Major requirements for the College of Biological Sciences

a student working with chemicals in a laboratory


Students applying for transfer admission to selective majors must meet additional course and GPA requirements. All courses must be taken for a letter grade with no grade less than C. All major preparatory course requirements must be completed by the end of spring term before fall enrollment.

All majors in the College of Biological Sciences are selective and have additional transfer requirements:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Cell Biology
  • Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Human Biology
  • Marine and Coastal Science—Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology
  • Molecular and Medical Microbiology (formerly Microbiology)
  • Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
  • Plant Biology
  • Systems & Synthetic Biology

Students are expected to take courses comparable to the UC Davis course requirements as long as they are offered at the California Community College (CCC) they attend. When the ASSIST website indicates “no comparable course” or “not articulated,” the selective major course requirement will be waived for UC Davis admission/TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee), but must be completed after enrolling at UC Davis. You can find CCC courses that are comparable to UC Davis courses using the ASSIST website.

To be well prepared, it is strongly recommended that students complete all lower-division coursework requirements for their major, as shown on the ASSIST website.

Preparation for majors

Requirements in addition to general admission requirements and TAG requirements:

  • Complete the following courses and maintain a 2.50 GPA in each of the following three series:
    • Mathematics 17A/B/C OR Mathematics 21A/B
    • Chemistry 2A/B/C or Chemistry 4A/B/C
    • Biological Sciences 2A/B/C

Additional recommendations:

  • Organic Chemistry 8A/B OR Organic Chemistry 118A/B/C
  • Physics 7A/B/C or Physics 9A/B/C  

Additional Tips

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology majors must complete Organic Chemistry 118A/B/C rather than Organic Chemistry 8A/B to meet major requirements.
  • Marine and Coastal Science majors with a focus in Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology are encouraged to complete Organic Chemistry 8A/B, preferably; Organic Chemistry 118A/B/C will be acceptable to meet major requirements.
  • Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior majors are strongly encouraged to complete the physics series prior to transfer.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit

Visit our AP or IB exam articulation charts to find out whether your scores:

  • Earn UC transferable course credit.
  • Satisfy one UC-E (English), one UC-M (math) or another requirement of the UC 7-course pattern.
  • Meet selective major requirements specific to UC.

Visit the ASSIST website to identify which courses at your CCC:

  • Earn UC transferable course credit.
  • Satisfy the UC-E (English), UC-M (math) and other requirements of the UC 7-course pattern.
  • Meet selective major requirements specific to UC Davis.

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