Jul 12, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Office of the Registrar

Administration Building
Phone: 209-228-7178
Email: registrar@ucmerced.edu
Web: registrar.ucmerced.edu


Enrolling in Courses

UC Merced students register each semester using the online registration system, MyRegistration (accessible via the MyUCMerced portal at connect.ucmerced.edu). The registration process includes enrolling in classes, paying fees and other financial obligations, filing a current address with the Office of the Registrar, and completing and filing other information forms. With UC Merced’s online registration, students will always receive the most up-to-date information regarding their registration and class enrollment. Pre-assigned appointments that are spread throughout the registration period regulate access to the registration system. For security purposes, students are assigned a unique login user ID and password that must be entered to access MyRegistration. Students may make changes to their course schedule through the adjustment period. Courses may be added online through the first week of instruction and may be dropped online through the third week of instruction. A new or reinstated student must also:

  • Obtain a student ID card (“CatCard”), and
  • If required, complete the online Statement of Legal Residence form.

Registration Priority

Access to registration (via MyRegistration) is by priority groups. The groups are established according to student class level as determined by the number of completed and in-progress units, with graduate students and seniors registering first, juniors second, etc.

The number of semester units a student has completed determines undergraduate classification:

Class Level Units

 Freshman 0.0-29.9

 Sophomore 30.0-59.9

Junior 60.0-89.9

Senior 90.0 or more

Late Enrollment/Registration

Students who have not registered prior to the first day of instruction are considered late enrollments. Students may be assessed a $50 late enrollment fee. Contact the Registrar’s office at the Students First Center if you wish to enroll in classes after the semester begins.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Adding a Course

Senate Regulation: Part I, Section 2, A.

During the first week of instruction students may add a course(s) provided that space is available. During the second and third weeks of instruction, a student may add courses only with the permission of the instructor. After the third week of instruction, students may add a class only with the permission of both the instructor and the appropriate Dean. A fee will be assessed for adding a course after the third week.

  • First week: Students may add if space available
  • Second and third weeks: Students may add with instructor’s approval
  • After third week: Students may add through petition only (see below); fee assessed

Dropping a Course

Senate Regulation: Part I, Section 2, B.

During the first three weeks of instruction, students may drop a course or courses without paying a fee and without further approval.

Withdrawing from a Course

After the third week of instruction and until the end of the tenth week of instruction, a student may withdraw from a course for emergency reasons or for good cause with the signed approval of the instructor of record and confirmed by the dean of the School with which the student is affiliated, provided:

  1. The student is not subject to academic dismissal for the term prior;
  2. Dropping the course would be to the educational benefit of the student (in the judgment of the instructor and Dean); and
  3. The student is not being investigated for academic dishonesty in that course.

Withdrawing from a course between the 4th and 10th weeks will be approved only provided the student submits a withdrawal form including a written description of the special circumstances warranting this action; therefore, students should continue to attend the course until their withdraw request is approved. Any request to withdraw beginning in the eleventh week of instruction will only be considered under exceptional circumstances (illness or injury substantiated by a doctor’s note, recent death in the immediate family or other circumstances of equal gravity), and will only be considered following both signed approval of the instructor of record and submission of a petition that is approved by the dean of the School with which the student is affiliated.

All withdrawals must be received by the Office of the Registrar by the deadlines specified. For students withdrawing after the third week of instruction, a fee will be assessed and a “W” notation will be assigned by the Office of the Registrar and appear in place of a grade on the student’s permanent transcript. Courses in which a “W” has been entered on a student’s record carry no grade points, are not calculated in the grade point average, and will not be considered as courses attempted in assessing the student’s progress to degree. Nevertheless, it is a marker used to indicate that the student was enrolled in the class beyond the third week of instruction. It does not indicate whether the student was passing or failing.

Faculty Drop for non-Academic Activity

UC Senate Regulation: Part II, Title III, 542

Students who do not attend class meetings during the first ten days of instruction may be submitted by the course instructor for deletion from the class roster. Deletion from the class roster means the student will be dropped from the course, a refund (if any) will be generated according to the refund schedule, and the course will be removed from the student’s academic history. If the instructor does not exercise this option, the student remains enrolled in the course unless they drop it through regular procedures and by the established deadlines. Students who wish to be excused from attending class must gain permission from each instructor of the classes they expect to miss.

