Current Students

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*
  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. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

* Available on the Resource Documents block to the right.  Also available from the Biology Undergraduate Advising Office.

The Change of Major Petition, Major Progress Check Request form, and Requirements Sheet form must be completed and returned to the Biology Advising Office for processing and department approval. Our normal processing time is about 3 weeks, although delays are very likely during certain times of the academic year and if volume is unusually high.

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)

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.


Voice: (805) 893-5191


Biology Undergraduate Program
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9620