Transfer FAQs

The following page provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) specifically pertaining to transfer students.


Q: How do I know which classes transfer towards my major from a California community college?
A: Lower-division requirements (course numbers under 100) for our majors can be taken at California community colleges and transferred for course and unit credit towards the 180 required for graduation if they are articulated on

Q: I want to or have taken classes at another UC, CSU or other four-year institution. Can I use them towards major requirements?
A: Any course taken at another four-year institution has to be reviewed by the department.  You have to submit a syllabus of the course together with the substitution petition to a department advisor. No more than two courses from another institution can be applied towards major requirements. Check with the undergraduate advisors.

Q: Do I get course credit for AP exams that I took in high school?
A: The Economics Department awards course credit for AP courses according to this chart.

Q: Do I have to take all requirements for the major for a letter grade or can I take some Pass/No Pass?
A: All classes included for major qualification determination must be taken for a letter grade. However, the Economics Department allows all other major requirements to be taken Pass/No Pass. We highly recommend no more than two in the major be taken as P/NP because graduate schools would want to see letter grades in most major-related coursework. Overall, no more than 25% of all classes can be taken as P/NP. It is not recommended to take ECON 100A, 100B or 113 P/NP.

Q: What courses are being offered in the future?
A: The course listings for the entire current academic year can be found on the Economics Department website. There is also a listing for the courses being offered each quarter by the Economics Department in the binder at the front desk inside the office. This binder includes the full academic year of class offerings.

Q: What classes should I take when I first transfer to Santa Cruz? How should I prioritize my course schedule?
A: When you first arrive to UCSC, complete the calculus requirement (AM 11B or Math 22 or Math 23A) in your first quarter if you haven't already, and then prioritize completing the economics core courses (Econ 100A, 100B and 113) in your first year at UCSC. Nearly all of the economics electives require some combination of the core courses as prerequisites. Exceptions are Econ 125, 126 and 149, and accounting courses Econ 110, 111A, 112, 117A and 117B. The economics core courses are also offered during summer.  Sample course plans are available here.

Q: As a transfer student, how many major courses should I take in my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz?
A: In general, we recommend no more than two major requirements in the first quarter at UC Santa Cruz, especially if one of them is either AMS/ECON 11B, ECON 100A, 100B, or 113. Students need time to get adjusted to the faster pace of the quarter system as well as the increased academic rigor of the courses. Remember that you need 180 units to graduate, so not all those units will be in the major. This is an opportunity to explore other interests. Please refer to the sample plans on our website.

Q: Can I “crash” courses”?
A: If a course is closed, make sure you have added yourself to the waitlist. Make sure you have set up a swap with a class if you are currently enrolled in three courses and that you don’t have any time conflicts with classes you are currently enrolled in. Attend the class for the first two weeks of the quarter as the instructor might allow you to enroll if there is attrition or students who are enrolled don’t attend the first few classes.

Refer to the enrollment FAQs if you have trouble with enrollment:

Q: Do I have to enroll in a discussion/secondary section?
A: Most classes don’t require enrollment in the secondary section, but attendance is still highly recommended. Students find it easier to ask questions in the smaller class environment and it is usually also a very good way to connect with fellow students to form study groups.

Q: What are the differences between the three economics majors?
A: The economics major encompasses the core of economic theory and also mathematical and statistical methods. The Economics major is a good major to take on if one is planning to enter law school or any areas focusing on public policy, political economy or any third world issues. 

The business management economics major has several elements. This major combines both the analytical approach to economics while also focusing on the technical aspects of management. Students acquire knowledge to use computing as a tool of analysis for financial or statistical data. If a student is considering the accounting path, it is beneficial to become a business management economics major. It is recommended that students take part in an Economics Field Study.

The global economics major incorporates both the study of economics in the context of a particular geographical area while allowing the student to focus on a language study, area study, and also to study abroad.

Q: What are the combined majors with economics?
A: There are two combined majors that students can pursue. Economics and mathematics and environmental studies and economics. The econ/math combined major is recommended if you are planning to apply to a Ph.D. program in economics. For information on these combined majors please refer to the Economics Undergraduate Handbook, the website, or the general catalog.

Q: What are the most popular minors to take with the economics major?
A: Choosing a minor is completely the students’ choice. However, many students choose to minor in technology and information management, legal studies or Latin American/Latino Studies while majoring in some form of economics.

Q: I am a transfer student. Why was my admission to UC Santa Cruz cancelled because I didn’t submit my official transcript?
A: The Economics Department requests unofficial transcripts (pdf printout from student portal) so that we can enter pre-requisites in the system prior to enrollment appointments. The official transcript has to be sent from your previous institution to the UC Santa Cruz Registrar’s Office. If this official transcript is not received by the deadline, admission might be cancelled.

Q: How many units are needed in order to graduate?
A: As a student, you need 180 credits to graduate, which means that not all classes will be taken towards major requirements. Students should aim to balance their schedules in order to maximize their GPA.

Q: What is the senior comprehensive exam?
A: The comprehensive requirement for all economics majors and the combined economics/mathematics major is satisfied by passing the following intermediate core courses with grades of C or better here at UCSC: Economics 100A (or 100M), and 100B (or 100N), and 113. This is the reason why students should only take one of these courses per quarter.     

