Transfer and Re-entry

Welcome to UC Santa Cruz. We are thrilled that you’d like to complement your UCSC studies by studying abroad or away. There may be additional considerations in order to participate in programs. For example, if you are close to the maximum number of transferable units or if you have dependents. However, please remember that we are here to help you every step of the way.

You can spend a summer, quarter, semester, or year abroad/away, and the benefits of studying and living in another culture are tremendous. Transfer students should first consider UC programs because these programs offer financial aid and UC credit that won’t impact your maximum number of transferable units.

The sooner you begin planning for this next journey, the better. Applications can be due up to eight (8) months before the program start date. Check the deadlines here. If you have completed your GE requirements already, consider programs that allow you to take courses in your major/minor, develop language skills, or help you towards your chosen career path.

Academic Planning 

To get started, an important first step is to make an academic plan with your college and major advisors to determine the best term to study abroad and if you need to take coursework in your major in order to make progress toward your degree. Consider what classes are required to achieve this degree, when they have to be taken, how long it will take to execute this plan, and where you can fit study abroad or away into all of this. On a study abroad or away program, you can receive major, minor, GE, or elective credit. Units earned on any UC program are UC credits and NOT transfer credits so they don’t impact the 105 quarter credit transfer cap. All credits taken on a UC program count towards the total 180 units you need to graduate.

Explore Program Options

Next, explore program options on the Programs page. Consider programs that match your academic, personal, and professional goals. Does the program you’re interested in offer coursework in your major if you need upper-division elective major credit? Or coursework that will count toward GE credit? Does it offer internship or research opportunities if that’s what you’re looking for? What about an opportunity to practice your language skills? You should choose a program not only because it’s in a place you desire to go to, but one that will serve you academically, personally, and professionally. Summer programs may be a good option for some students as they don’t interfere with coursework you must take during fall, winter, and, spring.

Don’t have a UC GPA? 

If you don’t have a UC GPA at the time of application, on most programs, we can accept your transfer GPA. Once you receive a UC GPA after your first quarter, you will be required to meet the UC GPA requirement.


If you are a Student with a Family or Dependents, or might require Disability accommodations, please take a look at the information and resources listed in these sections of our Identities Abroad and Away webpage. 

Missed the deadline to study abroad/away as an undergraduate?

We understand how busy student life can be, especially as a Transfer or Re-entry student. It is okay if you missed the latest deadline that would have allowed you to fit a study abroad or away program into your current graduation goals. If this is a pressing issue for you and you have a strong desire to study abroad or away during your undergraduate experience, you could consider extending your graduation plan. We recommend that you first speak with your financial aid advisor to understand the potential financial aid packaging you may qualify for and other financial considerations that extending your enrollment may entail. The next step would be to meet with your college advisor and discuss extending your academic plan to fit a study abroad or away experience into your undergraduate career. 

If extending your enrollment is not possible, there are plenty of opportunities to engage in a global learning experience after your undergraduate career. See our Post-graduate Opportunities booklet for more information.

Resources and Student Perspectives

Last modified: May 13, 2024