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FAQs

How do I change my major/emphasis?

A: In order to change or declare a major/emphasis, a student must fill out a change of major form along with a graduation planner and submit it to the front desk of the NS advising office. A student’s request for a change of major may be denied if the science GPA is less than a 2.0. In the event of a denial, a student may request another change of major into the School of Natural Sciences after the Early Progress Policy criteria has been satisfied and the science GPA has reached 2.0.

Is it too late to change my major/emphasis/minor?

A: Except for unusual circumstances, if a student has senior standing (90 units) they will not be permitted to change their major/emphasis/minor. If a student has submitted his/her graduation application with the Office of the Registrar, the student will not be permitted to change their major/emphasis/minor. Changes to one’s audit can be seen if the changes are allowed and submitted within the first three weeks of the semester, if not, the changes will be noted at the start of the next term.

By when do I have to declare my major emphasis?

A: Students must declare their emphasis by the end of their second year or by the time they have completed 60 units, whichever is greater.

How do I double major?

A: In order to declare multiple majors, a student must have sophomore or junior standing and must have completed a multiple major application packet. Students must have a minimum of a 2.7 UC GPA, and complete at least 2 courses in each major. Only 12 units of upper division course work, excluding upper division general education requirements, may be counted to fulfill major requirements for both majors. Course work must be completed in 165 semester units or 11 semesters.

How do I declare a minor?

A: Students must submit a Minor Change form and a Graduation Planner to the School to which they are declaring within the first three weeks of the semester. Except under unusual circumstances, no change of minor will be permitted after a student has attained senior standing (90 units).

How many minors can I have?

A: It would be best to speak with either your advisor to discuss your options/possibilities.

What is my catalog year?

A: Your catalog year is the year and term (Fall/Spring) you entered UC Merced.

What kind of job can I get with my Natural Science Major?

A: To see your options, visit the Center for Career and Professional Advancement for career opportunities.

How can I find the courses I need?

A: You can visit the catalog site of your respective major. Check out the course flow charts on the NS advising website (Found under Academics> your respective catalog year). You should also consult with the online schedule of courses for course availability.

Which classes aren’t offered both semesters?

A: Check out the list of planned NS course offerings on the NS advising Website.

I failed a class now what?

A:

  • Students may only repeat a course if they received a grade of D or F.
  • Email your advisor with your name, ID number, and course you are requesting to repeat.
  • Degree credit will only be given once.
  • For classes not passed twice, additional appeals will need to be made and the student should schedule to meet with their academic advisor for instructions.
I’m struggling in a class what should I do?

A: One of the best resources for getting help in a class is office hours: your professor’s office hour, or the TA’s office hours. Office hours can help you gain not only an understanding of the material but what the professor feels is important to know. You may often find that what is frequently asked in office hours will show up on the exam. There are also several other options of tutoring on campus as well, such as the Bright Success Center, and the STEM Resource Center.

How do I know I am going to graduate on time?

A:

  • Major coursework is designed to be completed in four years (excluding summer)
  • Filling out a graduation planner allows you tentatively plan your remaining coursework and account for how many semesters it will take you. According to the Normal Progress to Degree Policy, students are allotted 9 semesters to complete their degree.
  • Meet with your academic advisor or peer academic advisor if you have further concerns about completing your degree requirements.
Can I study abroad?

A: Studying abroad is definitely a possibility, it is best to speak with your advisor about this possibility as well as meeting with the study abroad advisors in KL 101 and visiting their website in order to discuss your possibilities.

What happens if I get a “W”on my transcript?

A: Receiving a “W” on your transcript is not necessarily a good or a bad thing. The main focus here is to avoid receiving a pattern of “W”’s on your transcript since they do not go away. Students who have specific concerns are encouraged to meet with their advisors to discuss their situation

How do I get into research or who can I talk to?

A: The Undergraduate Resource Opportunities Center and the STEM Resource Center offer a variety of opportunities geared at allowing undergraduates to participate in undergraduate research through formal programs. There is also another route to attain research and this involves developing a relationship with one of your undergraduate professors. This can be done by attending a professor’s office hours so that you begin to develop a relationship with the professor. If a spot opens up in his/her research lab you can ask if you could be of any use to him/her. Different professors will have different requirements for their prospective lab students. The most important thing is to ask and show an interest for their research.

What if I don’t get the class I want when I register?

A: There are usually backup or alternative courses that could be taken, but if a student is confused as to what exactly to take, they should meet with either their academic advisor or an academic advising mentor to discuss the different options. Students should select alternatives that will count towards their degree requirements.

When should I meet with my advisor?

A: Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors whenever they have a question about their audit, academic policies, programs/events offered, next semester’s schedule, graduation plans, etc. Their availability can be found here

What should I do before I meet with my advisor?

A: Before meeting with an advisor, students should have a copy of their “MyAudit” ready (a “what-if” audit of the proposed major is recommended for those students inquiring about switching majors), and all of their questions prepared as well.

How do I know if the lab is optional?

A: Check your MyAudit, if the lab is not listed under one of your degree requirements on the audit and it is not linked to a lecture, the lab is optional.

If I am planning on changing majors Should I bring my audit to meet with a SNS peer mentor even if I’m not a SNS major?

A: Yes, it would be best to bring your “what-if” audit for your proposed major

How many units should I take each semester?

A: 16 units per semester (or 4 classes) is recommended to stay on track for the degree requirement of 120 units.

Who can I talk to about pre-health questions?

A: If you would like to discuss your goals for pre-health you must schedule an appointment. Additionally, if you are a new student interested in pre-health, you must attend an informational workshop before meeting individually with our pre-health advisor, Erica Robbins. The workshop schedule can be found here. The purpose of the mandatory workshop is to provide students with a basic understanding of the requirements and application process for the intended profession. Having this knowledge in advance will make an individual appointment more productive. You can also visit the pre-health advising webpage for more information on your intended profession or visit the Academic Advising Mentors.