Auditing a Course

With the consent of the instructor, registered students and interested individuals are permitted to audit classes. Arrangements are made directly with the faculty member under any rules the faculty member may establish, and those auditing ordinarily do not participate in exams or written papers. Priority for course resources such as classroom space and laboratory supplies is given to students who are fully enrolled in the course. Audited classes are not recorded on the student’s class schedule or on academic transcript.

Petition of Academic Policy

A petition process exists for students who seek an exception to stated academic policies, procedures, and regulations. Approval for petitions will be granted by the appropriate deciding body only in cases where extenuating circumstances are evident and can be substantiated. See registrar.ucmerced.edu/policies/petition-academic-policy for additional information.

Course Substitutions

Students may petition the appropriate dean to substitute a suitable course in place of a required course. Petition forms are available at the appropriate School sites: School of Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts.

Repetition of Courses

Undergraduate Students

Senate Regulation: Part I, Section 2, C. a.

A student may repeat only those courses in which a grade of D, F, or Not Passed was received. Courses in which a grade of D or F has been earned may not be repeated on a Passed/Not Passed basis.

Repetition of a course more than once requires approval by the appropriate Dean in all instances. Degree credit for a course will be given only once, but the grade assigned at each enrollment shall be permanently recorded.

In computing grade point average of an undergraduate who repeats courses in which the student received a D or F, only the most recently earned grade and grade points shall be used for the first 16 units repeated. In the case of further repetitions, the grade point average shall be based on all grades assigned and total units attempted.

Graduate Students

Senate Regulation: Part I, Section 2, C. b.

A graduate student may repeat only those courses in which a grade below a B, (B-, C, D, F or U) was received. Courses in which a grade C, D or F has been earned may not be repeated on an S/U basis.

Courses may not be repeated more than once.

In computing grade point average of a graduate student who repeats courses in which the student received a below a B, (B-, C, D or F) only the most recently earned grade(s) and grade points shall be used for the first 8 units repeated. In the case of further repetitions, both the earlier and later grades will be used.

Graduate students who have repeated 8 or fewer units of upper division or graduate coursework are responsible for verifying that calculation of their grade point average correctly uses the most recent grade earned in the repeated courses.

Enrollment Status

Certification of Full-Time Status: Undergraduate students must carry a study load of at least 15 units each semester in order to maintain normal progress toward their degree. At least 12 units are required for undergraduates to be certified as full-time students for financial aid purposes and to meet minimum progress requirements. Graduate students must carry a study load of at least 8 units each semester in order to be certified as full-time students. A graduate student must be enrolled in 12 units to qualify for university employment or to receive a university fellowship.

Part-Time Student Status: If, for reasons of occupation, family responsibility, health or graduating senior status (one semester only), a student is unable to attend the university on a full-time basis, he/she may qualify for enrollment in part-time status. The student must file for part-time status each semester by the 15th day of instruction. Undergraduates file their part-time request with the Office of the Registrar; graduate students file their request with the Graduate Studies Division. To be considered eligible during the specific semester, undergraduate students must be registered for 10 units or fewer by the 15th day of instruction and graduate students must be registered in 6 units or fewer by the end of the 15th day of instruction. Minimum progress requirements are waived for approved part-time students. Students approved for enrollment on a part-time basis pay the same student services fee and campus based fees as full-time students, but pay only one-half of the tuition. Part-time Nonresidents pay one-half of the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition.

Educational Leave Program

The Educational Leave Program allows students to suspend academic work at UC Merced, leave the campus and later resume studies at UC Merced with a minimum of procedural difficulties. Any registered student on the UC Merced campus, undergraduate or graduate, is eligible to enroll in the Educational Leave Program, although restrictions may be imposed on the number of times a student can participate in the program. International students are not eligible. The maximum Educational Leave is one full academic year. Applications should be filed no later than the 15th day of instruction, although exceptions can be made for medical or emergency reasons. For information regarding how the leave status will affect financial aid eligibility, please see the Financial Aid and Scholarships  section of the catalog.

