Skip to main content

Policies and Procedures

This is a summary of key policies and procedures that affect you as an undergraduate student at UC San Diego. You can read in depth about policies and regulations in the UCSD General CatalogWhile this page isn't a substitute for talking with an advisor, we hope that we have enough information here to help you at least start learning about most common issues and their solutions!

Academic Integrity

The campus policy on integrity of scholarship covers rules on academic dishonesty. As noted by our campus Academic Integrity Office: “The University expects both faculty and students to honor the Policy. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it's assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind."

Academic Planning

You can view sample graduation plans at and use those to build your academic plan. Each major has both a four-year plan and a transfer plan, and some majors have three-year plans as well. If you start with these plans, you can work with an academic advisor to modify it based on your placement, transfer units, and personal goals. 

Adding and Dropping Classes

  • Add and drop  classes via TritonLink
  • Add a course by Friday, week 2 of the quarter. Adding after the deadline requires an exception approved by  both instructor and department.
  • Drop a class without a “W” grade by Friday, week 4. Dropping some laboratory courses after the 2nd lab meeting will still result in a W grade.
  • Drop a class with a “W” grade by Friday, week 6. You may only receive one W per course. Dropping after week 6 requires a petition for an exception due to exceptional circumstances
  • To drop all your classes, file an undergraduate request for withdrawal form: 


Auditing Courses

"Auditing" means sitting  in on a class without enrolling in it.

  • You may audit any class with the consent of the course instructor. Some instructors may not allow students to audit classes depending on the size of the class, the type of instruction, liability issues, workload, or because of academic integrity concerns. 
  • Instructors may allow you to sit in on a class but still deny you access to Canvas. 
  • Since you are not enrolled, you will not submit work to be graded or evaluated. However, since you are still part of the campus community, you are held to the same standards of conduct as enrolled students.
  • Since you are not enrolled and are not turning in assignments, there is no official record when you audit a class. 

Changing Grading Option or Unit Value of Classes

  • Changes to your grading option or unit value need to happen by Friday of the 6th week of the quarter and are done on WebReg.
  • Petitions for exceptions to the deadline are rarely granted, and usually due to confirmed errors on WebReg (we will pull the transaction logs to verify your activity) or due to hospitalization or family emergencies that made it impossible for you to change grading option by the deadline. 
  • Petitions for grading option changes will not be approved in response to your grade in the class (whatever the final grade), because you either now need a letter grade for a major or minor or because you no longer need a letter grade after changing or dropping a major or minor, or because you did not choose the correct grading option. 

Class Standing

Your class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior) is determined by the number of units you have completed, including AP, IB, A-level, and transfer credits, regardless of how long you have been at UC San Diego.

  • 0.0 - 44.9 units = Freshman
  • 45.0 - 89.9 units = Sophomore
  • 90.0 - 134.9 units = Junior 
  • 135+units = Senior

Credit by Petition

You can petition for credit by examination if...

  • You haven’t already received a grade or a W in the course.
  • You are registered and in good academic standing.
  • You are approved by the instructor and the college.
Credit by examination will enroll you in the course and it will count toward your enrolled units and give you a grade that counts normally toward your grade point average.

Dropping Classes and Withdrawing

  • You may drop classes on WebReg through week 6 of the quarter. 
    • If you drop a laboratory class after the second lab meeting, this will usually result in a grade of "W".
    • Otherwise, you may drop a class without a "W" by Friday of the 4th week of classes and with a "W" by Friday of the 6th week of classes.
    • You may receive a "W" in any individual class once in your UCSD career. If you try to drop an individual class and you already have a previous grade of "W", you will not be allowed to drop the class. 
    • Dropping a class will not change your status to part-time, even if it brings you below 12 units of enrollment. 
    • Dropping a class will not result in a refund, since you do not pay tuition for individual classes. 
  • Dropping all of your classes in a particular term is called withdrawing.
    • Withdrawing does not mean you are withdrawing your status as a UCSD student, just withdrawing from your currently enrolled classes. 
      • The exception to this is if you are a first quarter first-year or transfer student. If  you withdraw from your first quarter at UCSD on or before the first day of classes for Fall Quarter, you will be treated as declining your offer. 
      • If you drop after your first day of classes, you will owe fees, but your admission status remains approved. 
    • You must complete  the Undergraduate Request for Withdrawal to withdraw. 
    • You can withdraw without Ws in your classes by Friday of the 4th week of classes and with a "W" by Friday of the 6th week of classes.
    • You can withdraw from all of your classes even if you have had a previous W in one of the courses you are taking, the only exception to the one W per class rule.
    • If you are receiving financial aid, you should review the Wlthdrawal Information for Financial Aid or Loan Recipients 
    • If you withdraw, you might qualify for a refund of your tuition. The refund is based on calendar days (not days of instruction), starting with the first day of classes.
      • Withdraw on the 1st day of classes = 100%
      • Days 2 - 7: 90%
      • Days 8-18: 50%
      • Days 19-35: 25%
      • Day 36 and on: 0%
    • If you withdraw, it may also affect your ability to live and work on campus.
  • Dropping or Withdrawing after the week 6 deadline is possible by exception if you have exceptional circumstances (health, family emergency, etc.) Failing a class is not an exceptional circumstance by itself
    • Whether you are dropping a class or withdrawing from all of your classes, you must complete an undergraduate petition form for each class you are dropping.
    • If you are withdrawing from all of your classes, email the completed petitions to the Muir Advising Office at and attach a one-page document explaining your personal circumstances, including any documentatiion you have of your circumstances (like a doctor's note.)
    • If you are dropping some but not all of your classes, the process is harder. You need to do a petition for each individual and attach a one-page document explaining your personal circumstances and why they are impacting only the classes you are dropping, including any documentatiion you have of your circumstances (like a doctor's note.) You need to get your petitions approved by the instructor and the department for each class you are dropping before you email them to the Muir Advising Office at 
    • If you are asking to drop or withdraw during or after finals week, the process will go through more stages of scrutiny, which means it will take longer and be more likely to be disapproved. 

