Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

Here we have a collection of popular question and answers, resources and a guide to UC Davis lingo.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can I register for fall classes?
  • CA&ES freshman students will be registering AUG 2-4 and all transfer students will be registering AUG 16-18. Undergraduate students can find their pass appointments and any holds that would prevent registration on Schedule Builder.
  • How many units should I take in my first quarter?
  • We typically recommend that your first quarter schedule consist of courses totaling 12-15 units. A good quarterly schedule is comprised of a combination of major specific courses and General Education /elective courses. Every course you take at this stage in your academic career will meet some requirement such as major, General Education, college or university requirement. Remember: every unit counts, there are really are no wrong courses to take!
    NOTE: To make expected progress and graduate in four years (two years for transfer students) you must average 15 units per quarter. Please note that students must be enrolled in at least 12 units to be considered full-time student.
  • How do units from a semester system transfer to the quarter system at UC Davis?
  • For every unit you take at a semester school you get 1.5 units transferred at UC Davis. For example, if you took a course that was 3 semester units, it would be equivalent to 4.5 quarter units at UC Davis (3 x 1.5 = 4.5).
  • How many units am I able to transfer to UC Davis?
  • Students can transfer a total of 105 lower division quarter units (70 semester units). If you completed more than 105 lower division units, you will still receive credit for additional courses, but only 105 units will count toward the 180 units required to graduate (you will need at least 75 more quarter units to reach the minimum of 180 total units required for graduation).
  • I didn't get into all the recommended courses, will I be behind?
  • Not necessarily. Many of the courses you need will be offered in future quarters.  If you don't get your desired schedule in your first quarter, you should still have plenty of time to take the courses you need and graduate on time. When adding various courses, please remember to check if the class has any prerequisites. Also, we encourage you to check-in with your Major advisor(s) to update your academic plan and strategize course selection.
  • How do I waitlist a course?
  • During registration, you may find that some of your desired classes are full. If a class is full and closed, students can place themselves on a wait list using Schedule Builder and wait lists are established on a first-come, first-serve basis. During the academic terms, wait lists begin during Pass 1 registration appointments and end after the last day to add classes, the 12th day of instruction. The wait list process is run several times a day, moving students from the wait list into a course when seats are available, and pauses during the registration freeze. Students are notified via their UC Davis email address when they are moved from the wait list and are enrolled into a class. Be sure to check your schedule regularly if you wait-list a course.
  • Does being on the waitlist guarantee you a seat in the class?
  • Being on the waitlist does not guarantee students a seat in the class. The likelihood of getting off a waitlist depends on many factors such as your number on the waitlist; number of actual seats available; graduation timeline; and the instructor's policy. It is very important that you enroll in at least 12 units during your Pass 1 registration window (if you add a course from the waitlist, you can still adjust your schedule at that time). If you are trying to add a course while being on the waitlist, make sure to attend the desired class from the first day of instruction. 
  • What shall I do if none of my desired classes have seats available and my pass time is tomorrow?
  • Do not worry. In order to be equitable to all students registering over multiple weeks, the Office of the University Registrar will release a small number of seats for high demand courses (such as CHE, MAT, BIS etc.) during each registration time. If all the seats are taken at the time of your registration, please don’t forget to add your name to the waitlist. It is very important that you enroll in at least 12 units during your Pass 1 registration window, and adjust later, if needed.
  • While registering Schedule Builder shows that I have not completed the prerequisite(s)? How shall I proceed?
  • If you believe you have completed the prerequisite course at a different institution, it is possible that your transfer courses have not been fully processed by the university on time for your registration.

    If you completed the prerequisite at a California Community College, you can use Assist to check the articulation agreement.

    If you completed the prerequisite at a non-California Community College, you'll need to provide the department with additional information on the course ( syllabus and/or detailed course description)

    In any scenario, you will be able to submit a petition which will allow you to register in the course. Please make sure to follow-up with the instructor to make sure your petition is approved by the beginning of the quarter.
  • How to Write a Petition in Schedule Builder?
  • If you have satisfied the prerequisites from a previous institution, include:
    •             Name and number of course that satisfies the prerequisite (Example: BIS 002A)
    •             Final grade (B)
    •             Name of the college or university where you completed the class
    •             Term in which you completed the course (Spring 2020)
    •             Additional information you may have or any supporting documentation (a syllabus and/or digital copy of your transcript to upload)
    Don’t forget to click REGISTER for the course after creating the petition!
    By submitting a petition you will be allowed to register in the specific course. Please make sure to follow-up with the instructor to make sure your petition is approved by the beginning of the quarter.
  • Can I enroll part-time at UC Davis?
  • Part-Time status is available only to students who are unable to pursue their studies full-time due to extenuating circumstances, such as employment (30 hours or more worked per week), health conditions, accommodation for disability, or primary care responsibilities. Students must apply for part-time status with the Office of the University Registrar by the 10th day of instruction each quarter they wish to be part-time.
  • I have a full IGETC, what classes shall in enroll in?
  • If you completed a full IGETC your CA&ES General Education, including the College English Composition requirements, are completed. We recommend taking no more than two major classes during your first quarter at UCD. You can also enroll in a CDG course, explore programs or take few elective courses.
  • What is a Partial IGETC?
  • A partial IGETC means that you are missing 1-2 courses to fulfill the UCD General Education requirements. You can take these last requirements at UC Davis to satisfy your IGETC OR you can complete the last requirement(s) at the community college. For more details contact the CA&ES Dean’s Office:
  • I decided to change my major, what steps shall I take?
  • Newly admitted students will be able to change their major only after completing their first quarter at UCD with a 2.00 quarter GPA.  We recommend that you reach out to the intended major advisor to learn about major specific requirements and possible major entrance requirements. Even if you are not officially declared in that major, in most cases, you can start taking classes toward the majors you are exploring during your first quarter.  Please follow course recommendations from the intended major advisor(s).
  • Can I complete a double major?
  • Students must be able to complete both degrees, college and university requirements within the 225-unit cap (including up 105 transfer units). It is very important to be proactive and reach out to specific major advisor(s) early in your UC Davis career, if you are thinking about adding a second major.


Helpful Resources


  • Class search tool is useful when planning future courses, but not used for registration.
  • Course catalog contains information regarding academic programs, courses and all other requirements.
  • Schedule builder is used for registering for classes and offers a tutorial on class planning and registration program. 


What does that mean?


  • CRN: five digit course registration number, needed to enroll in a class
  • ELWR: Entrly level writing requirement, required by the University of California for all undergraduate scholars
  • General education requirements: the breadth of  knowledge acquired by all undergraduate scholars beyond the focus of a major.
  • Minimum Progress*: defined as 12 units per quarter or 36 units per academic year for qualitative standards
  • OASIS: online advising information system
  • Pass time: assigned to students in two appointments in order to register for the academic term
  • Placement exams: required for preparatory courses such as Chemistry and Math