A $70 application fee must be paid prior to the student’s enrollment in the program. Approved applications submitted after the first day of instruction will entitle the student to only a partial refund of fees paid, in accordance with the Schedule of Refunds. The Schedule of Refunds refers to calendar days beginning with the first day of instruction. The effective date for determining a refund of fees is the date the completed and approved form is returned to the Office of the Registrar.

While students may receive academic credit at other institutions and transfer this credit to UC Merced (subject to rules concerning transfer credit and School approval), participants are reminded that the intent of the program is to “suspend academic work.” Therefore, students should consult with their academic advisors and carefully evaluate the desirability of taking academic work while away from the campus during leave. Students enrolled in the program are not eligible to enroll in concurrent courses at the UC Merced campus or to earn academic credit at UC Merced during the leave.

Reinstatement for Educational Leaves initiated prior to the first day of the semester are guaranteed. For students who seek a leave after the 15th day of the semester, reinstatement conditions are determined as part of the leave approval. Students also must satisfy any holds that may have been placed on their registration, and pay registration fees by the established deadlines for the semester specified for return on the approved application. Students who do not return by the specified semester will be automatically withdrawn from the University.

Students will not be eligible to receive normal university services during the leave. Certain limited services, however, such as career services and advising are available. Students on leave are not eligible to apply for on-campus or off-campus jobs except during the summer prior to their return for the fall semester. Students on leave may elect to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan for one term, but are not eligible to use the Student Health Center. UCM Library borrowing privileges may be retained by purchasing a library card.

International Opportunities Programs (IOP) Leave

If you are planning to study abroad with a non-UC program, you may take an IOP Leave. This leave option is specifically designed to enable students to participate in a program external to UC while still maintaining their student status. You may request approval for this leave at the International Center in Room KL 101. The leave may allow financial aid to transfer, includes pre-approval of transfer credit and retains your UC Merced email address.

The Senior Residence Requirement may be waived if you study abroad through the Education Abroad Program. However if you study abroad with an external program you must comply with the senior Residency Requirement that states that 24 of your last 36 units must be completed on the UC Merced campus. Your last two semesters before graduation cannot be spent studying on a non-UC program.

Planning for a Major

The decision on the choice of a major is a very important one and should be made on the basis of a student’s interests and abilities as well as his or her career goals. Students should look carefully into the programs available by using this catalog and visiting Schools in which they are interested.

Students are encouraged to declare a major as soon as possible and should begin thinking about possible majors in their first year at UC Merced. Some major requirements demand a full four years to complete. Since students are expected to declare into a major by the time they have completed 60 units, the lower division major requirements should be planned into the student’s program for the first two years.

Declaration and Change of Major

In order to declare or change a major/concentration/minor a student must fill out a Change of Major or Change of Minor request and have it approved by the School to which he/she is declaring or transferring and submit it to the Students First Center. These forms are available on the Office of the Registrar’s website at registrar.ucmerced.edu/forms. Current students are only permitted to change their major/concentration/minor until the end of the third week of the semester and throughout the summer. Admission into a program may be denied or deferred if the student is in academic difficulty or has a grade point average (GPA) of less than 2.0 in courses required for the selected major.

Except under unusual circumstances, no change of major/concentration/minor will be permitted after a student has attained senior standing (90 units). It is not possible to change or declare a major/concentration/minor after the student has submitted his/her online graduation application with the Office of the Registrar.

NOTE: Certain schools and majors have criteria a student must meet in order to qualify for that major, more stringent than academic standing and a minimum of 2.0 grade point average (GPA).

Multiple Majors

Senate Regulation: Part II, Section 1, B.

An undergraduate student in good academic standing who wishes to declare more than one major must petition the undergraduate School(s) responsible for the majors and receive School Dean’s (Deans’) approval. A School Dean may deny the petition for the additional major(s) if it is determined by the School(s) that there is too much overlap in the proposed coursework to justify allowing the student to receive the additional major(s).

