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Getting Help & Studying Tips

Each major has its own advising office. If you have a question about what major courses to take, contact your major adviser.


If you want myth, see your roommates for advice. If you want an answer, see an adviser.

There are three levels of academic advising on campus: peers, staff and faculty. Peer advisers are students who can help you with questions about courses and scheduling. Staff advisers know all the requirements for graduation as well as the rules of the university and help you develop your academic plan. Faculty advisers will develop your academic perspective and goals, and fine tune your academic plan There are also separate advising centers for information on careers, internships, professional and graduate schools. Use your transfer Student Handbook for location and contact information of these resources.

You must be proactive in seeking out advising. A good place to start is the Biology Academic Success Center.

Write a rough draft of your academic quarterly plan and have it checked by your major adviser. For some requirements and some majors, there are many course choices and many ways to complete those courses. We want you to choose the courses in which you are most interested. Your major adviser will check to see if you are fulfilling all the requirements and doing so in the best way possible.


UC Davis faculty are friendly and accessible.

The faculty at UC Davis are excellent resources for undergraduates because they value undergraduate education. They all have established office hours for meeting with students in their classes—you should take full advantage of their willingness to assist you in your academic endeavors. Sometimes new students feel that their question is not worthy of asking or feel uncomfortable talking with a professor one-on-one. But students have told us that most professors are very helpful and approachable. You can start by visiting your professor during office hours and introducing yourself. You could also bring your notes for more detail or clarification.

Faculty mentor individual students and welcome students into their laboratories for independent study. The College publishes the online Undergraduate Research Opportunities Faculty Directory that lists CBS faculty as well as professors in medicine, veterinary medicine, applied biology, and theoretical biology who provide a wide range of research opportunities.

Getting Help

Seeking help is a sign of maturity, not weakness.

Because life does not stand still while you are in college, there are a multitude of resources on campus that are available to you if you need help.

If you have a problem, get help now! Letting problems continue or hoping they will disappear or solve themselves may cause irreparable damage. Seeking immediate help with a problem may lighten your emotional load and minimize its impact academically. Many campus resources are listed here. Remember, if you don't know where to go, visit the Biology Academic Success Center.


Our surveys show students who immerse themselves in the academic experience enjoy school more and earn higher grades.

Advice from former students:

  • Go to class
  • Don't cram for exams
  • Ask questions when you don't understand
  • Don't leave assignments until the last minute
  • Take care of yourself
  • Get involved!

Because you were admitted to UC Davis, we know you have the academic qualifications to succeed. However, there is usually a transition period for most transfer students. Where before you may have handled courses and a full-time job, at UCD the classes may be more difficult and the competition may be more intense. That is why we strongly encourage you to cut your job hours to a minimum and reduce outside responsibilities and extracurricular activities during your transition period.

  • See the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) in Dutton Hall for help with time management, study skills, and taking tests. They also offer assistance with math, chemistry, Organic Chemistry and English.
  • Studying is vital to achieving your goals in any CBS major. Plan your schedule so that you have sufficient study time.
  • Keep your job hours, socializing, and extracurricular activities to a minimum until you understand what it takes for you to succeed at UCD. Between living, classes, and studying, you often have only 15-20 hours/week left for outside pursuits.
  • If you must work 30 or more hours a week, you may wish to apply for part-time status (10 or fewer units). This usually does not affect the living expenses portion of your financial aid.
  • You need to plan for a minimum of 15-20 hours per week of studying.
  • Study between classes. Studying 1-2 hours several times during the day is better than long stretches of time.
  • Find a study spot on campus as well as at home. Use it.
  • Make sure you plan in some free time but be careful about going home on weekends. You usually need a significant portion of the weekend to study.