What is My Degree and How Do I Use It?

Beginning Fall Quarter 2017, UC Davis began using My Degree, a streamlined online advising tool that can be used to track students’ progress towards degree completion and plan future quarters. Staff advisors can also use it to certify a student’s degree when graduation rolls around. Using My Degree, students see what the advisor sees, eliminating the degree progress obscurities of the not-so-distant past and allowing students to check their own degree progress any time, anywhere. However, only a staff advisor can input exceptions and class substitutions for degree requirements. Please note that My Degree is not an official degree check and it is not equivalent to seeing an advisor.

DISCLAIMER from the University Registrar: “My Degree is not a replacement for academic advising nor does it override any decisions made by academic advising units or Dean’s Offices. The My Degree audit is not an official confirmation of degree completion, and it is not an official transcript.”

Degree Audits

My Degree refreshes nightly with a new degree audit. An audit provides an estimate of the progress made towards degree completion and shows what courses and requirements are still needed for graduation. If any changes are made to your student record after the Last Audit, you can manually select “Process New” to update and include any new information. Using the “Format” dropdown box, you can also change the view mode to “Graduation Checklist” or “Registration Checklist,” which shows all your courses being used towards your major and the courses still remaining/needed for your major, respectively.

New Major vs. Old Major Requirements

Many majors in the College of Biological Sciences recently underwent major changes. For example, Biological Sciences no longer requires an emphasis, and Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior now has three separate tracks. My Degree may be set automatically to the major requirements from the catalog year that you entered with, but if you entered UC Davis before the changes to the major, you are entitled to the requirements of either the old major, or the new major. (Reminder: you must follow only one and cannot mix-and-match different requirements!)

For graduating seniors following different major requirements than what they started with, it can be a little panic-inducing to log onto My Degree one quarter before graduation as a last-minute check of degree completion and see that the progress bar shows only 70% complete. No worries! My Degree is likely set to an older catalog year. You can see your progress with more recent catalogs by using the “What If” function and selecting a different catalog year. Of course, it is still strongly recommended to make an appointment with your major advisor for a final, official degree check as you approach graduation.

Plan Ahead

When it comes time to choose new classes, you can input them into My Degree to see what requirements they fulfill in two ways: using the “Look Ahead” function, or using the “Choose Your Future Classes” option through the “What If” function. This is extremely helpful in creating plans for GE or major courses.

Again, keep in mind that My Degree is just a supplemental tool and is not intended to replace advising. Please still see your advisor for your final degree check. Otherwise, have fun playing around with this new, convenient tool!

For more information and tutorials on how to navigate My Degree:

http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/registration/plan/my-degree.cfm

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major, Art History Minor

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Animal Facilities on Campus

If UC Davis was a category in the game Taboo, one of the tabooed words would be “animal.” UC Davis is internationally acclaimed for our animal facilities. There are so many resources available to expand your knowledge, which may be particularly appealing for Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity or Marine and Coastal Science majors, or just if you love animals. Take advantage of all the unique opportunities our campus has to offer-whether it is simply to learn more, or to get involved!

Dairy Facility

Animal Facilities

One of the most notable animal facilities on campus is our iconic dairy cow barn near the Tercero Residence Halls. However, there are many more located all throughout campus. Most of them are open to students interested in learning more. If the gate is open, you are welcome to walk in and talk to a staff member. The facilities generally have open hours for the public. Here are just a few examples:

California Raptor Center

The Raptor Center is open for free, self-guided tours during their open hours Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm and Saturday from 9am-12pm. You can learn about the rehabilitation of all kinds of raptors like red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, or barn owls.

Avian Facility

There are three Avian facilities on campus: Hopkins Avian Facility, Meyer Hall Hatchery, and Meyer Hall Avian Facility. The Hopkins Avian Facility is located across from the University Airport and houses species including chickens, parrots, kestrels, and finches. Meyer Hall Hatchery supplies chicks and eggs to other Avian facilities and departments on campus. The Meyer Hall Avian Facility is an intensive research facility with controlled environments and chambers.

Aquatic Animals

The Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA) Aquatic Center located on campus by the University Airport is the largest freshwater fish research facility of all the University of California campuses. Besides acting as a research space, some Aquatic Center animals are released to natural reserves at Putah Creek and Jamison Pond. It is open for tours by appointment during its open hours Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.

Horse Barn

The Horse Barn is mostly run by students and houses several stallions available to the public, with proceeds going back towards the equine education program. Tours are available by appointment during open hours: Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. Fun fact: the one-and-only Gunrock was housed at the House Barn in the 1920s.

