BioLaunch Program FAQs

Seals lounge on the rocks at the Bodega Marine Lab
  • I plan to switch to a major housed by a different college. Do I still need to take BIS 005/198?
  • No, you may request to waive the BIS 005 or BIS 198 by contacting the BioLaunch program coordinator. 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. 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 a one-unit, pass/no-pass class that meets one hour per week.
  • Do I have to take BIS 005/198 in the fall?
  • Maybe: For transfer students, BIS 198 is only offered in Fall. Freshmen can take the BIS 005 course any quarter during the first year. If possible, freshmen should take BIS 005 with their assigned Cohort, based on Dorm placement. Visit the BioLaunch course page for more info.
  • Is BIS 005/198 a prerequisite for other courses?
  • No, BIS 005/198 is a stand-alone course.
  • Are there any prerequisites for BIS 005/198?
  • No, BIS 005/198 is an introductory course.
  • Why does my housing placement assign me to a specific BioLaunch Cohort group?
  • Part of the BioLaunch mission is building communities. Getting to know fellow CBS students who share your housing makes it more likely you will form collaborations and friendships with your CBS peers.
  • What if my assigned quarter doesn't work for my schedule?
  • It's easy to move your cohort seminar assignment to a quarter that is more compatible with your schedule. Contact the BioLaunch coordinator at
  • 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 burden your course load. It's designed to be an opportunity, not an academic class. Contact the BioLaunch program coordinator if you have reservations about taking it.

    Be sure to consult with your Biology Academic Success Center advisor as well.
  • 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 the BioLaunch program coordinator at to take BIS 005/198 another quarter.

    Be sure to consult with your Biology Academic Success Center advisor as well.
  • Am I automatically registered in a BIS 005/198 section?
  • No. You must register to add the class on Schedule Builder with the Course Registration Number (CRN) code provided by the BioLaunch program coordinator. Shortly before the upcoming quarter's course registration period, the program coordinator will email CRNs to students assigned to take BIS 005/198 the following quarter. If you do not receive a CRN and were expecting one, please contact the program coordinator at as soon as possible.
  • I am taking a Transfer Student BIS 198 section through another program. How does that relate to my BIS 198 course?
  • 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 BioLaunch program BIS 198 sections are unrelated and do not take the place of other BIS 198 sections. The content isn't 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 classes you may take this year.
  • Can I receive credit for both BIS 005 and a Freshmen Seminar class during the same quarter? Does BIS 005 count as a Freshmen Seminar?
  • BIS 005 is not technically classified as a Freshmen Seminar so you will get credit for both courses. We realize the name is confusing. We describe BIS 005 as a seminar-type class because research talks are often referred to as seminars.
  • What is iClicker Reef and Reef App, and why are they required during the BIS005/198 courses?
  • iClicker Reef and its associated methods of use (Reef APP or iClicker) are primary a way to award credit in 005/198 as a measure of attendance and participation. We really want you to come to class and engage with the opportunities provided for you. You will use iClicker Reef in many other UC Davis biology classes.
  • Can I share an iClicker and iClicker Reef account with someone else?
  • You can not share an iClicker with someone else. When you register an iClicker Reef account, it's tied to your student ID. It can only be associated with one student ID per quarter. You can purchase a used one and make it yours. However, it can't be shared.

Fall Welcome Events

  • 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 Freshmen Fall Welcome Event.