Frequently Asked Questions

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    What is my "study list"?
    Your study list refers to the courses in which you are enrolled for the term.

    Where can I get a printout of my study list?
    You can obtain a copy of your study list by logging onto URSA OnLine and printing it, or at the Registrar's Office (1113 Murphy Hall). You are advised to check your study list during the second week of each quarter to confirm your enrollment (checking during second week will give you time to add or drop a course by the appropriate deadline: end of 2nd week to drop an impacted course; end of 3rd week to add a course; end of 4th week to drop a non-impacted course). Check Study List at the beginning of 3rd week if on wait list for any course at end of 2nd week – being on wait list does NOT guarantee enrollment.

    What is my catalog year?
    Your catalog year refers to the academic year in which you were admitted to UCLA. Your catalog year is important because you follow the degree requirements listed in the catalog as in effect during your catalog year (i.e. if you were admitted to UCLA for Fall 2001 - your catalog year is 2001-2002). If you did not enter UCLA as an MCDB major, there will also be a specific subsequent term and year in which you entered the MCDB major. You follow the major requirements for that academic year (i.e., if you changed your major to MCDB in Winter, 2003, you follow the major requirements for 2002-2003).

    What does it mean if I'm in "good academic standing"?
    You are in "good academic standing" if at the close of a regular term you have attained at least a C (2.0) average for the term and a cumulative C average in all University work.

    Why does the transfer credit on my DPR not match what my counselor told me?
    The DPR shows the initial UCLA Admissions Office's evaluation of your transfer credit. Any subsequent course credit granted to you by any department has to be hand-entered on your DPR by your counselor, which can be accomplished at the counselor’s convenience.

    Is it possible to take MCDB courses for P/NP?
    Units earned this way count toward degree requirements, but do not affect your GPA. MCDB majors who meet P/NP eligibility requirements may choose the P/NP grading option for one course per term, but only in courses that qualify as GE or upper division credit in humanities or social sciences. MCDB majors must take all prep and major courses for a letter grade.

    What is meant by an "impacted" course and how do I know if a course is impacted?
    Certain courses that are always in high demand have Impacted status, which means that they cannot be dropped beyond the end of the 2nd week of the quarter. Each impacted course is clearly indicated in the class listing section of the Schedule of Classes. Click on "Crs Info" link and look at Impacted Course: Yes (or No). A comprehensive list of impacted UCLA courses can also be viewed at http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/soc/impact.htm. MCDB 104 and MCDB 138 are impacted. You can drop an impacted class through URSA until the Friday of 2nd week. However, from third to tenth week you must obtain a pink impacted course drop petition from Letters and Science, AAP, or Honors. Requests to drop an impacted course after second week are rarely approved.

    What is the difference between dropping a course and withdrawing?
    To "drop a course" means to disenroll from one (or more) specific course(s), while continuing to attend others. MCDB students must meet all published drop deadlines and must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units per term. If you are just dropping some of your classes for the quarter, not all of them, that's a drop, not a withdrawal. To "withdraw" means to discontinue attendance in ALL courses in which you are enrolled. Withdrawal requests are subject to review and approval by the College.

    How do I withdraw from a quarter?
    You may file a request to withdraw only if you have not taken any final examinations or otherwise completed the work in any of your classes. You can withdraw from a quarter, either retroactively or from the current quarter, if for each class in that quarter it says on the grade roster that you did not take the final. Otherwise you have to see the instructor. No exceptions. If you are in Subject to Dismissal status, you will need to check with Letters and Science, AAP, or Honors, before attempting to withdraw.

    How do I get back in if I withdraw from the current quarter?
    You can simply enroll via URSA in the next quarter. If you stay out more than one quarter, though, you'll have to apply for readmission. There isn't a Leave of Absence status at UCLA for undergrads.

    Can I drop a course after the quarter without withdrawing from the whole quarter?
    Possibly, but for this you'll need a retroactive drop/add petition from Letters and Science (A-316 Murphy).

    Is it possible to double major or earn a minor?
    MCDB majors in good academic standing may be permitted a double major or a minor. DOUBLE MAJORS: The second major may not be another Life Science major, or Biochemistry. Both majors must be completed within the maximum limit of 216 units, and no more than 20 upper division units can be common to both majors. You may obtain an Undergraduate Petition to Double Major form at the MCDB Student Affairs Office, 2205 LS. MINORS: A list of available minors can be viewed at http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Dept/minor.htm. MCDB does permit majors to pursue the Neuroscience minor, with departmental approval. MCDB determines final approval of a double major or minor request - filing the request does NOT guarantee approval. If you are interested in a double major or minor, you should meet with the MCDB Counselor first.

    As an undergraduate can I enroll in a graduate level course (numbered 200 and above)?
    MCDB majors in good academic standing may enroll in graduate level courses. However, credit for graduate courses is not automatically applied to your undergraduate degree and/or major requirements. In advance of enrolling in any graduate course, you are required to submit a "blue student petition" to the College of Letters & Science (A-316 Murphy) to request to have graduate coursework counted on your undergraduate degree. See the MCDB Counselor if you have questions.

