General Questions

CBS Majors and Minors

I am considering changing my major to one in CBS, how can I learn more about the degrees offered by CBS?

The CBS Major Diagram is a helpful tool for comparing all of the degrees offered with CBS. You should also visit the websites for your intended major and look at the resources provided for you. Finally, the best resource for planning your major is the UC Davis Course Catalog and a major advisor.

How do I change my major to a CBS major?

Students wishing to declare a major in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) must complete an online Change of Major Petition.

In order to change your major to, or to double major with a major in the College, you must satisfy requirements that have been established by the Academic Senate and CBS for all students:

  1. Be in good academic standing and meet minimum progress requirements
  2. Have a at least a 2.0 UC GPA  and a 2.0 Major GPA
  3. Meet with an academic advisor for your intended major

I am an Undeclared-Life Sciences major, how do I declare my major? Do I have to declare my major by a specific time?

If you are planning to change your major out of CBS, please meet with the advisor in your intended major as soon as possible. You must then submit an online Change of Major Petition for processing.

If your new major is within CBS, you will need to make an appointment with your major advisor using our appointment scheduling application (click on the “schedule an appointment” link above). If you meet the appropriate criteria, you will submit an online Change of Major Petition.

Students who are Undeclared-Life Sciences majors must declare their major before reaching 90 units. Delay in declaring your major will result in a registration hold.

How do I declare a double major?

For students interested in declaring a double major, the Multiple Major Petition needs to be completed. Students are required to have a 2.0 GPA or above before declaring a double major. On the Multiple Major Petition, students are required to list completed courses and courses that will complete the requirements for both majors. For each major, eighty percent (80%) of the upper-division units used to satisfy units and course requirements must be unique; that is, they cannot be applied toward the completion of the requirements in any other major. In most cases, this typically implies that only two overlapping courses between majors are allowed. You must be able to complete both majors plus all University/College requirements within the 225 unit limit.    

How do I change from a major in CBS to a major in another college?

  1. First, you must meet the academic requirements of the new major, and we recommend that you meet with the advisor for your intended major.
  2. Complete the online Change of Major Petition.

Please Note: Permission to transfer from one college to another may be denied or deferred if you are in academic difficulty or you have a GPA of less than 2.0 in courses that are required by the new major.

How can I change my major if I am not in good academic standing?

In order to change your major you must be in good academic standing—both for your GPA and for minimum progress.

If you are not in good standing, think carefully about your decision to change your major. Visit the advisor in your intended major to learn more about the program and to discuss the requirements you first must satisfy in order to enter that major. Be realistic and make sure that you will be able to sustain a stronger academic performance in the new major. A complete list of majors offered at UC Davis is available in the UC Davis General Catalog.

Once you have returned to good academic standing, you can then submit a Change of Major Petition. Double check with your intended major to verify that you qualify to enter that major. Then follow the directions indicated above.

If you are unsure about how to pick a new major, feel free to make an appointment with a BASC advisor or come to our drop-in advising hours. The advising staff will be happy to further discuss your plans and questions.

How do I declare or change my emphasis if I am pursuing a Biological Sciences, B.S. Degree?

Send an email to with “Declaration of Emphasis” or “Change of Emphasis” in the subject line. Then, include your name, student ID number, and statement of declaration in the body of the email. Your emphasis will be changed in about 4-5 weeks. It is always a good idea to discuss the requirements of your new area of emphasis with an academic advisor – schedule an appointment or attend drop-in advising to make sure you are on the right track.

How and when do I declare my minor(s)?

You must use the online Minor Declaration Petition, but you do not need to declare your minor until the quarter before you graduate. The form will be reviewed by both your major advisor and the minor departments. 

Please note that declaration of a minor does not indicate certification of completion. Your minor will be certified after you file to graduate. 


What happens if I register for a course and I haven't taken the prerequisite course(s)?

Prerequisite requirements for every course are listed in the General Catalog and in Schedule Builder.

To ensure that all students are appropriately prepared to learn and succeed in their courses, prerequisite courses are enforced by the instructor of the course.  Students who have not met prerequisites may be dropped from courses anytime up to the twelfth day of instruction. Any student who re-adds a course after being dropped by the instructor may be referred to Student Judicial Affairs. If you have successfully completed the published requirement, no action is needed.

  • If you do not meet the prerequisite, you should drop yourself from the course and adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • If you have met the prerequisite via coursework at another institution or in some other way, you can provide documentation to the course instructor.

If you are unsure if you have met the prerequisite requirements for your classes, you may contact the instructor for the course or one of the advisers in BASC.

Can I drop a course after the drop deadline?

