Advising F.A.Q.

This is a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing common undergraduate problems. Don't see your FAQ below? Email us at studentservices@math.ucdavis.edu.

Declaring a Math Major

Grades & Enrollment

Graduation

Transfer & Summer Work


Declaring a Math Major


How do I go about planning my upper division program? Are there any forms I need to submit to the Department of Mathematics in this regard?

In addition to declaring the Math major (see below), after completing basic introductory courses such as calculus, students plan an upper division program and record it on a planning sheet provided by the Department. Review the Degree Requirements on our web site for course specifics and print out a copy of the appropriate planning sheet. Consult the Courses section of our web site for information on when courses are being offered. After completing the planning sheet, meeting with a faculty adviser at this point is recommended.

Important things to note:

  • This completed planning sheet must be submitted to the Student Services office for placement in your file.
  • Any course changes and/or substitutions to this plan can only be done with prior written and dated approval by a Department of Mathematics adviser or the appropriate departmental committee.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may jeopardize your graduation schedule.

For general questions, please consult staff in the Student Services office, or email them at studentservices@math.ucdavis.edu. For a list of advisers, please consult our Undergraduate Advisers web page.


When can I declare a Math major?

Although you can declare a Math major at any time after your first quarter, it makes sense to have taken at least several of our courses—most notably the 21 (Calculus) series—prior to declaring Math as a major. Per Letters and Science regulations, all students must declare a major by the time 90 units are completed.


Where do I get the form to declare Math as my major?

Obtain the Petition for a Change of Major form from the Office of the Registrar, on their forms web page.


Which courses qualify as "natural sciences" for the AB major?

In the Preparatory Subject Matter, it requires 12 units of "additional non-Mathematics courses chosen from natural sciences." A source to use for a list of classes, is the list provided in the university catalog under Undergraduate Education, College of Letters and Science, Area (Breadth) Requirement, for the B.S. Degree, available from the Registrar's web page.


Grades & Enrollment


Can I take a course in my major requirement Pass/No Pass?

Yes. However, there are some issues to consider first. Most graduate schools do not look favorably upon major courses that are taken Pass/No Pass (P/NP) and often simply count them "C". However, the P/NP option may be useful if protecting a GPA is important or if a student experiences an extremely stressful quarter. Also note that other majors may have different guidelines regarding P/NP in the major. And finally, remember that the passing level (C- or better) is higher for the P/NP than it is for a letter grade (D- or better). The campus Letters & Science Advising Services office is an excellent place to get assistance with the question of whether or not to take a class P/NP. They have direct contact with individual schools with recommendations. Also, watch for quarterly workshops available through Advising Services.


How do I add a course after the deadline?

Permission for a late add must granted by the instructor. The instructor will give you a PTA (Permission To Add) number if a late add is appropriate.


How do I change a grade to P/NP?

If you are in good academic standing, you can choose to take letter-graded courses on a Passed/Not Passed grading basis using SisWeb before the fifth week of instruction.


How do I change the unit value of a variable unit course after the deadline?

You must request permission from the instructor if you wish to change the unit value of a varialble unit course after the deadline. If permission is granted, you must complete a variable unit change card (available through the department). Submit your completed card to the Office of the Registrar.


How do I get degree credit for a graduate or professional course?

Degree credit will be granted only by permission by the Dean. There is a limit of 9 units for professional courses (courses numbered 300 & 400). You can download the petition from the L&S website. A GPA of 3.3 and 18 units of upper division preparation work are required.


How do I petition for a drop or P/NP after the deadline?

You must schedule an appointment to request permission from the Dean's Office of your college for a late drop or late P/NP. You have to provide supporting documentation with your petition. You can come in to the L&S Advising Office or download the petition from the L&S website.


How long do I have to complete an "I" grade?

Any "I" (incomplete) grade must be replaced with a grade after 3 registered quarters. After that time, it will change to an "F". Note that you may not re-enroll for the class for which an "I" grade has been assigned.


I feel I have mastered the content of a course on my own such that I shouldn't need to enroll and attend the class. Is there a way for me to prove what I know and get credit for the course?

Some people refer to this as "challenging a course". In the catalog, it is referred to as "credit by examination". Please go to the catalog for more details, from the university's perspective. Here in the Department, at their meeting of June 13, 1985, the Chairman's Advisory Committee adopted the following policy concerning challenging a course.

