Why UC Davis?

First and foremost, I would like to say congratulations on being accepted to UC Davis! I am sure you may have some anxiousness about the road ahead, but remember that you have earned these opportunities for yourself through hard work and dedication. In honor of Decision Day, I will share with you all my story of how I ended up at UC Davis.

In being asked to consider why I chose Davis, I had to really take myself back to my senior year of high school, which was a strange time all around. With college just on the horizon, I dealt with a lot of complex feelings about the path before me. Choosing where in the world you want to go to grow academically and develop yourself as a person is truly not an easy task and I vividly remember how this weighed on me. I remember feeling it was such an impossible decision to make, yet so many people take this step and move away for school. How is it normal to leave all that you have known for the first 18 years of your life, just like that? While it might sound a bit dramatic, these were my authentic feelings at the time.

Another aspect that made it such a difficult predicament is how I felt so many options were available to me. I worked especially hard in high school in order to receive better grades and thus better scholarship offers, as I did not want to limit myself due to finances. Additionally, as an L.A. native, I applied to mostly schools within California and a handful of out-of-state universities. In the end, I felt deeply split between two UCs: Santa Barbara and Davis.

The Varsity Theater at night in Downtown Davis

I know, this story might seem rather anticlimactic in hindsight, as we know where I ended up in the end, but at the time I was unbelievably torn. I had visited Davis in years prior when seeing a family friend who was an alumnus and employee of the university. I remember how quickly the town and the campus grew on me. The deep greens that Southern California largely lacks and the overall feel of the town resonated with me deeply. We went on a campus tour, saw a movie at the Varsity Theater downtown, and walked next door for some gelato and people watching. It’s a small yet crystal clear memory that was very impactful to me. However, I still had my doubts and the distance was also quite daunting, as Davis was 400 miles from my family, friends, and home.

Now on the other hand, there was UC Santa Barbara. UCSB seemed like a pretty perfect location — far enough from home where I could establish myself and have enough distance to do so, but close enough where I could take weekend trips home when needed. Also, I had received a great scholarship offer from them which, to a lot of people in my life, seemed like a telltale sign that I would commit to UCSB. This new feeling of expectation only worked to further complicate my feelings.

I remembered talking to my sister, who seemed like one of the only people who could see that Davis held a special place in my heart. I told her how one of the hardest parts of this decision was that I felt I could really build a place for myself at either school. I knew that I was quite adaptable, and I could envision these two different lives for myself. These talks with my sister gave way to a new perspective that explained why I felt so torn — this decision bottled down to whether I would be true to myself or go along with what was expected of me. This crossroad marked a pivotal moment that would affect me more than anyone in the long run, so why was I so concerned with other people’s feelings? I knew then that, if I were to choose UCSB, I would likely feel some sort of guilt for not listening to my gut.

While moving north and settling in took some time, Davis quickly began to seem like home. I remember feeling myself becoming part of Davis and starting to establish 

The Davis Arboretum in fall

friendships with people from all over the world. Every time I had a gap between classes during my first fall quarter, I would bike through downtown Davis and allow myself to get lost so that I could learn the layout, see what’s there, and eventually know Davis like the back of my hand. Even in difficult times, as I stressed about choosing a major for instance, I felt grounded and supported by the campus community.

For me, choosing to go to Davis came down to a matter of principle and heart, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. As my own college experience comes to a close, I would like to offer a word of advice to all incoming students, from one human to another. As you take this leap into higher education, I hope that you remember to take chances, ask for help when needed, and always lead with your heart.

PETRA SILVERMAN
BASC PEER ADVISOR
4TH YEAR – EVOLUTION, ECOLOGY, AND BIODIVERSITY + SPANISH MAJOR

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Pre-health Standardized Exams

When I say summer, you think… test prep!! Did I get that right? Wait, you were thinking of beaches and ice cream? Well, for some people, summer might be a nice break, but for many College of Biological Sciences students, summer is the perfect opportunity to gain experience in their intended field, take summer classes, or… prepare for dreaded exams. If you are trying to enter a health-related field after undergraduate education, the odds of needing to take a grueling multiple hour exam are high.  These exams will test your stamina, scientific knowledge, and critical thinking skills. But don’t worry, you’ve already started studying! Yup, by taking your major required courses, you’ve already begun the preparing yourself. So, props to you for taking the first step! The next thing to do is understand what exam you’ll be taking and how you can continue preparing for it. Depending on which field you wish to enter, there is a corresponding exam.