Requests to drop a course after the 10- or 20-day deadline must be approved by advisors in the BASC via a Late Drop Petition. Such requests may be approved only for the following reasons and must be accompanied by full documentation:

  1. Death in immediate family or large and necessary increase in family care responsibilities
  2. Large and necessary increase in work hours, at your employer's request
  3. Medical (with documentation by Student Health and Wellness Center or a licensed physician)
  4. Serious personal problems (with documentation from a professional)

If you feel your case fits into one of the above categories, please first consult with an advisor in the BASC. The advisor can evaluate your request and discuss with you the likelihood of approval. If your petition for a late drop is approved, you will be issued a Permission to Drop (PTD) number. You must use this PTD number to drop the course via Schedule Builder within 72-hours calendar days (or before midnight on the last day of instruction). You will be charged a $3.00 fee for each course dropped through this procedure.

Late drops will not be approved for poor academic performance, academic difficulties, change of interest in a course, or lack of midterm results prior to the drop date. Late drops requests submitted in the seven days preceding the start of final exams are subject to heightened scrutiny. Any such requests submitted during this time that are absent of an extreme or extenuating circumstance will be denied.

Can I take some of my courses as Passed/Not Passed (P/NP)?

Maximum P/NP Units is one-third of units completed at UC Davis.

Courses for your major must be taken for a letter grade, unless only offered as P/NP grading.

If completing GE3 (enrolled 2011 or after), you may take your GE courses P/NP.

If you are completing GE2 (enrolled prior to 2011) you must complete your GE courses for a letter grade.

Can I repeat a course more than once?

You are allowed to repeat a course one time for credit only if you received a D+, D, D-, or F grade. If you wish to repeat a course for a second time you must receive permission to do so before you enroll in the class for the third time. A Multiple Repeat Petition will need to be submitted and approved to enroll in the class.

For questions or advice regarding petitioning to repeat a course for a second time, consult with an advisor in the BASC.

What are Incomplete Grades (or “I” grades) and when would I consider opting for an Incomplete Grade?

Receiving an incomplete grade is an option for students who are unable to finish a significant portion of the work required for a final grade to be assigned. To receive an incomplete grade, an agreement must be made with your instructor only to define the logistics of how to complete the missing work. The missing work will need to be completed within three quarters, after the course has ended, otherwise, the incomplete grade will become an F. For more information on incomplete grade requirements and their life cycle, please refer to the Office of the University Registrar’s webpage on Incomplete Grades.

If you are considering receiving multiple incomplete grades in one quarter, please consult with a BASC advisor before doing so. Receiving multiple incomplete grades in one quarter may be indicative of academic difficulty and or personal issues that are affecting academic performance. Additionally, qualitative standards may not be met, resulting in subject to academic disqualification.

Registration Holds

What is an advising hold?

An advising hold is one way for your academic advisors to make sure you comply with academic expectations by a specific deadline. Advising holds prevent you from registering for classes until you comply with specific academic expectations.

For example, the BASC advisors use the CBS Advising Hold as one component of the College’s mandatory advising system to help students stay on track towards graduation. As a first year student (freshmen or transfer) at UC Davis, you are required to meet with a BASC advisor by the middle of winter quarter. An advising hold is placed on your file until you complete this mandatory advising requirement. You have until Feb. 2, 2015 to complete mandatory advising. For any questions regarding mandatory advising, please refer to our Mandatory Advising FAQ page.

Advising holds are also used for students who have not declared a major by 90 units, have completed 200 units but not submitted an excess unit petition, or are in academic difficulty and must meet specific contracted requirements in order to remain enrolled at UC Davis. If you have questions about your academic advising hold, please contact your major advisor at BASC.

How do I know if I have an advising hold?

  • Check Schedule Builder.
  • An advising hold has specific dates associated with it; check the dates carefully.
  • You must get the hold cleared before the first date listed for the hold.
  • If you do not clear the hold in a timely manner the University may drop you from your classes or freeze your ability to add or drop classes, to change variable unit courses, or to register for classes in future quarters.

Do I still need to clear a hold if I am planning to change to a major that is not in CBS?

Yes. As long as you are listed as a CBS student you must clear your hold. You must submit Change of Major Petition to leave CBS.

If you are not yet eligible to change majors, an academic plan in the new major must be prepared and signed/submitted by an advisor in the new major. Notify your major adviser when these processes have been completed and the advisor will release your hold.

Degree Requirements

How can I satisfy a major program requirement with a course I took at another institution?

Submit the course for evaluation to the department that teaches it on the UC Davis campus. Consult with your BASC advisor for guidance on which department teaches which course. 

You must also submit with your petition a course syllabus or expanded course outline.

Can I request an exception to a stated degree requirement?

Yes, it is possible to request an exception to a degree requirement. Please first consult with a BASC advisor to discuss how to proceed. The process to approve such requests depends on the kind of degree requirement you seek to petition. In most cases, however, be prepared to:

  1. Provide a thorough written justification for your request
  2. Submit all appropriate documentation (including course syllabi)
  3. Obtain required recommendations from your major program

Can I enroll in another institution while attending UC Davis?

In general, the College of Biological Sciences discourages students from simultaneous enrollment or enrolling in classes through another institution while attending UC Davis.

