Course Planning FAQs

What is the Math Diagnostic Test (MDT) and should I take it?

The MDT is a standardized test that is required by the University to help determine what math series you should start in. You must take test by July 1st so that your score can be ready for New Student Orientation.
All information about the MDT can be found here:
If you have any additional questions, please contact the UCLA Math Department.

How do I know what my major requirements are?

  • During Summer Orientation, there will be a workshop on majors, minors and other programs to give you an introduction to the various majors and their requirements. You will also have the chance to meet with a departmental counselor, as well as, a New Student Advisor (NSA) who will help you assess your interests and suggest appropriate courses.
  • You can also check your Degree Audit Report (DARS) which is a summary of your UCLA coursework. It details what requirements you have to fulfill for your major. Anything in bold is the requirements that you have to complete. You can access your DARS through MyUCLA by clicking on the ‘Academics’ tab and going to “Degree Progress/Audit Report.”
  • Schedule a meeting with either your departmental counselor or college academic counselor. See Counseling FAQs for more information on the various counselors here on campus.
  • You can also google “UCLA [enter your major] requirements.”

What classes should I take my first quarter at UCLA?

  • It depends. Every student will have a different schedule based on their major, interests, and incoming credits. We suggest you speak with a counselor to determine course recommendations.
  • Typically, most students (in this program specifically) enroll in either Biology (LS 7A) or Chemistry (Chem 14A), a Math course since some classes, like Chemistry and Physics, have a math pre-requisite, and a GE. In addition, students tend to take 2 STEM courses each quarter to ensure they finish their major prep courses in a timely manner.

How do I know if I’m ready for Chemistry?

We suggest that you speak with a counselor to determine the correct Chemistry course to enroll in. If you have never taken Chemistry before or have not taken it for a couple of years, we suggest enrolling in Chem 17, either over the summer or Fall quarter. Please note that Chem 17 is a Pass/No Pass course, it is not a pre-requisite for Chem 14A (Chemistry for Life Science Majors) or Chem 20A (Chemistry for Physical Science Majors) and it does not satisfy any requirements. But, it has been a helpful introduction and refresher for students to before starting their Chemistry 14 or 20 series.

Are there any courses that interfere with the program?

The only course that has been known to directly interfere with the program is Cluster 20: Interracial Dynamics in American Culture and Society. Students who enroll in this course are not able to participate in the Lab Course Winter Quarter (MCDB 30H) which is a requirement to remain in the Pathways program. However, there are many other clusters that do not interfere with the program that you are more than welcome to enroll in. You can find more information on Clusters here:

Do I have access to other science programs at UCLA?

Yes! Although the Pathways program is a 4-year program, it serves as a gateway to many other programs at UCLA that can help you reach your goals. Many students in Pathways also are accepted in programs, such as, MARC, BISEP, and CARE. You can learn more about these programs on the Undergraduate Research Center – Science webpage.