Minoring/Double Majoring with CBS: Tips, Tricks, and Reasons to Do It

For this post, I thought I would cover a somewhat daunting topic that I am well-acquainted with – the minor/double major option. I hope to illuminate some of the many reasons people have for minoring, different perspectives on why it can be beneficial, and other tips on how to best plan for these when pursuing a major in the College of Biological Sciences.

Just for some personal context, I am currently pursuing a double major in Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity (EEB) and Spanish. While I initially only committed myself to a minor in Spanish, I was able to make a double major work with some finessing and willingness to take a few Summer courses. I was also able to skip a good amount of prerequisite coursework due to taking AP Spanish in High School — which was a fortunate happenstance that has helped make double majoring possible for me. While some majors with smaller unit requirements may be feasible to do alongside a CBS major, it does take a lot of planning and is made most possible with planning earlier in your undergraduate career and by closely coordinating with academic advisers. On the other hand, pursuing a minor does take some planning, but is much more feasible for most STEM majors as well as transfer students who may have too few quarters for making a double major happen. With this in mind, I will mostly be addressing the prospect of minoring, but please take note that with the right mindset, some early planning, and some gumption, double majoring may also be possible! These are just a few things to consider as we move forward.

So, let’s get started on the different motives and benefits of minoring…

 

1 – Making the Most of Your GEs — A well-known truth about CBS is that our college is somewhat deficient in Arts and Humanities (AH) and Social Science (SS) courses. Thus, the 32 units of AH and SS courses needed for the General Education requirement are generally not associated with your major course material. That is approximately 8 courses outside of your major that you can dedicate to a minor! A minor is generally a few courses of lower division prerequisite material and around 20-24 units (5-6 courses)

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One of my favorite non-Spanish GE courses at Davis was an introduction to Film Studies. We studied the advent of moving pictures in the late 1800s up to the early years of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

of upper division ‘depth’ coursework — making it wholly feasible to utilize for completing your GEs, which are already a necessary degree requirement. What better way to make the most of your GEs than to do a minor and earn yourself an additional credential? This is something I planned out with my Spanish adviser, as there are some specific or niche GE requirements that only specific Spanish courses would cover. Make sure to check in with your advisers to find out when certain courses are offered in order to best plan for this!

 

2 – Balancing Your Course Load — One of the biggest issues people run into while pursuing STEM degrees is the sheer amount of heavy science coursework they have to take at once. Being able to use minor courses as ‘buffers’ is a really helpful tool in preventing mental strain and maintaining your overall wellness. While partaking in

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“Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself.” – Jessye Norman

extracurriculars and making time for your hobbies is great in theory, it is often easy to put off these sorts of things due to academic and personal stress. In my own circumstance, I found that committing myself to Spanish helped to ensure this balance throughout my academic career. In the best possible way, it forced me to prioritize something aside from science that I greatly enjoy, which has substantially enhanced my college experience as a whole.

 

3 – Standing Out/Becoming More Multifaceted — When considering increasingly competitive work positions or graduate/health-related programs, it feels impossible to capture yourself on paper in a way that truly reflects your identity and individuality. Completing a unique minor is just one way to differentiate yourself. This is something that can help you both directly and indirectly. For instance, it can be both help with how you appear to someone reviewing physical applications and it can also be helpful as a

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Another way to stand out in the professional world…

point of interest to connect with an interviewer or colleague. Aside from appearances, minors are especially helpful in broadening your horizons, expanding your comfort zone, or building upon your skill set to make you a more well-rounded candidate for any position. Whether you minor in something more practical, like Communications, or something of a more personal interest, like Art History, both can help build your professional versatility and extend the scope of your academic experience.

4 – An Increasing Professional Gray Area — Modern-day careers are no longer nearly as rigid and linear as they used to be. Not only are there more and more spliced careers being established within the gray area between different fields, but there are also increasing numbers of STEM majors pursuing careers outside of STEM, such as law, etc. Some minor programs might help prepare you for navigating the gray area between

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“I translate science to the bureaucrats and politicians and translate the bureaucracy to the scientists.” – Nancy Kingsbury

different career paths as you work to found yourself professionally. However, you do not necessarily need a minor for this and there are also many meaningful extracurricular opportunities that might be equally helpful in working toward this goal.

