Appeal Process

The Molecular, Cell & Developmental (MCD) Biology department will consider appeals from students who do not qualify for one of the MCD Biology sponsored majors or would like to declare one of the majors after the major declaration deadline. 

Please review the Major Qualification Policy and Major Declaration Deadlines as well as the following information before submitting an appeal for review.

The department will notify the student and their college of the decision within 15 days of the quarterly appeal deadline (see below). Submissions are reviewed once after the quarterly deadline (not on an ongoing/rolling basis). Some students will not receive their results until after the quarterly deadline has passed.

Being granted the option to appeal is not a guarantee of admission into the major. Students that submit either a pre-appeal or an appeal are strongly advised to have a backup plan in place in the event that their request is denied. It is recommended that - with the assistance of your college adviser, you identify a major that interests you (outside of the MCD Biology department), and be able to declare that major and make good progress in that major. Appeals are not guaranteed, so it is very important you develop a major pathway that you will commit to outside of the MCD Biology department.

Types of Appeals

There are two (2) types of appeals: Pre-Appeals and Appeals.


A student may submit a Pre-Appeal as soon as they realize they will be unable to qualify for the major due to one or both of the following reasons:

  • More than one (1) non-passing grade in the qualification courses
  • Inability to complete the qualification courses on time (before the end of the 5th quarter enrolled at UCSC)

After reviewing the student’s personal statement and academic record, the department will inform the student of the conditions, if any, they would need to meet to eventually be admitted to the major.  Please note that pre-appeals will only be considered for students admitted as a Frosh student as junior transfer students must satisfy the major qualification requirements before entering UCSC.  


A student may submit an Appeal to declare an MCD Biology sponsored major when:

  • The major was not declared by the declaration deadline and all qualification courses have been completed
    • This includes students who would like to change majors
      • For example: from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to MCD Biology; Psychology to Neuroscience; or Biology BS to Global and Community Health - Biomedical Concentration; etc.

After reviewing the student’s personal statement and academic records, the department will either approve or deny the appeal based on the likelihood that the student will be able to successfully complete the degree in a reasonable amount of time. In some cases, the approval of the appeal will be conditional on the completion of one or more additional courses with a satisfactory grade, usually within one quarter. Appeals from junior transfer students who were not admitted to UCSC as an MCD Biology major will also be considered.

Special considerations for students seeking admission to the Human Biology BS major:

To be admitted to the Human Biology B.S. major, students must earn a grade of C+ or higher in each of the qualification courses.  

The department will not consider pre-appeals from students who do not qualify for the Human Biology B.S. because they earned a C in one or more of the qualification courses.  These students should submit an appeal after declaring one of our other majors by the declaration deadline.  

In most cases, we will not act on the appeal until the student has taken one or more upper-division courses, including BIOL 105: Genetics and/or BIOL 100: Biochemistry

MCD Biology Appeal Dates and Deadlines


Summer 2023 Filing Period: April 28th, 2023 to July 7th, 2023

Results were sent to students via email to their email address by Monday, July 24th, 2023.

Fall 2023 Filing Period: July 8th, 2023 to October 13th, 2023

Results will be sent to students via email to their email address by October 27th, 2023

Winter 2024 Filing Period: October 14th, 2023 to February 5th, 2024

Results were sent to students via email to their email address by February 9th, 2024

Spring 2024 Filing Period: February 6th, 2024 to April 19th, 2024

Results were sent to students via email to their email address by May 15th, 2024


Summer 2024 Filing Period: April 20th, 2024 to June 30th, 2024

Results will be sent to students via email to their email by July 16th, 2024


NOTE: A Modified Summer appeal schedule has been developed to support students who are completing courses during summer and also coordinate with the limited staff and faculty availablity during the summer. 


Submitting a Pre-Appeal or Appeal

Pre-appeals and appeals are submitted using the Appeal Form shown below.  Note that you must be logged in to your UCSC email account to view the form.  

If you have problems viewing the form, please try to view it in a different browser. If you are using a mobile device and cannot see the form below and/or are having difficulty accessing the form, you may need to use a laptop/desktop computer to access the form.  

When completing the form, you will be given the opportunity to submit a brief personal statement explaining why you are seeking admission to the major and describe the extenuating circumstances and other factors that prevented you from satisfying the major qualification requirements.