Transfer Admission Guarantee Guide: Attend Your Dream School

Students sit at bench near Robert Mondavi Institute on a sunny day.
Gregory Urquiaga/ UC Davis

Quick Summary

  • Get a guaranteed spot at a UC. Find out the eligibility requirements, application process and admission timeline for UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG).

Applying for transfer admission to a four-year university can be daunting with many pieces to put together. Having a UC Davis Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) can put your mind at ease, knowing that you have guaranteed admission in your specific major. As someone who used TAG to transfer to UC Davis, I want to share my experience and walk you through the process so you too can transfer if that’s the best choice for you.

Why Should You Transfer to a Four-Year University?

Though it may be difficult to transfer to a four-year university, there are many advantages. I saved money at community college and did not have to take out many loans to attend UC Davis. It also gave me the opportunity to gradually build up academic confidence and ability in a flexible learning environment, allowing me to grow as a student. 

My lower-division major courses and general education courses at community college transferred, enabling me to focus on completing my upper-division major courses here at UC Davis. I was glad to have earned my associate’s degree before starting to pursue my bachelor’s.

How a TAG Can Benefit Students

In addition to obtaining guaranteed admission, the TAG submission process helps students learn more about the college experience, especially for first-generation college students. 

I experienced imposter syndrome and I doubted whether I could actually transfer with my classes and extracurriculars. But, the support and guidance from both my community college and UC representatives assured me that I was on the right track and that I was capable of succeeding in higher education. Learning more about Transfer Admission Guarantee also exposed me to resources and connections that helped me feel like I belong.

Getting Started with a UC TAP Account

The UC Transfer Admission Planner (UC TAP) is a free online tool to help students track and plan their coursework to ensure transfer eligibility. The UC TAP online planner is separate from the UC application. However, coursework from UC TAP can be imported easily into the Academic History section of the UC application. By creating a UC TAP account, I was pre-evaluated for TAG eligibility by UC representatives and got guidance about submitting a TAG application. I also received information about upcoming events, visits, and updates from UC representatives and community college counselors, which helped me get connected to transfer resources.

Admission and TAG Eligibility Requirements

Transfer applicants need to meet minimum UC transfer admission requirements in addition to the TAG requirements. Transfer Admission Guarantee is available to any students transferring directly from a California Community College (CCC) to one of these six UCs: Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. Refer to the UC TAG matrix to learn more about the specific criteria of each campus. Students can only transfer to one UC campus with a TAG, but they can apply to the others if they choose to. Students who do not get their Transfer Admission Guarantee accepted are strongly encouraged to apply for transfer admission to the UC through the regular application process. Students are not obligated to attend the UC for which they have a TAG.

I submitted a TAG to UC Davis since it was my first choice and Davis was one of the campuses that notified students of their TAG decisions in November, before the UC application was due. I made sure to meet the unit and GPA requirements and create my student education plan, including courses that meet the seven-course pattern. Students must meet all of their TAG criteria to stay qualified. If their TAG gets accepted, they need to uphold their conditions until they transfer and submit the UC application before the November 30 submission deadline.

How to Apply for a TAG

Meet with a California community college counselor before submitting. I learned a lot from attending both a TAG workshop hosted by my community college’s transfer center and communicating with a coordinator in the UC Davis Transfer Opportunity Program. Double-check that your personal information, coursework, and exam scores are completed accurately in the UC TAP before submitting your TAG application. You will submit your application in the “Apply for a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)” section. The TAG application itself will ask for your current California community college, intended term and year to transfer, chosen UC TAG campus, and any additional comments as needed. Review your application carefully and make a copy for your records, since you cannot access the application again after submitting. It is also crucial to submit a UC application in your TAG major.

Application and Admission Timeline

Completing and submitting everything on time is critical.

  • Ongoing: Create/update UC TAP each term
  • August 1: Start UC application
  • September 1-30: Submit Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)
  • October 1-March 2: Submit FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application
  • October 1-November 30: Submit UC application
  • January 31: Transfer Academic Update (TAU) priority deadline
  • April: UC Transfer Admission Decision notification
  • June 1: Transfer Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline 

Other Resources for Transfer Students outlines transfer articulation agreements and major requirements between institutions. I used to review UC-transferable courses and general education courses to complete my Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). Utilize the transfer center at your campus since they have access to advising appointments, campus fairs, and transfer events.

UC Davis has the Transfer Opportunity Program (TOP) with access to Student Outreach Ambassadors to learn more about the student experience and TOP Coordinators who can help students based on their assigned partner colleges. Some of the services offered are the UC TAP in a SNAP sessions for reviewing TAP accounts, group advising, TOP Thursday workshops, and one-on-one TOP coordinator appointments.


Ellaine Arroyo smiling on a sunny day wearing UC Davis merch
Ellaine Arroyo/ UC Davis

Ellaine Arroyo is majoring in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and minoring in Community Development. She started taking community college courses as a high school student in the Concurrent Enrollment and Middle College Programs at Skyline College, which allowed her to transfer to UC Davis in Fall 2021. She has been connected with the UC Davis Transfer Opportunity Program as a transfer applicant and she is now working as a Student Outreach Ambassador to guide more prospective students through the process.


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