I am a... Transfer Student

Don't miss out on a chance to study abroad during your time at Berkeley. 20% of Berkeley Study Abroad participants are transfer students, and our goal is to increase the percentage every year.

Newly admitted transfer students

Congratulations on your acceptance to Cal! By attending Berkeley, you are also gaining access to hundreds of study and intern programs abroad.  Plan early and strategically in order to make the most of this opportunity. To get started, we recommend you:

When to study abroad

Transfer students must spend their first semester in residence at Berkeley, but can study abroad in any term (semester or summer) thereafter, including their last semester or summer if the senior residency requirement has been satisfied in a term prior to participation.

Plan early

Applications can be due as early as one year prior to departure, so begin your research as soon as possible. If you wish to study abroad through UCEAP during your second semester at Berkeley, be aware of application deadlines that may require you to apply before you have officially enrolled at Berkeley.

If you intend to participate in a program that has language or course prerequisites, you may have limited time to complete them. Complete those prerequisites as early as possible or consider a program with no or few prerequisite courses.

If you have missed a deadline, we encourage you to reach out to the program adviser to see if a late application can be accommodated.

Program options

Transfer students typically enter Berkeley with (or close to) the maximum number of transferable units allowed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (70-semester units). Transfer students should first consider UCEAP, Berkeley Summer Abroad, Berkeley Global Internships because these programs offer UC credit and financial aid. Independent programs are eligible for transfer credit only, and are not eligible for financial aid through Berkeley.

Academic planning

While it is not required for a student to study in their major while abroad, some students prefer to satisfy major requirements while abroad in order to make normal degree progress. If that is the case, verify which degree requirements you have left to complete, and what is allowable by your college and department for study abroad courses applied to the major. Completing these steps prior to advising will assist us in recommending programs based on your academic needs. Read more about Academic Planning.

Summer vs semester

About now, you may be thinking that going to the effort of finding a semester-length program that satisfies major requirements is too much work, and you’d rather choose a short term program that might give you the flexibility to study outside your major. Summer participation is a great choice for students who want or need to stay on campus during the academic year, and can also be compatible with major, minor, or general education requirements with an appropriate program selection. However, transfer students are not restricted to summer participation! Contrary to popular belief, semester-length participation is often more affordable for students with financial need and can also offer more course choices.

Extending your stay at Berkeley

Some transfer students consider taking an additional semester to study abroad. Talk to your college to see what steps you could take to qualify for an additional term, either by remaining under the unit ceiling or through petition to the College. This is not possible for all colleges and/or may not be permitted for every student.

Financial aid

Financial aid is available for study abroad. Students going on UCEAP, Berkeley Global Internships, or Berkeley Summer Abroad are repackaged for financial aid based on the total cost of the program, which includes tuition, room & board, roundtrip airfare, and more. Financial aid counselors are available for a financial aid estimate and advising. Transfer students qualify for up to three years of financial aid eligibility at  Berkeley, including study abroad in the third year if permitted by your college. Eligibility for financial aid in the third year at Berkeley may be limited by enrollment at Berkeley the summer prior to your term of admission, or factors such as the number of units accrued and remaining requirements left to satisfy. If you are considering an extension into a third year at Berkeley for study abroad, discuss your eligibility for financial aid with one of our financial aid counselors.


There are many need-based and merit-based scholarships to support your study abroad program! Because Transfer students have been historically underrepresented in study abroad, many competitive or merit-based scholarships value your Transfer experience and your ambition to pursue study abroad. If you are a Pell Grant eligible US citizen, we highly recommend applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship because greater consideration is given to transfer students.

GPA requirement (UCEAP programs only)

GPA requirements for UCEAP programs will be based on your UC GPA only; transfer GPAs will not be factored in. If your GPA at the time of selection for a UCEAP program is based only on one term at Berkeley, it may be possible to average your transfer GPA and UC GPA to qualify for the program. When this circumstance is possible, you must raise your UC GPA to the minimum requirement for the UCEAP program by the end of your second term at Berkeley (and all subsequent terms prior to departure) to remain eligible.

Senior residence requirement

Once you reach senior standing (90 units), you must complete 24 of your remaining units in residence at Berkeley. Although study abroad does not count towards senior residence, most colleges will modify the senior residence requirement for students participating on a UCEAP program. To satisfy the modified senior residence requirement you must complete 24 (excluding study abroad or extension) units in residence after you reach junior standing (60 units). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units. Make an appointment with a college adviser to discuss the senior residence requirement if you are planning to study abroad.

Student Stories

Our Student Stories page includes the experiences of transfer students who have studied abroad. Feel free to read about their experiences abroad and the impacts it has had on their lives.

"I was someone who never thought it would be possible for me afford to study abroad, but I was able to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world fully funded by financial aid and other scholarships! I encourage anyone of low-income status to apply to scholarships and seek help from study abroad advisors to make something that seems as unattainable as studying abroad, a reality."
Caylee: English, Italy
" As a transfer student I went into my university experience head first and knew that studying abroad would be an incredible experience for my growth as an individual. I chose the Social Justice and Activism program in Paris because of my interest in the history of organizing, revolts, responses to forms of governance, and social movements."
Cierra:  Anthropology, France