Want to Change into a CBS Major?

Welcome back to the new school year Aggies! Hope fall quarter is treating you well so far. Being a peer advisor, I help students work towards their goals by answering major-related questions, such as quarterly schedules and major requirements. Since the beginning of the quarter, I often get questions from drop-in students about changing majors. This year, things have changed up a bit in College of Biological Sciences. Before, each major has its own requirements, but now, the major changing requirements for all College of Biological Sciences majors are the same. The requirements are now more simple and straightforward.

UC Davis College of Biological Sciences (CBS) currently has nine majors, in alphabetical order: (1) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Cell Biology, (4) Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity, (5) Genetics and Genomics, (6) Marine and Coastal Sciences, (7) Microbiology, (8) Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, and (9) Plant Biology. In addition, first-Year students can be admitted as Undeclared Life-Sciences, and they will have to officially declare a major before completing 90 UC units.

Here are the steps if you want to change into a CBS major from a different college, or from another CBS major:
1. Meet with your current major advisor and your intended major advisor to discuss your plans. This is very important because you need to complete the intended major within 225 UC units, and thus you may want to make academic plans and take classes for the intended major.
2. Be in good academic standing and meet minimum progress requirements.
3. Have at least a 2.00 UC Cumulative GPA, which means that you can only change your major after completing your first quarter at UC Davis.
4. Have at least a 2.00 Overall Major GPA in the intended major (and a 2.00 Depth-Subject Matter GPA in upper-division major coursework if applicable).

After you complete the steps above, you can submit the Change of Major Form through OASIS. The form will be reviewed by advisors from you current and intended major.

change of major

Schedule an appointment with a BASC major advisor if you have any questions related to the majors and/or the major changing procedure!

Linya Hu
BASC Peer Advisor
4th year, Genetics & Genomics Major


Sweet Deals of Davis

You know what they say about summer, hair gets lighter; skin gets darker; water gets warmer; drinks get colder; music gets louder; nights get longer; and life gets sweeter… literally. Summer is the time to indulge in sunshine and sweets, but, since we’re all still broke college students trying to treat ourselves for low costs, here are some sweet deals you can find in Davis.

Davis Creamery

113 E Street Davis, CA 95616

The Davis Creamery is a family owned and operated gourmet sweets shop. They make unique ice cream flavors and host a “Bracketology” event twice a year during which new ice cream concepts are created and go head-to-head in a customer voted competition. Some fun flavors from the bracketology include the Trifecta (Oreo, Butterfinger and Reese Peanut Butter), black tea and shortbread, and guava passion fruit.

Their daily specials include:

Monday – $2.00 Scoop Night (5pm-10pm)

Tuesday – $2.25 Cupcakes (all day)

Wednesday –  $3.00 Cowpies (all day)

Thursday- $7.00 Quarts (all day)

Friday – $5.00 Milk Shake Happy Hour (4pm-7pm)

Image result for the davis creamery

Sweet and Shavery **

210  Street Davis, CA 95616

Sweet and Shavery is known for its combination of Italian ice with a creamy custard to create a refreshing, yet satisfying treat. They also have other popular items, such as mangonadas and made-to-order crepes.

Their weekly special is:

Wednesday: $3.25 for two small parfaits (3-5 PM)

Image result for sweet and shavery

The Good Scoop **

130 G Street, Suite C Davis, CA. 95616

The Good Scoop is definitely one of the hidden gems of Davis. They sell unique, tasteful small batches of ice cream which are made only 1.5 gallons at a time. Some creative flavors include salted caramel with cajeta, ginger, and rosewater. My personal favorite, however, is the jasmine green tea!

Their weekly specials include:

Monday: $2 non-dairy scoop (all day)

Tuesday: $2 scoops (all day)  

Image result for the good scoop davis

Gong Cha **

1411 W Covell Blvd.Suite #110Davis CA 95616

Gong Cha is one of the many boba spots of Davis, specializing in tea, coffee, and juice. They are located next the the Safeway of “north” Davis, making it super convenient to drop in. They also have four seater tables which are good for studying!

Their happy hours are:

Monday – Thursday before 7 PM: Free size upgrade

Image result for gong cha davis

Baskin Robbins

236 E St, Davis, CA 95616

Baskin Robbins is an oldie, but a goodie. The Baskin-Robbins “31®” was created to represent a different ice cream flavor for each day of the month, but since 1945, they’ve created more than 1,300 unique and delicious ice cream flavors. If you sign up for their birthday club, you can get a free scoop on your birthday!