Q: How do I extend my enrollment?
A: When extending enrollment at UC Santa Cruz, you will need to see your college advisor to file a petition to stay beyond 12 quarters. You will also be required to provide evidence for your request to extend enrollment. The petition to extend enrollment will need to be verified and signed by the department and then approved by your college advisor.

Q: Can I do a graduation check?
A: All majors within the Economics Department can do a graduation check. Go into the student portal, click on the academic advisement report button, and print a copy. If you still have questions after reviewing your courses and the academic advisement report, you may come and see an undergraduate advisor; please bring the printout of the academic advisement report with you. The Economics Department no longer does graduation checks for students because this process is available for you.

Q: How do I get connected to other people with similar interests and challenges?
A: Connecting with like-minded people makes a huge difference for your educational experience at UC Santa Cruz. There are many resources, but you have to reach out:

Visit the friendly advisors at Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS).

Join a student organization. Attend the OPERS Fall Festival where you can meet and talk with many organization representatives.

For a list of student organizations, contact Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR).

There are a few associated student groups with the Economics Department. For contact information for individual student groups, contact Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR) directly.

Attend Economics Department undergraduate events.

Q: Does the Economics Department offer events for undergraduates?
A: Yes, we sure do! This is a great opportunity to get engaged with fellow student and the faculty in a non-classroom setting.  Check out the offerings on our events page here.

Q: I need a job. How can I find one?
A: Visit the Career Center website and search job openings on the Jobs and Internships website.

Q: How can I get prepared for the working world and to find a job after graduation?
A: Doing a field study is a great way to get work experience, something that is highly valued by employers. Attend one of the field study orientation sessions offered every quarter. You can also see Lisa Morgan, the interim field study coordinator, located in the Economics Department office in Engineering 2, room 401A.

You can also visit the Career Center, attend their workshops and career fairs and use the Career Advice Network (CAN) to contact alumni who have agreed to mentor current students.

Creating a LinkedIn profile and joining the UCSC Economics LinkedIn group to connect with UCSC economics alumni is also highly recommended.

Q: I am struggling in my classes? Where can I get help?
A: It is not unusual to find yourself falling behind in a class. It’s important to seek help as soon as possible and not wait until finals week, when little can be done.  Attend all lectures and especially secondary sections; visit professor’s and teaching assistant (TA) office hours;

Learning Support Services (LSS) offers Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) and small group tutoring for most of our core classes.

A list of the academic support resources can be found here.

If you experiencing anxiety and need counseling, contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

You can also see whether Slug Support can provide resources.

Q: I need help with food. Where can I go?
A: Check out Food Access Resources.

There will also be a food panty at Cowell College starting in fall 2018.

Q: How do I get my Education Abroad Program (EAP) form approved and signed?
A: Often credit is given for economics courses that are taken while studying abroad. Combined majors and economics minor students can use one course towards major requirements; non-combined majors can use two courses towards major requirements. Three courses from abroad can be applied only for the direct exchange between UC Santa Cruz and Autonomous University of Barcelona. An undergraduate advisor may approve your EAP form after you have filled it out completely. Please refer to the “Economics Pre-Approved List of EAP Courses”.

Q: What is the ECON 195 “senior thesis” or ECON 199 “independent study”?                
A: A senior thesis is not required for graduation, but highly recommended for students interested in applying to Ph.D. programs in economics. A student must first consult with a faculty advisor, fill out the appropriate required form, and obtain signatures by both the faculty advisor and a department undergraduate advisor. The student will then be able to enroll in ECON 195 or ECON 199. The main difference between the two is the length of the required paper. A senior thesis generally requires 50 pages and an ECON 199, Independent Study, requires around 25 pages. The Economics Department will keep a copy of the senior thesis on file for reference.

Q: I am interested in doing research in economics. Where do I start?
A: Check out the faculty listing page to see what research our professors are doing and contact them directly.

Visit the professor’s office hours to see whether you can work with them. Usually completion of Econ 100A, 100B and 113 is desired.

Check out the LEEPs Lab, which conducts laboratory experiments with paid human subjects.

Express your interest in doing research by filling out the research interest survey (be sure to be signed in to your UC Santa Cruz account when filling it out).

For general information about undergraduate research, please visit here.

Q: Am I eligible to apply to the M.S program in applied economics and finance?
A: If you are interested in applying for the one-year M.S program, please contact Sandra Reebie (, the graduate programs coordinator for more information. More information can also be found on our graduate student program website here.

Q: I want to attend graduate school. What do I need to do now to prepare?
A: You will need at least two letters of recommendation from a faculty member. Attend office hours so that faculty get a chance to get to know you. Classes are large at UC Santa Cruz, so a faculty member won’t be able to write a good letter of recommendation if you just ask them at the end of the quarter without ever having visited office hours. They are there for you, take advantage of the opportunity. Questions about graduate schools should be addressed to faculty.

Engage in undergraduate research, especially if you are interested in a Ph.D. program in economics. Previous research experience is also essential for a successful application.