E-mailing Your Professors

Emails to your professors should follow some guidelines:

  • Subject Line: Summarize the main point of your email. Do not put your question here. Example: “PSYC 1 syllabus question”
  • Greeting: Address your professor in a way that they will see as professional. “Hello, Prof. Srinivasan, I am a student in your PSYC 1 class, and I had a quick question.” When in doubt, refer to your professor as Professor and their last name. Assume formality until you are told otherwise.
  • Message Body: Use complete, grammatical sentences (and spell check your words) to ask your question(s). If you have more than one question, make sure each question is a separate sentence, if not a separate paragraph or bullet point. Example: “I am writing because I see that your second midterm is falling on a religious holiday for me. Is it possible to discuss an alternate test date to accommodate my religious observance?”
  • Sign off: Make sure you share your full name, your email contact, and thank the professor for their time and assistance. “Thank you for your time and consideration! John Muir,”
  • Other Things to Remember
    • Think about any email address you use. (Do you really want to really want to use your email address?) It’s best to use your UCSD email address.
    • Reread your email before you send it. More than once.
    • Double check you are sending your email to the right email address!
    • If you are worried about the tone of your email (too angry, too demanding, too upset), don’t send it until you have someone you trust read it, too!

Enrolling in More Than 19.5 Units

During course enrollment, you may enroll and wait list in up to 19.5 units. 

  • This limit increases to 22 units on the first day of instruction. You cannot petition to reach this limit before the first day of instruction. 

You may appeal for an exception to enroll in more than 22 units on Monday of week 1 using You may not use this request to add to a wait list for a class -- only to add into an open class or have an exception from the department to add into a full class ahead of wait listed students.

Enrollment Appointment Times

Enrollment is divided into several blocks determined by your class standing. Each student is given a time within the block they are placed in by their standing. 

  1. Priority Enrollment is given to a handful of students, including student veterans, registered student parents, NCAA athletes, and Regent's Scholars. 
  2. Seniors (will have 135+ units by their enrollment time.)
  3. Juniors (will have 90-134.9 units by their enrollment time.)
  4. Sophomores (will have 45-89.9 units by their enrollment time.)
  5. Freshmen (will have fewer than 45 units by their enrollment time.)

In general, the end of one block is going to be very close to the start of the next block, so it is possible for a senior to have an enrollment time the same day as a junior, separated by hours or even minutes. 

Appointment times are assigned and controlled by the Office of the Registrar, and because of two-pass enrollment, the end of one block of appointments and the start of the next are very close together. 

Examination Policies

Religious Accommodation

If you anticipate a conflict between your exam date and observance of your religious beliefs, you must submit  a statement to the instructor describing the nature of the religious conflict and specifying days and times of conflict.

  • For final exams, submit your statement no later than Friday of week 2 of the quarter.
  • For all other examinations, submit your statement as soon as possible after a particular exam date is scheduled. 
  • The instructor will attempt to provide an alternative, equitable examination which does not create undue hardship for the instructor or for the other students in the class.

Midterm Examinations

  • Faculty must post the date and time of any midterm given outside of regularly scheduled class hours in the Schedule of Classes.
  • Any midterm given outside of the regularly scheduled class hours must also be announced in the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter.
  • Midterms outside regularly scheduled class hours may not exceed 2 hours. Any midterm given during regularly scheduled class hours may not exceed the scheduled class time..

Final Examinations

  • Finals are required in all undergraduate courses unless an exception has been approved by the Undergraduate Council (UGC).
  • Finals may not be given before finals week without explicit approval of UGC.
  • The instructor may give a final at an alternative time during finals week with the approval of UGC, but students must be permitted to take an equivalent examination at the originally scheduled time if they desire.
  • An instructor may choose to offer a final at an alternative time if a student has a valid reason (illness or family disaster) for not taking the regularly scheduled exam. 
  • No student may not  be excused from assigned finals.
  • A final must, whenever possible, be written and must be completed by all participants within a previously announced time limit not to exceed 3 hours in non-laboratory courses.
  • Professors cannot require take-home finals to be turned in before the date and hour at which the examination for the course was scheduled by the registrar’s office.
  • Instructors must be available to students during finals week up to the time when their final exams are given, and must be physically present in the examination room for the entire final examination unless an exam is given in more than one room. If the absence of a course instructor cannot be avoided, the department must designate another faculty member to administer the final examination. 
  • In laboratory courses, the department may require a final examination subject to prior announcement in the Schedule of Classes.
  • Final exam times are posted in the Schedule of Classes, so you are notified of any final exam scheduling issues when you enroll in classes.
  • If you schedule classes so that you have more than one final on a single day, professors are not obligated to offer you an alternate final exam time. It's okay for you to ask, but they are not obligated to grant you an exception.

Retention of Papers

  • Instructors must retain examination papers for at least one full quarter following the final, unless the papers have been returned to the students.



  • A or A+  is worth 4 grade points (the maximum value of any grade is 4.0)
  • A- is worth 3.7 grade points
  • B+ is worth 3.3 grade points
  • B is worth 3 grade points
  • B- is worth 2.7 grade points
  • C+ is worth 2.3 grade points
  • C is worth 2 grade points
  • C- is worth 1.7 grade points
  • D is worth 1 grade point
  • F is worth 0 grade points

Grades of D will earn you units tocount toward your total units and may be used toward your GE requirements, but D grades often may not be usable for your major. 

You can choose to take some classes (but not Muir Writing) pass/no pass. 

  • Grades of P and NP do not factor into your GPA. 
  • Only 25% of your UCSD units can be taken pass/no pass, but you want to keep the number of P/NP units pretty low. 
  • To earn a grade P, though, you need the equivalent of a C- in the class. 
  • Many majors and minors do not accept pass/no pass grading.
  • A P grade typically does not count toward prerequisites for graduate or professional school. 