A. An instructor who receives a request from a student to take a course by examination should first determine that the student has a good cause for taking the course by examination rather than as a regularly enrolled student. The option to pass a course by examination is designed to aid the superior student to use his/her time at the University to greater advantage, not simply to accumulate units or improve grades. In particular, a student shall not be permitted to take by examination a course he/she has already taken or challenged, nor shall he/she be allowed to challenge a lower-level course when he/she has already passed a higher-level course (e.g. a student who has passed MAT108 should not be permitted to take MAT21B by examination).

B. If the student has good cause, the instructor shall determine by appropriate questioning of the student whether she/he is prepared to take an examination. This questioning will usually consist of a kind of oral examination lasting not more than 5 or 10 minutes.

C. If the instructor has satisfied herself that the student is ready to take a given course by examination, the student should be told to obtain a petition from the Office of the Registrar. This petition shall be signed by the instructor, and the student returns it to the Office of the Registrar which in turns sends an official grade report form to the instructor. When the instructor has received this form, the student can be given a comprehensive departmental examination of at least 3 hours. Such a departmental examination shall be made up by a regular faculty member, preferably the instructor in charge of the given course during the quarter in which the student desired to take the examination. This instructor shall be assisted by one or two other appropriate instructors. When the official grade report form is returned to the Office of the Registrar, a letter grade must be reported. The student submits a separate petition to the Dean's office _before_ the examination if she/he wishes to take the course on a P/NP basis.

D. If the student fails the examination, she/he will not be allowed to take that course again by examination.

E. Failure to pass a course by examination shall be considered a negative factor in any petition this student may make to take courses in the Department of Mathematics by examination.

F. Any exceptions to this policy should be with the express written consent of the Vice Chair of Undergraduate Matters.


I think I received an incorrect grade in a class. What can I do?

Academic Senate Regulations (systemwide and individual campus) provide that grades are final when filed with the Registrar by an instructor. A grade can be changed only if a "clerical" or "procedural" error can be documented. The Davis Division (DD) Grade Change Committee (GCC) has prepared the following guidelines: *Authority*. The GCC administers grade changes. See DD regulations A540 through 550 at http://academicsenate.ucdavis.edu/. Grade changes for "clerical" reasons (for instance, incorrect addition of points) are automatically granted. The instructor must indicate the precise nature of the error. Petitions entitled "Request for Grade Change" can be obtained from department secretaries. The petition must be completed and signed by the instructor, and the department chairperson.

The only other justification for grade change is procedural error, and the committee requires a full account before deciding if a case qualifies. Each case is judged on its merits. In general, a procedural error would be a mistake by someone other than the student, in the conduct of a class or the grading procedures, and that results in an incorrect evaluation of a student. For example, if an instructor arranged with a student to allow credit for certain nonstandard work, later forgot the arrangement and graded the student as if no agreement had been made, the GCC might determine that a procedural error had been committed. The grade would be changed upon petition by the instructor.

*NOTE: Academic Senate regulations prohibit a change of grade based on reevaluation of a student's work or upon the submission of additional work ("Incomplete" grade excepted).*

Requests to interchange P, NP, S, or U and normal letter grades, based upon student need (e.g., NP to D to allow graduation, P to B for entrance to professional school, etc.) do not involve clerical or procedural errors; these petitions are denied automatically. Thus, students should exercise their P/NP or S/U option with extreme caution.


Is there a unit limitation for P/NP?

In the College of Letters & Science, excluding the courses that are graded on a Passed/Not Passed basis only, the limit is not more than one fourth of the units completed on the Davis campus. There is also a limit on the total number of courses graded P/NP, including courses that are Passed/Not Passed only. The limit is not more than one third of the units completed on the Davis campus.


What are the criteria for repeating a course?

Students are allowed to repeat courses in which they have earned a grade of NP or D+ or lower. Only the first 16 units repeated will remove the first grade from GPA calculation. Repeating a course more than once requires the permission of the Dean. You can download the petition from the L&S website or come to the L&S Advising Office.


What is Enrolled No Work Submitted (ENWS)?

Enrolled No Work Submitted is a notation given instead of a grade for a course in which a student is enrolled but has not submitted any work that is subject to grading. The "ENWS" notation does not appear on your official transcript.


What is an Incomplete grade?

