Course Opportunities

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to see that there are readers commenting our posts! Thanks so much for your questions :]

Okay, let’s get down to business! (to defeat the Huns..) As I’ve mentioned before in my bio, (ignore my ridiculous picture), there are many perks to being an undecided student. To name one, there are several courses that are exclusive to undecided students. First off, University Studies 2 (more affectionately known as Uni Studies) is a required class that I took in the Fall. It is a great way to start off the year GPA-wise, because the course is worth 2 units and a letter grade, what “A” great course! All you really have to do is complete the journal entries and light assignments on time. The aim of this class is to familiarize students with campus resources/facilities (we’re paying for them anyway, might as well know about them and take advantage of them!) and help students explore major options with panels, discussions, surveys, etc.

Each lecture specifically discusses basic info about a certain major/school (Business, Engineering, Arts, etc.) and not all of them are mandatory. My discussion was small and everyone was friendly and inviting. At the end of the course, there is campus resource project where groups are required to provide the class with information about a specific UCI facility. Mine was the Health Education Center (you can find out more info about this on my other posts on the old blog), and I still visit it to sit in the massage chair and take some free room air fresheners!

More recently, I enrolled in a Bio Seminar class called “The Food We Eat” where I’ve learned about nutrition and genetically modified food. (Jeannie is in my class!) There is a long list of Bio Seminars available (worth 1.3 Pass/No Pass credit) that are required during Spring quarter for regular bio majors. However, although these seminars are Bio specific, they are also open to undecided students! There were some interesting ones that caught my eye, including one titled “The Bio of Harry Potter” — how cool is that?!

*Quick tip for prospective undecided students: if you’re even slightly interested in biology, humanities, engineering, etc. (any of the hardcore subjects that have prereq’s), I’d suggest that even though you are able to “weigh your options”, you should definitely take the introductory courses that a declared student would take for that major to avoid falling behind. This way, if you realize that you really want to be a bio major, for example, you would have already taken Bio 93 your Fall quarter and be on track. (Likewise, take Humanities Core or Math, etc.) If this is confusing, just ask and I can explain it more :]

In other news, this quarter is turning out to be extremely busy for me. I’m a volunteer at the Cross-Cultural Center, taking the MCLI (Mesa Court Leadership Institute) course about global leadership, and taking my three academic courses: Humanities 1C, Psychology 9C, and Sociology 3. Aside from academics, I am also performing in Culture Night (May 15th) in a tradition Chinese all-girls dance with my Chinese Association club. There are also all-guys and co-ed performances under CA and they look really intense! Check it out!

Keep coming with the comments 😀



PS — A neutron walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Hey, how much for a drink?” The bartender looks at him and says:

“For you, no charge!”

10 Responses to “Course Opportunities”

  • YEAH BIO SCI 2B! (the times I don’t fall asleep)

  • fhcheng says:


    1) I found some interesting info about the English Placement Test here: and yes, it is the UC entry level writing requirement. However, there are things that allow you to by-pass the EPT. If you are taking an AP English course and pass the AP exam with over a 3 or if you are taking the SAT 2 Literature test and get over 680 then I believe you don’t have to take the EPT. However, I am not completely sure if this information is correct, so please do double check!

    2) Tou submit AP test scores through college board, this link will give you more info about it:
    as for how it works, you do not need to do anything extra except to send them to UCI. Your scores will be seen on your transcript, and how much credit you receive depends on your score. For instance, I received a 4 on my AP Art History exam, and that took care of my International/Global Issues GE. I’d highly recommend to take those AP tests!

    3) College loans can be very helpful if you need extra money, but I have been warned multiple times not to fall into loan debt by taking out a large loan. The interest piles up, and many graduates have to repay the school thousands of dollars. Have a talk with your family to see if you really need a loan and give a call to the UCI financial office if you have any questions.

    Good luck on those exams!


  • Eric Lao says:

    Hey Faye!

    Thank you so much for the long and VERY informational response! It’s such a repose that I’ve been able to learn about an actual course in college! Not only that but to be engaged in the summary of the course seems to have drawn me in.

    Now I just have worries in three categories present at the moment:
    (1) Something similar to an EPT that I have to take but for a UC (Is it the required UC Entry Level Writing?)
    (2) Submitting AP test scores (How exactly does that work? I hear a lot about it knocking down courses you don’t have to take but exactly how so? ;/)
    (3) Activating those loans (Which I am just so hesitant to do… (but my parents and all other teachers say it’s not such a big deal…))

    Anyway, getting those off my chest. (phew) AP tests are just ringing me by the neck now… just ONE more week till the testing week! (Pffth, but this is probably nothing to midterms :p)

    Looking forward to those upcoming blogs when I get the chance to engage in them and thank you once again for them :]. (…and I’ll stop worrying I suppose about questioning but I won’t forget that you have time you may want to spend doing something else too!)

    (Your response just blew me away! BODY of text :D)

  • fhcheng says:

    Hello Eric!

    I’m glad you had a lot of fun :] Just one tip about clubs/organizations that you’ll encounter during Welcome Week: They know how to grab your interest, mainly with FREE FOOD! So don’t be like me and just sign up for their free snacks with no intention of joining, because even to this day I get unwanted club chain emails :[

    I really love the feel of Mesa Court. It’s like living in an apartment complex! Maybe you can ask Cecilia to provide you with some pictures on Middle Earth :] I’m probably going to post some pictures and talk about life in an FYEP dorm, so stay tuned!

