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Microbiology Advising Resources

Department: Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology

This page is meant to provide resources to assist you in planning your degree progress.

Microbiology Advising

Advisor Name: Marla Hesselink

Advising Email:

This is a photo of Marla, the Chemistry Undergrad advisor

Most advising questions can be answered via email! Please follow the guidelines below when emailing the Microbiology Advisor:

  • Use the email to communicate with the advisor.
  • Include your full name and student ID number.
  • If you are requesting assistance with forms, please attach a copy of your form to the email.

Microbiology Advising Appointment Schedule:

  • Remote appointments (via Zoom) Thursdays between 1:30-4pm
  • If the above does not work for you, please email Microbiology advising with 2-3 days/times that would work for you in the next 10 days and we will set up an off-schedule appointment as soon as possible.
  • Make a Microbiology Advising appointment here!
Getting Started in the Microbiology Major

Microbiology B.S. Catalog

The Microbiology B.S. Catalog is the official resource with all information about the major (course requirements, qualification policy, sample academic plans, etc.).

Getting Started Guides

Getting started in the Microbiology B.S. major as a first-year student
Getting started in the Microbiology B.S. major as a transfer student


Transfer Students & Transfer Credit Requests

Students intending to transfer into UCSC to pursue a Microbiology degree should review the Transfer Information and Policy section of the catalog for the Microbiology B.S. published in the 2023-24 UCSC Catalog.

Students can also review the getting started in the major as a transfer student guide for their major of choice:

Students preparing to transfer from a California Community College should also reference to determine what UCSC coursework they may receive transfer credit for.

General information on transfer credit (including how to have it sent to UCSC) can be found here. NOTE: Unit Credit and satisfaction of GE requirements are processed through admissions. Please see the UCSC advising website for more information.

Enrollment - Updates & General Policies

Updated 4/30/2024

Enrollment Information such as appointment dates, maximum numbers of credits permitted, waitlist opening and closing dates, etc. is updated and posted quarterly by the Registrar’s Office. Click here to see it!

Summer 2024 Enrollment Updates

  • Check out the Summer Session website for details about how to enroll as a UCSC student, visiting student, returning student, financial aid details, etc.
  • All permission numbers for courses in the summer are handled by the Summer Session office. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry cannot provide permission numbers for Chemistry courses offered in the summer.
    • Permission numbers are necessary to enroll in for Session 2 courses if the prerequisite is being taken in Session 1.
    • Students can reach the Summer Session enrollment team to request a permission number via email at:
  • Students are encouraged to enroll by June 1 to ensure that Financial Aid is disbursed in time.
  • If a student has participated in more than 60% of a course, the recommendation is to change the grade option to P/NP instead of a letter grade. This will help you keep your summer financial aid. It’s not recommended to withdraw, as you will likely lose financial aid that you were awarded.

Fall 2024 Enrollment Updates

BIOL Course Enrollment

For enrollment information/procedures/updates related to BIOL courses, visit the MCD enrollment website.

  • For those who want to take a course with BIOL 102J as a prerequisite: BIOL 102J is “equivalent” to BIOL 20L and 102J has been discontinued – so students will not be penalized at all for not completing 102J.
  • Per MCD Advising in fall 2023, students who successfully completed BIOL 100 should be able to enroll in BIOL 101L without any problems (even though BIOL 100 isn’t listed as a prerequisite). 

CHEM/BIOC Course Enrollment

For enrollment information/procedures/updates related to CHEM or BIOC courses, visit the Enrollment Updates & Policies section of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Advising website.

General Enrollment Information

General Enrollment Information from the Registrar (enrollment appointments, waitlists, min/max credits, etc.)
Enrollment How-To Videos


All Microbiology courses will have a waitlist.  Do not contact the instructor or the department manager asking for a permission code to get you off the waitlist.

