The school year is finally winding down and summer is fast-approaching! For many students, summer is the perfect time to relax, to soak up some sun, and to catch up on your favorite Netflix shows.… More
This past week, we all received an email about how starting Fall 2017, Schedule Builder will automatically be enforcing prerequisites for courses. Since then, we’ve had several students come into the Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) to inquire as to what that means. If that email was the first time you’ve heard about the new pre-req check, then congratulations, this means that you completed all of the prerequisites for your classes for this quarter. The College of Biological Sciences actually started using Schedule Builder’s automatic prerequisite checking system for Spring 2017 registration. However, as of Fall 2017 registration, the practice will be campus-wide.
To view the prerequisites for a course, search for the course in schedule builder and then click “show details” on the right side of the screen. Under the course description, you will see the prerequisites for the course listed.
So how will this prerequisite checking system affect your registration? Ultimately, if you are staying on top of your prerequisites, it won’t! However, say you want to register for a class, let’s call it ABC 123, that you haven’t completed the listed prerequisite for, you will now have to fill out a prerequisite petition that is made available to you on Schedule Builder. Also, if you think that another class you have taken has prepared you to be successful for ABC 123, you still have to complete the petition. Let’s take a look at what that would be like.
For the purpose of this blog, I added BIS 104 into my schedule. I have not completed one of its prerequisites, BIS 101, so the following message popped up:
Now, let’s say that hypothetically I was planning on taking the equivalent of BIS 101 at UCLA over the summer, so I decided to complete the the prerequisite petition so that I could still register for BIS 104. I would then click on the prerequisite petition and fill it out. This is what it would look like:
Here, I could explain my situation and upload evidence that I was registered for the equivalent of BIS 101 at UCLA. It is recommended that you include as much information on the prerequisite course as possible (expanded course description and/or course syllabus).
As soon as you submit the petition, Schedule Builder will allow you to register for the given class. You do not need to wait for it to be approved. The approval process will not happen until pass 2 (which is in August or September for Fall 2017 registration). At this point, it is at the instructor’s discretion if they approve the petition or not. If they decide not to approve it, then you will be dropped from the course. Therefore, do not assume that if you fill out the petition and register for the class, you will guaranteed a spot.
Also, make sure that when you’re filling out the petition that you are specific about why you do not need to take the listed prerequisite. If you are submitting the petition because you think a different class should suffice as a prerequisite, then be specific about what topics were covered and how it prepared you.
Another feature of this update, is that Schedule Builder will warn you if you save a class that you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite for. Don’t worry, this alert won’t prevent you from registering! However, if you don’t pass the prerequisite class, then you will be dropped from the class, again, at the discretion of the instructor.
In fact, dropping you from the class is not the only thing that is up to the instructor’s discretion, it is also their decision to participate in the prerequisite checking system at all. Some may opt out. So if you notice that you haven’t completed a prerequisite for a class, but are not blocked from registration, this may be the case. That being said, as advisers, we strongly recommend completing the prerequisite(s) before you take a class regardless.
Good luck registering and be sure to come into BASC if you have any questions about the prerequisite check or about registration in general.
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
Nutrition Science Minor
BASC Peer Advisor
Winter quarter has just started, but it is never too early to start thinking about your plan for the summer. There are many options; you can work, intern, or just relax on a couch all day! But if the thought of taking classes during the summer has entered your mind then there are few details to consider. For example, you may want to consider the difference between taking classes at a community college, another 4 year institution, or UC Davis. In addition, it’s important to know the difference between classes that articulate versus transfer when attending an institution outside of UC Davis. Knowing this information is critical in making the best decision for your academic future, but lucky for you it is all located below.
Why consider taking classes during the summer?
- A student can complete additional units towards his or her degree and can help a student graduate within 4 years.
- A student can use summer school to meet minimum progress. For information on minimum progress visit https://registrar.ucdavis.edu/records/transcripts/academic-standing.cfm
- Summer school is a great option for students who have had trouble getting into classes during the academic year.
- Taking courses during summer can lead to a more balanced work load during the academic year.
- Students can take courses in order to satisfy their GE requirements or a minor.