No more than 12 upper-division units (excluding units required for School and university-level general education) may be used to satisfy requirements for all majors simultaneously, whether these units are explicitly required by the majors or count as electives toward the majors.

Students must satisfy all requirements for each major, including general education requirements across Schools, within the timeframe outlined by the UC Merced Normal Progress to Degree policy.

Majors earned will be noted on the student’s transcript and diploma. If the majors lead to different degrees (B.A. and B.S.), that fact will be noted on the transcript and the two-degree designations will appear on the diploma. A student who has declared multiple majors may choose to graduate with fewer majors, but if so may not continue at the University to complete any remaining major(s).


In order to declare or change a minor, a student must fill out a Minor Change request and have it approved by the School to which he/she is declaring and submit it to the Students First Center.

Except under unusual circumstances, no change of minor or declaration of minor will be permitted after a student has attained senior standing (90 units). It is not possible to change or declare a minor after the student has submitted his/her online graduation application with the Office of the Registrar.

Additional Enrollment Opportunities

Intercampus Visitor (ICV)

The ICV Program allows qualified undergraduate students at UCM to take advantage of educational opportunities at other UC campuses. This program allows students who are currently in good standing, have completed at least one year in residence on their home campus and have maintained a grade point average of at least 2.0 for work completed, and obtained approval from the Dean of their school to take courses that are not available at their home campus, participate in special programs, or study with a distinguished faculty member at another campus for one term.

Note: The host campus pays the visiting student’s financial aid. If you are a financial aid recipient, you must have a copy of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) sent to the host campus. Use your Student Aid Report (SAR) to make this change.

Simultaneous Enrollment

UC undergraduate students may enroll, without formal admission and without payment of additional University fees, in courses at another UC campus on a space available basis at the discretion of the appropriate campus authorities on both campuses. Students qualify for this program when they have completed a minimum of 12 units as a matriculated student at the home campus (this requirement can be waived at the discretion of the dean of the appropriate School); are enrolled at both campuses in the current term with a minimum of 12 units as a matriculated student at the home campus; are in good academic standing; and are certified by their home campus as to eligibility, residence, fee, financial aid and health status. To participate in this program, please contact the Students First Center to obtain the application that must be filled out by appropriate authorities on both campuses and to ensure that the application of a non-home UC course will or will not satisfy degree, graduation, major, General Education or other specific requirements (other than unit credit). Failure to ensure the applicability of the non-home UC course to UC Merced requirements could result in a refusal to allow the course to satisfy any specific requirements (other than unit requirements). Eligible UC Merced undergraduate students may also enroll simultaneously in other UC campuses’ online courses. For more information, see registrar.ucmerced.edu/UC_Online_Pilot.

Intercampus Exchange Program for Graduate Students

A graduate student registered on the UC Merced campus may become an intercampus exchange student for a full term at any of the other UC campuses with the approval of the graduate advisor, the director of the graduate group and the deans of Graduate Studies on both the home and host campuses. To be eligible, the graduate student must have attended UC Merced for a minimum of one semester before participating in the intercampus exchange program. Students are limited to a maximum of two consecutive semester based terms or three quarter based terms on intercampus exchange. Permission for exchange is done on a semester-by-semester basis. Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies and should be submitted four weeks in advance of the semester in which you wish to participate.

Intercampus exchange students register at both campuses and pay fees on their home campus; however, they have access to student services available on the host campus. Students should make arrangements with the Office of the Registrar to follow the enrollment procedure of the host campus so that the grades students obtain in courses taken on the host campus will be transferred to records on their home campus. Grades from courses completed on the host campus will be transferred to the home campus and become part of the student’s official graduate transcript. Exchange students are considered graduate students in residence on the home campus and are not formally admitted to the host graduate school and department. For further information, contact Graduate Studies and the Office of the Registrar.

UC Merced and Merced College Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment Program

UC Merced and Merced College have created an Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment agreement that allows approved full-time undergraduate students from either institution to cross-enroll in one course per term (fall or spring). For eligibility requirements and approval guidelines, please see information available on the Office of the Registrar website at registrar.ucmerced.edu/services/special-programs.