Failing and Repeating Classes

  • You may repeat a class you have failed  (D, F, or NP).
  • The first 16 units you repeat, the new grade will count in your GPA instead of the original grade
  • The original grade still shows up on your transcript, but the new grade is all that counts to your UC GPA.
  • You can only repeat a D, F, or NP in a class once. If you fail twice, you have to appeal to repeat the class. We may say no, which may force you to consider a new major.
  • You can’t repeat a passing grade (P or a C- or better) to raise your GPA. 
  • You can’t repeat and replace a grade in your GPA if you failed a class as the result of an academic integrity violation. 
  • After the first 16 units, any repeats are counted alongside your original grade in calculating your GPA, which makes it much harder to raise your cumulative GPA.

Grade Appeals

Grading is controlled by the professor and most questions about grades are handled by contacting the professor to correct any grading errors. 

If you believe that non-academic criteria have been used in determining your grade in a course (such as discrimination on political grounds or based on a protected trait, including but not limited to a student’s gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability) you may appeal your grade on that basis. Such appeals, if supported, will not revise your grade, but will either allow you to retroactively drop the course or replace the grade with a P grade, as noted in the appeal process.

Appeals to the Educational Policy Committee are considered confidential. Neither any member of the committee nor the Academic Senate Office will release any information about the appeal except as specifically provided in the Grade Appeals Regulation.

Blank on Student Transcript

A blank which is not replaced by a grade assigned by the instructor  will then be replaced by an F, NP, or U grade after one quarter on a student’s record. Blank grades can reflect anything from a clerical error to an unresolved academic integrity issue. Follow up with your professor to clear up a blank grade.

Changes in Grades

All grades except I and IP are final when filed by instructors. A grade may be corrected when a clerical or procedural error is discovered. No grade except Incomplete may be changed by submitting additional work or taking exams after the end of the quarter. No grade may be changed after one calendar year.

Incomplete (I) Grade

An Incomplete may be granted only to a student who is passing the class but incomplete for a legitimate excuse (illness, housing insecurity, and family emergency, for example).  The instructor may approve or disapprove the request. If approved, the professor should state clearly how and when the I is to be completed.

An Incomplete is intended for use when circumstances beyond your control prohibit you from taking the final or completing course work.  The Incomplete is not intended as a way to retake a course. If you have fallen substantially behind , you can drop the course prior to the end of the sixth week of classes. 

  • The final deadline for filing a request for an Incomplete is the first working day after finals.
  • The instructor should set the earliest possible date to complete the work, but this can be no later than the last day of finals week the following quarter.
  • You must complete the work to remove the Incomplete on or before the date agreed upon with the instructor and in time for the instructor to assign a grade before the last day of finals week the following quarter or the grade will turn into a failing grade.
  • The instructor may neither agree nor require that you wait until the next time the course is offered in order to make up incomplete work.
  • If the instructor assigns an Incomplete grade without you having requested it, they must notify you before the first working day after finals.

Extension of Incomplete

For justifiable reasons, such as illness, you can petition to extend the Incomplete past one quarter. Conflicts with your current quarter making it hard to also finish your past incomplete will almost always be rejected -- you are expected to prioritize your past incompletes and satisfy them early enough to avoid conflicts with finals for your current quarter.

Requests for extensions must be submitted before the Incomplete grade lapses to a failing grade.

In Progress (IP) Grade

A course extending over more than one quarter may be authorized. In such cases the instructor may assign the provisional grade IP (In Progress).

IP grades are replaced by final grades if the student completes the full sequence. The instructor may assign final grades, grade points, and unit credit for completed terms when the student has not completed the entire sequence if the instructor has a basis for assigning the grades and certifies that the course was not completed for good cause. 

An IP not replaced by a final grade will remain on the student’s record.

Pass/Not Pass Grade

An undergraduate student in good standing may elect to be graded on a P/NP basis in a course. No more than 25 percent of an undergraduate student’s total UC San Diego units may be taken on a P/NP basis. Courses numbered 199 are not included in this calculation.

Departments may require that courses applied toward the major or minor be taken on a letter-grade basis. Muir College also requires Muir Writing courses to be taken for a letter grade. 

A grade of Pass shall be awarded only for work that otherwise would receive a grade of C– or better. Units with a P grade count toward satisfaction of degree requirements, but are not used when determining a student’s grade point average.

The last day to change grading option is Friday of the 6th week of instruction.

W Grade

When you withdraw from all of your classes or drop a course after the end of the 4th week of instruction, the Registrar will assign a W to you for each course dropped. Only the Registrar may assign a W. Courses in which a W has been entered on the student’s transcript will be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average.

Note: When you drop certain laboratory courses after the second scheduled meeting period will also receive a W grade.

Unless withdrawing from all courses in a quarter, you may receive a maximum of one W per course.

A W grade is not a negative reflection on your GPA. However, patterns of frequent W grades may be a concern for graduate schools, so you may need to explain any large number or frequent W grades in your personal statement when applying for graduate or professional school.

Graduation and Commencement

In campus jargon,  Graduation and Commencement are separate things. 

  • Graduation is when you complete all your degree requirements and can be certified as having finished your degree. It involves a lot of paperwork, and culminates in you getting a diploma and a notation on your transcript that you completed your Bachelor’s Degree. Students can graduate in Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, or at the end of summer sessions. 
  • Commencement is a ceremony held in June in which students are recognized for completing their degrees. You need to have senior standing to participate in Commencement, but you do not need to have completed your degree to participate in Commencement. Participation in commencement is optional and does not confer your degree. 
  • To file for graduation and commencement, go to 

Senior Graduation Checklist

Application timeframe to file for graduation
I will finish my classes in: Application Opens: Application Closes:
Summer 2023 April 17, 2023 Last day of Summer Session II 2023 finals week
Fall 2023 May 17, 2023 Last day of Fall 2023 finals week
Winter 2024 November 8, 2023 Last day of Winter 2024 finals week
Spring 2024 February 9, 2024 Last day of Spring 2024 finals week
Summer 2024 April 15, 2024 Last day of Summer Session II 2024 finals week
Another quarter not listed here Contact Muir Advising Contact Muir Advising

If you have completed all of your courses for graduation and the quarter has passed, you must apply retroactively for your diploma.

  • If you have verified, eligible reasons to expedite your degree, submit a Priority Posting of Degree request form and supporting documentation to Muir Advising by the end of your graduating quarter.
  • Visit Muir College Academic Advising if you have any questions. 