Students have the ability to take classes at a community college, at another four year institution, or stay at UC Davis. Below I will summarize how to navigate through these different options and why each of these options may be a good idea for you:
- Community college is usually close to home! Many students at UC Davis are far from home and want to head back for their summer vacation. Also living at home could potentially be cheaper in terms of housing.
- Community college can save you money! UC Davis summer sessions are more pricey than completing courses at a community college. Community college fees are approximately $46 a unit.
- Most community colleges are on the semester system and have different way of calculating units. To convert the semester units to quarter units, multiply the semester units by 1.5. For example, 3 units at a community college on the semester system is converted to 4.5 units at UC Davis. This can be a great reason to take courses at a community college because you are given more units which can help towards the GE requirement, graduation, or minimum progress requirements.
- Community colleges do not offer upper division courses and courses taken at the community college will not factor into your UC Davis GPA.
- Many students want to complete their preparatory work at a community college (MAT, BIS, CHE, PHY), but it is not recommended to break apart series and take them at different schools. This is because classes at a community college might not correlate with Davis’ structure.
Another important concept that most students get confused with is the difference between a class being articulated and a class being transferred. If a class articulates, that means that a class at a community college is equivalent to a class at UC Davis, and the student will get credit for completing the course. On the other hand, if a class is just transferable, then the student will only receive units for having completed the course. To check if classes at your community college can be articulated use assist.org. Assist.org is a great website to see which classes at a community college articulate to another 4 year institution.
Other Four-Year Institutions: Although there is an articulation database (assist.org) that links community colleges directly to 4-year institutions, there is not one that links 4-year institutions with other 4-year institutions. This is important because if a student wanted to go to another UC or a California State University (CSU) , that student would have to be more proactive in finding an articulation for the class he or she is interested in taking. For example, if a student wants to take a psychology course at Cal State Fullerton, he or she would have to bring in the syllabus from Fullerton and take it to the psychology department at UC Davis. The psychology department would then decide if the class at Fullerton can be articulated to a class at UC Davis or if more information is needed.
- Similar to community colleges, classes at CSU campuses will not be considered in your UC Davis GPA. However, classes from another UC (UCLA for example) will be added into your UC GPA.
Summer Sessions at UC Davis: Taking classes at another UC campus offers additional benefits than a community college or a California State University:
- Taking summer classes at a UC can help improve your UC cumulative GPA.
- Repeating courses can only be done at a UC campus if your intention is to replace the initial grade received in the course.
- Many lower and upper division courses needed for your major, university, and college requirements are offered at UC Davis during the summer.
Extra information for UC Davis Summer session:
Dates for Summer Sessions 2017:
Summer Session 1: Jun 26 – Aug 4
Summer Session 2: Aug 7 -Sep 15
Special Session: Jun 19-Sep 15
Pass times appointments: Registration begins May 1 st. Please see your schedule builder for your specific Pass time.
If you are receiving financial aid at UC Davis, simply register for classes on your designated appointment time and the financial aid office will distribute financial aid based on the classes registered. I suggest to go to the financial aid office, located on 1st floor of Dutton hall, to see a financial aid officer to discuss options for financial aid. For more information about classes offered, fees, and other important dates visit http://summer-sessions.ucdavis.edu/
5th year, Biological Sciences Major
B.A.S.C. Peer Adviser
Wanting to be productive during our long and winding 3+ months of summer break? Just in need of ideas to spend your time instead of wallowing around in your bed binge-watching 12 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy? Here are some ideas to fill up your summer plans.
This one is a given. Go out and explore the world with your loved ones, by yourself or even strangers!
- Summer Session.
Take advantage of the smaller class sizes and get ahead in your major or GE requirements. Plus, the campus is relatively empty so there are more study spaces available and you can actually get one of those coveted outlets in the library. If you want to stay at home for the summer, you can take community college courses. Even more convenient, there are a wide variety of online courses offered by community colleges. Check out assist.org to find out if a community college course articulates to a course here at UC Davis.
- Study Abroad.
