The biology departments welcome transfer students. To be admitted, the departments require transfer students to have already completed the following, with a minimum GPA of 2.7 in all preparatory science courses:
- 1 year sequence of General Chemistry with laboratory, with no individual grade less than "C".
- 1 complete sequence (2-3 terms) of major-applicable General Biology with laboratory, with no individual grade less than "C".
- A cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better in the required courses listed above.
To make normal progress within all biology majors you should also complete before transferring to UCSB: One year of organic chemistry plus laboratory, one year of physics plus laboratory, one year of calculus or calculus with statistics. Any of these courses completed with a grade lower than "C" might not satisfy course prerequisites at UCSB.
It is very important to note that organic chemistry is a prerequisite for many upper-division major courses. The campus has placed limits on the number of units allowed to be taken at UCSB and quarters of residence allowed for transfer students. In order to stay within these limits it is strongly recommended that students have already completed organic chemistry with laboratory prior to transferring. This is especially important for Microbiology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Biochemistry-Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, and the Physiology Major. After transfer, admission into the full major is contingent upon achievement of a grade point average of 2.00 or better in pertinent courses completed at the University of California.
Evaluating Transfer Course Work
The Biology Undergraduate Advisors evaluate all transfer work for suitability as course prerequisites. In order to register for classes in either biology department, transfer students must provide the Biology Undergraduate Advisors with their unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended prior to UCSB. Depending on the school you attended, the department may also require you to provide course syllabi. Once prerequisites are verified, you will be able to sign-up during your designated registration time. You should contact the course instructor if you have specific questions regarding a course and its prerequisites.
Declaring or Changing Your Major
All transfer students are admitted as Pre-Biology Majors. Students may request to change your major after they have been at UCSB two full quarters and have completed their preparation courses. In order to change to a full major within the departments of EEMB and MCDB, come by the Biology Advising Office for a Change of Major Petition Form, a Major Progress Check Request Form, and assistance in program schedule planning.
How To Apply
Applications to the UCSB Biological Sciences Undgergraduate program are submitted online through UC admissions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Does the Biology program offer a Minor?
The biology program does not offer a minor.
- How can I find out which courses to take to meet the transfer requirements?
Go to ASSIST.ORG for transfer articulations. Please note: the courses are evaluated as an entire series and course to course articulations do not exist. Please complete the entire series at the same school.
- 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.