If you are interested in: Allopathic medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, or Podiatric medicine, you will take the Medical School Admissions test (MCAT) administered by the AAMC.

  1. The exam is 7.5 hours long (including breaks) and broken into 4 sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skill
  2. Some classes to take before the exam include: BIS 2ABC Introduction to Biology, CHE 2ABC General Chemistry, CHE 118ABC Organic Chemistry, PHY 7ABC General Physics, BIS 102 & 103 or 105 Biochemistry, NPB 101 Human Physiology, and PSC 1 General Psychology.
  3. If you find yourself with extra time, consider taking: BIS 104 Cell Biology, MIC 102 Microbiology, BIS 101 Genes & Gene Expression, EXB 106 Human Gross Anatomy, and PSC 41 Research Methods in Psychology.
  4. Other logistical information:
    1. Cost is: $315 (fee waivers available)
    2. Can be retaken: 3 times in a single testing year, 4 times in a two year period, and 7 times in a lifetime.

If you are interested in: Dentistry, you will take the Dental Admissions test (DAT) administered by the ADA.

  1. The exam is 5 hours long (including breaks) and broken into 4 sections: Survey of Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning.
  2. Some classes to take before the exam include: BIS 2ABC Introduction to Biology, CHE 2ABC General Chemistry, CHE 118ABC Organic Chemistry, STA 100 Statistics, and NPB 101 Human Physiology.
  3. If you find yourself with extra time, consider taking: BIS 101 Genes & Gene Expression BIS 102 & 103 or 105 Biochemistry, BIS 104 Cell Biology, MIC 102 Microbiology, EXB 106 Human Gross Anatomy, and EVE 100 Introduction to Evolution.
  4. Other logistical information:
    1. Cost is: $475 (fee waivers available)
    2. Can be retaken: 3 times but must be 90 days apart; to take more than 3 times, candidates must submit a request.

If you are interested in: Pharmacy, you will take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) administered by Pearson Education.

  1. The exam is 4 hours long (including breaks) and broken into  sections: Writing, Biological Processes, Chemical Processes, Critical Reading, and quantitative reasoning.
  2. Some classes to take before the exam include: BIS 2ABC Introduction to Biology, CHE 2ABC General Chemistry, CHE 118ABC Organic Chemistry, PHY 7ABC General Physics, STA 100 Statistics, NPB 101 Systemic Physiology, BIS 102 & 103 or 105 Biochemistry, Calculus, and Statistics.
  3. If you find yourself with extra time, consider taking: MIC 102 Microbiology or EXB 106 Human Gross Anatomy.
  4. Other logistical information:
    1. Cost is: $210 (fee waivers available)
    2. Can be retaken: 5 times; to take more than 5 times, candidates must submit a request.

If you are interested in: Optometry, you will take the Optometry Admissions test (OAT) administered by the ASCO.

  1. The exam is about 5 hours long (including breaks) and broken into 4 sections: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning.
  2. Some classes to take before the exam include: BIS 2ABC Introduction to Biology, CHE 2ABC General Chemistry, CHE 118ABC Organic Chemistry, PHY 7ABC General Physics, and NPB 101 Human Systemic Physiology.
  3. If you find yourself with extra time, consider taking: EXB 106 Human Gross Anatomy, BIS 101 Genes & Gene Expression, or BIS 102 & 103 or 105 Biochemistry.
  4. Other logistical information:
    1. Cost is: $465 (fee waivers available)
    2. Can be retaken: 3 times but must be 90 days apart; to take more than 3 times, candidates must submit a request.

 

If you are interested in: Veterinary Medicine, Physician’s Assistant, Dietetic Internships, Nursing (MSN), Physical Therapy, Genetic Counseling, or Occupational Therapy, you will take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) administered by the ETS.

  1. The exam is 3.75 hours long (including breaks) and broken into 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
  2. Unlike other pre-health standardized exams, the GRE is not content based. Test prep books may be most useful solidifying core concepts. However, other Arts and Humanities or Social Science courses which emphasize critical thinking and reasoning may help.
  3. Other logistical information:
    1. Cost is: $205 (fee waivers available)
    2. Can be retaken: 5 times but must be 21 days apart within any continuous 12-month period.

For more information about any of these exams, how to create a study plan, or what resources are available to you, please contact Health Professions Advising (HPA).

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

Founding Your Path: An Interview with Dr. Graham Coop

Welcome back, Aggies! Winter quarter is now in full swing, bringing tons of rain along with it. As we tend to spend a bit more time indoors in winter, it is often a great time for planning ahead and reflecting on the opportunities and paths before us. In our reflecting, it is likely that many of us will experience some frustration and uncertainty in  choosing career and life paths; whether it be about our academics, research, internships, or other long-term plans. While the internet might help in building a pros and cons list (the logical side of decision making), ultimately we have to choose our paths from our heart (what FEELS right). In order to shed some light on the prospect of choosing our own paths, I decided to interview Dr. Graham Coop, a Professor from the Center for Population Biology here at Davis. I chose to interview Dr. Coop in an attempt to capture the journey that led him to a career that he is clearly passionate about (If you have the opportunity to take one of his evolution/genetics classes, you’ll see what I mean).


coopgraham14291
Dr. Graham Coop
https://biology.ucdavis.edu/people/graham-coop

I asked Dr. Coop to start with his high school years, inquiring about what interests he had back then. To my surprise, Dr. Coop replied, “I didn’t particularly like what we’d call ‘secondary school’ in the UK. I wasn’t particularly good at it… and I wasn’t even totally sure I was going to go to university. I didn’t get particularly good grades and I barely made it into my safety school.” In the end however, he attended the University of Reading and decided to study physics.

 

In reflecting upon his undergraduate years and transition to college, Dr. Coop continued, “I think it was nice for me to be somewhere different … there are points in your life where you get to change the sort of groups of people you’re hanging out with, and you sort of move to a group of people who don’t know you and don’t have expectations of you … that was really important for me.” While the overall undergraduate experience seemed positive, Dr. Coop distinctly remembered struggling during his first year of his undergraduate experience.  At this point, he and I shared experiences regarding the difficulties that come along with the first year adjustment period. Around the end of his first year, he met with a faculty mentor, where he resolved to try working harder in his academics. In describing this first major turning point, Dr. Coop exclaimed,  “I don’t know what happened, but something clicked and I started to do better.” By graduation, he had one of the highest marks in his class.

During his undergraduate years, he had initially wanted to become a Physicist, though in hindsight, Coop admits to not fully realizing what all a career as a Physicist would entail. While doing some soul searching, he had a conversation about career paths with one of his physics professors. Coop expressed having interest in mathematics and computers, but he was not certain in which career path he could apply these skills to. It was in talking to his professor that Coop slightly changed course as he began considering the realm of biology. As a result of his aptitudes, the professor recommended that he look into mathematical biology, as there are so many complex problems within biology that require mathematical analysis in order to solve them.

That discussion with his physics professor had one of the most profound impacts on his career.  As Dr. Coop recalled, “That was just really wonderful advice and something which really changed the direction I was going in when I’d never really thought about it before.”  Having already been intrigued by biological concepts, such as evolution, Coop became excited to continue developing new skills and apply the knowledge he gained in his undergraduate studies. He went on to receive his PhD in Statistical Genetics at the University of Oxford; then he continued as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago in Human Genetics. From there, he was accepted as a professor here at UC Davis.

In reflecting upon his story, it was clear to see how some of the most important moments of growth occurred with the help of university faculty and professors. Coop expressed how important it was for him to talk with people who helped him see where he could apply his skills and interests. When I asked Dr. Coop what advice he had for students after reflecting back on his own experiences, he wanted to encourage students to “think broadly” about what they want to do, be open to different paths that come their way, and to take advantage of diverse or unexpected opportunities. People often get caught up with having a linear academic plan leading to a precise career, not wanting to stray from their intended path or explore other routes. Coop explained that there are numerous ways for people to create fulfilling journeys and exciting career opportunities to apply their diverse skills. Undoubtedly, having  an open mind was an integral component in each step of the way along his life journey.

When I asked for any final words of wisdom he had for Davis undergraduates, he paused for a moment and stated the following:

“Try to be brave about trying new things when you’re at university … It’s a good time to learn to push yourself and figure out where your limits are. You have the room to actually explore what you want to do … It’s a really valuable time to do that. You’ll probably find that your comfort zone is a lot broader than you think it is when you actually start stepping outside of it.”

One of the fundamental messages I took from my interview with Dr. Coop was about how nonlinear and nonconventional our paths truly are. I hope that this interview offers you a unique perspective, helps you to embrace some of the change and uncertainty of your college years, and inspires you to take chances as you establish your own path.

Petra Silverman
BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year – Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity + Spanish major

 

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.

mat

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.

sta100

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

New Biological Sciences Major Vs. Old- Which should I do?

As of Fall 2015, the College of Biological Sciences released a new Biological Sciences (BIS) major that has caused some confusion among students. I want to clarify the differences between these two majors, specifically the B.S. degrees, and provide some suggestions to students who are deciding which requirements to follow. The main confusion among students is the fact that some students have to do the new BIS major requirements, while others have the choice of choosing between the two. Remember, you have catalog rights, which means if you started attending UC Davis any time Fall 2015 or later, you need to follow the new BIS major requirements. On the other hand, if you started attending UC Davis before fall 2015, your catalog rights allow you to decide between the two different majors, which can be a bit overwhelming. Below, I will discuss those differences and hopefully help you decide which major requirements to follow. Also, once you decide on which requirements to complete, I suggest sticking to those requirements as you cannot combine the two majors and make your own!

Pre-Fall 2015- “OLD” BIS Major

First, let’s go over the original BIS major. For students who started Fall 2015 or later, ignore this segment and jump to the new BIS major requirements! Like any major in the College of Biolobis-oldgical Sciences, students must complete the 5 major prerequisites series with the addition of STA 100: BIS 2ABC, CHE 2ABC, MAT 17ABC, CHE 118 ABC/CHE 8AB, and PHY 7ABC. This major accepts either BIS 101, 105, & 104 or BIS 101, 102, 103, & 104. The biggest difference between the two majors is the final portion of the requirements. BIS pre-Fall 2015 includes field requirements and an emphasis. To complete the field requirements, students take a class in each of the following areas: Evolution, Ecology, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, and Plant Biology. Students then choose an area of emphasis, which could include Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity, Plant Biology, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, or Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. Each emphasis has its own unique set of requirements, but typically requires students to complete 13-17 units. The final requirement for this major is that the depth subject matter, which includes STA 100, needs to total to 49 units. This was a quick and easy summary of the degree check list, but feel free to stop by the Biology Academic Success Center or visit basc.ucdavis.edu if you have further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is the emphasis shown on my transcript or diploma?
    • Unfortunately, no. The emphasis is not shown on either a student’s transcript or diploma.
  • Do I need to complete the Field Requirement that matches the area of my emphasis? For example, if I emphasize in NPB, do I still need to do the NPB Field Requirement?
    • This is a common assumption; YES, a student must complete all field requirements and their emphasis.

Fall 2015-“NEW” BIS Major

new-bisHere is a link to the Major degree check list, so you can follow along or look at the picture provided!

As mentioned before, the biggest difference between the degree patterns is the depth subject matter because this major still includes all of the prerequisites as the old BIS major, as well as STA 100, BIS 101, 102 & 103 (or 105), and BIS 104. The new BIS major removes the field requirements and the emphases, but the same idea remains. Instead of listing multiple classes in each area, the new major removes some of the classes in each topic giving a more concrete list of classes to take. The new major also removes the areas of emphasis and terms the new requirement as “restricted electives.” A student must complete 11 units from the approved list found on the BASC website or in the University’s General Catalog. Among these requirements, a student must complete a minimum of 6 hours of lab. Lab work can be completed by taking a class with a six hours lab per week (ex: EXB 106/106L) or taking 2 classes with 3 hours of lab per week (ex: NPB 101L & MIC 103L). Also, this major allows a student to have up to 3 units of approved research electives to be used toward restricted electives. This new major reduces the redundancy and clutter by narrowing the choices for field requirements, but also increases the options for electives allowing students to create their own unique schedule.

For students who are deciding which major requirements to follow, here are some additional considerations:

  1. How far along are you on the old major vs. the new requirements? Would it be a smooth transition?
  2. Can the classes you have already completed for the old major be used to satisfy requirements for the new major?
  3. Are there classes you really want to take that won’t satisfy major requirements for one major but do for the other?

Overall, both majors were made with the idea of providing students with a broad biology education, while at the same time allowing students to choose classes based on their interests. Most of the information shared today can be found on the BASC website! Please stop by the Biology Academic Success Center for further questions!

Best,
Brenda Garibay
5th year, Biological Sciences Major, minor in Communication
BASC Peer Advisor

Making a Four-Year Plan

Pass 1 for Winter 2016 is coming up. Some of you may already have a beautiful schedule lined up and some of you may still be frantically searching for classes to take, feeling lost and anxious. Whichever individual you are at the moment, you should seriously consider making a rough four-year plan or revising one you already have. Creating a four-year plan can seem daunting, time consuming, and unnecessary; however, in the long run your academic life will be much easier with a pre-planned schedule. Think about all those pass times that you won’t have to stress over! For many of you, creating a four-year plan may mean making life defining decisions such as: Should I go to Medical School? Will I be taking a gap year before work? Do I want to change my major? Am I finally going to minor in Spanish like I said I would?  Our recommendation is: make a plan now and don’t be afraid to change it along the way! Here are some simple steps to get started.

 

  • FRUSTRATEDKIDTalk to An Adviser (Or Multiple) 

Not sure where to begin when planning your future? When in doubt, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your major adviser or come by during drop-in hours  to see a peer adviser. Trained professionals are available to give you the know how’s and the what’s ups to making an academic plan.

What about Double Majoring?

Finishing a double major at UC Davis requires tactful and strategic arranging of classes and definitely, lots of planning. When making a plan be sure to visit the advisers of both majors you intend to finish.

Thinking About Minoring?

Finishing one minor or even multiple minors is a great way to broaden your academic experience. Most minors require roughly 20 units; it’s also important to check for prerequisites and other minute details. For more information, talk to an adviser for the college or department you plan on minoring in.

Planning on Going to Professional School?NorthHall-Large

For many of you, applying to college won’t be the last time you needed to write a personal statement; find teachers for letters of recommendations; take a standardized exam; and ensure you fulfill all the prerequisites for your future dream school. This is where a four-year plan can really help you reach your professional dreams and make sure you fulfill all prerequisites, GE’s, and university/major requirements before you graduate. Applying to professional school is indeed difficult, but thankfully there are trained advisers available to guide you through the application process. Visit UC Davis’ Pre-Graduate/Professional Advising in 111 South Hall or go to 1011 SLB to talk to a Pre-Health Professions Adviser \

  • Make a List of Prospective Classes  

So, you’ve already seen your major adviser and you’re on track to graduate–Great! The next thing to do is incorporate interesting and/or relevant classes into your four-year plan. Exploring the General Catalog is a great place to begin, as it contains all the major/minor requirements, a list of all the GE’s offered on campus. Tip: The letters and numerals you see here:  QL, SE, SL, VL.—I, II, III. (I, II, III.) These tell you what GE’s the class fulfills and also the quarter that class is offered. (I. means fall, II. means winter, and III. means spring)                                                               You can also narrow down your search using Schedule Builder’s Advanced Options. Extra Tip: Jot these classes down into a planner or into your computer so you can access them later.

 

  • Sit Down and Actually Make a Plan planning baby

So, you’ve more or less decided on a career and have compiled a list of interesting classes–you’re ready to start planning! Be sure to allocate a time block of a few hours to sit down infront of a computer and churn out a four-year plan. Many students like to use Excel but we also recommend using Oasis‘s Academic Plan form.    Such a form can be found under the Forms and Petitions Tab on Oasis. When plugging and chugging the classes you want to take, be sure to consider a few things…

Fulfill Prerequisites:

Most upper-division major requirements have prerequisite classes, and it is important to make sure you’ve filled in all your prerequisite courses before putting in your major classes. Not having the right prerequisites could result in being dropped from the class or being unprepared for the course, so be sure to take a look in the General Catalog or on Schedule Builder for specific details.

Consider SS1 or SS2: 

UC Davis offers a large majority of major classes during the summer, and students tend to perform better in classes taken during the summer time. Instead of spreading yourself thin with multiple classes, you can focus all your efforts on one class! If you want to get ahead of your schedule or take a load off of your normal academic quarter, definitely plan on taking a class or two in the summer. It’s important to plan ahead so that you can talk to the Financial Aid Office regarding your financial needs or make vacation plans with friends and family.

Make Time for Studying Abroad: abroad

Did you know students can take BIS 101 in Europe every summer? This is just one example of the many classes and places students can explore with the Study Abroad Program. Studying abroad is usually the experience of a lifetime, but there may be a lot of hoops to jump through before actually going abroad. That is why it is important to have a plan, so you have time to prepare documents and figure out living expenses.

Whether or not you’ve decided on a future career, it never hurts to make a four-year plan and then change it as life goes forward. Life happens and your plans may be uncertain; however, a four-year plan may elucidate certain fuzzy details about the future, and set you on the right track to success!

Happy Planning!

Melissa Li                                                                                                                         Class of 2016  Biological Sciences, Emphasis in Neurology, Physiology, and Behavior                                                Biology Academic Success–Peer Adviser

Nuts and Bolts: Winter Quarter

davis_signHello again everyone, I hope you’ve all enjoyed these unusually warm and sunny October days! Don’t let the summer weather fool you however, we are well underway here at UC Davis and believe it or not it is already time to look ahead to winter quarter. As you begin to plan out your winter quarter schedule, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Let’s break them down:


1.Pass-times:

As most of you know, pass times are the dates assigned to you indicating when you can register for your classes. Things can get a little tricky beyond this especially when you start to consider the different pass time intervals and the different number of registration units that each allows. The easiest way to keep this information in line is to make a list.

Winter Quarter Pass 1 Registration: Nov 2-Nov 13
17 units allowed
Pass 1 Open registration:
Weekdays 6:00 a.m.–midnight (PT)
Weekends 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (PT)

Winter Quarter Pass 2 Registration: Nov 23- Dec 5
19 units allowed
Pass 2 Open registration:
Weekdays 6:00 a.m.–midnight (PT)
Weekends 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (PT)

*open registration means that you can adjust your schedule during those times after your passtime

You can view your assigned pass times on Schedule Builder, right below the yellow search buttons. A key thing to note about Pass 1 is that you may not wait list a class during this time. You must wait until Pass 2 to wait list courses. AP units will no longer contribute to an earlier pass time in an effort to be fair to students who did not have access to AP courses in high school. This is effective October 26, when pass times are released. If you feel confused about anything I have written so far, you may visit the Office of the Registrar’s website to access all of the information listed above.

2. Units:

Unit count is an important thing to consider when registering for classes because it can affect your status as a student as well as your academic standing.

12 units= full time status (you qualify for financial aid and may live in the residence halls)
13 units= minimum progress (must average 13 units a quarter and have 39 units by the end of the year to be in good academic standing)

Remember that wait listed units do not count towards your full time status. Therefore, you must ensure that you are registered for 12 units by the start of the quarter to receive financial aid (if you qualify for it). You can do this by registering for a backup class that you can drop if you get into the wait listed class or keep if you do not get into it.

If you are a first year student and living in the residence halls I encourage you to attend the Residence Hall Advising Team (RHAT) program “Planning Your Winter Quarter Schedule” to learn more about both pass times and unit requirements. Please contact your RA if you wish to find out when RHAT will present on your floor.

3. Studying, Fun, and Wellness

While it is crucial to fully understand the information I mentioned above, it is also important to be self-aware when planning your winter quarter schedule…or any quarter schedule for that matter. What I mean is, take a moment to reflect on how you are doing so far. If you feel like 0014_arboretum_walkwayyou are totally in control here at UC Davis and your grades are where you want them to be, then feel free to continue at your pace. However, if you feel like you need more room to breathe and you want to work on improving your grades, it is perfectly okay to lighten your load. We have student peer advisers and staff advisers here at the Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) that can help you plan a schedule to best fit your needs and still meet university, college, and major requirements. I also recommend that you visit the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) if you would like to learn more about tutoring options BEFORE you even begin your next quarter; this way you can fit tutoring into your schedule!

Once you feel like you are on the right track with academics, start to think about how you physically feel so far. Are you exercising the right amount and eating a well balanced diet? Are you generally healthy or do you notice an increase in sick days? Make all the necessary adjustments in your daily routines to make sure that you are the best version of yourself as often as can be. Our previous blogs cover topics such as campus recreation, wellness, and campus activities, which you can browse through to learn more about things you can do to improve your lifestyle!

I hope you found this to be a helpful read and that you feel more prepared to make the right decisions for yourself come winter quarter. Drop by the BASC with any questions or leave a comment below. One last note: enjoy the rest of fall quarter! Don’t let all the talk about next quarter distract you from the present.

Take care,
Daiana Bucio
4th year Genetics & Genomics
BASC peer adviser