Aggie Basics for Transfers, Step 1

Students working with a faculty member in a lab.

Planning Ahead

As you prepare to choose your courses for the first time, please note that many components go into developing a good first quarter schedule.

A good quarterly schedule is comprised of 15 units with 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!

For transfer students, it is important you reach out to your major advisor immediately to develop your first quarter academic plan. Depending on what you transferred in with, there may be some lower division coursework you still need to enroll in. When developing your first quarter academic plan, please check in with your major advisor about this.  Please also be intentional about your overall course load. The transition from a semester system to a quarter system takes time to adjust to and we want to make sure you are set up for success your first quarter here.

As you prepare to choose your courses for the first time, please note that many components go into developing a good first quarter schedule. While it’s important for you to understand all of your degree requirements, here is information on the requirements to focus on as a new transfer student:

  • Prerequisites: It is important to read the full course description of any class that you intend to enroll in, to ensure that you have completed any prerequisites. If you transferred from a two-year community college, the only upper division coursework transferable is Organic Chemistry (CHE 118A/B/C). You can check how your courses transfer to UC Davis by using the course articulation information found on the ASSIST Website
    • If you have not completed lower division prerequisites for your major, then enrolling in these courses  in fall should be a high priority.
  • You likely will have already fulfilled a number of General Education (GE) courses.  Your transcripts from your previous institution are being processed by the Office of the University Registrar and Undergraduate Admissions Office.  
    • Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE): For the incoming class of Fall 2020, the CA&ES Deans’ Office advisors will review transfer work and how it applies to satisfy the UCD General Education graduation requirement for each student, by mid- November, in time for Winter quarter registration.  You will be notified of your updated TCE through OASIS. NOTE: Please work with your major advisor on major specific requirements, as these classes will be the catalyst for your fall schedule.
    • You may have completed a full or partial Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), while at the community college
      •  A full IGETC will fulfill all the General Education requirements for the CA&ES College, including the College English Composition requirement.
      • 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.


  • Most all CA&ES majors require mathematics and/or chemistry. If you have not completed the lower division MAT/CHE major prerequisite at the community college, you will be required to take the appropriate placement exam prior to enrolling (or before instruction begins). Please make sure you enroll in the level of chemistry and mathematics that is appropriate for your placement exam scores. 
    • To assure enrollment in general chemistry, all students must earn a qualifying score from the Chemistry Placement Exam. Students who do not earn a qualifying score to remain in their class are encouraged to register in Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C) or take the ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry course in preparation to retake the  Chemistry Placement Exam.
    • The Mathematics Placement Exam determines your level of preparation for college-level math courses offered at UC Davis. All students who register in MAT 12, 16A, 17A, 21A, or 21 are required to take the Mathematics Placement Exam  Match Placement Exam .
CA&ES students can take the placement exams May 25-Jun 1, 2020. 


  • Discover our Career Discovery Groups (CDG) which provide you with special classes and a mentor to introduce you to campus resources, to help you explore potential career paths, and to guide you with course selection. There are only 20 to 25 students per CDG, so you'll be part of a group with shared interests. Together, you can begin your quest for discovery from day one!