What’s better than traveling? Traveling AND earning course credit! Studying abroad gives you an opportunity to make connections with UC Davis faculty in small group sizes. There are a wide variety of programs, including ones that can satisfy your major requirements. Imagine taking BIS 2A in Ireland, BIS 102 in Japan, MIC 102/103L in Thailand or BIS 101 in Europe! For more information about study abroad, visit their website or the Study Abroad office in the International Center.
Do a Health-Related Internship to try and see if a certain health field is for you. Also check out Aggie Job Link for more internship availabilities. Visit the ICC this spring to find internship ideas in the field of your choice.
Make real-world connections while earning money! Check out Aggie Job Link for job openings. Consider attending Internship and Career Center workshops and advising to polish up your resume/CV and other requirements to apply.
- Learn a new hobby.
Summer would be a perfect time to finally get to learn how to play the guitar which you’ve been longing to do since you were 10 years old. Other ideas:
- Learn how to cook
- Learn how to juggle
- Take a salsa class/other dance classes
- Take an art class
- Take up hot yoga- it’ll be hot enough outside to do it without the fancy facility and without the cost!
- Take up bird watching
Volunteering not only provides vital help to those in need but can also help provide a sense of purpose and increase your social skills. Volunteering for a nonprofit organization can also be a wonderful way to explore career choices and can lead to job opportunities. You can volunteer at soup kitchens, SPCA/local animal shelters, summer camps, etc. Sign up for the Community Service Opportunities listserv through the Internship and Career Center (ICC) in order to receive regular volunteer opportunities around the area. They have both one-time and ongoing opportunities to fit your interests– volunteering doesn’t have to take up most of your busy schedule.
- Go outdoors.
Go to the rec pool or the beach. Go camping, white-water rafting, stargazing, parasailing… the possibilities are endless. Summer is a wonderful opportunity to be one with nature so take advantage of its beauty and fun.
- Study for Graduate Entrance Exams. Are you planning to take the MCAT? The GRE? The PCAT? Summer allows you time to study for these exams, without having to also balance your time studying for classes. Some students are naturally good at taking tests and committing to studying alone– so it’s up to you if you want to enroll in a test prep course. Buy a test prep book and study on your own or enroll in a course and gear up to take these exams!
- Other ideas:
- Concerts/Music festivals
- Read books (for fun!)
- Go to a play
- Film festivals
- Get a head start on your fall classes
- Check out Campus Recreation and Unions for opportunities to get involved in youth programs, Outdoor Adventures and more.
- The ASUCD Experimental College also offers exciting classes such as martial arts, dance and music year-round, including the summer. Check them out!
4th year Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Class of 2017
BASC Peer Advisor
As your first year at Davis is coming to an end, have you been thinking about finding an internship? UC Davis offers many internships (i.e. health, business, design, government, law, etc.) so there is always something for everyone. Some ask “will an internship be worth my time”? To make life easier, I listed four reasons (even though there are many more) why internships are beneficial and why you should participate in an internship!
First: The Experience! Wouldn’t it be nice to have an inside look into your future career before fully committing to that career? Internships help you find the right career fit, and allow you to test drive before investing your time and money into a career you may not even enjoy. For example, let’s say you want to become a physician. If you do an internship at a hospital or clinic, you will be able to observe and work alongside a physician, which allows to you see an in-depth look of what really goes on outside of the classroom.
Second: Networking! Internships provide opportunities to network. You get the opportunity to form close bonds between your colleagues and supervisors, who can eventually become your mentors or write you letters of recommendation. If you are planning on applying for positions where you are interning, you are much more likely to be hired as you are a familiar face and already have relationships with the staff. The internship experience looks great on applications because it will show that you have related experience and are therefore highly qualified for the position.
Third: Develop New Skills! Everyone can benefit from building new skills. Internships teach you many things, not only the in and outs of the field you are interning in but also other transferable skills such as improved interpersonal communication, working on a team, and/or expressing empathy.
Fourth: Earn Course Credits and/or Transcript Notation! Yes, you heard right, not only do you get to earn experience, opportunities, and new skills from internships but you may also earn UNITS and/or the internship appears on your transcript, which is managed through ICC. It is a win-win for everyone. Many students take advantage of this opportunity during the summer because there are fewer students at UC Davis and to be considered a full-time student and to be qualified for financial aid a student must be enrolled in a minimum of six units.
