Welcome First-Year!

Now that you are a UCSC admitted and SIR'ed first-year, the following information is your guide to getting started in your MCD major.

INTRODUCTION TO MOLECULAR, CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY: You will be invited to an Introduction to the Molecular, Cell and Developmental (MCD) Biology Department Modules on/around July 18th, 2022. This invitation will be sent to your UCSC.edu email address.

AP/IB TEST CREDIT: Students with Advanced Placement or International Baccalureate credit must provide Admissions with an official copy of your test score sent directly from the College Board. You can verify your AP/IB credit in your MyUCSC portal's Transfer Credit Report once it has been recieved and evaluated by UCSC's Admissions office.

COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSEWORK: If you have taken a college-level course that you would like credit for, you must send an official transcript to Admissions. If you wish to have that same course applied toward your major requirements, be sure to upload your unoffical transcripts to the Introduction to MCD Biology Modules.

ENROLLMENT REFRESHER: If you have already completed Slug Orientation and simply need a refresher on getting enrolled, see our Frosh Enrollment Guide.  

LETTER GRADE POLICY: Remember, all courses for your MCD major must be taken for a letter grade, as outlined in our Letter Grade Policy. Only grades of C (2.0) or better will fulfill major requirements.




I was wondering how I will be getting the books for classes?

This is a question for your college adviser to answer. We are specialists for the MCD Biology majors only (Neuroscience, Human Biology, Biology BS and MCD Biology). The college advisers have suggested that the Bay Tree Bookstore should have text book lists from faculty who submitted it.


I was a bit confused about the chemistry placement test that was mentioned. I couldn't find any information about it online, is it a requirement to enroll in chemistry courses?

The chemistry self assessment is not a placement exam, it is simply a tool to make sure you are prepared for the introductory general chemistry series. It is optional and results will only help you; they will not count against you in any way.


Are statistics and Spanish a graduation requirement or requirement to declare your major for human biology majors?

Keep in mind that we can only answer questions as they relate to the completion of our four majors; if you are asking if you need these courses as part of overall graduation requirements, please check the website or ask your college adviser. Statistics are required for all four of our majors which can be fulfilled by completing either STAT 5 or STAT 7/L (we recommend STAT 7/L). You can take statistics at any time during your four years. Medical Spanish is only required for the Human Biology major. You can learn Spanish to help in future career goals by starting with a placement exam.


What will internships will look like and how prepared we should be to do one?

The Career Center is the place to go for internships and on-campus employment. They can help you answer all your questions. Declared Human Biology majors will be working with Aaron McPherson to find an internship.


What general education classes are recommended?

This is a question for your college adviser to answer. We are specialists for the MCD Biology majors only (Neuroscience, Human Biology, Biology BS and MCD Biology). The college advisers have suggested that it is best to wait until after F'20 has begun to assess where students stand with GEs. Until transcripts are fully posted, we can not help determine what GEs they have remaining. In the meantime, check out this Courses that Fulfill General Education Requirements website for courses that are of interest to YOU.


How can I schedule a meeting with an adviser about fall classes?

You can check out our MCD Biology Undergrad Advising website to see what our schedule looks like regarding drop in times, enrollment express enrollment times, or available appointments. As a frosh, you will not need to make an appointment with us; please consult your college adviser and our Major Qualification webpage during your first two years regarding the courses you need to qualify for our majors.


How do I make a 3 year plan?

We recommend taking the full four years to get the full experience of our majors. We also recommend taking 10-12 STEM units per quarter - no more. This will allow you to maintain a high GPA, progress in the major, complete your general education courses, and graduate in four years. Having said all that, we would be happy to support you in this endeavor by making an electronic plan for yourself using our Academic Planning website and then emailing it to us for feedback.


What specific courses should I be taking to be able to qualify in PA School or Med School?

AS MCD Biology Advisers, our job is to assist you in the coursework needed to earn one of our majors. Any post-UCSC information can be found at the Career Center - especially on their pre-health webpages.


I'm still not sure if I should take Chem 1A in the fall.

You can take the chemistry self assessment to help you feel more prepared, or you can enroll in a math course as recommended by us. Please see the sample plans on our Academic Planning webpage


In addition to the required chemistry, biology, and math classes, how would Spanish classes fit into that as a human biology major?

Please see the sample plans on our Academic Planning webpage. You should start with a Spanish placement exam, then add in Spanish classes until you complete SPAN 5M.