Optional June Commencement Ceremony Checklist

  • The Muir Commencement ceremony will be Sunday, June 16, 2024 from 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 p.m. PDT.
  • Register for Commencement by April 2, 2024..
  • Purchase and pick-up your cap and gown at the UCSD Bookstore in Spring Quarter.
  • If you are attending the Muir Commencement ceremony, arrive 90 minutes prior to start time.  Bring your commencement ticket, cap, and gown.
  • Click here for more information on the Muir Commencement Ceremony..

Other Graduation Options

Once You Have Filed

  • Generally, it takes 8-10 weeks after the end of the quarter to confer a degree.  It is necessary that your degree is conferred before ordering official transcripts for grad school, etc. This time frame is not accurate for students filing retroactively or that have work-in-progress, "I" grades, or pending units transferred in from other institutions (including EAP, OAP, community college, UCDC, etc. 
  • Generally, it takes 30-60 days after your degree has been conferred to receive your printed diploma.
  • If you are applying for a summer graduation, your application will not be processed until after all UCSD Summer Sessions are complete
  • Filing a Degree and Diploma Application does not ensure graduation. Conferring your degree is subject to review and approval of your college and major department(s).

After graduation, you cannot continue to enroll as a UC San Diego undergraduate. You would need to be admitted as a graduate student, take UCSD courses through Summer Session, or take courses through the UC San Diego Extended Studies Concurrent Enrollment Program.


Holds are placed on your account by different offices. Each hold lists a start date, notes on what the hold prevents you from doing, and information on who to contact to remove the hold. Some common holds, what they prevent, and how to remove them are listed below. 

Code The hold means Prevents How to Remove
ADMM A hold has been placed by the Dean of Student Affairs Adding, dropping, graduating, registration , or ordering transcripts. Contact the Dean of Student Affairs
AIPD A hold has been placed by the Academic Integrity Office Adding dropping, graduating. Contact the AI office
AIRQ You have not completed a requirement of your Academic Integrity sanctions. Adding, dropping, registration. Contact the AI office
AISD A hold has been placed by the Academic Integrity Office. Adding, dropping, registration. Contact the AI office
AISE A hold has been placed by the Academic Integrity Office. Adding, dropping, registration. Contact the AI office
BURF You owe money. Adding, dropping, registration. Must pay fees. Contact Student Financial Services.
BURS A hold has been placed by Student Financial Solutions. Adding, dropping, financial aid, housing, registration, transcripts, paying bills. Contact Student Financial Services.
DAAM A hold has been placed by the Dean of Academic Advising Adding, dropping, registration. Contact Dean of Academic Advising
ECHK Previous e-check payments have not cleared. You can no longer pay by e-Check. Contact Student Finacial Solutions if you have questions.
ELW Failed to pass Entry-level writing Adding, dropping, registration. Prohibited from enrollment for failing to pass Entry Level Writing Requirement within the prescribed time period. Contact Muir College Academic Advising.
H3DN Housing 3-Day Notice to Pay Adding, dropping, registration. Contact HDH.
HOUS Housing Account Problem Bill payment Contact HDH.
HSAD Housing terminated/Administrative Housing Contact HDH.
HSED Housing Account Problem Bill payment Contact HDH.
HSNO Outstanding Housing Balance Adding, dropping, registration. Contact HDH.
IMS1 Immunization non-compliance (COVID 19) Adding, dropping, registration. Fulfill Health Requirements. Questions? Go to MyChart and Ask a Nurse.
IMSR Immunization non-compliance Adding, dropping, registration. Fulfill Health Requirements. Questions? Go to MyChart and Ask a Nurse.
INTG You have not finished the required Academic Integrity Tutorial Adding, dropping, registration. Complete Academic Integrity Tutorial on Canvas. Non-technical questions or concerns, contact
MAJR You will be hitting 90 or more units and did not yet declare a major. Adding, dropping, registration. Declare a major on the major/minor tool.
MAXM You are approaching the maximum unit limit. Adding, dropping, registration. Appeal max unit limit with college. Contact Muir Academic Advising on the Virtual Advising Center.
MDET This hold is for a past due balance on your account. Bill payment Visit TritonPayto view and pay balance. You cannot receive financial aid/fee waivers until you resolve outstanding debt. Questions? Contact Student Financial Solutions.
MINM You have not completed at least 36 units per year for two consecutive years. Adding, dropping, registration. Contact Muir College Academic Advising.
MNRM You have been academically disqualitied. Adding, dropping registration. Must be approved for readmission after Disqualification.
NSC You must confirm your social security number or ITIN. Office of the Registrar requires confirmation of your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for reporting purposes. Contact Academic Records .
OSC A hold has been placed by the Office of Student Conduct. Adding, dropping, graduating, registration,, billl payment, or ordering transcripts. Contact Center for Student Accountability, Growth, and Education regarding hold.
OSCT A hold has been placed by the Office of Student Conduct. Ordering transcripts Contact Center for Student Accountability, Growth, and Education regarding hold.
QTR You are reaching the limit of quarters of enrollment. Adding, dropping, registration. Submit academic completion plan in accordance with Quarter Limit Policy. 
REAP You have outstanding EAP-related fees. Adding, dropping, registration, financial aid. Outstanding EAP charge. Contact Education Abroad Office in Santa Barbara at (805) 893-4023.
REGF Re-enrollment fees outstanding Adding, dropping, registration. Registration fees outstanding for current quarter. Hold will be lifted once fees are paid in full. Contact Office of the Registrar (858) 534-3150.
RESC Residency - immigration documents required Adding, dropping, registration, bill payment Contact the Residency Deputy regarding Immigration and Naturalization Service documents.
RESD Residency - immigration documents required Adding, dropping, registration, bill payment Contact the Residency Deputy regarding Immigration and Naturalization Service documents.
RESS Statement of Legal Residency Required Adding, dropping, registration, bill payment Contact the Residency Deputy regarding Immigration and Naturalization Service documents.
TBSR TB Screening Required Adding, dropping, registration. TB screening is required. Go to https:/ / for more information.
TRIP Yolu missed a TRIP payment Adding, dropping, registration, housing Contact Student Financial Services.
UNCA Admissions has cancelled your admission. Everything. Contact Undergraduate Admissions, (858) 534-4831 or in person for information.
UNMD Admissions says you are missing documents Adding, dropping, registration. Contact Undergraduate Admissions , (858) 534-4831 or in person for information.