 

5 – Studying Abroad — Arguably one of the most straightforward reasons for pursuing a minor is the possibility of studying abroad. While this is not a required part of most

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One of the Study Abroad 2018 Photo Contest candidates — Welcoming the New Year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (by Ricardo Martinez)

minors, this can often be more easily incorporated into culturally or linguistically focused minors when compared to STEM majors. While there are some specific programs that help students complete STEM courses abroad or partake in health or research opportunities while abroad, these are not looked at as being nearly as ‘necessary,’ and so they are generally less promoted. For more information on these opportunities, I recommend dropping into the Study Abroad Center.

 

6 – (Last, but not least…) Uncertainty and Curiosity — It is completely normal and quite common for students to not have a concrete idea of what career they would like to pursue after they graduate. I think that, as students here, most of us have probably seen a friend or two have a change of heart about their studies or the future career they want for themselves. With this in mind, it is important to recognize that a person’s major does

two roads diverged
Exploring the paths before you…

not limit their career prospects upon graduation, as people often end up in careers largely unrelated to what they studied for their undergraduate. Will trade schools are geared toward training you for a specific line of work, an academic career at a university is meant to foster the exploration of ideas rather than limiting you to a narrow path. For those of us undertaking unit-dense majors in Biological Sciences, the space for exploration is a bit more limited, but if you make the most of your GEs and plan accordingly, minoring is not out of reach.

 

My advice on how to make a minor work for you will be highly unoriginal: make alternate plans, seek out advising, and be flexible. I personally love to make alternate academic plans to be able to see what my options are so that I can ensure that my future quarters will be well-balanced. In planning ahead, I have also been able to make space for research and extracurricular opportunities. I have been able to identify potential problems early on and avoid a lot of complications by reviewing my plans with both my EEB and Spanish advisers. Some issues I had were unavoidable and that’s where it was so important for me to be flexible and willing to take a summer session to keep things on track.

I hope that this post gives you some food for thought as you continue your academic journey and helps you to explore the options before you.

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

What I Would Have Done Differently: A Third Year’s Exploration of the Top 3 Things I Wish I Knew

When you start out at UC Davis, the experience is new, no matter who you are. Whether you are a first year fresh from high school near or far, a transfer student, or a returning student that took some time off, getting acclimated is a hardship that everybody struggles with. Now, for some, the period of hesitation before fully diving into what college has to offer can be a little on the longer side. That’s OK!! Getting your footing is not something to push too quickly. Take your time, and follow these quick tips for the best transition into the life of an Aggie.

When I came to UC Davis as a freshman, I did not have any real role models for help when it came to applications, choosing classes, choosing a major, choosing roommates, etc. It was all new to me. My mother went to university in Spain where she is from, and my father received his degree so long ago that everything has changed too rapidly to get a grip on it. As the first of my siblings to give college a go, I was spearheading my own entrance in the college life. As a third year and a new Peer Advisor in the College of Biological Sciences, I am still constantly learning new things about what it means to be here, so I felt it best to use this platform to tell you a few things I wish I had known/done from the beginning.’

First: It is NEVER too early to make an academic plan.

Now, you may be thinking, what is an academic plan and how/where do I make one? And let me tell you, you are not alone. So much information is relayed during orientation, that it is almost impossible to catch it all. So, here is what you do.

Open your Oasis file at oasis.ucdavis.edu and sign in with your Kerberos ID and passphrase.

In another tab open up your specific College’s Majors page and find your major’s requirement list. (hint: another way to do this is by using the catalog.ucdavis.edu resource which allows you to select “Degrees and Programs” on the lower left of the home screen. Scroll to your Major by alphabet and boom! There you have it.
Use this as your guide for choosing classes, and always make an appointment with a Major Advisor or come see a Peer Advisor in your College office if you have questions

On Oasis, hit the “Forms and Petitions” tab in the top bar of your Oasis File

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Once here, hit the blue “Submit a New Form” button on the right and scroll to the “Academic Plan” option from the list of options.

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Now, you will have a blank canvas for you to input all of your major required courses, minor courses, GE’s etc, so that you can efficiently plan out your time. No more going into Pass Times blind! Just type in a course code and off you go!
*Don’t forget to save it when you are done so you can go back later!

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Ok now for the Second Tip: It is never too early to consider doing a Minor.

Something that I wish I had known early on, was that minors usually require around 20-25 upper division units for completion. This is super do-able! If you find something outside of your major, say a language or music, or another interest that you discover while at Davis, consider a minor! Take a look back at the catalog or at UC Davis’s Master List of Minors for more information (link: https://www.ucdavis.edu/minors )

If you find something you like, plan out the required classes in your Oasis plan! Often times, minors can fulfill some or most of your required GE credit as well so talk to a major advisor and consider your options!
Finally, we reach Top Tip #3: Go to the Involvement Fairs, Dorm Floor Dinners, and get involved with your Peers!

Often times, acclimating to a new environment is best accomplished through finding people with common interests. Find out what is available. Our campus has hundreds of student-run and community-sponsored organizations to be a part of.

Whether it is associated with your major, cultural identification, hobbies, minor, or something you have never thought about being involved in before, being a part of a club or other social system is always a good route to take.

Get to know your neighbors! When moving into the dorms or a new apartment, when starting a new quarter/class, or when signing up for a new club, meet the people around you. Making connections to other students and faculty is a major force in making UC Davis home.

To wrap this up, if you have kept with me to this point, I want to say that you can do it! Starting at a new university is difficult for so many people and for a variety of different reasons. Share your experiences with friends, family, other students, your neighbors, advisors, you name it!

Here at UC Davis, we are always looking to offer you as much as we can in order to make this the best campus possible for everyone. Let us help light the way for your most successful college experience!

Sandra McAteer
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major

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).


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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

 

Exploring UC Davis’ Fitness Resources

As busy college students, it is easy to forget to self-care and maintain our physical health. However, as finals approach, it’s particularly important to take time to de-stress and relax. I have personally found that an excellent way to do this is by sticking with a general rule- exercise in any form, 4 times a week and in 30 minute increments.

Here are several great exercise resources to consider as a UC Davis student:

The UC Davis ARC

The indoor track, weight room and huge collection of exercise machines can give you the perfect workout at no extra cost during the school year. However, during the summer, you must be a registered in summer courses or else there is an extra fee. Jogging, strength training, heavy lifting, circuit training- these are all fantastic ways to stay in shape!

If you are new to the gym, the ARC provides personal trainers who can help you set long-term goals and learn how to safely use the huge collection of weights and machines in the building. Other facilities, such as the swimming pools and rock climbing walls, are also available.

Group exercise classes are also a great way to learn a new workout routine under supervised instruction. Available classes range from cycling to Zumba.

If you already enjoy playing a sport, Intramurals (IMs) are a fun way to meet people and team up for playing with friendly competition. Sports offered include basketball, flag football, volleyball, kickball, pickleball, soccer, softball, tennis, ultimate frisbee and even Quidditch. If you do not have a ready formed team,  you are still welcome to register for IMs as a free agent. More information on personal training, group exercises classes and intramurals can be found at the CRU website.

https://cru.ucdavis.edu/content/1-activities-and-recreation-center-arc.htm

PE Classes

The UC Davis Department of Physical Education provides a huge range of PE classes every quarter that are open to all undergraduate students. Classes are usually offered for 0.5 units, and meet for 2 hours every week. UCD students are allowed to take up to 6 units of PE classes for credit in their academic career (more classes may be taken beyond 6 units, but students will not receive credit for these classes). A huge variety of sports at every level is available, and the instruction is excellent because many classes are taught by seasoned trainers or university athletic coaches.  Courses include kickboxing, rock-climbing, volleyball and weight-training, just to name a few.

http://pe.ucdavis.edu/classes

CRU Outdoor Adventures

Particularly popular for summer adventures with friends, the CRU Outdoor Adventures center offers exciting ways to be active through white river rafting, hiking and camping trips in beautiful natural areas around California. More information can be found here:

https://cru.ucdavis.edu/outdooradventures

Although taking time away from work or study may seem counterintuitive, this strategy actually optimizes performance because exercise hugely boosts energy levels and concentration. Exercising regularly not only benefits your general well-being, but also greatly increases your studying productivity.

Take time out of your schedule to have fun and energize!

Janis Kim
4th Year Biological Sciences Major
BASC 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying On Top Of Things-A Guide To First Year Living Off Campus

With the current academic year coming to a close and move-in day to your new apartment getting closer, it is time to prepare for the big move. Moving to an off-campus apartment is such an exciting time; you are living on your own! But…you are living on your own, which means new responsibilities.

Moving away from home into the dorms is a big step, however, highly convenient.  Living in the dorms you are on campus, you are living right next to the wonderful Dining Commons, and you do not have to do any chores! All of this changes once you move to an off-campus apartment: You are no longer on campus, the Dining Commons is not within convenient reach, and yes, you guessed it, you will have chores to take care of. Although moving into your own apartment comes with extra responsibilities, it is easy to make the best out of it by being prepared for what is to come.

Think about time. Living off campus requires extra planning with respect to time. It is important to give extra consideration to travel time when living off-campus; how will you get to campus? Bus, walk, bike, drive? If you prefer taking the bus, begin familiarizing yourself with the bus schedule. It is nice to already know the bus schedule so you do not miss the bus and are late to class. There is also a great UC Davis Mobile App that has the Unitrans schedule for reference. One thing that may be helpful at the beginning of each quarter is to review your class schedule and plan which bus to take so you get to campus with plenty of time to get to class on time. Unitrans is free to all UC Davis students as long as they show a student ID. Similarly, if you choose to walk, bike, or drive (parking permit is required) to campus, leave with enough time so you are not late.
A lot of the time this means waking up extra early!

What happens when you are on campus and have a break between your classes? Do you go home? Do you stay on campus? It is much more time costly to go home between breaks. Going home decreases productivity levels. Chances are you will go home and by the time you get home there is no time to get some good studying done before you have to go back to campus (unless you have a 3+ hour gap). It is encouraged to stay on campus and use this time to study. Begin looking for a favorite study spot on campus, somewhere you are comfortable and can concentrate.

What about food? No more Dining Commons? Well, not necessarily. Even if you are not living in the Residence Halls one can still purchase meal plans and you can do so by following these directions online. If you wish to not purchase a meal plan and plan to prepare your own meals by cooking at home then great! Cooking your own meals has some great advantages: you can cook whatever you wish, staying healthy is easier, and this is a great way to improve cooking skills (I encourage you to also read our “A Healthy Balanced Diet” blog for tips on ways to stay healthy). On campus there is also the Silo and Memorial Union with a variety of food choices.

Do I hear you asking about resources outside of the residence halls? There are a plethora of campus resources available to you scattered throughout our campus. Once you no longer live in the residence halls, the Academic Advising Centers may not be the most convenient place for you. Your first, and most important academic advising resource should be your Dean’s Office. Each college has their own Dean’s Office:

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
150 Mrak Hall

College of Biological Sciences
Biology Academic Success Center
1023 Sciences Laboratory Building

College of Engineering
1050 Kemper Hall

College of Letters and Science
200 Social Sciences and Humanities Building

Aside from your respective Dean’s Office, there are plenty other resources available to you. For a bit of information on a few resources available I encourage you to read our Resource Highlight blogs on Health Professions Advising, the Student Community Center, and the Student Academic Success Center. The Center For student Involvement is also a great resources to use to stay connected on campus, get involved in a club, or join an intramural sport; there is plenty to choose from.  Fear not, there are even more resources available to you, do not be afraid to do a little research!

Best of luck!

Alejandra Villa
3rd year Genetics and Genomics major
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser