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BAC First Year Academic Advising Program

The Bobcat Advising Center (BAC) is the academic advising home for all first year students in every major as well as first year undeclared, continuing undeclared, and lower division undeclared transfer students.

We are here to support you in your first year at UC Merced through academic advising and by encouraging you to take full advantage of on- and off-campus resources to help confirm or select a major.

With your BAC academic advisor, you can discuss course selection, preliminary graduation plans for your intended major, personal and career interests, admission requirements for different majors, and resources that will support your choice.


First Year Student Learning Outcomes

As first year student in our BAC advising program, our goals are to help you:

  • Appreciate the uniqueness of your individual path to UC Merced
  • Identify sources of support as you transition and adjust to your first year at a research university
  • Participate in individual academic advising each semester with your BAC advisor to discuss your academic progress, degree requirements, resources, learning experiences, challenges, and success
  • Feel empowered to pursue academic, career, and personal goals that combine your interests, values, and strengths
  • Identify experiences (e.g., research, internships, leadership opportunities, study abroad, clubs and organizations, career exploration, etc.) to further explore your intended major, academic interests, and career goals
  • Feel empowered to find meaning or purpose in your individual college experience
  • Become familiar with the cultural capital (tools, resources, knowledge) that successful UC Merced students use (including MyDegreePath, tutoring, course registration, office hours with professors, etc.)
  • Understand the requirements for your intended major and develop an academic plan that allows you to meet academic progress requirements
  • Think critically and examine the connection between your decisions, actions, interests, values, and goals
  • Successfully transition to an academic advisor in your School and major at the end of your first year


First Year Student Responsibilities and Expectations

As a first year student in our BAC advising program, you are expected to:

  • Schedule and complete meetings with your BAC academic advisor each semester in your first year
  • Use your UC Merced email when contacting your BAC academic advisor (or other faculty or staff at UC Merced) and include your name and ID number in each message
  • Read your UC Merced email daily, including messages from your BAC academic advisor
  • Use My DegreePath to develop an academic plan for your first year that meets all applicable requirements including:
  • Confirm your choice of major by learning more about yourself, your intended major, and your career path
  • Actively engage with campus resources and programs to enhance your academic and career preparation
  • Review the BAC Major Exploration Activities Checklist if you are undeclared or unsure about your major
  • Prepare for appointments with your BAC academic advisor by developing a list of questions or topics you would like to discuss
  • Understand that you must declare a major before you reach 90 total units (including units from AP or IB exams or college courses taken in high school)
  • Understand the maximum terms allowed at UC Merced for your preferred major and degree
  • Consult with your BAC academic advisor when you have questions or need support