Honors at Graduation

Honors at graduation (or "Latin honors" because we use Latin phrases for each level) are based on your cumulative UC GPA when you graduate. The top 14% are granted some level of honors: cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude (with high honors), and summa cum laude (with highest honors). The cutoffs for each level of honors changes each year, based on the distribution of grades in the previous academic year. Latin Honors is noted on your transcript and your degree.

This is separate from Provost's Honors, which is noted every quarter in which you earn a term GPA of 3.5 or higher in 12 or more letter-graded units. Provost's honors appears on your transcript, but not your diploma. 

This is also separate from honors in the major, which usually requires students meet a minimum cumulative GPA and complete specific courses required by your major. You need to plan ahead with your major advisor to qualify for honr in your major!

Letter of Recommendation Requests

Okay, it’s time to head on to graduate or professional school. You have taken your GRE or MCAT or GMAT, you have your applications and personal statement ready, and the school now wants a letter of recommendation. Actually, they usually want 2 or 3., and often they want the letters to come from professors, or at least some of them, so they can talk about your strengths and challenges as a student. You’re a senior, and you need to ask a professor to write a letter of recommendation for you:

  • Give the professor at least 3-4 weeks before the deadline. No one likes to be rushed. Giving a short turnaround means you either get no letter or a crappy letter.
  • Approach a professor who might remember you because you went to office hours, did multiple classes with them, worked in their lab, did an independent study with them, or just because you talked a lot in class. The more they know you as a person, the better the letter as a general rule.
  • When you ask for a letter, do so politely. Remind them who you are and let them know what you need and when you need it, and give them an out:

Dear Prof. Yang,

My name is Doug Easterly, and I was a student in your Ethnic Studies 127 class. I don’t know if you remember me, but we had a long conversation one time about horror movies and how they can either be really reactionary or revolutionary, but always allowed some covert political discussion. Anyway, I really enjoyed your class and thought we connected well, and I was hoping you could write me a letter of recommendation for a Ph. D. program in Ethnic Studies at Berkeley. I need a letter by June 5. Please let me know if you are willing and able to write a letter for me.

Thank you for your time,

  • If the professor says yes email them an information packet with:
    • Your resume or curriculum vitae.
    • Your personal statement for graduate school.
    • Any forms or links they need to fill out your recommendation.
    • Your heartfelt thanks for their time and support.
  • Follow up at least once couple of weeks before the letter is due, but don’t bug them constantly. That crap is annoying. Just thank them again, and say you are checking in to see if they have been able to write the letter. 
  • Once they have submitted the letter, send them a thank you card or letter. People often like a real thank you card over an email because humans are sentimental that way. 

Major, Minor, and Advising Links

Making a Good Impression With Professors

Want your professors to remember you in a good way? Professors tend to like students who seem to actually engage with the course, work well, and are passionate about learning. What does that look like from the perspective of a professor?

  • Read the syllabus. Seriously, professors hate having to constantly reiterate what is in the syllabus.
  • Attend class. Do this regularly, and be on time. Do not leave early.
  • Be prepared. Do the reading ahead of class, and have questions ready to ask. Professors hate having to cover material from the assigned reading instead of covering the material they planned in their lectures. Lecture and reading are usually intended to complement each other, not duplicate each other.
  • Participate. Ask and answer questions. Participate in discussions. Apply concepts to real world examples or current events.
  • Be a decent person. Don’t disrupt or disrespect your classmates or the professor. Treat your professors and peers’ opinions with respect and an open mind. Don’t grandstand or make class about you. Don't sleep in class, don't show up late all the time, or leave early. Nobody wants to feel like class,  your professor, or your classmates don't matter to you. 
  • Turn in assignments on time. If you have an emergency that will keep you from meeting a deadline, contact the professor before the deadline.
  • As much as you can, sit front and center, where you can see the professor and they can see you. They tend to notice not only who is up front and engaged, but who slips into the back of the class and hides out there, too. But that kind of noticing is not good.
  • Talk to the professor outside of class. This means either going to office hours or setting up meetings outside of office hours if you can’t make them. Only talking to professors immediately after class may mean that they or you are rushed, and does not tend to highlight you as a student making a strong effort to connect (and suggests you are not reading the syllabus and following the ways they are available to you!)

Meeting with An Academic Advisor

Current or previous Muir Students:

Prospective Students:

  • The college does not determine who is admitted to the university or to the college. For questions about UC San Diego admissions requirements and procedures, visit UC San Diego Admissions
  • If you have other questions, you can email the college at

Part-Time Study

  • A part-time undergraduate student is one who is must enroll in 10 units or fewer in a quarter by Friday of Week 2 and must submit also an application for part time by Friday of Week 2.
  • Approval is only given for reasons of
    • Work (20+ hours per week)
    • Family responsibilities
    • Health,
    • Graduating senior status (for only one quarter in your entire time at UCSD)
  • Part-time undergraduate students are not be required to meet the minimum progress requirement.


  • Apply for part-time status on the part-time study electronic form by Friday of the 2nd week of the quarter at 11:50pm.
  • Approval for part-time study is granted for up to 1 academic year only.
  • Students must reapply each fall quarter.
  • Students who are receiving financial aid should contact the financial aid office regarding eligibility requirements.

Reduced Fees

For information regarding a reduction of fees for students who have been approved for part-time study, see “Introduction to Enrollment and Registration.”

Petitions and Exceptions

Petitions are what we call any request a student submits for an exception. 

