From JC to UC to MS Degree

I'm going to tell you right now to go to a JC because it's a second chance to be admitted to your dream school.


So you didn't get into the university that you wanted and now you don't know if you should go to a JC or to a second choice university. I'm going to tell you right now to go to the JC because it's a second chance to be admitted to your dream school.

My philosophy during high school was to do the bare minimum needed to graduate. You can probably imagine the shock when I found out that I couldn't apply to a university because I didn't complete the required prerequisites. Yup, I couldn't even apply to a university. But after 3 months of anger and sadness, I started college at my local JC.

Fast forward to today, we all graduated from prestigious universities.

Now, looking back on my college journey, I realized that going to a JC allowed me to reinvent my whole academic career. By going to a JC I was able to leave everything from high school behind including my grades. Armed with this new information I worked hard and aimed high. I had goals and my first was to get out of community college and into the University of California system as soon as possible. What I didn't realize was that college isn't about the end goal(s) it's about the journey.

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Graduation from JC College of the Sequoias
While at my JC I met an amazing group of other science majors who had an all too similar story as me. I met amazing and smart people that rather couldn't afford to go to a university, didn't know how to, or needed to reinvent themselves. Fast forward to today, we all graduated from prestigious universities. By having this cohort and support system, not to mention the amazing programs at my JC to help students transfer, we had a clear path. Not to mention, along the way I was able to perfect my study skills and got amazing one-on-one attention from my instructors which are near impossible at a major university.  I was given the attention I needed in order to be successful.

After 2 years I graduated with my AA in Mathematics & Science Honors with a 3.98 GPA. Shortly after I transferred to my dream school, UC Santa Cruz, and got my first choice major.

I was given the attention I needed in order to be successful.


In January 2015, I started my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz. I was so excited that I had finally "made it". I may have taken a detour to get into the university of my dreams, but I was there now and the journey no longer mattered at this point. Furthermore, I had already perfected my study habits and knew what to expect, the only adjustment I had to make was doing my own laundry and meal prepping. Simple. Not really.

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Graduation from UC Santa Cruz
My two years at UCSC make up some of my fondest memories. I made friends that I continue to talk to after I graduated and I got to experience a culturally diverse/"counter-culture" society. In 2017 I graduated with my BSc in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.45. So in case, you're wondering how well a JC prepared me... I can 100% confirm that my JC is the reason for my success and in no way hindered me academically.

Currently, I'm at California State University, Fresno and have 1 more year until I complete my MSc in Chemistry. After graduation, I wanted to give back to the community that helped me succeed so I returned to the Central Valley to teach chemistry at CSUF and at statewide non-profit organizations.

I didn't have to sacrifice nor did I settle on my universities.


All-in-all, I may have taken a 2-year long detour, but I eventually got accepted and graduate from my number one dream university. I didn't have to sacrifice nor did I settle on my universities.

Now that I'm about to finish my graduate degree and am currently a teaching associate at the university level, below are the following reasons I advocate for JCs:
Presentation at First Graduate Research Conference
with PI and Undergraduate Research Assistants


  1. My high school GPA and history were essentially erased and all academic decisions were based on my JC record.
  2. I was able to learn and maintain good study habits while my parents helped me with laundry, cooking, etc.
  3. I paid $2,000 a semester for one-on-one attention from an instructor. Mind you at the university level, especially at research-focused institutions, the low-level courses often have 200-300 students per professor.
  4. JCs have cohorts for science majors to help them associate with like-minded people and create support groups.
  5. JCs have transfer guarantee agreements with the UC system. All you need is a  >3.0 GPA and the required classes to guarantee your admission.
  6. There is a higher chance of transfer from a JC than from another 4-year university.
  7. You are able to secure letters of recommendations from instructors that know you on a personal level.

If you have any questions about my journey from JC to MSc Degree or want to know how I made my three transfers feel free to leave a comment or contact me. I have also previously written a post that contains all of the information you need to successfully transfer from a California JC to the UC and CSU systems that can be found here.







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