I have been involved in many internships and can say that I learned something from each one. Each internship was a wonderful experience that provided a different view on my future career. Through the internships, I learned what I am passionate about as well as things that I knew were not a right fit for me. Remember if you are applying to an internship you have to start the process the quarter/summer before you get involved. Step out of your comfort zone and get involved as soon as you can! There are tons of internships available and if you are interested in an internship that we do not offer, the staff at the Internship and Career Center (ICC) will try their best to get you an internship you like. Visit the Internship and Career Center in South Hall today!
Congratulations on being accepted to UC Davis! You did it!! All of your hard work has paid off. Now, all that is left is the final big decision. Where will you spend the next four years of your life?
For me, UC Davis was not my top choice. Ironically, UC Davis was my last choice. I spent all of my life in Sacramento and I was eager to travel far, far away from NorCal. I wanted to move away from my parents and to enjoy the freedom that I didn’t have at home. When I was accepted to UCLA and UC Davis, it was a no-brainer. I was set on UCLA. I didn’t visit either campus or look into any programs, but somehow I convinced myself that UCLA was the perfect fit for me. (Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking!) Several weeks later, I received financial aid packages from both institutions and was disappointed to learn that UCLA did not offer me much assistance. Financially, it was obvious that UC Davis was the better decision. Still, I clung stubbornly to the idea of moving away.
My parents finally convinced me to go to Decision Day and to give UC Davis a chance. I followed along reluctantly, determined that I would not enjoy my visit. However, as I strolled along the beautiful Arboretum and explored the giant quad, I felt my bitter resistance slowly fade away. The campus was beautiful. There was this welcoming and laid-back vibe that instantly caught my attention. Everywhere I looked I saw happy smiling faces. I loved watching all the bikers zoom by, and I was eager to join the students relaxing and picnicking in the quad. As I walked downtown, I longed to explore all the little cafes and shops lining every street. I was pleasantly surprised by Davis. No it wasn’t a fast-paced city, nor was it a busy beachside campus, but UC Davis felt like home.
I am very grateful that I chose to be an Aggie four years ago. UC Davis has challenged me academically and prepared me for my future endeavors in medical school. Entering my first year in Davis, I had very little knowledge of the medical profession and was not sure where to start searching for internships and research. I was relieved to learn that this campus had tons of resources to help students succeed. Personally, I utilized three main resources: the Health Professions Advising, the Biology Academic Success Center, and the Internship and Career Center. These resources pointed me in the right direction and helped me to stay connected on campus. Now in my senior year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with human cadavers in anatomy, to work at the UC Davis Medical Center and Shriner’s Children Hospital, and to serve on the executive board for the Bayanihan Clinic, one of the student-run medical clinics in Sacramento.
Lastly, UC Davis has given me a diverse community of friends and colleagues. I met my closest friends here on campus, and I couldn’t imagine my life today without them. There is a place for everyone here at UC Davis.
I know this big decision can feel very intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be! Explore every campus. Ask lots of questions. Trust your gut! You will find your answer. I found my home at UC Davis and hopefully you will find yours here too!
4th Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
BASC Peer Advisor
By the time I was applying for colleges, I already knew that UC Davis was my top choice. People are often surprised to hear that the school I had my heart set on from the beginning was one hidden away in a small town surrounded by a wide expanse of farm land. I was not interested in agriculture and contrary to many young children, I never even had a phase where I wanted to be a veterinarian. So why was I interested in the school that is internationally acclaimed for exactly those two areas? Admittedly, I made my decision even before I did my research on the academic programs of the school. For me, it seemed like UC Davis was able to create an environment where students seemed more happy than stressed and ultimately that positive atmosphere was what attracted me to the school. Fortunately, though, UC Davis also happens to be a leading institution in the biological sciences.
I first visited UC Davis in the middle of high school because my parents thought it was an appropriate time to start visiting potential colleges and UC Davis is a relatively short 2-hour drive from home. Walking around campus, I immediately noticed the student involvement in nearly every aspect of the school. All of the campus food places and centers were staffed by students. Even those giant red buses were driven by students, to my initial hesitation. This was important to me because I felt that students were very integrated into campus life and a part of the school itself. Everyone on campus and downtown was surprisingly friendly-and in a genuine way. There was a sense of community where everyone was more than willing to interact and support each other. Most importantly, I felt at ease in Davis.
