Freshman Applicants

All students will be admitted to the Pre-Chemistry major. Students will only be allowed to declare one of the full majors, Biochemistry, B.S., Chemistry B.S., and Chemsitry, B.A., once they have completed the pre-major requirements. The prerequisites can be found below. The Pre-Chemistry courses typically take 2 years to complete.

Pre-Chemistry Major: This major sheet document articulates all of the requirements for the completion of the Chemistry Pre-Major.

Please click here to view a summary of the key differences between each degree. 


Transfer Applicants

Upon admission, all prospective Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are accepted into the Pre-Chemistry major.  Students who have completed all pre-major coursework, as outlined on the Pre-Chemistry major sheet, may petition to declare the full major immediately after the completion of their first quarter at UCSB.

Transfer students need to obtain a UC GPA of 2.00 or above in each of the 6 pre-major course sequences.  Only applicable UC courses will be included in this GPA calculation, regardless of course transferability.  For example, if the equivalent of Math 3A is completed prior to transferring, then a student must achieve a GPA of at least a 2.0 in Math 3B and 4A at UCSB.

Preparation for the Major

Prospective transfer students are strongly encouraged to complete all of the “Preparation for the Major” coursework prior to transfer in order to ensure timely progress to degree. Failure to complete all requirements prior to transfer is likely to delay graduation by a full year; students missing preparatory coursework are barred from enrolling in required upper-division course sequences and will have to wait a full year until these sequences are offered again.

Preparation for the Biochemistry B.S., Chemistry B.S., and Chemistry B.A.:

  • General Chemistry:  Chem 1A or 2A, 1B or 2B, 1C or 2C
  • General Chemistry labs:  Chem 1AL or 2AC, 1BL or 2BC, 1CL or 2CC
  • Organic Chemistry:  Chem 109A, 109B, 109C
  • Organic Chemistry labs:  Chem 6AL and 6BL
  • Math:  Math 3A-B, 4A, and 6A
  • Physics:  Physics 1-2-3-3L-4-4L or 6A-AL-B-BL-C-CL

Biochemistry B.S. (additional requirements)

  • Biology:  MCDB 1A, 1B, 1LL, EEMB 2 

Chemistry B.S.(additional requirements)

  • Organic Chemistry lab:  Chem 6CL
  • Math:  Math 4B
  • Physics:  Physics 1-2-3-3L-4-4L is required and may not be substituted with 6A-AL-B-BL-C-CL

Again, it is emphasized that failure to complete all requirements prior to transfer is likely to delay graduation by a full year or more.

For a full list of major requirements and sample schedules, please visit the degree requirements section of this website.

Please click here to view a summary of the key differences between each degree. 


Declaring or Changing Your Major

All transfer students are admitted as Pre-Chemistry Majors. Students are eligible to declare a full major after the following:

1) Has completed the pre-major requirements
2) Has attended UCSB for a minimum of one quarter, with a minimum GPA of 2.0. 

Once eligible, a student can come by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Advising Office to complete a Change of Major Petition Form. This is a great time to discuss course scheduling and major requirements. 


Tel: (805) 893-3295


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9510