Cole Facility

The Cole facility is a research facility with many studies involving cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. It also encompasses the Meat Lab and the Small Animal Laboratory, which houses rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice. The Meat Lab is located in Cole C Facility and is open for meat sales on Thursday and Friday from 1pm-5:30pm.

Learn more about each Animal Facility here:

http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/facilities/

Get details about the Meat Lab here:

http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/facilities/meat/index.html

Animal Facilities

Barn Residency Program

Can’t get enough of these precious animals? UC Davis offers a Barn Residency Program, which is an opportunity to live-in at one of the nine animal facilities on campus. In exchange for housing, students work in the facility for approximately 10 hours per week. The facilities include: Dairy Barn, Swine Barn, Horse Barn, Sheep Barn, Beef Barn, Feedlot, Feed mill, Hopkins Avian Facility, and Goat Barn. Animals and free rent? Moo yeah! Check out the website below for specific requirements (you have to be able to lift a bale of hay):

http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/asac/barn-residency.html

You don’t have to be an Animal Science or animal-related major to immerse yourself in the opportunities that the campus has to offer. This is an underrated benefit of attending an agriculture school-don’t miss out!

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major

Why UC Davis?

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.

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major

Career Spotlight: Military Medicine

Are you interested in medicine, but would rather spend more time with your patients than with your paperwork? Does one part of you want to travel the world, but the other part just wants to start your medical career as soon as possible? Then military medicine may be the ideal path for you to have it all and more. Two popular ways of entering military medicine are through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) School of Medicine.

Image result for usns comfort and mercy            Image result for military medicine

Major Differences Between HPSP & USUHS:

Finance: Both the HPSP and USUHS cover the full cost of medical school including tuition and other associated mandatory fees. Beyond that, each has additional financial perks. (see websites below)

HPSP: Apply for either a 3 or 4 year scholarship (through the Navy, Army, or Air Force) independent of medical school applications. The scholarship covers tuition and required fees at any accredited medical school in the United States or Puerto Rico. This option offers more flexibility in terms of choosing where you want to spend the next four years.

  • A monthly stipend of approximately $2,200/month for cost of living on top of an initial $20,000 sign-on bonus.

USUHS: Applying to USUHS is like applying to any other medical school through AMCAS, but there is no fee for secondary applications and no tuition costs. The school is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • While enrolled, students are paid the equivalent of a Second Lieutenant (approximately $63,000/year).

Service Obligation: Upon graduation, students earn an officer rank of O-3.

HPSP: Service obligation is year-for-year depending on how long you receive the scholarship, in addition to one 45 day Active Duty Tour per academic year, one of which is a 5 week Officer Development School (details vary depending on branch).

USUHS: Service obligation is a minimum of 7 years. All incoming students attend a 4 to 6 week, branch-specific officer orientation program to learn about officer responsibilities and military customs, prior to matriculation.

Major Benefits of Military Medicine:

See the World: A common piece of advice given to pre-med students is to take time to travel before enrolling into medical school because there won’t be time for a long time afterwards. As a military physician, you can travel the world as part of your job and participate in international humanitarian missions. Even during vacations, military physicians have access to low-cost, on-base lodging around the world.

Residency: More and more seats in medical schools are opening, but additional residency spots are not opening at the same rate. As a result, many newly-graduated medical students struggle to get a residency spot in their top choice specialty (Robeznieks). Each of the military branches offer a wide variety of specialties in addition to the option of completing a civilian residency, thus increasing the available residency opportunities for military physicians.

Logistics/Patient Care: Civilian medicine is not simply patient-doctor interactions. It comes with a long list of logistics relating to business and finance including equipment and office management, malpractice insurance, endless stacks of paperwork, and more. Military medicine minimizes these miscellaneous responsibilities in order to maximize time spent with working with patients in order to provide the best possible care available. (see websites below)

Intrinsic Reward: In my opinion, working with military families on a military base last summer was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had so far in my college career and has shifted the direction of my own career goals. There is definitely a unique feeling of pride and respect that comes from helping the people who serve our country and their families who sacrifice a lot in their own way.

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Military healthcare is not limited to Medical Corps. There are also programs for Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, and more. Each branch has minor differences in the programs and work environments, so I encourage you to look further into the Navy, Army, and Air Force to explore which branch or program might work for you.

