increasing, rent prices. (Probably no biggie if you live in NYC or something, but ... just saying.)

Many California community college courses are NOT accepted for transfer at UCs or CSUs, or for specific majors at specific schools. For that, you'll need to check at ASSIST.
posted by wintersweet at 9:44 PM on October 16, 2007

At my local four year, it's called a TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee) but that's a UC, not a CSU like SFSU is.

If your end goal is really SFSU (and not UC Berkeley), this seems to some of the relevant info for you: "All California community colleges have lists of their courses that will transfer to CSU campuses. Most of the time you can find which courses are transferable by consulting the community college catalog where you took the course. ASSIST is California's official online service to help you determine if you will receive credit for courses you've already taken, and how those courses apply to your specific academic goals. You may also consult your college counselor or transfer center for assistance in determining which courses will be accepted for transfer credit."

I got this directly from which I found by googling SFSU transfer requirements. The ASIST website is and it looks pretty plug and play. Please note it is California CC centered.

Basically, ASIST can give you an idea, but you'd be best off to GET IN WRITING some kind of guidance from Berkeley City College. Here's why: I have roughly three to four friends who did the two year CC to four year state school transfer thing and were advised incorrectly by official advisers and ended up eating credits because of it.

Keep in mind that these things are subject to change on a regular (semester by semester) basis, also.
posted by librarylis at 9:52 PM on October 16, 2007

I work in this field in CA.

Odds are, your units will probably only transfer as "bulk units" (i.e. only counts for the total units you have to have to graduate). Whether or not they count as equivalents to any courses depends on your advisor/schools and what they think about it. But there's no guarantees for your situation, and out-of-state has a lot of variation. Unfortunately for you, the California CC system is really only designed for in-state-to-4-year transferring.

If you REALLY want to come here, I'd suggest not finishing your 2-year degree on the East Coast and starting out at Berkeley CC ASAP. The more you have in the CA system, the easier it will be on you to switch around.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:23 PM on October 17, 2007

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