Welcome, prospective transfer applicants! Whether you are just getting started on your coursework to transfer to the Rausser College of Natural Resources (RCNR) at UC Berkeley or you have already been working hard to meet our admission guidelines (see below), we are glad you found this webpage and hope that you will find it useful. Please use the following information to plan your application to the Rausser College of Natural Resources (RCNR).
Rausser College admits students directly into one of its nine undergraduate majors as selected by the student at the time of application. Because we do not admit transfer students as undeclared, each individual major has a distinct set of transfer courses required as major preparation before the applicant is minimally eligible for admission.
Major Requirements and Transfer Guidelines
You can review the Transfer Admission Guidelines for each Rausser College major below:
- Conservation and Resource Studies Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Ecosystem Management & Forestry Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Environmental Economics And Policy Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Environmental Sciences Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Genetics & Plant Biology Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Microbial Biology Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Molecular Environmental Biology Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Nutritional Sciences - Physiology & Metabolism Transfer Admission Guidelines
- Society & Environment Transfer Admission Guidelines
Applicants who are interested in applying to transfer to Rausser College can review the full degree requirements of the major to which they would like to apply and can contact the undergraduate advisor for their intended major to help determine whether they have met the appropriate prerequisite course requirements. With just a couple of annual exceptions during continuing student enrollment in October and April when our advising schedules are unusually busy, Rausser College advisors are generally more than happy to connect with prospective transfer students as they plan their application. Our advisors can also tell you about the kinds of opportunities offered in each major and help you to make a decision about which major is right for you.
Rausser College Transfer Admissions Criteria
Though the UC Berkeley Office of Undergraduate Admissions directs the overall application process for all UC Berkeley transfer students, including assessing for the campus-wide minimum admissions requirements for all transfer students applying to UC Berkeley, the Rausser College Office of Instruction and Student Affairs evaluates applicants specifically in the RCNR majors to make recommendations for admission.
As you prepare your application, you will want to use the above Transfer Admission Guidelines for your intended major to determine which courses are required to be completed prior to transfer. You can use ASSIST to determine the transferability of any coursework completed at a California Community College. Any other non-California Community College coursework will be evaluated during the holistic transfer application review process. Unlike California Community College coursework, courses from these other institutions are not guaranteed to articulate as specific UC Berkeley courses. To use ASSIST, in the “Search below for articulation agreements” section:
- Choose the academic year.
- From the “Institution” dropdown menu, select your community college
- From the “Agreements with Other Institutions” dropdown menu, select “University of California, Berkeley” and click “View Agreements”
- Make a major selection based on your intended Rausser College major
- Click “View Agreement” or “Download Agreement” to see the appropriate agreement and transferable coursework
Applicants are expected to complete all “Required Prior to Transfer” coursework on their Transfer Admission Guidelines by the end of the spring term prior to admission. Majors may allow one course pending in the summer term prior to admission if the major has five or more courses which are “Required Prior to Transfer”; in this case, if a requirement includes both a lecture and lab, the lecture and lab together are treated as one course. The Rausser College majors which may allow a single final course requirement to be completed in the summer prior to admission include:
- Ecosystem Management & Forestry
- Environmental Sciences
- Genetics & Plant Biology
- Microbial Biology
- Molecular Environmental Biology
- Nutritional Sciences - Physiology & Metabolism
- Society & Environment
Majors that require less than five required courses to transfer will not allow required coursework to be completed in the summer prior to admission. The Rausser College majors that will not allow you to complete any remaining coursework in the summer term prior to admission include:
- Conservation & Resources Studies
- Environmental Economics & Policy
Transfer applications are evaluated through a holistic review process completed by the Rausser College advising staff in the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs. The application review process includes careful consideration of the following:
- Academic performance in required courses for the major, as well as the cumulative GPA at the time of application. Applicants showing stronger than minimum grades in major required coursework are considered favorably.
- Effective use of the Extracurricular Experiences sections and the UC application Personal Insight Questions (PIQs) to provide additional information about the applicant’s work ethic, life experiences, overall contributions to the college, and/or dedication to their field of study.