    What is an "I" Incomplete grade?
    The grade I may be assigned by the Instructor when a student's work is of passing quality but is incomplete for good cause. Discuss this option with your Instructor BEFORE the term's end. If the Instructor agrees to give you an I grade, then you will have until the end of the next quarter to complete the work for the course. Your instructor must file a Report of Academic Revision to remove the Incomplete and give you a letter grade for the work you complete. Do NOT re-enroll in the course if you receive an I.

    What does an "IP" grade mean on my transcript?
    For certain courses that extend over more than one term, evaluation of your performance is deferred until the end of the final term of the course. Provisional grades of In Progress (IP) are therefore assigned at the end of the first term. The IP is replaced with a letter grade at the end of the final term. The appearance of an IP grade is not viewed negatively by graduate and/or medical schools, when your transcript is reviewed. MCDB has two multi-quarter research courses (MCDB 190A-B and MCDB 190HA-HB).

    Do I have to repeat a course, if I received a grade of C-?
    In the "prep" courses for the life science majors, you must earn at least a C- in each individual course (Life Sciences 1-4, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics), but a grade of C- will meet that minimum requirement. The minimum requirement for the MCDB major itself is not based on individual course grades. In the major, the grades you earn in all courses applied to your major credit must average at least a C (2.0) overall. If you receive an F in a course required for the major, you must repeat that course. However, in the case of a grade of C-, D+ or D in a major course, the course does not have to be repeated, as long as you still have at least a 2.0 overall average within the major. You may, however, choose to repeat such courses. You cannot repeat a course in which you earned a grade of C. Only courses in which you have earned grades of C- or lower, or NP, can be repeated. Whether or not you choose to repeat a particular course, if you should receive a grade in a science course that is lower than C, you are advised to meet with the MCDB Counselor.

    How many courses can I repeat and will the first grade be removed from my transcript?
    For students who repeat a total of 16 units or less, only the most recently earned letter grades and grade points will be computed in your GPA. After repeating 16 units, however, your GPA will be based on all letter grades assigned and total units attempted. The grade assigned each time you take a course will be permanently recorded on your transcript.

    What does it mean if I'm on academic probation or subject to dismissal?
    You will be placed on probation if your term or overall grade-point average (GPA) falls between 1.5 and 1.99. You will be subject to dismissal if your grade-point average in any one term is less than 1.5 OR if you do not earn at least a C (2.0) average in any one term when you were on probation OR if you do not end probation by the end of the next term. Subject to Dismissal does not mean that you are going to be immediately dismissed; however, you must make an appointment to meet with the MCDB Counselor who will explain the conditions under which you will be allowed to continue. You should meet with the MCDB counselor, if you have been notified that you are on academic probation or subject to dismissal.

    What if I am enrolled in fewer than 12 units this quarter?
    This may not be a problem unless you have financial aid or are in the residence halls. If you accrue fewer than 36 units in one academic year (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring; in that order) you will get a notation on your transcript of failure to meet the minimum progress requirement. See Letters and Science, AAP, or Honors, for how to resolve this.

    Can I go to school part time?
    This is called Fee Reduction, and you can petition for this status through Letters and Science Counseling. It must be done for three regular quarters and you must be enrolled in ten or fewer units each quarter. This can be requested on the basis of family responsibility, employment commitments, and/or health reasons. See Letters and Science Counseling (A-316 Murphy), AAP, or Honors for this.

    What if I want to take more than 18 units?
    Go to Letters and Science Counseling (A-316 Murphy), AAP, or Honors to fill out a petition. Make sure you want to do this; it can be hard on your GPA.

    Can I take a course somewhere else when I'm already a UCLA student?
    • Can I take a course through Extension? Beware of taking Extension and regular classes at the same time. The College (of Letters and Science at A-316 Murphy) will get you for this. Before enrolling, go see them to request CONCURRENT (at the same time) ENROLLMENT. Please keep in mind that these requests are rarely approved. This term, "concurrent enrollment" should not be confused with the term "concurrent enrollment" that Extension uses to describe enrollment in regularly offered UCLA courses. If concurrent enrollment has been approved in advance, you may take regular UCLA classes through UCLA Extension. However, this is up to the instructor, on a space-available basis. You should see the instructor at the first meeting of the class. For information, you can call the Extension Science and Math Office at x57093.

    • Can I take a course at a community college and transfer it to UCLA? This can be a good option, but remember that you are affected by two rules. One is that once you've accrued 105 units from any school or college, you receive no unit credit for community college work (if you go over that you could get credit toward your DPR but not unit credit). Also, you must take 68 of the last 80 units toward your degree at UCLA (the Residency Rule). Remember…you can't transfer in upper division units from a community college, by definition, except for organic chemistry or biochemistry. Always check first to make sure that the course you plan to take will transfer to UCLA as what you need. The grades won't transfer in (grades only transfer from other UC's). Med schools frown on returning to a community college for science courses once a student has already attended UCLA.

    • How about at another UC in summer? This is usually fine but watch out for the Residency Rule (see above). Again, check first to make sure that the course will transfer for what you need. The grade DOES transfer from other UC's (the only circumstance in which it does).

    • How about the Education Abroad Program? Whether or not EAP courses will apply on the MCDB major, depends a lot on which country you plan on going to. Check with the MCDB Undergrad Office before you go and we can tell you what will apply.