Concurrent Credit from Another Institution

With the exception of currently registered students participating in the UC/CSU/Community College Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment Program or the UC Merced and Merced College Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment Program, a student may not obtain transfer credit for courses at a non-University of California campus in a term during which the student is registered as a full-time student at UC Merced. An exception can be obtained only by petitioning the appropriate School dean well in advance of the desired registration, and the student must still be enrolled in at least 12 units at UC Merced during the term in which the exception applies.


Midterm Examinations

The number of midterm examinations varies at the discretion of the instructor. In undergraduate courses for which a midterm examination is required, each student has the right to take the midterm (or submit the take-home examination as required by the instructor) during one of the regularly scheduled class meetings. Dates and times for mid-terms scheduled outside of regularly scheduled class meeting times must be listed in the Schedule of Classes prior to registration. If an out-of-class exam is not listed in the Schedule of Classes, the scheduling of a midterm examination at a time other than a regularly scheduled class meeting requires mutual consent of the instructor and each student registered in the course. A student who does not consent in writing to the different time must be permitted to take the examination (or submit the take home examination) at the officially scheduled time. A student who consents in writing to the change of examination time waives the right to take the midterm at the officially scheduled time.

Final Examinations

The Schedule of Classes lists the times that final examinations are to be held. This information is available in the online Schedule of Classes each semester and on student schedules so that students can avoid final examination conflicts. A student who has multiple exams on the same day may discuss the situation with the instructors of the course. An instructor has the option to agree to provide the student the exam on a different day, but is not required to do so.

Final exams are scheduled according to the day-and-hour periods in which the classes are given during the semester. Once instruction begins, if a change to the time of a scheduled final exam is necessary, all students in the class must agree to the schedule change in writing. Schools offering multiple sections of the same courses may elect to schedule a common exam. Check with your instructor to determine if your class is scheduled for one of the common examination times.


Students with documented disabilities may be entitled to in-class accommodations. The student must provide the instructor with a letter from the Disability Services Office recommending those academic accommodations that the instructor is responsible for providing. Students must request accommodation as soon as possible to allow the university reasonable time to evaluate the request and offer necessary adjustments. No accommodations shall alter the nature of the academic demands made of the student nor decrease the standards and types of academic performance, nor require facilities or personnel that cannot reasonably be provided. The instructor should consult with the student and the Disability Services Center with any questions or concerns.

Religious Observances

UC Merced seeks to accommodate any student who, in observance of a religious creed, encounters an unavoidable conflict with an examination schedule. In order to request accommodation, the student is responsible for providing, in writing and at the beginning of the semester, notification of a potential conflict to the individual responsible for administering the examination. Instructors will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis and determine whether such conflicts can be resolved without imposing on the instructor or the other students in the class an undue hardship that cannot be reasonably avoided. If so, the instructor will determine, in consultation with the student, a time during which the student can take the examination without incurring a penalty or violation of the student’s religious creed.

Credit by Examination

Students currently registered in any regular semester and in good academic standing who by reason of advance preparation believe themselves to be adequately grounded in the materials and principles of a given course may request credit by examination for any course offered at UC Merced without formally enrolling in that course.

The request is subject to the approval of the instructor giving the examination and the dean of the School involved. Once the request has the signed approvals of the appropriate dean, it should be submitted to the Students First Center, accompanied by the mandatory fee.

Owing to special features of the instruction, such as extensive laboratory work, certain courses may not be considered appropriate for obtaining credit by examination. In addition, credit by examination will not be approved in the following circumstances:

  1. for a student who has had prior instruction in the topic,
  2. for the purpose of repeating a course,
  3. for courses in subjects in which the student has completed more advanced work,
  4. for elementary and intermediate courses in a student’s native language or
  5. for granting credit for a course which the student has attended and audited.

To earn credit through the credit by examination process, the examination must be given by a UC Merced instructor and be for a course listed in the current Catalog. The final results will be reported to the Office of the Registrar, who will record the appropriate grade (P/NP). Since failure to pass the examination will be recorded as an NP, students are encouraged to prepare fully for such an examination before attempting it.