Some standard petitions:

Some more complicated petitions, which require you to submit an undergraduate petition form emailed to

  • Requests to drop individual classes after week 6 will be considered if you were unable to drop by the deadline due to significant circumstances outside your control (WebReg down, hospitalization, family emergency). These petitions need to be approved by the instructor and the department offering the course before you send and you need to include a personal statement explaining your situation and documentation of your circumstances. This drop would be granted with a grade of W.
  • Requests to withdraw from all of your classes after week 6 will be considered when students have issues that prevented them from dropping, had serious health or personal issues that arose during the quarter preventing successful completion of the quarter and you were unable to get a grade of incomplete. You need to fill out a petition for each class and include a personal statement explaining your situation and documentation of your circumstances, but can email your forms and statement directly to These drops would be granted with a grade of W.
  • Request to drop courses after week 4 without a grade of W are almost always denied unless you request as soon as possible and you were unable to drop by the deadline due to significant circumstances outside your control (WebReg down, hospitalization, family emergency).
  • Request to drop lab courses after the second lab meeting a grade of W, even if you drop before week 4 are almost always denied.
  • Requests to change grading option. either from pass/no pass to letter grade or from letter grade to pass/no pass, are almost always denied unless you were unable to drop by the deadline due to significant circumstances outside your control (WebReg down, hospitalization, family emergency).

Some things that cannot be petitioned:

  • To add or waitlist over 19.5 units before the first day of classes
  • To waitlist a class that takes you over 22 units.
  • To have a class not on the approved DEI or CCER list count toward the requirement.

Policy and Procedure Links

Progress to Degree and Academic Probation

  • Only letter grades of D or higher or grades of P will earn you units.
  • You cannot earn units more than once for a course or its equivalent. You cannot repeat a course with a grade of C- or higher or a grade of P (including AP, IB, or A-level units).
  • You must have a 2.0 or higher grade point average to receive a bachelor’s degree.
  • Some departments require a minimum letter grade of C- to fulfill your major or minor requirements.

Academic Probation

You are subject to academic probation if at the end of any term your GPA for that term or your cumulative GPA is less than 2.0.

Subject to Disqualification

You are subject to academic disqualification from further registration if either:

  • Your GPA for that term is less than 1.5, or 
  • You have been on academic probation two or more consecutive quarters and your cumulative GPA is below 2.0

You are not automatically disqualified once you reach this status, but will be reviewed individually to determine if we will allow you to continue or if you have to appeal to stay at UCSD.

In general, we only disqualify students after Spring Quarter grades. However, we do review grades after your first quarter after being disqualified -- either if you successfully appealed your disqualification in Spring or if you just returned after previously being disqualified. 

Academic Disqualification

If you are academically disqualified, a statement of your status will be noted on your transcript.

  • You may not register at the University of California. You are unable to enroll in UC San Diego courses through summer session, in courses offered the UC San Diego Extension Concurrent Enrollment Program or in UC San Diego Extension courses offered at the 100 level.
  • You may apply to return in Fall Quarter after taking a year off. We only readmit disqualified students in Fall Quarter.

Minimum Progress

If you are a full-time student, you may be subject to disqualification if you do not complete at least 36 units in any three consecutive quarters of enrollment. If you are falling behind in minimum progress, please  discuss your options with the Muir Academic Advising Office.

Prerequisites and Restrictions


  • Prerequisites are courses that must be completed before you are eligible to take a class. Prerequisites, by definition, cannot be taken concurrently with a course that they are prerequisite for. 
  • You can identify if a course has a prerequisite either in the course description in the General Catalog or the Schedule of Classes by clicking on the "Prerequisites" link for the course. 
  • You may request an exception to prerequisites through 


  • Restrictions are limitations on who can take a class. This may include restrictions to majors only, to certain class levels (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior), or requiring professor approval to take the class. 
  • You can identify if a course has a restriction either in the course description in the General Catalog or the Schedule of Classes by looking to see if the course has a code listed in the "R" column on the far left of the course listing.You can review what the code means by clicking on the "i" symbol at the top of that column. 
  • You may request an exception to restrictions through

Quarter Limit

The expectation at UC San Diego is that students will graduate within a specific timeframe:
  • We want students admitted as first-year students to graduate in 4 years (12 quarters) not including summers.
  • We want transfer students to graduate in 2 years (6quarters) not including summers.

We will not kick you out if you go beyond these limits.

However, we will prevent you from enrolling if you go beyond this limit until you submit a graduation plan to finish your degree in a timely manner. Sometimes you just have to be here longer due to the number of courses you have, when those courses are offered, or courses you need to finish to qualify for graduate or professional school. 

The problem is that staying longer increases the expense of your degree, may cause you to go into more debt (especially if your Cal Grant runs out after your 4th year or for most transfer students at the end of your 2nd year), and staying here longer increases the opportunities for you to run into unanticipated barriers preventing them from graduating. 

Our goal is to make sure you have a reasonable plan and that your plan actually covers all of your remaining graduation requirements and gets you done without too much cost to you. 

If you hit the quarter limit, we will let you know in the 3rd week of your final quarter through the Virtual Advising Center to submit a plan online, and our message will include the link so you can submit your plan and be cleared before enrollment starts!


Because you do not pay per-unit fees, dropping individual courses does not result in a refund. You will only get a refund if you withdraw from all of your classes in the quarter, and even then, the amount of refund depends on when you withdraw from the quarter. 

The campus schedule of refunds is based on number of calendar days (including weekends and holidays) into the quarter you are, starting from the first day of classes. 

Schedule of Refunds
Number of days into quarter 0-1 days 2-7 days 8-18 days 19-35 days 36 days and over
Percent of Registration Fees refund 100% 90% 50% 25% 0%
Percent of SHIP refund 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Repeating Classes

  • All grades you receive at UCSD will be recorded on your official transcript
  • You can receive degree credit for a course only once, unless the course has been approved for repetition.

When can you Repeat a class?

  • You may repeat a course in which you have a grade of D, F, or NP.
  • You may not repeat a course in which you have a grade of I, P, or a letter grade of C- or higher with the exception that a C- in a course approved to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement.
  • If you already have two grades of D, F, or NP, taking the class a third time requires approval of the Muir advising office. Approval is not guaranteed.

Repeats and Grading Option

  • You can’t repeat a grade of D or F on a P/NP basis
  • You may repeat a course with a grade of NP either for a P/NP or letter grade.

