CBS Student FAQs

  • 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. 

    Late drops will not be approved for poor academic performance, academic difficulties, change of interest in a course, or lack of midterm results. 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. 
  • 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 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 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. 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.
  • 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. Multiple Repeats require substantial information stating the reasoning behind why the course was not passed the first two times, and what real changes have been made to ensure a better grade in a third attempt. Multiple Repeats are rarely approved. For questions or advice regarding petitioning to repeat a course for a second time, consult with an advisor in the BASC.
  • 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:

    1) 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.
    2) You commute to UC Davis and it is a hardship for you to attend a course that meets five days a week.
    3) You have a schedule conflict with a required class and you are close to graduation.
    4) You have difficulty enrolling in an impacted class. 

    To petition to enroll in a course at another institution while attending UC Davis, please speak with the front desk advisor at the BASC: Please Note: The petition must be filed and approved before you enroll in the course at another university or college.

    Attending a community college during summer sessions does not require this approval. 

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • I have missed my Pass Time, when is the next time I can register?
  • Please refer to the Registration Calendar, where you will be able to find the next available open registration time, open hours, and schedule adjustment periods.
  • 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. 
  • Can I change to part-time status?
  • Students may opt to change to part-time status if they meet one of the criteria. The deadline to file is the tenth day of instruction for each term. 
    Please note that International students may only go part-time (10 units or less) in their final quarter before graduation with the appropriate approvals. Exceptions to full-time status at any other time are only made under exceptional circumstances. Please consult with your academic counselor or an advisor from Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS)
  • What are prerequisites and do I have to take them?
  • It is your responsibility to meet the prerequisites of courses. Prerequisites are often in the form of lower division courses that are required before you continue on to a more advanced level course. Other prerequisites may include placement exams.  It is very important to thoroughly read the description for any course that you plan to take and to verify that you have met the prerequisites for that course.

    Prerequisites are set for a reason; they are set to ensure that you have the required knowledge to succeed in the course. Courses offered through the College of Biological Sciences highly enforce prerequisites. 

    For example:     BIS 2C has a prerequisite of a C- or better in course 2B.

    If you an unsure or have questions please see your BASC advisor.

  • How can I change my major or add another (double) major?
  • Please meet with the major advisor in your intended major to make sure you have completed any required preparatory classes. You should also do a degree completion plan in OASIS before meeting with the major advisor so you know you can complete all requirements within the 225 unit limit. The major advisor will point you to the required forms and explain the next steps in changing your major or adding another major.

  • I’m a transfer student. Can I retake a course that I took at my community college?
  • Unless you received an F grade, you will not earn any units for courses you repeat at UC Davis that you have previously taken at your prior college. This includes any courses that you may have earned a grade of D.

  • How do PASS registration times work and why don’t I have an earlier time?
  • Registration for courses occurs during two appointment times called “passes,” commonly known as “pass times.”.  All students are assigned a Pass 1 and Pass 2 appointment time.  This is a four-hour period of time in which you may sign up for courses.  Pass appointment time assignment is based on the number of units you have completed (excluding AP and IB units).  For additional information, please refer to the Office of University Registrar Registration website

  • What is P/NP grading? Can I change my course to P/NP grading?
  • If you are a student in CBS, you have the option to change your letter-graded, non-major courses to Pass/No-Pass grading (P/NP grading) if you are in good academic standing for GPA/grades. You may not take major courses for P/NP unless the course offers only P/NP. The deadline for opting for P/NP is always the 25th day of instruction.

    When you opt for P/NP grading, your instructor will not know that you have changed the grading mode. They will still enter a letter grade when the course has ended. If the letter grade is “C-“ or higher you receive a Pass grade and you earn unit credit for the course; if the grade is below “C-“ you will have earned a No Pass grade and no unit credit for the course.

    Courses you take on a P/NP basis DO NOT directly affect your GPA. 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.

    Please consult with your BASC Academic Advisor if you have additional questions

International Student FAQ

  • Am I an “international” student?
  • It depends on whose definition you are using!  At UC Davis students are considered to be “international” if they are studying at our University on a student visa.  Most undergraduate international students are studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa.

    In the College of Biological Sciences, we understand that this definition does not always meet the exact needs of all of our students.

    For example:  We have students who are US citizens but they have lived the majority of their lives in a foreign country prior to returning to the US to study at UC Davis.  We also have “international students” (studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa) who have lived the majority of their lives in the U.S. and have even attended local high schools.

    If you are not an international student according to the university definition, but feel that you may benefit from international student advising services, please contact the BASC International Academic Advisor.
  • What is the ELWR?
  • The Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) is a University requirement all UC students must fulfill. For a full explanation, see the ELWR webpage. You have a specified amount of time to complete the ELWR depending on your English level placement.
  • Can I earn Writing Experience (WE) GE credit before I satisfy the ELWR?
  • No, you must satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement first. If you did not satisfy the ELWR before coming to UC Davis you will need to pass one of the ELWR options with a grade of C or better. You will not receive any Writing Experience GE credit for courses taken prior to satisfying ELWR. 
  • What is the American History & Institutions requirement, and how do I satisfy it?
  • The American History & Institutions (AHI) requirement is a University requirement all UC students must fulfill. Most students who attend U.S. high schools meet the requirement by having taken U.S. history there. Students who have attended high school outside of the U.S. have most likely not completed the requirement, and so must take a UC Davis course to fulfill it. Although the AHI requirement is not a General Education requirement, the courses that satisfy the requirement may also give you SS or AH and ACGH or DD GE credit. For a full explanation, see the UC Davis Bachelor’s Degree Requirements webpage
  • I have Advanced-level (A-level) Exam credit. How does it apply toward my degree requirements?
  • You can earn unit credit if you have completed A-level Exams. These units can be used toward the minimum 180 unit requirement to graduate. A-level credit is not equivalent to coursework taken at UC Davis. Students cannot earn GE credit for it. However, it may be possible to skip some courses that may be required for your major. Please consult with your International Academic Advisor about this option. Please be aware that if exceptions are granted, they are specific to your current major only.  If you decide to change majors later there is no guarantee that your new major will honor the same exceptions of the prior major advisor.
  • Do I have to take foreign language courses to earn my A.B. degree?
  • If English is not your first language, ask your International Academic Advisor how you can satisfy the foreign language requirement without taking classes. If you are seeking a B.S. degree, there is no foreign language requirement.
  • Can I work in the U.S.?
  • You may be able to work on-campus on a student visa. Please review the employment website available through Services for International Students and Scholars for more information on working in the U.S. It is important to understand this information since the U.S. government has strict rules and regulations regarding employment, especially outside of the University.
  • Can I study abroad as an international student?
  • Absolutely! Visit the Study Abroad website or office to learn more about the many opportunities. UC Davis Summer Abroad and Quarter Abroad offer UC Davis courses taught abroad. UCEAP offers the opportunity to participate in language and culture programs, internship programs, and study at a foreign university. UCEAP courses appear on your UC Davis transcript and the grades are calculated into your UC Davis GPA.
  • Can I do coursework in my home country over summer?
  • Yes, but Undergraduate Admissions will not pre-approve transfer coursework that you complete at a foreign institution over summer. After you have completed your coursework, you will need to have the university send an official transcript to Undergraduate Admissions. They will evaluate the coursework and determine if transfer credit can be awarded. This process could take several months from the time Undergraduate Admissions receives your transcript.

    This means there is no way to know in advance if the coursework you plan to transfer to UC Davis will be approved for transfer credit before you take the classes. If you want to be sure that summer coursework will be transferable to UC Davis you can attend a California community college and take a UC- transferrable course. You can determine if a course is transferrable by using 

    Or, you may attend UC Davis Summer Sessions
  • How do I transfer to another UC or another university?
  • But why would you want to? First, you should look at the admissions requirements at the university you wish to attend. Each university will have its own requirements for transfer students.

    If you plan to transfer to another university, you should make an appointment with your International Academic Advisor as soon as possible.