Their monthly special includes:

31st of the month – $1.31 scoops

Image result for baskin robbins davis address

Brick Toast Cafe

201 Sage St., Ste B Davis, California 95616

Brick Toast Cafe boasts high quality ingredients, including Gunther’s ice cream, fresh-made whipped cream, and local wildflower honey. They are most known for their brick honey toast, but also have boba teas and Temple coffee.

Their special includes:

Free boba all the time!

Image result for brick toast cafe davis

** = Stamp card/rewards program available!

Don’t forget to stay active and eat healthy foods to balance out this sugar rush!!

Christina Duong
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major w/Spanish minor

Undergraduate Research Conference – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Undergraduate Research Conference?
The Undergraduate Research Conference is an annual conference where UC Davis students present their individual research projects under the supervision of faculty sponsors or law/medical professionals. Students in all academic fields, including STEM majors, social science majors, and art majors who conducted independent research are welcome to show their work. The goal of the conference is to encourage undergraduate students to pursue higher degrees after undergraduate and to conduct research in their discipline.

When and where is the Undergraduate Research Conference?
The Undergraduate Research Conference usually happens towards the end of April every school year. This year, the 29th Undergraduate Research Conference of 2018, will be on Friday April 27th from 3-7 PM (ARC Pavilion) and Saturday April 28th from 1-4:30 PM (Wellman Hall). The poster session and art exhibition are at the ARC Pavilion, and the oral presentations are at Wellman Hall.

How can I show my work at the Undergraduate Research Conference?
If you are interested in participating as a presenter, make sure to talk to your faculty research supervisor early and submit your abstract in February. There are three types of presentation.
1. Poster Presentation: a 60 minute poster session will be assigned to each presenter. The posters will be shown at the ARC Pavilion, while presenters stand next to them to give short talks and answer questions. UC Davis Undergraduate Research Center provides free poster printing before the conference.
2. Oral Session: each presenter will have a 15 minute oral session to introduce the research, including their research interest, hypothesis, methods, and results. PowerPoint slides are often used.
3. Art exhibition: The art exhibits are in the same area as the poster presentations. The exhibition allows students to showcase their research results in the form of studio art, design and multimedia.

Do I have to present in the conference by myself? Can I do it with my research partner?
Most students did their own independent projects and thus presented by themselves. If you happen to have a research partner collaborating on the same project, you will be able to present with them. Both students will have to sign up for the conference and submit the same abstract. Usually the group is not larger than 2 or 3, since the main focus of the conference is independent research.

Why should I go to the Undergraduate Research Conference? I am not doing research now.
First of all, the Undergraduate Research Conference is free for everyone! Second, it is a great chance to see what other students are doing and ask questions. If you have never done research before but interested, it is a good chance to ask how the students doing independent research find faculty supervisors, decide on research topics, etc. Also, since this is the largest research conference for undergraduates in UC Davis, you will be able to see more than 500 groups presenting on campus all in two days.

How can I get involved in research?
UC Davis is a research university, and according to a 2016 report, more than 40% of undergraduate students have participated in some kind of research. Speaking from my own experience, I will say that it is never too early, yet never too late (of course, not on the last day of your last quarter) to get involve in research as an undergraduate student in UC Davis. For first year students, many professors are willing to train younger students because they can stay in the research lab for longer. For upperclassmen, you already have background knowledge in the field and maybe know some laboratory techniques, so make use of that knowledge. You will be able to ask more in depth questions and get the grasp more quickly in research labs.
I advise that students interested in research can start by looking at profiles of UC Davis professors, and email the professors who do research topics that you are interested in. Express your interest towards the field, and ask if they have undergraduate researcher openings in their labs.
You can also looking for laboratory jobs and opportunities on Aggie Job Link, the Undergraduate Research Center (URC), and the Internship and Career Center (ICC). Sign up for the listserve of URC and ICC to receive weekly emails about new position openings. Read more about getting involved in research in “What Undergraduate Research Can Do For You“.

Wide photo of poster sessions on the floor of the ARC Pavilion showing many presenters, posters and participants with art exhibits in the backA picture of the Undergraduate Research Conference. (https://urc.ucdavis.edu/conference/)

Linya Hu
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Genetics & Genomics Major

So you want to go Part Time?

You might have heard of part time status somewhere through the grapevine but have some questions to what exactly that means and if you qualify. This blog will answer FAQs about this and hopefully give you a clear idea of if part time status is right for you.