Repeats and GPA calculation

  • The first 16 units of D, F, or NP credit you repeat are not used in GPA calculations. The original grade appears on your transcript but the new grade is used to calculate your GPA. Additional repeats after 16 units use both grades to determine your GPA.
  • To count toward GPA calculation, you must repeat the same class at UC San Diego or, by petitiion, at another UC Campus. If you get a D in MATH 20A, you can't use MATH 10A to replace your grade in 20A. 
  • Courses taken outside of the University of California do not count toward your GPA, so cannot be used to change your UC GPA. If you repeat a course you failed at, for example, a community college, you can finish the requirement, but the grade you receive will not replace your UC San Diego grade in the GPA calculation.

Academic Integrity and GPA Calculation

  • Any course you repeat where you admitted to or have been found to have committed academic dishonesty will still count in GPA calculations, even if you repeat the class within your allowed course repetition.
  • Courses approved to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement and their prerequisites that you repeat after a grade of C-, D, F, or NP shall not be used in grade-point calculations unless you are admitted to or were found guilty of academic dishonesty.

Repeated Grades and Graduate or Professional School

  • Although the University of California GPA may not include repeated courses, other institutions, graduate programs, and agencies may recalculate the grade point average to reflect all assigned grades.

Returning to UCSD

There is a full explanation of the process and deadlines for returning to UCSD at

Taking Time Off

For undergraduate domestic students, taking off time is simple: don't sign up for classes and don't pay tuition. However, after you have been gone for two or more quarters, you will need to request to return to UCSD.

You will have to pay an administrative fee, and then we reactivate your status as a student. The big exceptions:

  • You can't return if you finished a bachelor's somewhere else.
  • You have to be reviewed by a human being if you request to return and you are not in good academic standing. You will get a message telling you that you need college approval and to contact the college if you have questions. (And if you immediately contact the college, we will tell you to wait until we review the form!)
  • You have to go through an appeal process if you have been academically disqualified or if you have been dismissed for academic or non-academic misconduct.

There is no maximum time off you can take off. UCSD grades do not "expire", but if you take long enough off:

  • Your major may have changed or been discontinued if you are gone for a long time.
  • If you were in a major that is discontinued but in a department that is now selective, you might be denied the ability to declare a current, capped major. For example if you were an AMES major and now want to come back as MAE, MAE may require you to go through the selective major process to see if you are admitted to an MAE major. 
  • If you have been gone and your major requirements have changed while you were gone, the major department may choose to hold you to the new major requirements.
  • There might be technical challenges in recreating your degree audit if you last enrolled more than a few years ago. 

If you are an international student, you should talk to the International Scholars and Engagement Office (ISEO) before taking time off due to visa issues and leave of absence paperwork you need to preserve your visa eligibility when you take a leave of absence or gap quarters

Transfer to Another College or University

In order to transfer to another campus, whether it is another UC campus or outside of the UC system, you will need to apply directly to that school. Even among the University of California, admission to one campus does not carry over to other campuses in the system, so you have to apply as a transfer student to the other campus during their open application period. 

Using UCSD Coursework When You Transfer to Another College or University

The college you are applying to determines how UC San Diego courses apply to their requirements, so we cannot determine equivalence for you. It's not that we are being stubborn, it's that we literally don't have the power to tell other universities what to do with our credits, we can only make educated guesses to help guide your petitions for credit at the other school. That includes determining whether our courses fulfill their General Education or major requirements. You will have to work with the new college to do paperwork to have your UC San Diego courses count for specific degree requirements at the new campus. 

UCSD Coursework to Fulfill General Education at Another UC campus

UC campuses have an agreement called "UC Reciprocity" that says that if you complete your general education requirements at one UC, you can have your campus write a "Letter of Reciprocity" certifying that, and the other campus will allow that reciprocity to fulfill lower-division general education requirements at the new UC campus. But that only covers general education. 

Transfer Limits

In general, transfer to another campus requires you to have at least 90 units (junior standing) and not more than 135 units (senior standing), though exceptions can be made at some institutions -- particularly if you have a lot of units due to AP or IB credits. Exceptions may also be made for NCAA athletes recruited to a new campus or students with extenuating circumstances, though that varies from campus to campus. 

Many campuses also have specific requirements for admission to a major for transfer students, which are typically something you can research on the admissions pages of their web site. 

How Advisors Can Help

Some specific ways advisors can help you in the process:

  • Advisors can help you navigate and interpret admissions information on the campus to which you want to transfer.
  • Advisors can help you see if your courses look like they might qualify for the major you want based on the public information posted by the college or university you are considering transfering to.
  • Advisors can help you understand the process of ordering transcripts and a letter of reciprocity.
  • Advisors can help you with signing off on paperwork, such as the Common Application.

UC San Diego advisors, however, are not able to help you understand exact course equivalencies at your new institution (they determine that, not us) nor do we know the ins and outs of their processes and forms (every campus, even in the UC system is weird in its own way). But we can help you sort through the information we can find!

Transfer to Another UCSD College

An inter-college transfer is possible if you will save at least two quarters toward graduation. Some things to remember:

  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • If you were admitted as a freshman, you must finish your first year before transfer. 
  • You must complete your writing requirement at your original college before transferring colleges.
  • You start the process with your current college, and work with them to plan out your academic plans showing the difference in requirements. You do not meet with the college you are transferring into!
  • Muir is currently not accepting inter-college transfers.