    Ah yes, Humanities Core. I have the greatest love/hate relationship with this class. It is supposed to be a more challenging course than the other option (the Writing 39 series) but I personally favored Humcore more.

    First off, it covers A LOT of General Education requirements. When you sign up at SPOP I’m sure a counselor will go through the GE list with you, but taking Humanities Core has knocked out my Lower Division Writing, 2 courses in Arts and Humanities, and Multicultural Studies (I need to double check this though). Also, if you’re even considering being a Humanities major, you MUST take Humanities Core because if you don’t and realize later that you want to major, you’ll have to take about 7 courses to make up for it, and that really sucks! Likewise, if you are in the Campus-Wide Honors Program, you are required to take this series.

    I was told that there is a ton of reading assignments and that I’d be reading essentially a book a week — this isn’t the case! I haven’t been drowned down by reading at all (unless you REALLY procrastinate), you’ll be fine if you understand the idea of the book and what’s going on for discussion, essays, and the midterm final. Sometimes you aren’t even assigned the whole book either :] What actually gives me the most stress are the essays (there are two each quarter). The essay grading and test making are all done by the TA, so it’s good to have an engaging and knowledgeable instructor. Also, I’d strongly recommend enrolling in LARC (the UCI tutoring program). It has helped me review and grasp concepts in lecture, as well as writing and test prep. It costs $65 a quarter, but that’s actually pretty cheap for good tutors. So essentially, don’t be so intimidated!

    I have learned so much from this class. I have noticed that I think more critically, write better, and enjoy the challenge — even when I sometimes claim the opposite during essay/test time!

    Humanities Core changes its theme every 4 years, so you may not get the same experience as I did. But this year’s theme was Thinking, Making, Doing. Here’s the course website where you can look around and get a feel for the readings, schedule, essay topics, and more: :]

    Each quarter is broken up into two professors and they focus on a particular book, event, etc. But what I really enjoyed was how I could see the connections between each text because you will be asked to compare certain works and ideas in your test or paper. If you’re still confused about how it works, ask me!

    Phew, that was long! Anyway, you will be randomly assigned during SPOP a certain time frame for class registration. I was really unlucky for mine (I’ll post a blog about that later on) and got the last time slot for my session which was around 4 or 5? I’m not really sure because it’s been so long, but I can find out. But I think registration windows begin around 1 (but again, don’t quote me).

    Don’t even worry about asking questions! I really do love helping you guys out because I always think about how my senior year would have been better if I could’ve asked real UCI students about their experiences :]


    (this is even longer!)

  • Eric Lao says:

    Oh forgetful! I come from South Cal. Still a pretty lengthy ride but nothing compared to yours… ;p (Managed to remain sane listening and singing along to music with my sis.)

  • Eric Lao says:

    Hey Faye!

    First off “Celebrate” UCI was GREAT! (Begin rant) I got to explore the campus and to see all the clubs in full action of their fundraisers. Those campus tours were awesome too! Aldrich park is just gorgeous and the campus is really a circle! The campus is hilly… and I only got to go to Mesa Court for the dormitory tours… ;p Oh but I did make it a note to drop by the Chinese Association club’s booth to grab a Boba. :] Milk tea~ (2 actually ^^) (End rant)

    Alright calming down now. Have some questions regarding some of the classes I heard about during the visitation. Well one class in particular… one you’ve talked about quite a bit… Humanities Core. What exactly are the advantages in taking it as Core then the other option they give (Can’t recall what it’s called)? Oh and what is the class about in general? Another random one: When is the approximate time we’ll apply to classes?

    Sorry for pummeling down questions on you but I seem to just think a lot and it just flies over me. I’ll check out University Studies 2 whenever I can, sounds interesting and helpful! Thank you for the information as always to you and everyone!

    Eric (this is long… >.<)

  • fhcheng says:

    Hey Anne,

    A piece of advice that I’ve heard numerous times (from U/U, panels, the Career Center, etc.) is that your major does not equal your career. I found this pretty interesting, but it makes a lot of sense. However, I think that although you can choose any major, you must like what you do in order to be successful, and do it with dedication and personal excellence.

    On the other hand, I think having an education in your interest does help people get an idea of what they want to do in the future. Your chances aren’t any less if you are a dance major wanting to get into law school (for example), but your decision to go to law school would be better facilitated if you took a law class or minored in criminology. (Finding a person who wakes up one morning and exclaims, “I want to be a lawyer!” without having any background or information on law, would be a rare occurrence indeed!)

    Personally I still have my career in mind. I have an interest in economics because I know that is one study that would possibly lead to job opportunities. But I have yet to take an economics course so we’ll see how that goes! However, I am currently taking a sociology class and I really love it! (Possible major – found!)

    I hope this helped you! Sorry it was so long ><


  • Anne says:

    What was the most useful advice that you have received in general in terms of being a U/U student?

    What advice would you give? Thanks!

  • rayy says:

    omg! hii!! 😀

  • Jeannie Lee says:

    YEAH BIO SCI 2B! (the times I don’t fall asleep)