First Year (Freshman) Advising

Overview of the Bachelor's Degree


Students studying Ornithology

A minimum of 120 units of study are required to complete an undergraduate program of study. This means taking an average of 15 units each semester to graduate in 4 years. Each class is worth 1 - 5 units, with 3 or 4 units being the most common. A typical full-time class load in a semester may be 14 - 17 units or 4/5 classes.

A bachelor's degree has 2 components:

  1. GEAR - General Education (GE) classes & All-University Requirements (AR)
  2. MAJOR - defined classes that must be taken to fulfil the requirements of your declared

Every class offered by the University has a title and a unique letter/number combination - e.g. General Botany is known as BOT 105. This gives important information about the class.

The letters indicate which department offers the class e.g. WLDF - wildlife; BIOL - biology; CHEM - chemistry; ENVS - environmental science; BOT - botany; ZOOL - zoology.

The numbers indicate who the course material is most appropriate for:
100 - Freshman; 200 - Sophomore; 300 - Junior; 400 - Senior; 500 - Graduate.

There is some flexibility - 200 classes may be suitable for Freshmen, but 500s are not.

The numbers also show if the class is GE:
100 - 109 - lower division general education (LDGE); 300 - 309 - upper division general education (UDGE).

So, in the above example BOT 105 - we can tell that it is a GE Botany class, suitable for Freshmen.

Course descriptions can be found in alphabetical order in the catalog.

Continue to General Education & All-University Requirements »