An Incomplete ("I") grade may be assigned if a student's work is of passing quality and a significant portion of the requirements for a final grade has been completed. It is at the discretion of the instructor to assign the "I" grade. If the instructor agrees to the "I", he/she will need to complete a departmental form which specifically lists what steps must be taken to complete the course. This form is kept in the Department's Student Services Office.


Graduation


Can I participate in the commencement ceremonies even if I have not completed all my degree requirements?

You must complete at least 160 units by the end of Winter quarter to be eligible to participate in the Spring quarter commencement ceremony and 150 units after Fall quarter to attend the Fall quarter ceremony. View the L&S Commencement page.


How can I obtain certification that I have completed my degree requirements if I need it for employment or graduate school?

You can request a Letter of Certification from the Office of the Registrar once you have filed for graduation. The Letter of Certification can be provided only after all requirements and coursework are complete and grades reported. This form is also available at the Registrar's website.


How do I apply for graduation?

To officially graduate from the University and receive your diploma, you must file on the Office of the Registrar's website. Filing to participate in the Commencement ceremony is not the same as filing to graduate.


How do I get a degree check?

A degree check is sent by the L&S advising office toward the end of each Fall quarter to students who have completed 125 units. You may also request for a degree check online through the L&S website.


How do I know if I can graduate?

You must contact your major adviser and then go to the L&S advising office to request a degree check. The degree check will indicate if you still have requirements remaining. You should also check the registrar's office website, which lists the filing deadlines for graduation.


Where do I find information about commencement participation?

Please visit the Letters & Science Commencment website or the Commencement Handbook.


Will I receive notification of my graduation status after I have filed for graduation?

The College of Letters & Science is unable to notify each candidate of their status due to the large number of degree candidates. They will normally notify only those candidates they cannot certify because degree requirements have not been met. If you receive this kind of notification, please contact the College immediately.


Transfer & Summer Work


Can I attend another school while being a registered student here on campus?

Normally you cannot attend another school while being a registered student here. You may petition the Dean if courses are impacted at UC Davis and you have not been able to get courses or if you have an exceptional situation. You can download the petition from the L&S website or come into the L&S Advising Office. Summer Session doesn't require a petition.


Can I make up a failing UCD grade with another UC class that is equivalent?

Yes. If there is a UCD class which you are eligible to repeat, you may clear up this grade by taking an equivalent course from another UC campus. Only work completed at another UC campus for a grade will become part of a student's UC GPA. Make sure you get prior written confirmation from the Department of Mathematics that the other UC class is, indeed, equivalent to ours. Also, if the second course taken at another UC campus is a semester class, then just the amount of units needed to replace the UCD quarter class will be transfered over. As with any other repeated class, both classes will show up on your transcript but only the second course will be computed in your GPA, up to a maximum of 16 units. After the 16-unit maximum is reached, the GPA shall be based on all grades assigned and total units attempted. If you have any questions about this process, contact the Office of Admissions and the Department of Mathematics (Student Services).


Can I substitute courses I have taken at other institutions for required courses in my major?

This is possible, but approval is required. Discuss this process with your faculty adviser, or contact a staff person at studentservices@math.ucdavis.edu. Before taking a course at another institution, check with the Admissions office, and the major department if using the course for major requirements.


Can I take a summer session class at another school to fulfill a major requirement?

It is possible, but you must contact UC Davis Admissions Office to ensure that the class you wish to take is transferable to UCD. Then, the Department of Mathematics must also approve the course you are taking for the major. Remember that there are no upper-division courses at junior/community college. Normally, lower-division major requirements are offered at other schools.


Does my GPA transfer from another college?

Only work completed at another University of California campus for a grade will become part of a student's UC GPA. You will receive unit credit for courses taken at other non-UC institutions as indicated above, but not UC GPA credit.


What courses should I choose my first quarter?

Choose introductory courses that will introduce major areas of study (courses numbered below 100). Satisfying English Language Writing Requirement should be your highest priority if you have not yet satisfied this requirement. Refer to the Letters & Science website on planning your first quarter classes.


What do I do if I want to take courses at another UC for a quarter?

You can apply to the Intercampus Visitor Program through the Office of the Registrar. Along with your completed application, you must provide a letter of support from your major department if you are planning to take courses for your major.


What is ASSIST?

ASSIST is a web-based system that shows how a course from a California community college transfers to a UC or CSU campus.


What is IGETC?

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a General Education program that California community college transfer students can use to fulfill lower-division general education requirements in either the California State or University of California system.