Declaring an MCDB Sponsored Major

Qualifying for MCDB Sponsored Majors

To qualify for any of the MCDB Sponsored majors, students must complete and pass a series of 8 qualification courses. These courses must be completed and passed prior to submitting a Petition to Declare the Major. Students who enter UCSC as Frosh, must complete and pass all qualification courses by the end of their 5th quarter at UCSC (Summer terms are not counted toward the 5th quarter timeline).

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, see Letter Grade Policy.

Students with two or more non-passing grades (grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F) in the qualification courses are not qualified to declare and must submit an Appeal.

Qualification Planner - Use this tool to keep track of your qualification course progress 

 

Qualification Courses

Biology BS, Global and Community Health BS (both Biomedical and Public and Community Health concentrations), MCD Biology BS, & Neuroscience BS Qualification Courses & Policy

The Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology has a qualification policy that applies to the biology B.S., molecular, cell and developmental biology B.S., and neuroscience B.S. majors. To qualify for any of these majors, students must pass (with a grade of C or better) the following courses or their equivalents:

  • MATH 11A or MATH 19A
  • CHEM 1A*
  • CHEM 1B*
  • CHEM 1C*
  • CHEM 8A
  • BIOL 20A
  • BIOL 20L
  • BIOE 20B

* the CHEM 1ABC series will be discontinued after Fall 2023 - students who have started the CHEM 1 courses should ensure the entire series is completed by the end of the Fall 2023 quarter or before to ensure all General Chemistry courses are completed for major qualification.

NOTE: Students with two or more non-passing grades (grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F) in the qualification courses are not qualified to declare and must submit an Appeal.

 

New Qualification courses starting Fall 2023 and after: Qualification courses will be slightly adjusted due to the new General Chemistry series (the CHEM 3 Series). Please see the qualification courses below:

  • CHEM 3A
  • CHEM 3B & CHEM 3BL
  • CHEM 3C & CHEM 3CL
  • CHEM 8A
  • Math 11A/19A
  • BIOL 20A
  • BIOE 20B
  • BIOL 20L

 

Human Biology BS Qualification Courses & Policy

NOTE: Only students admitted/matriculated to UCSC in the Fall 2022 quarter or before are eligible to declare Human Biology, BS as their major

The Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology has a separate qualification policy that applies to the Human Biology BS major. To qualify for the human biology major, students must pass the following courses or their equivalents with a grade of C+ or better in each course:

  • MATH 11A or MATH 19A
  • CHEM 1A
  • CHEM 1B
  • CHEM 1C
  • CHEM 8A
  • BIOL 20A
  • BIOL 20L
  • BIOE 20B

NOTE: Students with two or more non-passing grades (grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F) in the qualification courses are not qualified to declare and must submit an Appeal.

Declaring Your Major

Students should submit a petition to declare by completing the online declaration petition as soon as they complete the major qualification courses or reach their declaration deadline quarter, whichever comes first.

Students petitioning when the campus declaration deadline is imminent (i.e., in their sixth quarter, for students admitted as frosh), will either be approved, denied, or provided with conditions (e.g., completion of some courses with certain grades) that will be resolved within at most one more enrolled quarter, even if they have not completed major qualification courses.

Students who petition to declare the major after the campus major declaration deadline must submit an Appeal.

Academic Year Declaration Deadlines

Please see the Office of the Registrar's Academic and Administrative Calendar for Campus Major Declaration deadlines:

  • Frosh students must declare a major by the end of their 6th quarter at UCSC
  • Transfer students must declare a major by the end of their 2nd quarter at UCSC

Additionally, students who are declared a major outside MCD Biology, who have completed the qualification requirements, must also submit an Appeal to declare an MCD Biology sponsored major.

Once you have completed and passed your qualification courses, submit a Petition to Declare the Major (found here). 

 

Appeal Process

Students who are not eligible to declare the major may submit an appeal to the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology faculty advisor. The department will notify the student and their college of the decision within 15 days of the quarterly appeal deadline. See our appeal process for more information.

Upcoming Appeal Deadlines

Fall 2022 Filing Period: June 30th, 2022 to September 16th, 2022.

Results will be sent to students via email to their UCSC.edu email address by Friday, September 30th, 2022.

Late Fall 2022 Filing Period: September 16th, 2022 to November 10th, 2022.

Results will be sent to students via email to their UCSC.edu email address by Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022.

Winter 2023 Filing Period: November 10th, 2022 to February 1st, 2023


Results will be sent to students via email to their UCSC.edu email address by Monday, February 16th, 2023.