GE Transfer Information

General Questions for Students - Who Should I Contact?


Include the following information on all student inquiries:

  • First and Last name
  • Empl ID#
  • Major
  • Note - Please always use your Cal Poly e-mail address in all correspondences

Transfer Resources for California Community Colleges

What is the central web site that provides information on
transfer information for California community colleges?

  • is an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another.
  • ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California’s public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about student transfer in California. 

Where can I find catalogs and course descriptions for courses not listed on

  • If you plan to take a course at a California State University, you can go to main CSU website for links to the different campuses.
  • If you plan to take a course at a University of California campus, you can go to the main UC California website for links to the different campuses.
  • If you plan to take a course at a college outside the state of California, you can refer to the the website.
  • Generally, you can type in a search for "General Education requirements," or review the online catalog from the main web site of the college or university. 
  • If you plan to take an upper-division GE course, you may take this at another CSU or CSU campus and earn credit, but before you do this, please check with the Office of the Registrar.

  • You may take a GE upper-division course at another CSU or UC campus and earn credit in the same GE area in which the course would earn credit at Cal Poly.

Are there GE Courses offered online?

Many GE courses are offered online.  Check the central resource below for online listings.

  • California Virtual Campus - is a website that provides a central resource listing online courses for both California community colleges and California State Universities.
  • You can also go to the individual web site of the college - usually there is a link to online courses or distance education.

GE Certification

What does "GE certification" mean?

GE certification refers to GE area certification and to full lower-division GE certification. Students at a California community college or another CSU campus have the opportunity to become GE certified before transferring. Once they are matriculated at Cal Poly, both non-certified transfer students and Cal Poly natives are on the Cal Poly GE template in terms of the total required units in each GE area. (Cal Poly students still have the option of taking GE courses at other colleges and universities for transfer credit.) This policy is in effect for all students entering Cal Poly in Fall 2008 and thereafter.

What are the different levels of GE certification?

  • Lower-division GE certification:
    This means you have completed all required CSU lower-division GE coursework.
  • Area Certification:
    This means you have completed all required CSU lower-division coursework in a specific GE area. (For example, if you have completed one approved course in expository writing, one in critical thinking, and one in speech, you have earned Area A certification.)
    Note: Area D1 may be a special case. Please check with the Evaluations Office to make sure that you have completed all required components of the Area D1 requirement.
  • Upper-division certification:
    This means you have completed all required CSU upper-division GE coursework.
    Community colleges do not offer upper-division courses; you will most likely complete upper-division GE coursework at Cal Poly.


Will I need to take any upper-division GE courses if I come if with
a lower-division GE certification?

  • YES - At Cal Poly you will need to earn 12 upper-division units by taking one four-unit GE course in each of the following three areas:

    Area C4: (Arts and Humanities/Upper-division elective)
    Area D5: (Society and the Individual/Upper-division elective)
    Area F: (Technology)
  • Note: Some majors at Cal Poly require specific GE "support" courses. It is best to check with your advisor in this area.
  • Note: Engineering majors may have different upper-division GE requirements than other majors.

I am not GE certified, but I took some GE courses. How will these count?

  • In most cases, as long as a GE course appears in the GE area spread for the CSU, UC, or California Community college, the course will transfer as GE into Cal Poly.
  • Check the website for California community college information, or check the GE spread in the UC or CSU college catalog for more information.
  • Cal Poly’s evaluators will look at your transcript to determine how your courses will count for Cal Poly’s GE requirements. The evaluators try to find the best way to apply any CSU or UC approved transfer courses that you have taken.

Additional Information and Resources

Where can I get information on other types of academic credit?
(AP, IB, Military Credit etc.)

Are there advising resources on campus to help transfer students?

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