For more information, contact your local recruiter and check out the respective websites below:

Navy: https://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/medicine.html#ft-specialties-subspecialties

Army: http://www.goarmy.com/amedd.html

Air Force: http://www.airforcemedicine.af.mil/Media-Center/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/425437/hpsp-fact-sheet/

USUHShttps://www.usuhs.edu/sites/default/files/media/medschool/pdf/whatyouneedtoknow.pdf

Works Cited:

Robeznieks, Andis. “Match Day nears, with worries there still aren’t enough residency slots.” Modern Healthcare. 18 March 2015. Web. <http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150318/NEWS/150319897>.

Amanda Dao
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior Major; Art History Minor
BASC Peer Advisor

Pumpkin Spice Is Not All That’s Nice in Davis

Fall is hands down the best time of the year. Mostly because my birthday is in the fall, but also because it means we have all finally escaped the infamous “Davis summer.” BeforeImage result for pumpkin patch davis long, it’ll be winter and we all know that once the California snow comes in, we’d rather just stay huddled up in bed. So take advantage of your newfound freedom to actually go outside without melting or freezing. Fortunately, the Davis area is full of classic fall activities to help you distress after midterms and keep a healthy mind throughout the stressful quarter. After all, the great outdoors is the perfect place to relax and be around friends.

 

UC Davis Arboretum

The UC Davis Arboretum is one of the most beautiful spots on campus and a great place to unwind all year. During the fall, you can see the leaves change colors, making it the perfect place for a stroll or picnic.  The Arboretum is right on campus and is the most convenient way to get into the fall Image result for uc davis arboretum photosspirit. Besides the scenery, there are also Fall Plant Sales going on in the Arboretum (Saturday, October 22 and November 5) where you can find seasonal and local plants to brighten up your home. Be sure to stop by between classes, or make a day out of it! It might even be your lucky day and you’ll see that elusive river otter.

Corn Maze

Challenge yourself and your friends to a Guinness World Record corn maze. Cool Patch Pumpkins is located in Dixon, less than 6 miles away from campus. If you have gone before, no worries! The maze design is changed every year. If you haven’t, get ready for 43 acres of corn. Before you panic, there is an intermediate path and an advanced path to choose from. Although Cool Patch Pumpkins is open throughout the day, the most popular time to go is at night to up the thrill level, but be forewarned: the maze gets very crowded at night and it is recommended to bring a flashlight. (I went a little earlier in the afternoon and preferred it more, though, since my group essentially had the entire maze to ourselves. Tradeoffs, you know?)

Pumpkin Patch

Of course, it’s not fall without Halloween, and it’s not Halloween without pumpkins. Don’t settle for Safeway pumpkins! Treat yo’ self to fresh pumpkins at the many pumpkin patches around Davis. These include Impossible Acres Farm in Davis, Bobby Dazzler’s Pumpkin Patch in between Davis and Woodland, Cool Patch Pumpkins in Dixon, and Uncle Ray’s Pumpkin Patch in Sacramento. For anyone without a car, Impossible Acres Farm is not an impossible patch to get to and is a bike-able 3 miles away from campus, and Bobby Dazzler’s is just a little farther than that. Cool Patch Pumpkins is a good two-birds-one-stone patch to also experience the world record corn maze. Uncle Ray’s may be worth the drive to Sacramento for its free admission, hay rides, and corn maze (sadly, the pumpkins aren’t also free). There is a pumpkin patch for every need so don’t miss out!

Apple Hill

Spend a day with the pumpkin’s biggest fall-time rival: the apple. Apple Hill is filled with orchards, farms, and all sorts of activities. Whether it is eating fresh apple cider donuts at Rainbow Orchards or eating every other apple variety you can think of and more (apple tasting, wine tasting, juice, cider, pies, jams, syrups, etc.) at Boa Vista, you will have all your college student food cravings satisfied. And yes, you can pick and eat your own apples! For a more active day, Sly Park and Jenkinson Lake offers a picnic area, hiking/bike trails, kayak rentals, and camp grounds. Although Apple Hill is an hour away, there is more than enough to do to occupy you for an entire day or weekend.

Image result for apple hill placerville ca apple orchards

 

A big part of making yourself feel at home in Davis is exploring its surroundings. Before long, you’ll basically be a local. I finally felt like a real UC Davis student when I began to experience things outside of school and was able to recommend activities and places to visiting friends and family. Being happy and comfortable in Davis is important to your mental health and success at UC Davis. Start the school year off strong and make the most of everything our community has to offer. Good luck, and have fun!

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Adviser
Third Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major