BIS 005 and/or BIS 198

I plan to switch to a major housed by a different college. Do I still need to take BIS 005/198?

Hint: BIS 005 is the freshman course, BIS 198 is the Transfer course.

No, you may request to waive the BIS 005 or BIS 198 by contacting the CBS First-year Cohort Coordinator here. Although you can find general information in the UC Davis Catalog, many majors have specific requirements. To prepare to switch, you should research/contact the department that houses your new major. Also, be aware of the timeline for changing majors. Typically you can only begin to switch once you've finished a quarter at UC Davis. Depending on your fall GPA, this means you might be able to start the process in winter.

Keep in mind that BIS 005/198 is a great opportunity—you may want to take it while you have the chance, especially if your new major involves biology.

How many units is BIS 005/198?

BIS 005/198 is one unit, it's a pass/no-pass class. It meets one hour/week.

Do I have to take BIS 005/198 in the fall?


Transfer student should take BIS 198 in the Fall. The class is only offered in Fall.

Freshman can take the BIS 005 course any quarter during the first year. It's fine to take it winter or spring instead of fall. However, if possible freshman should take BIS 005 with their assigned Cohort, based on Dorm placement, click here for more info.

Is BIS 005/198 a prerequisite for other courses?

No, BIS 005/198 is a stand-alone course. It is not linked to other biology courses.

Are there any prerequisites for BIS 005/198?

No, BIS 005/198 is an introductory course and doesn't require any prior biology knowledge.

Why does my housing placement assign me to a quarter, during which I should take BIS 005?

BIS 005 is the major feature of the Cohort Program. In taking this class with students who share housing you, it's more likely you'll form relationships with your CBS peers.

What if my assigned quarter doesn't work for my schedule?

It's very easy to move your cohort seminar assignment to a quarter that is more compatible with your schedule. Contact the CBS First-year Cohort Coordinator here.

What if I'm taking a lot of units during the quarter I am assigned to take BIS 005/198?

BIS 005/198 should not put you over the edge; it's designed to be an opportunity, not a burden. It meets one hour/week and has a low out-of-class workload. Contact Karyn if you have reservations about taking it.

My schedule has a conflict between a core class (math, chemistry, or Biology) and BIS 005/198. What should I do?

Don't drop your core classes to take BIS 005/198. We understand core classes can be challenging to get into and they should be your priority! Contact Karyn to take BIS 005/198 another quarter.

Am I automatically registered in a BIS 005/198 section?

No! You must register/add the class on Schedule Builder. BIS 005/198 is "hidden," you can't search for it. To find the class you need a specific Course Registration Number (CRN), provided by Karyn or an adviser. 

Shortly before the upcoming quarter's course registration period begins, Karyn will email CRNs to students assigned to take BIS 005/198 the following quarter. For example: CRNs will be emailed to the Excavata and RAS Cohorts at the end of October. If you did not get a CRN and you were expecting one, please contact Karyn as soon as possible.

I am taking a BIS 198 section through another program. How does that relate to my Cohort BIS 198?

There are many sections of BIS 198 offered by different campus departments and special programs. For example, Entomology of Fly Fishing is a BIS 198 course. The Cohort Program's BIS 198 sections are not related to, and do not take the place of, other BIS 198 sections. This is because the content will not be the same. Generally 198 classes are new, upper division, pass/no-pass specialty courses. Please plan to take your Cohort's BIS 198 section regardless of other BIS 198 class you may take this year as well.

Can I receive credit for both BIS 005 and also a Freshmen Seminar classes during the same quarter? I ask because the Freshmen Seminar page states that you can only receive credit for one seminar per quarter. Does BIS 005 count as a Freshman Seminar in this way?

BIS 005 is not technically classified as a Freshman Seminar so you will get credit for both courses. I realize the name is confusing, we describe BIS 005 as a seminar-type class because research talks are often referred to as seminars.

Fall 2016 Clicker info below subject to change!!! See clicker policy for updates

What is the Clicker and why is it required?

The clicker is an electronic device that allows us to take attendance. Unfortunately, it's kind of expensive (~ $50). Please know that you will use your clicker in many other UC Davis biology classes. It helps to think of this purchase as getting an inevitable expense out of the way early on. We use attendance/participation as a primary way to award you points in 005/198. This saves you from having a big test or project in the class. This class shouldn't be burdensome. Alternatively, We really want you to come to class and enjoy the speakers' presentations. For this format to work, we need to take attendance and clickers have allowed us to accomplish this.

Are there any alternatives to buying the i>clicker2?

Short answer: not really

Long answer:

I am not set up -- software wise-- to deal with the smartphone app (i>clickerGo). Additionally, I anticipate it to be problematic: phone dies, lose Wi-Fi, I just think too many things can go wrong. Also, it's >$10 a quarter. If you use your clicker in BIS 98, BIS 2 series, BIS 104 and more classes; than the cost per quarter adds up to be greater than just buying the device.

Students have told me that the i>clicker1 works in our class (It's much cheaper) but in the long run you may need the i>clicker 2 for your other future classes. Also, with software updates etc. I do not guarantee that the i>clicker1 will continue to work, this is a try at you own risk kind of thing.

You can not share a clicker with someone else who's not in the class. When you register the clicker, it ties that clicker to your student ID. It can only be associated with 1 student ID/quarter. You can purchase a used one and make it yours; however, it can't be shared.

Technical Problems

Why can't I access the Cohort Google Forms?

This seems to happen for one of three reasons:

1. You are logged into another Google account. Try logging out of your personal Gmail/Google account. Make sure you are only logged into your UC Davis Gmail, then try the form. This is usually the solution.

2. Some countries do not support Google forms. If this is the case, don't worry, filling out the form can wait until you are in the U.S. If you think it's urgent, just shoot Karyn an email.

3. If your Google account is in another language, you may have trouble with the form. It seems changing the language setting on your email is not enough. Go to your Google Drive and change your languages setting to english there, then try the form.

How do I find a Cohort email that was sent to me a long time ago?

Search your UC Davis Gmail for Karyn's email. Just type in "Karyn O'Hearn" or "kohearn@ucdavis.edu" into the search box at the top of your UC Davis Gmail and you should get a list of results.

Fall Welcome

If I am scheduled to take BIS 005 in the winter or spring, can I attend the Fall Welcome Event?

Yes! All CBS Freshmen are invited and encouraged to attend the Freshman Fall Welcome Event.