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Units Each Semester & Each Year


For your UC Merced degree, you will take both lower division (lower level) and upper division (upper level) courses.

What's the difference?




Most classes at UC Merced are 4 units.

Enroll in 12-16 units at your assigned registration time to get the best selection of courses and course times.

All students must enroll in 12 or more units to trigger full-time status.

NOTE:  waitlisted units do NOT count toward full-time status.

Most students take 14-16 units each semester.

If you receive financial aid or other academic scholarships, it is very important to enroll in 12-16 units during your assigned registration time so the aid can be applied to your bill before the fee payment deadline.



You can enroll in a maximum of 18 units in your first semester.



Starting in your second semester, you might be able to petition to take 19-20 units if you are in good academic standing and meet certain GPA requirements (varies based on declared major and School).

Talk with your BAC academic advisor about the process to petition for excess units in your second semester or later.

You cannot petition to take excess units in your second semester until AFTER first semester grades have been posted.



A bachelor's degree at UC Merced requires 120 units with specific requirements (major, GE, etc.).

To be on track to graduate in 4 years, you should plan to complete at least 30 total units per year to meet normal progress to degree.

In your first year, you might have units from AP exams, IB exams, or transferable college courses taken in high school or at your previous college that count toward your total units at UC Merced.

In general, you must earn a C- or higher in courses required for your major or GE.  If you are placed into Writing 1 (see First Semester:  Entry Level Writing Requirement), you must earn a C or higher in that class.

If you have to repeat a course due to a low grade, the units only count once toward your degree.

If you receive financial aid, you must also meet financial aid satisfactory academic progress each year.