But there are situations in which simultaneous enrollment is appropriate:

  • You plan to take summer session courses at an institution that is on the semester system and the summer courses begin before Spring Quarter is completed at UC Davis.
  • You commute to UC Davis and it is a hardship for you to attend a course that meets five days a week.
  • You have a schedule conflict with a required class and you are close to graduation.
  • You have difficulty enrolling in an impacted class.

You may attend a community college summer session after becoming a UC Davis student.

UC Davis accepts up to 105 quarter units of community college coursework, but the university’s residence requirement states that you must take no more than 10 of your last 45 quarter units at another institution.

To petition to enroll in a course at another institution while attending UC Davis, complete and file the Simultaneous Enrollment Petition with BASC:

Please Note: The petition must be filed and approved before you enroll in the course at another university or college.

How do I make sure I have satisfied all requirements for completing my degree?

As a student it is your responsibility to satisfy degree requirements. You can learn about your degree requirements in the UC Davis General Catalog. A BASC advisor can answer questions about these requirements and offer guidance during an advising meeting. It is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a BASC adviser once a year to go over your degree progress and graduation plan in order to keep on track.

What is the minimum progress requirement?

To meet the minimum progress requirement, a undergraduate registered as a full-time student must pass an average of at least 13 units per quarter of enrollment, or complete at least 39 units per academic year. Minimum progress is calculated at the end of every Spring quarter for the preceding academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring). Only full-time quarters are considered.

Minimum progress requirements are quantitative standards that define scholarship in terms of the number of units a student must complete. You are expected to earn at least 180-units and your degree requirements within 12 quarters (four years) by completing, on average, 15 units per quarter. The 180 unit minimum includes transfer units from two or four year schools, but excludes AP/IB credit.

Detailed information on the minimum progress requirement can be found in the UC Davis General Catalog.

General Education (GE)

How do I know which general education pattern to follow? I have heard that they are called GE 2 and GE 3.

The GE pattern you will follow is based on when you entered UC Davis and if you entered as a freshman or a transfer student:

  • If you entered UC Davis in Fall 2011 or later as a freshman, you will follow the GE 3 pattern.
  • If you entered UC Davis in Fall 2011 or later as a transfer student from a 2-year community college, please consult with your BASC advisor to determine which pattern to follow. You may be following either the GE 2 pattern or the GE 3 pattern depending on when you began community college.
  • If you entered UC Davis before Fall 2011 as a freshman or transfer student, you will follow the GE 2 Pattern.

Note: If you transferred from a 2-year community college, you may have completed a full or partial Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). If you transferred from 4-year university, then your GE may be completed. In either case, please consult with a BASC Advisor.

How can I satisfy a general education requirement with a course I took at another four-year institution?

Submit the course for evaluation to the BASC, using the following form:

Also provide a syllabus or expanded course outline, since catalog descriptions rarely provide sufficient information for a thorough evaluation.

Can I use a community college course to satisfy a GE requirement?

Yes, but it depends on the course. Use to find community college courses that will articulate (i.e. match exactly) to a UC Davis course. Please note that summer is the best time to take community college courses. If you wish to enroll in a course that overlaps with the UC Davis academic year, then you will need to fill out an online Simultaneous Enrollment Petition, which is not guaranteed to be approved.

Dismissal from the University

What do I do if I have been dismissed and what do I need to do to be readmitted?

Please visit the BASC webpage on Probation, Dismissal, and Readmission for more information about dismissal and readmission.


I have been dismissed or am subject to dismissal. Where can I learn more about readmission?

Please visit the BASC webpage on Probation, Dismissal, and Readmission to learn more about readmission.

Course Registration

Where can I find my course registration Pass I and Pass II appointment times?

Course registration Pass I and Pass II appointment times can be found on MyUCDavis and on Schedule Builder. Your course registration times are open for four hours. Please plan ahead and select multiple course schedule options in case your first-choice classes are no longer open. During Pass II it is a good idea to wait list classes you are interested in taking; instructors use waitlists to determine how many more seats (or sections) to open.

When can I waitlist for a course? And when will I find out if I got into the course?

You can begin adding yourself to a course waitlist during your Pass II appointment time. Instructors will address the waitlist during the first day of instruction. Please continue checking your waitlist position on Schedule Builder. If you are waitlisted for a class that has a laboratory or discussion section, you will need to attend as many as fit in your schedule during the first week of classes.

It is recommended that you waitlist for no more than two (2) courses in your desired schedule. Being on the waitlist is not a guarantee that you will be added to the course. Please plan ahead and select alternative courses that will fit into your schedule. Also, be aware of the drop and add deadlines to ensure that you will be prepared for the classes that you register and waitlist for – the quarter system is fast!

Check schedule builder everyday. You will see your registration update when you move from waitlist to registered. 

I have missed my Pass Time, when is the next time I can register?

Please refer to the Registration Calendar available on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. There, you will be able to find the next available open registration time, open hours, and schedule adjustment periods.