General Questions

College of Biological Sciences 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 within 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 and submit an online Change of Major Petition.

In order to change your major to, or to double major with a major in CBS, 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 you would like to declare a major within CBS, you will need to make an appointment with your intended major advisor using our appointment system (click on the “schedule an appointment” link above). If you meet the appropriate criteria, you need to submit an online Change of Major Petition.

Students who are Undeclared-Life Sciences majors must declare a major before reaching 90 units (not taking into account AP/IB 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 academic 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. 

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 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 department(s). 

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


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 situation fits into one of the above categories, please first consult with an advisor in the BASC. 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 (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 drop 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 of your first year. For any questions regarding mandatory advising, please refer to our Mandatory Advising FAQ page.

If you have questions about your academic advising hold, please contact your major advisor at the 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, your ability to add or drop classes will be restricted; you will not be able to change variable unit courses, or 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 a 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 submitted by an advisor in the new major. Notify your major adviser when these processes have been completed and the advisor will remove 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 submit a course syllabus or expanded course outline for the evaluation to be completed.

Can I request an exception to a stated degree requirement?

Yes, it is possible to request an exception to a degree requirement. 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 during summer sessions. 

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 the 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 help you stay on track.

What is the minimum progress requirement?

To meet the minimum progress requirement, an 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.

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

General Education (GE)

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 Petition for General Education Credit.

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. 

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.


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.