- A clear understanding of why the applicant is interested in studying in their intended RCNR major specifically, and in the Rausser College of Natural Resources more broadly
- Applicants are expected to have a 3.0 cumulative transferable GPA and 60-80 transferable semester units completed prior to transfer for minimum eligibility; community college coursework will max out at 70-semester units transferred regardless of how many more a student may have completed
Ways to Strengthen Your RCNR Transfer Application
Rausser College transfer applications are reviewed holistically. The RCNR advising team considers all parts of the application to help better understand and evaluate a prospective transfer student as both academically prepared for their major and UC Berkeley academic rigor, but also as a good fit for their intended major. Here are some tips for strengthening your RCNR transfer application:
- Supplemental Form: You will be asked to submit a supplemental form with your application in January after you have applied. Fill this out and submit it on time! We do not review applications which do not include this form. Please complete the form to the best of your ability with the courses you have completed and are planning to complete in the winter/spring terms to help us better connect our requirements with the classes you have completed and plan to complete for transfer to your major.
- Extracurricular Experiences: This information helps us understand how you have spent your time outside of classes. While it is nice to hear about some of the ways you engaged your extracurricular time in high school, we are especially interested in understanding how you have spent your time AFTER high school. This is a place for you to highlight opportunities that you have pursued that are related to your intended major (or not!) in an academic and professional setting, as well as other ways that you might have spent your time like with part- or full-time employment, caretaking of a family member, or other things that placed demands on your time outside of courses. If you are participating in activities that are not related to your academic interests, explain how your activities prepared you to be an excellent UC Berkeley student and/or prepared you for the major you have chosen to apply to.
- Personal Insight Questions (PIQs): These are usually the most helpful tools for us to get to know you as an applicant, and especially for us to understand why you are applying to your particular major of choice, which is a really important part of our application evaluation process. For the first PIQ especially, which asks you how you have prepared for your major, it is helpful for us to hear not only about related coursework, but also other ways that you have spent your time related to your intended major, either through formal structures like student groups or internships, but also through more informal personal reading and research which you engage in during your free time.
We know that when you apply to UC Berkeley, you may be applying to multiple UC campuses, and that your intended major may be something slightly different at each campus. It is really helpful for our understanding of why you are choosing an RCNR major at UC Berkeley that you use at least some part of your four PIQ answers to bring attention to why you chose your major of interest at Berkeley and how you have specifically demonstrated interest and preparation. You do not need to be coy about having applied to multiple campuses if you have done so. As an example, you can indicate “at UC Irvine, I’ve applied to major in ____ because ____ and I’m prepared in this way___ and at UC Berkeley, I’ve applied to major in ____ because ____ and I’m prepared in this way ____”; or “I’ve prepared for all of my UC majors of interest by _______, but specifically for my UC Irvine intended major by _____ and my UC Berkeley intended major by ____.” Rausser College has a really specific set of majors within the UC system and we just want to have some idea of why you have chosen us!
IGETC - Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum
IGETC does not fully satisfy lower-division requirements for Rausser College majors, nor is it used as an admissions criterion. Completion of IGETC does satisfy the full Reading & Composition requirements for the college, and for some majors, IGETC does satisfy certain breadth requirements. Please contact your intended major advisor or review the ASSIST agreement for your community college for more information about IGETC and its application to your transfer requirements.
Other Relevant Links
- UC Application
- ASSIST (UC transferable course information)
- Non-California Community College Reading & Composition courses (if you have a question about a course that you have taken, please reach out to the advisor for your intended major)
- UC Berkeley Transfer Student Center
- Information for International Transfer Applicants
- Rausser College Undergraduate Handbook
Want a Student's Perspective?
Rausser College Peer Advising Leaders (PALs) are available during the Fall and Spring semesters to offer personal viewpoints and experience to current and prospective Rausser students in order to help ease the transition to UC Berkeley, provide a support network for the undergraduate experience, and promote the many opportunities available in RCNR. You can learn more and meet the current year’s PALs here.