Decision Day for me was simply to learn more about the College of Biological Sciences. In hindsight, the academic support, resources, and programs should have been the first thing I considered before I signed my Statement of Intent to Register, but I already had a general idea of the school’s science emphasis. I knew UC Davis was a top-notch research university that would offer endless opportunities to get involved in research and more. However, what really caught my attention as something that stood out from other schools was again, the student involvement and peer support. Whether it was the student-run clinics, or the peer advisers, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Davis community.
UC Davis turned out to be the perfect choice for both myself and for my parents. I wanted a school that I could identify with, become a part of, and feel at home in. My parents wanted a school that was not too far from home, and more importantly a school in a safe area. Although an extremely safe environment was not one of the first things I was looking for in a school (it should have been), I am now very grateful for that sense of security, especially since I frequently bike home from school very late at night. Mixing all those priorities together, UC Davis turned out to be the best of both worlds.
For many insignificant life decisions, I find myself overthinking every possible benefit or consequence. Even at the quaint downtown ice cream shop, The Good Scoop, I can enter a mini crisis deciding between the ever reliable geranium flavor or going with one of the changing daily flavors instead. And yet, when it came to choosing the school I would call home for 4 years-arguably a more important decision than choosing ice cream-I did not hesitate to choose UC Davis because of the immediate comfort and homeliness that I felt as I walked around the Davis area for the first time. Three years later, I still have not regretted my decision.
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major
Three years ago, I received acceptance letters from UCLA, UC Berkeley, and a few other universities. After visiting all of the university campuses, I decided to go to UC Davis. In retrospect, I am very glad that I made this decision.
As I grew up outside of the USA, many people were surprised that I chose to attend a school that is less well-known internationally. However, UC Davis stood out to me from other universities for several reasons. The first reason was its unique academic environment. I was particularly excited about UC Davis’ excellent biology and studio art programs. As a large research university located near several hospitals, I knew UC Davis would provide me with opportunities to explore my career interests in biomedical research and healthcare. UC Davis is generally known for providing a very high quality education, and this is reflected in its repeated appearance in the national Top Ten Public Schools lists https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/top-public. Although UC Davis’ academics are high-quality and competitive, I was attracted by the fact that the learning environment is not cut-throat. This combination of a challenging but friendly learning environment was one of the main reasons I decided to attend UC Davis.
I was also very drawn to UC Davis’ location. I grew up in a big capital city, so I was specifically hoping to go to a college in a less urban environment. The beautiful campus is located in a tree-lined, small college city with a lot of quirky charm. Although the city is small, it is diverse and has a lively downtown. It is also within driving distance to both Sacramento and San Francisco. The city of Davis itself has a friendly and unique culture, with an unusually health conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle. For example, the main mode of transportation in the city is the bicycle, and the entire city is surrounded by a circle of jogging trails and parks, known as the Green Belt. Many locals enthusiastically spend their time buying organic produce, exercising and recycling. The safe city and charming campus collectively provide a very high quality of student life, and this was another reason why I chose UC Davis.
I also decided to attend UC Davis because of its diverse student population. As with most of the UC’s, UC Davis’ student body is very large and very socioeconomically and ethnically diverse. Therefore, the atmosphere is inclusive and the university provides many opportunities for an active, social life, as there are hundreds of student clubs and ways to get involved. https://www.ucdavis.edu/campus-life/clubs-organizations/
Overall, I believe UC Davis is a hidden gem of a university that provides a rich array of academic and social opportunities. Campus resources such as tutoring, internship opportunities and academic advising resources are excellent, although they have to be pro-actively pursued. http://success.ucdavis.edu/ http://icc.ucdavis.edu/ Due to its large size and sometimes overwhelming plethora of opportunities, UC Davis is particularly well-suited for students with go-getter personalities. I can whole-heartedly recommend UC Davis as an excellent place to enjoy your college experience.
4th Year Biological Sciences Major
BASC Peer Adviser