  • Waitlists will be available at the start of Second Pass enrollment: Log in to MyUCSC to view your waitlist appointment time. For your best chance at becoming enrolled, add or swap onto a waitlist as soon as they become available.
  • Permission Numbers will not be approved to help you bypass the waitlist.
  • All waitlists will be set to auto-enroll unless otherwise noted: Students will be automatically enrolled as space becomes available in the course and notified via email.
  • Waitlists will manage enrollment: If you want to enroll in a full course, you MUST enroll onto the waitlist.  To allow for fair access to enrollment, individual requests to instructors or the department will not be entertained.
  • The waitlist period is from the end of the last day of enrollment to the eighth day of instruction. On the eighth day all waitlists are purged. Students who want to get into a course after this point must have a permission code to enroll. The reason for this is because students who have not attended a course prior to the eighth day fall behind on course content. Only the instructor can decide if a student will be successful in a course with late enrollment.
How to Qualify for and Declare the Microbiology Major

Major Qualification

Students must complete a certain set of coursework and achieve a certain GPA in order to qualify for the Microbiology B.S.

Qualification courses and GPA requirements for the Microbiology B.S.

As listed in the 2023-24 catalog, the Microbiology B.S. major qualification criteria are below.

Students must complete the following qualification courses, or their equivalents, each with a grade of C or higher:

  • CHEM 1A, 1B, & 1C OR CHEM 3A, 3B, & 3C OR CHEM 4A & 4B
  • CHEM 8A
  • BIOL 20A
  • BIOL 20L
  • BIOE 20B
  • MATH 11A OR MATH 19A

Students who entered UC Santa Cruz as frosh who have two or more grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F in the qualification courses are not qualified to declare.

Students with AP credit for MATH 11A or MATH 19A, BIOL 20A, and/or BIOE 20B need only pass the other qualification policy courses with grades of C or better.

Major Declaration

The major declaration deadlines for each quarter can be found in the academic calendar.

Students who entered UC Santa Cruz as first-year students are required to formally declare a major by the deadline in their sixth quarter on campus.

Students who transfer to UC Santa Cruz are required to declare a major by the deadline in their second quarter on campus.

Major Declaration Process

Students should petition to declare the Microbiology major once they’ve completed all qualification courses and met the GPA requirements. It’s recommended to have an academic plan signed by the Microbiology B.S. major advisor, as well.

Students may log into MyUCSC and submit the Petition for Major/Minor via MyUCSC to petition to declare a Microbiology major as soon as they have met major qualification requirements and/or reach their declaration deadline quarter, whichever comes first.

The Petition for Major/Minor declaration form can be accessed by going to MyUCSC and navigating to the Student Homepage and selecting the Undergraduate Student eForms tile > Petition for Major/Minor.

For assistance, please contact Microbiology Advising at

Major Declaration Appeals

Students may appeal to the major either prior to or after submitting a petition to declare and being denied (in the latter case, appeals must be submitted within 15 days from the date the denial notification was sent). Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student and their affiliated college of the decision.

Learn more about the Appeal Process here.

Please note that the information you share in your appeal or with your advisors will be kept confidential and shared only with campus officials as required to serve you in an advising capacity or to process your appeal, except in cases related to potential harm to yourself or others, or sexual assault or abuse. In those cases, we may be required by law to report incidents you disclose to other need-to-know offices on campus such as the Title IX Office and/or University of California Police Department. If you are in need of support for any issues, please consult this list of confidential and/or support resources.

Microbiology as a Second/Double Major

Pursuing a double major that includes a Microbiology major is a highly individual decision, and should be based on a student’s educational and career goals. Because the Microbiology major itself is a rigorous, it should be noted that completing a double major involving Microbiology is difficult (though possible).

