Schedule Planning

As you plan your schedule for the quarter, here are some things to consider:

  • How many units should I take?
  • You must be enrolled in 12 units to maintain full time status, which is required for your visa.  However, to reach the 180/184 total units by the end of your fourth year, you will need to take an average of 15 units a quarter after your first quarter at UCSB.  Additionally, you will need to make sure you complete at least 60 upper-division units by the time you graduate.
  • What types of classes should I pick?
  • Your first consideration is to create a balanced schedule. 
  • This usually means 1 or 2 major courses (chosen with departmental consultation) and an added GE or elective
  • Just a reminder, you’ll only be able to register for a max of 13.5 units in pass I so make sure to strategize well.
  • How many major courses should I take?
  • Though 1 or 2 courses are recommended, consult with the major to find out their recommended schedule.  Work closely with your major advisor!
  • What if I don’t have a major?
  • Select courses that sound interesting to you.
  • Remember, you’ll need units for graduation.
  • Work on a general education requirement(s)
  • What if I want to take a course that isn’t a GE requirement?
  • It is okay to explore your interests, even if they don’t count for general education. These courses will count as electives and you will need to earn a total of 180 or 184 units.  Your major and general education will not cover all 180/184.
  • Courses are not specifically designated as “electives.” An elective is defined as any course that is not being used to satisfy a major or GE requirement.
  • How do I find out what GEs I have left?
  • Use the progress check found on GOLD under academic history.  This check updates quarterly after grades are entered.
  • Remember, not all courses count for GE.  Don’t assume that a course counts for a GE just because it “makes sense” or seems obvious that it would. Checking the course info screen for individual courses on GOLD is the only way to be 100% sure they’ve been officially approved for a GE requirement.
  • If a course is listed for more than one general education A-G area, the course can only apply to ONE area.  However, courses may fulfill one area requirement and special subject requirements at the same time, if approved for both.
  • Make an appointment with a College advisor for a GE check.  Appointments can be scheduled using the online appointment system on the advising website
  • Don’t register for a course that you have already earned credit for.  This is called duplicate matriculation.  For example, you may only receive credit for one lower-division statistics course, regardless of whether you took the course at UCSB, another institution or had Advanced Placement (AP) credit.
  • Questions?  See an advisor.
  • When can I take upper-division courses?
  • Most students will begin to take upper-division courses (numbered 100-199) at the beginning of their third year (junior year), or occasionally at the end of their second year. You will need a minimum of 60 upper-division units to graduate.
  • Trying to graduate early?
  • Talk to a College and major advisor to see if it is possible and recommended.
  • Some majors have recommended schedules for completing them in 3 years. You may find them at:
  • http://duels.ucsb.edu/advising/planning/pathways