Declaring a Major

Provided you have completed the pre-biology major requirements, you will need the following to declare your major.

  1. Requirement Sheet for your proposed major (click on the major you want to declare then go to "Resource Documents" on the right)
  2. Undergraduate Petition to Change Major, Emphasis, or College*
  3. Major Progress Check Request Form*
  4. Course Descriptions
  5. Updated list of the proposed courses for the year*
  6. E-mail these forms (Change of Major Petition, Major Progress Check Request Form, and Requirements Sheet) to us at bio-adv@lifesci.ucsb.edu using your UCSB e-mail address. Note: in the subject line please type "major change forms"

The Change of Major Petition, Major Progress Check Request form (not required to declare Pre-Biology), and Requirements Sheet form must be completed and returned to the Biology Advising Office for processing (we will get the department Chair's signature.) Our normal processing time is about 3 weeks, although delays are likely during certain times of the academic year and if volume is unusually high. The Registrar's office also needs to input this into the computer system and their processing time varies.

FYI - You may declare the full major without having completed EEMB 2LL in S'20. Just be sure to enroll in the class for Fall 2020.

* Available on the Resource Files block to the right. Also available from the Biology Undergraduate Advising Office (not open in Summer due to COVID-19).

Requirements for Changing Majors

Freshman admits may declare the full major at the end of their second year provided that they have completed MCDB 1A,1B, EEMB 2, 3 (2.0 gpa required), MCDB 1AL, EEMB 3L and either MCDB 1BL or EEMB 2L (2.0 gpa required), Chem 1ABC and two other preparatory courses (2.0 gpa required). Please see the Pre-Biology major requirement sheet for more detailed information.

Junior biology transfer students may declare the full major after their second quarter (Winter) - usually 4 upper division biology courses completed (2.0 gpa required)

At the time of petition for full major, you must have a 2.0 or higher grade point average in all courses attempted toward the major within preparatory and within upper division. Also grades earned must meet the grade prerequisites for the full major.

For Biochemistry-Molecular Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, and the Physiology major completion of chemistry 109ABC is expected with no grade less than a C.

Non-biology Majors Switching to the Biology Major

First Year (Freshman) students - may declare the pre-biology major after successful completion of chemistry 1A and 1B (+ labs if possible). If taking Chemistry 1B in Spring quarter you must also enroll in chemistry 1C (either Summer or Fall) and enroll in MCDB 1A (either Summer or Fall) before you can change into the pre-biology major. Concurrent enrollment in chemistry 1C and MCDB 1A is allowed.

Second Year (Sophomore) students - who are starting the Chemistry 1ABC series must go to UCSB Summer School, at the end of their second year, and take the introductory biology courses MCDB 1A/L, MCDB 1B, EEMB 2 and either MCDB 1BL or EEMB 2L. Provided that the student successfully completes these Summer courses they may declare the pre-biology major (the student must also be enrolled in EEMB 3 in Fall quarter).

Students who have been following our recommended schedule (see "resource documents" on the right) may petition to the pre-major after their second quarter.

Note: Non-biology students will not be admitted to the pre-biology major after their seventh quarter (or equivalent), and students will only be admitted to the pre-major in their seventh quarter if they have completed introductory biology and most of the required pre-biology major courses.

Non-biology Junior transfer students may not major in biology. This is due to the biology Junior transfer regulations and that our program is impacted.

Declaring Candidacy to Graduate

You must declare your candidacy in order to graduate. Declaring candidacy for graduation is a separate process from participating in commencement ceremonies. Follow the instructions on the Registrar's web site.

 Biology Announcements

Current students should use the biology undergraduate email list to receive important information.

 General Questions

+1 805-893-5191
bio-adv@lifesci.ucsb.edu

 Academic Advisors

 FAQs

How many upper division biology courses should I take per quarter?

We recommend taking two upper division biology courses per quarter (assuming 8.0 units per quarter) and, if possible, fulfilling area specific requirements first starting one's Junior/3rd year. This will give you the required 48.0 units required for most of our majors. For more detailed recommendations for the MCDB majors please go to: Resource Documents: Recommended Schedule - MCDB majors.

I Can't find MCDB 1AL (Lab) in Fall quarter

That is correct. We have switched to the new lab sequence: MCDB 1LL and EEMB 2LL.

If you are taking MCDB 1A in Fall then you would take the new labs MCDB 1LL in Winter, and EEMB 2LL in Spring.

The old series MCDB 1AL, MCDB 1BL/EEMB 2L, and EEMB 3L will no longer be offered.

You will still earn 3.0 units worth of lab credit with the new labs being 1.5 units each.

These new labs also meet the requirements for medical/health care professions schools.

The lectures remain unchanged.

I'm interested in the healthcare professions, what courses do I need to take?

Please contact the College of Letters and Sciences Healthcare Professions advising.

When is the earliest a first year non-biology major can declare pre-biology?

At the beginning of Spring quarter as we require completion of chemistry 1A and 1B with grades of C or better.

When is the latest a non-biology major can declare a major within biology?

Students will not be admitted to the Pre-biology major after their seventh quarter (or equivalent), and students will only be admitted to the pre-major in their seventh quarter if they have completed introductory biology and most of the required Pre-biology major courses.

Does the Biology program offer a Minor?

The biology program does not offer a minor.

Junior non-biology transfer students - can I switch to a Biology major?

No, only Junior transfer students who were admitted as pre-biology can major within biology. This is due to the biology Junior transfer regulations and that our program is impacted.

When is the earliest I can declare the full major?

Freshman admits may declare the full major at the end of their second year provided that they have completed MCDB 1A,1B, EEMB 2, 3 (2.0 gpa required), MCDB 1AL, EEMB 3L and either MCDB 1BL or EEMB 2L (2.0 gpa required), Chem 1ABC and two other preparatory courses (2.0 gpa required). Please see the Pre-Biology major requirement sheet for more detailed information.

Junior transfer students may declare the full major after their second quarter (Winter) - usually 4 upper division biology courses completed (2.0 gpa required)

For all students - At the time of petition for full major, you must have a 2.0 or higher grade point average in all courses attempted toward the major within preparatory and within upper division. Also grades earned must meet the grade prerequisites for the full major.