1. What does part time mean?
-Undergraduate students can be enrolled in a maximum of 10 units
-Graduate students can be enrolled in a maximum of 6 units
-Tuition will be cut in half
-Minimum progress requirement are waived for the quarter

2. Who qualifies?
-Employment (30 hours or more worked per week)
-Health Conditions
-Accommodation for disability
-Primary Care responsibilities
-Graduating Senior (Undergraduate level and one-quarter only)

A more detailed description of each is included here:

3. Why would you want to go part time?
Everyone has their own reasons but here are some common ones:
-Save money
-Free up time for other commitments
-Remain an enrolled student while taking a lighter load

4. How much are you exactly paying?
-Part time payment is a flat rate of half tuition(it is not per unit basis)
-Residents will pay half resident tuition while non-residents pay half non-resident tuition

5. What about financial aid?
-If you are receiving Financial Aid, you must be enrolled in a minimum of six units for Financial Aid to disburse. Contact the Financial Aid Office before declaring part time status to consider how it will affect your package.

Here is their contact information:

6. What if you are an international student?
-We recommend you consult with the SISS staff before making a decision because it could affect your visa.

You can contact them at the link below:

7. What do you need to do in order to declare part time status?
-You must submit a part time status petition online
(this is available between pass 1 and the 10th day of instruction)

And that’s it!

Anais Stepanian
BASC Peer Advisor
Fourth Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major

Outdoor Study Spaces

As the weather slowly starts to warm up, it becomes nearly impossible for me to stay cooped up in inside of my room or the confines of a building. I can’t help but see the warm rays nestling on every surface and imagine the slight breeze across my skin. But when midterms are coming up, is there really any choice other than staying indoors to study? Yes, there is! Be productive and still enjoy the outdoors! Here are some places to study while treating yourself to some vitamin D.

Student Community Center: 2nd Floor Patio

Not known to many, this patio overlooks the path by the Robbins Hall. There are outlets available!

Nearby: Computer rooms on the second floor of the SCC; food at the first floor South CoHo Cafe

Peter J Shields Library: Courtyard

Already at the library? Head to the first floor, where you can access the courtyard. There are a variety of benches and tables which overlook the grassy area.

Nearby: Computer rooms on the first floor of the Library; food at the Memorial Union

Memorial Union: 2nd Floor Patio

The CoHo never ceases to be packed, but if you head upstairs, you can find multiple tables complete with umbrellas. Food conveniently located just downstairs!

Nearby: Computer Room on the second floor of the MU; food at the Coffee House

Arboretum: Terrace

Not  actually located within the Arboretum, but closer to downtown, the Terrace surrounds you in picturesque environment with  numerous tables to study at. Be warned that it is currently closed for the season

Nearby: Davis Commons; Dutch Bros

Activities and Recreations Center: Cafe

Get your caffeine fix at Peet’s, then head to the outdoors cafe area to get your studying in. Maybe hit the gym afterwards!

Nearby: ARC; Trader Joe’s

Sciences Lab Building

Just outside the Sciences Lab Building are a couple of tables, as well as a grassy area where you can kick back and lounge with your notes.

Nearby: Bio Brew; various food trucks (usually Shah’s Indian Food)


An oldie but a goodie. Try your luck reading in the hammocks or take a blanket to relax in the grass.

Nearby: Memorial Union; CoHo; Shields Library

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast and bring a jacket, just in case it gets a little chilly. Sunscreen is always a good idea, even if it doesn’t seem sunny! Happy studying!

Christina Duong
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major w/Spanish minor

UC Davis Washington Program: The Younger Sibling of Study Abroad

ucdcOne of the many reasons why I love UC Davis is the numerous opportunities it offers students to get involved on campus and to study elsewhere through programs with UC Davis Study Abroad. In the fall of 2016, I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico as a participant in the Latinx Health Internship Program. It’s safe to say that I am a huge study abroad enthusiast and I encourage everyone to study abroad if they have the opportunity. Over a year has passed since I studied abroad in Mexico. As time goes on, I realize just how much studying abroad has had a positive impact on my life.

For more information about different study abroad programs for students in the College of Biological Sciences, refer to this previous blog.

UC Davis students are strongly encouraged to supplement their undergraduate education with real world, hands-on experiences through internships and other work experiences. Another opportunity that our campus offers is the UC Davis Washington Program, also known as UCDC. I always like to think of UCDC as the “Younger Sibling of Study Abroad.”

UCDCUCDC is an academic program that allows students to gain valuable internship experience and enroll in relevant coursework during a quarter’s residence in our nation’s capital. Students from all UC campuses live in the UC Washington Center, located in the beautiful DuPoint Circle neighborhood, just a 10 minute walk from the White House. The Center houses up to 280 students per quarter. Students live in two bedroom, one bathroom, furnished apartments, with two students sharing a bedroom, and a total of four students sharing an apartment.

UC Davis students looking to participate in the UCDC program are responsible for checking with their campus major advisors to see if courses taken in DC can be applied to their major, minor, graduation, general education, and college breadth requirements.

Academic Year Program (11 weeks)

  1. Internship (8 units): Students work three to four days per week (24-32 hours) -P/NP grading only
  2. Core Seminar (4 units): Each student enrolls in one upper division core seminar course. Courses are taught by visiting UC professors, UCDC instructors and local Washington DC experts. Most seminars meet once a week for three hours. -Letter Grade Option Only

Summer Program (10 weeks)

UCDC offers a 10-week non-credit Summer Program (internship only). This option has no enrollment fee. Students do not earn academic credit, but do receive transcript notation for their internship. There is also a credit option offered which allows students to enroll for up to 8 units of course work. If eligible, students may apply financial aid to the credit option only.

A common misconception is that the UCDC program is mainly for students majoring in Political Science or Communications. The UCDC program is open to students of all majors and there are numerous opportunities for students in the College of Biological Sciences. I have attached a document which lists previous UCDC participants’ majors and their internship organization to give you an idea of some of the internship opportunities that you might be interested in. Previous Internships (Majors and + Internship Organizations). As you can see, there are numerous opportunities for students in the College of Biological Sciences such as research opportunities with the National Institutes of Health, DC Department of Health, Smithsonian and Children’s National Medical Center to name a few!

My Experience:

I interned in Washington DC in the Summer of 2017 with the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) as a Healthcare/ Health Policy Intern. NHMA is a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the health of the Hispanic population through public health prevention, national advocacy, and policy analysis. It was an amazing experience to immerse myself in bustling Washington DC and observe the intersection between public health and governmental affairs. Through my internship, I was able to attend policy briefings on Capitol Hill, which allowed me to learn about some of the innovative research that is currently being done and its effects on public health policy.

IMG_4833 3.JPGThe combination of interning and living in a city like Washington DC is what makes the UCDC experience so unique. For example, one morning, I was heading back to the UC Washington Center after a run. The entire street was blocked off because the President of South Korea was in town and visiting the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is the building right next door to the UC Washington Center. Some people from our program even got pictures with him! Another example, was when my friends and I went to the Capitol at 1AM to attend a rally that coincided with the Senate’s vote on Healthcare. Following the vote, (around 3AM!), a number of the senators came out to the rally and gave speeches. My friends and I got a picture with Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. That was definitely one of the highlights of my summer for sure!

IMG_4352 3.JPGThe prime location of the UC Washington Center makes it easy to access internship sites through the greater Washington DC Area. The center is within walking distance to both the DuPont Circle and Farragut North Metro Stations. Also, with so many major cities in close proximity to DC such as Philadelphia and NYC, the weekend getaway trips that you can take are endless. Don’t get me wrong though! There is plenty of exploring to do in DC and you can do it without spending a lot of money because all of the Smithsonian Museums are free!

Another unique part of the UCDC program is that opportunities that you have to network and meet new people. The UC Washington Center houses students from all UC campuses. I was able to meet people from every single UC campus. I liked to call my apartment the “United Nations of UCs” because my roommates were all from different UCs, (UCSB, UCI and UCSD).

Participating in the UCDC program has most definitely allowed me to grow both personally and also professionally. To prepare you for the program, the UC Davis Washington Program offers various workshops to get assistance with resumes/ cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and internship searching. The skills that I have learned through these workshops have been beneficial as I begin to apply for jobs post-graduation.

For more information about the UC Davis Washington Program, visit their website or their office on campus, The Grove- Room 1350. The staff offer drop-in advising from 9AM-4PM, Monday through Friday.

Grant Tominaga
Peer Advisor
4th Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major, Spanish and Chicanx Studies Minors

My Core Class Experience in the College of Biological Sciences (First and Second Year)

For all majors in the College of Biological Science, there are some common preparatory major core classes that all students in CBS are required to take in the first two years of college. Regardless of your major, you will have to take calculus, chemistry, biology, physics, and statistics. These classes are important because they provide fundamental knowledge in the field of biological sciences. Before you start in-depth major classes, mastery in core classes gives you the essential tool kit.

I am currently a third year Genetics and Genomics major. In this blog post, I will talk about some core classes I took and my experiences in them.

MAT21AB: Calculus

Usually students in College of Biological Sciences take MAT17ABC to fulfill the math requirement. MAT17 is a year-long calculus class designed for biology students, featuring calculus applications in biology topics. MAT21AB, the first two classes of the MAT21 series, is an alternative option. Honestly, I chose to take MAT21A and MAT21B in my first year because I wanted to finish calculus in two quarters instead of three (which might not work for everyone). The two classes focused more on principles and theories, including solving proof questions and calculus equations. I took a light workload along with MAT21A and MAT21B, since I did not have much background in calculus.


The Calculus Room is a great place to get academic help besides the Student Academic Success Center and the Residence Hall tutoring hours.

BIS2ABC: Introduction to Biology

I really enjoyed the BIS2 series because the series includes everything from micro to macro. BIS2A is about cell organelles, photosynthesis, chemical bonds, and properties of bio-molecules. BIS2B is an introduction to ecology, evolution, and biodiversity. BIS2C focuses on phylogenies, the five kingdoms, and life cycles of fungus/plants/animals. Note that BIS2A and BIS2B can be taken in either sequence, but BIS2C has to be taken after BIS2B. In addition, it is recommended for students without a strong chemistry background to start with BIS2B.

Capture(My BIS2C study notes for the final)

CHE2ABC: General Chemistry

CHE2 lectures are always in big lecture halls with hundreds of people. It is one of the most commonly taken classes for first year students, since many majors have chemistry as a requirement. CHE2 series provided me a solid background in chemistry, which helped a lot in my upper division biochemistry classes. I also learned to use the titration apparatus, the pH meter, and other cool equipment in the labs. An alternative option for general chemistry is the CHE3 series (“Integrated General and Organic Chemistry intended for majors in the life sciences”), which incorporates water-based reactions and some organic chemistry. CHE3 is a relative new course, and only certain biology related majors accept it for major requirement. If you plan to switch majors, take CHE2 series for more flexibility!

Image result for titration memesGet ready for General Chemistry with your lab coat, goggles, and carbon notebook:)

CHE118ABC: Organic Chemistry for Health and Life Sciences

Students in the college can choose to take either CHE118 (a three quarter series) or CHE8 (a two quarter series). I took CHE118, since a year of organic chemistry is required for many medical schools. I personally think that organic chemistry (especially CHE118B) is one of the most difficult classes I have taken in UC Davis. The class is all about understanding how electrons transfer between molecules and memorizing different reaction mechanisms. It is like putting together pieces of a puzzle to get a full picture of chemistry – this class will definitely change your view of the subject on a molecular level. After all, organic chemistry is very different from general chemistry, since no calculation skills are required for the class. You might enjoy the class even if you are not a fan of gen chem!

Related image

Image result for aldol condensation

PHY7ABC: General Physics 

In PHY7 series, students spend 5 hours in Discussion Labs (DLs) and 1 hour in lecture every week. Most of the learning will happen in the discussion labs with your small group of classmates and TA. In the DLs, we did short experiments and discussed about the results with our small group. In PHY7A, I was tired with having two 2.5 hour labs every week, but as I moved towards 7B, and then 7C, I felt that the DLs gave me a better understanding on the lecture topics. I learned the best by solving questions, so the DLs matched with my learning style after I got used to it. Topics in PHY7 include: chemical bond energies and thermodynamics (7A), Newton’s Laws and circuits (7B), mirror/optical lenses and electromagnetic forces (7C).

STA100: Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences

STA100 is a very informative class, in which students are taught to analyze biology data with the statistics program R studio. In the first two weeks of class, the professor went over basic statistics including calculating the mean, medium, and standard deviation. Later, we learned more advanced concepts such as p values and the ANOVA table. There were two group projects in the quarter. We had to process a given data set (in my class it was about diabetes population) with methods learned in class and wrote two four-page reports. A few quarters after STA100, I joined a fish ecomorphology research, and our project was heavily based on data analysis. Thus, I really appreciated learning about R Studio in the class.


Linya Hu
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year, Genetics and Genomics Major