To declare a double major program, a student must obtain an academic plan showing that they are able to complete both degrees within the maximum number of quarters of enrollment available at UCSC.  Therefore, the steps to pursue Microbiology as a second major are as follows:

  1. Create and review a major academic plan for your first major and have it signed by the appropriate UCSC major advisor.
  2. Work independently to add the Microbiology major requirements to the academic plan on top of your first major requirements.
  3. Make an appointment with the Microbiology major advisor and send the link to your academic planning form (signed by your first major advisor) to
  4. The Microbiology major advisor will review your major academic plan and will assist in planning the Microbiology major coursework for your plan, if it is viable to do so per double unit counting, enrollment limitations, and time-to-degree guidelines.
  5. The Microbiology major advisor will discuss the double major plan with you during your appointment. If the plan is viable, it will be approved and signed by both yourself and the Microbiology major advisor.
  6. Once you have an approved & viable double major plan, log into MyUCSC and submit the Petition for Major/Minor via MyUCSC to petition to declare Microbiology as a second major. The Petition for Major/Minor declaration form can be accessed by going to MyUCSC and navigating to the Student Homepage and selecting the Undergraduate Student eForms tile > Petition for Major/Minor.

More general information on Double Majors may be found on the Registrar Office’s website.

Academic Support
Below are some particularly useful resources for students seeking academic support. Please visit the website for a full list of academic support resources

  • ACE – The Academic Excellence Program provides discussion sections in biology, pre-calculus, general and organic chemistry and physics. Sections meet for 4 hours each week with professional teaching staff and take the place of the required secondary discussion section for your math or science lecture.
  • Chemistry Learning Center (CLC) – The Chemistry Learning Center in PSB 209 is officially open! This space is meant specifically for any General Chemistry student in CHEM 1A, CHEM 1B, or CHEM 1C to come for help. TAs and instructors will be there to offer help to ANY student who needs it. General Chemistry students should check their Canvas courses for the current Chemistry Learning Center schedule.
  • College Scholars Program (CSP) – The UC Santa Cruz College Scholars Program (CSP) offers a congenial and stimulating academic home for a select group of well-prepared first-year students at UC Santa Cruz. This enriched program of study includes special courses, seminars, colloquia, and other events during each quarter of the student’s first academic year and fall of the student’s second academic year.
  • DRC – The Disability Resource Center assists the UCSC campus with equal educational access for students with disabilities.
  • EOP – Academic and personal support for students who have been granted EOP status.
  • LSS – Learning Support Services offers Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) and tutoring services.
  • MSI – Modified Supplemental Instruction gives students the opportunity to learn together in small groups led by advanced Student Learning Assistants.
  • Navigate Slug Success – You can use Navigate Slug Success to:
    • Set alerts and reminders. Stay on top of your to-do list and important deadlines.
    • Locate campus resources. Connect to resources and support throughout campus.
    • Sync your class schedule with your phone calendar. See your whole schedule in one calendar view.
    • Make an appointment. Instantly schedule a Slug Success meeting with an academic advisor or other campus staff.
  • STEM Diversity – The UCSC STEM Diversity Programs encompass a variety of programs that support underrepresented students in STEM fields.
  • STEM Hub – The STEM Hub is a place for Small Group Tutoring from Learning Support Services (LSS), study space, and peer advising, centrally located on Science Hill to support the retention and graduation of low-income, first-generation, EOP, and Latinx STEM students at UCSC. All students are welcome.
  • Study Group – Students are encouraged to create study groups for themselves with fellow students in their classes!
  • Technology Resources – Our campus recognizes the importance of digital equity. The Division of Student Affairs and Success has developed a list of resources available to students who seek assistance with tech needs (computer labs, low-cost internet, library loaners, etc.).
Undergraduate Research
Course announcement:
BIM 88V: Introduction to Research

Offered via UC Online in Winter & Spring quarters and available to students from any UC through the UCOP cross campus portal.

This class will:

  • Help you understand what research means
  • Take you through some self-exploration to better identify what is interesting and important to you
  • Give you practice in some basic research and communication skills
  • Provide guidance in how to find a research position

Enroll and learn more about BIM 88V: Introduction to Research here – search by term of offering under “Engineering” (class open to all majors, not an Engineering focus).


Work Experience, Careers, & Graduate School

Career Exploration:

Graduate/Ph.D. Program Exploration:


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