Incoming Freshmen

Welcome to the College of Biological Sciences!

On behalf of our faculty, staff and students, welcome to the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis. We are excited to have you join our college and want to make every effort to facilitate your transition to the university and to ensure your success as a student.

We are all privileged to be part of this highly respected institution, and you have made an excellent decision to enter this environment of academic excellence.

As a student at UC Davis, your personal dedication, as well as the commitment of the faculty and staff, are required to maintain our high level of scholarship. Your success will depend on your attitude, motivation and commitment. Many opportunities are available that will allow you to enrich your academic career here. Your willingness to engage fully in the academic experience and your involvement in the opportunities available are critical factors in determining your success at the university.

To compare all of the degrees offered in the College of Biological Sciences, please see our CBS Major Diagram.

Learn about CBS from the BASC peer advisors! Check out the peer blog, Student to Student.

Associate Dean's Advice for Freshmen Students

View Associate Dean Keen's presentation for invaluable advice on how to be a successful biology student at UCD. In her presentation, she stresses the importance of:

  1. Taking responsibility for your education
  2. Understanding the fast pace of the quarter system
  3. Managing your time wisely
  4. Meeting learning goals
  5. Building relationships with faculty and mentors
  6. Finding the campus resources that you need, such as academic advising
  7. Understanding degree requirements, and those that are unique to the College of Biological Sciences
  8. Building your own UC Davis experience

2018 Freshman Orientation Presentation with Associate Dean Susan Keen (PDF)

View Associate Dean Keen's biography

Freshman Orientation

Upon admission to UC Davis, all incoming freshmen and transfer students are expected to attend Orientation. The Orientation program provides essential information and guidance for incoming students and special registration sessions to assist students with course selection for their first quarter at UC Davis.

2018 Freshman Orientation presentation to students by Associate Dean Susan Keen [PDF]

2018 Freshman Orientation Presentation, presented by BASC Advisors [PDF]

2017 Freshman Orientation Presentation to Families by Associate Dean Susan Keen [PDF]

Information about the CBS Cohort Class

Your First Quarter

If you are registering without the benefit of Orientation, the following pages offer pertinent information about planning your academic schedule and provide information about degree requirements in the College of Biological Sciences.

First Year Mandatory Advising

Units per Quarter, Course Planning Advice

Placement Exams

Chemistry Courses

Math Courses

Entry Level Writing Requirement

English Composition Requirement

Foreign Language Requirement

General Education and Elective Courses

Introductory Biology

Freshman Cohort Program