Transferring Units from Another College or University

Many, but not all, courses from other colleges or universities can transfer to UCSD. Some things to know:

  • When we talk about units being transferable, that means that we recognize that course will grant you units. Being transferable does not necessarily mean those units are considered anything but elective units.
  • If UCSD considers a course automatically equivalent to a UCSD course, we call that articulated and we have an and have programmed the equivalence into our student information system. Articulated courses from California Community Colleges and can be found on
  • If a course is considered transferable but not articulated, you must submit a petition to the appropriate department for course equivalence. This is common for courses outside of California Community Colleges.
  • If a course is transferable, it is transferable even if it is taken online. You can find online community college courses at  -- but you still want to make sure they are transferable or equivalent to a UCSD at!
  • We only calculate a UC-GPA, that is, a GPA based on courses completed in University of California campuses. 
    • Transfer courses taken outside of the University of California don't show up in any campus GPA calculations. 
    • As a result, you can't repeat a course to raise your GPA by doing an equivalent outside of the UC system. You get an F in MATH 10A and take an equivalent at your local community college, and that F stays on your transcript. 
  • You can't get credit for a course more than once. You get credit for for a class at UCSD, you can't get more credits for an equivalent course at a community college -- and vice versa. Duplication of credit also applies to credit for courses you get from AP, IB, A-levels, or credit by examination. 
  • When you go on to graduate or professional school, you have to send transcripts from each institution you attended, and may need to recalculate your GPA using all the units you have completed. 

UC Extension/ UC San Diego Extended Studies

UC Extension is focused on providing continuing education to the San Diego community. They provide a mix of certificate programs, undergraduate programs, graduate courses, professional level courses, post-baccalaureate courses, and non-credit bearing courses. Many of those courses are not transferable to UCSD.

UC Extension has a separate transcript from UC San Diego and has separate fees. It is not intended to be part of a degree. UCSD Extension courses do not count toward your UC GPA. 

  • Concurrent Enrollment is a program offering the ability for students who are not currently registered at UC San Diego to take UC San Diego courses, subject to several restrictions. Some departments will require you to complete courses for your major during regular UCSD terms or summer session and will not take courses completed through Concurrent Enrollment. 
  • Extension Courses numbered 1-199 are undergraduate-level courses. These courses may be offered as part of the Concurrent Enrollment Program. Courses designated with a letter X at a UC extension program are approved for credit to your UC GPA. 
    • Courses numbered 1-99 are lower-division undergraduate-level courses.
    • Courses numbered 100-199 are upper-division undergraduate-level courses.
  • Extension courses numbered 200-299 are graduate-level courses. These courses may be offered by the appropriate UC San Diego department as part of the Concurrent Enrollment Program.
  • Extension courses numbered 300-399 or 30000-39999 are courses in the field of education designed for teachers and prospective teachers seeking credentials, authorizations or other types of certification in the state of California and not intended to be part of your undergraduate degree.
  • Extension courses numbered 400-499 or 40000-49999 are post-bachelor's degree, professional-level courses designed to provide opportunities for professional advancement and enable the general public to gain knowledge in various fields and generally not intended to be part of your undergraduate degree.
  • Extension courses numbered 800-899 or 80000-89999 are non-credit-bearing Continuing Education Units (CEUs) designed for students seeking hours of instruction for career placement or advancement, or the opportunity to develop cultural, intellectual and civic interests.

Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice (UIA; 195s)

An undergraduate instructional apprentice serves as an assistant in an undergraduate course under the supervision of a faculty member. 

  • You must be a Junior or Senior (90 or more units).
  • You cannot assist in courses in which you are enrolled.
  • You must have a minimum 3.0 UC GPA. Departments may require a higher GPA.
  • You may receive credit on a Pass/Not Pass basis only (through a 195 course).
  • You may not be an undergraduate instructional apprentice more than once for the same course for credit.
  • You may not be an undergraduate instructional apprentice in more than one course in a quarter.
  • The total credit for all 195 courses may not exceed 8 units.

Upper Division Definition

  • Upper-division standing means that you are a Junior or Senior (you have at least 90 units complete.)
  • Upper-division courses are courses intended for students who have Junior or Senior standing.
    • Community college courses are always considered lower-division courses.
    • Upper-division courses at UC San Diego are numbered 100 or higher. Other universities often use different numbering systems to distinguish between upper- and lower-division courses.

Verifications (including auto insurance forms)

You can order a verification online if you need to verify any of the following for any outside office (including car insurance):

  • Enrollment, major, level 
  • Number of units completed 
  • Degrees awarded (if any)
  • Cumulative and quarterly GPA 
  • Registration fees paid by term 
  • Expected graduation date (self-reported, make sure to include both term AND year) 

Verifications do not include: 

  • Date of birth
  • Address on file
  • Disciplinary records

Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, or Gap Quarters

  • Withdrawing in UC San Diego terms means dropping all of your current classes.
    • Withdrawing does not mean you are permanently withdrawing from being a UCSD student unless you are a new student and withdraw on or before the first day of classes in your first quarter at UCSD.
    • The term "Leave of Absence" is only used on this campus for graduate students and for international students who have additional paperwork for a leave of absence or gap quarters
  • You can apply to withdraw online through the end of week 6 of the quarter.
    • Click here to reach the  Undergraduate Request for Withdrawal form.
    • After week 6 you need to contact the college advising office to petition to withdraw.
      • Such petitions require a good reason why you were unable to drop by week 6 (such as illness or family emergency)
      • If you are dropping some but not all of your classes, you also need to explain why those circumstances only apply to some of your classes.
  • Withdrawal after week 4 of the quarter will result in grades of W.
    • Many laboratory classes will end up with grades of W if you withdraw after the second lab meeting, even if you drop by the week 4 deadline!
  • Withdrawing can impact a number of things including:
    • Your ability to live on campus
    • Your financial aid
    • Prrogress in your major
    • On-campus employment.
  • You should talk to a Muir advisor before you withdraw to go over impacts. 
  • Review the financial aid impacts of withdrawing
  • Refunds for withdrawals follow the schedule of refunds, which is based on calendar days into the quarter, which may have a financial impact on you, too. 
Schedule of Refunds
Number of days into quarter 0-1 days 2-7 days 8-18 days 19-35 days 36 days and over
Percent of Registration Fees refund 100% 90% 50% 25% 0%
Percent of SHIP refund 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Writing a Resume or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

  • In the US, a resume is what we call a formal document that communicates your background, experience, and qualifications for a job. Outside of the U.S., this is called a Curriculum Vitae or (more commonly) a C.V.
  • In the U.S., the a Curriculum Vitae or C.V. is an academic resume, and it has a slightly different format.
  • Career Services has resources to help you create a resume or a CV: