Major Qualification

2023-24 Academic Year

To qualify to declare an Ecology & Evolution BS, Marine Biology BS, Plant Sciences BS, or Biology BA  major students must complete the following courses, or their equivalents, with a grade of C (2.0) or better:

  • BIOL 20A Cell & Molecular Biology
  • BIOE 20B Development & Physiology
  • BIOE 20C Ecology & Evolution
  • CHEM 1A or Chem 3B General Chemistry*                                               
  • CHEM 1B or Chem 3A General Chemistry*

* students may complete Chem 4A Advanced General Chemistry: Molecular Structure and Reactivity instead of Chem 1A+1B or Chem 3A+3B.

Additionally, students declaring Ecology & Evolution BS, Marine Biology BS or Plant Sciences BS must complete one of the following calculus courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better:

  • MATH 11A or Math 19A

Students with two or more grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, or NP in the above policy courses are NOT qualified to declare. Math grades are excluded from this calculation.
All courses must be completed for a Letter Grade.
The qualification courses are only a subset of your major's introductory requirements. View complete major requirements here.

Determining qualification:

  • Students who complete all the policy courses with a grade of C (2.0) or better by their major declaration deadline (or at most one additional enrolled quarter if approved by department) are eligible to declare.
  • Students with two or more grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, or NP in the above policy courses (Math grades excluded) are NOT qualified to declare.
  • Students with AP exam course credit for any of the qualification course(s) may petition to declare after successfully completing the remaining qualification courses.
  • Consult with an undergraduate adviser when requesting to declare after the campus declaration deadline. Students who are not able to complete the degree by their Expected Grdauation Term (see MyUCSC) must appeal to declare the major.

When to declare: 

  • If you were admitted as a Freshman: Declare your major no later than the posted deadline in your sixth quarter of enrollment.
  • If you were admitted as a Junior Transfer student: Declare your major no later than the posted deadline.

Policy on Major Declaration Process & Deadlines: "Students must submit a petition to declare when the campus declaration deadline is imminent (i.e. in their sixth quarter, for students admitted as frosh), programs have to either allow them into the major, deny them admission, or set conditions (e.g. completion of some courses with certain grades) that will be resolved within at most one more enrolled quarter, even if they have not completed major qualification (MQ) courses."

Transfer Students: 

UCSC screens students for admission into the EEB majors. Transfer applicants are held to completion of major preparation criteria for admission to UCSC. The major preparation criteria or their equivalents are required prior to transfer, by the end of the spring term for students planning to enter in the fall.

  • Transfer students admitted to an EEB Department major must declare their major once their official transcripts have been posted to their MyUCSC portal in their first quarter, but no later than the posted deadline in their second quarter on campus. The major declaration deadlines for each quarter can be found in the academic calendar
  • Transfer students seeking to change majors after being admitted to UCSC in a non-EEB Department major must review the instructions posted here.

Appeal Process:

Students who have completed the six qualification courses with grades of C (2.0) or better, but do not meet the qualification policy criteria may appeal by writing a letter to the Ecology and Evolution Curriculum Chair. For more information about the appeal process, see our Appeal Process page.