Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

October 25, 2010 3:22 PM

Phase 1 Telebears

Of the many things that can be stressful at Cal, telebears should definitely not be one of them. It is important to make an appointment with your major advisor as early as possible so that you can get your advisor code and have a clear idea about the classes you are planning to take for the incoming semester. Also, make sure you have a back-up plan because although you may be prepared in having your advisor code and the classes you need to take, unexpected things can happen. One day the class can have open seats and two hours later a class can be full. Trust me, this is extremely frustrating; I was usually the one who seemed to have a really late phase 1 appointment, but I always had alternatives. From past experiences here are some classes that I would recommend signing up for during phase 1:

1. Chemistry 3A/3B lab: These spaces fill up fast, so don't wait to sign up for phase 2 because it is very likely that all labs will be full. Also, don't just sign up for any lab, make sure all of your other classes can work around it because it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to switch into another lab.

2. Chemistry 3A/3B lecture: When I was about to sign up for Chem3B there was the misconception (among students) that if you sign up for Chem3BL you could easily get into Chem3B Lecture, many of my peers signed up and got into lab but were waitlisted for the lecture. Unfortunately, this does not work, they were not allowed into the lecture and therefore dropped from the lab. So, if you have not taken the lecture I would advise to sign up for both concurrently during phase 1! (or only lecture if you plan on taking Chem 3BL some other time).

3. Physics 8A/8B: These spots fill up fast! Definitely do not wait to sign up for either of these classes because by the time phase 2 rolls around, it is very likely that all the spaces will be filled.

4. R&C (Reading and Composition): This is a graduation requirement, therefore it is very important that you complete this requirement as soon as possible. Many of the classes tend to have a small class size, so I would recommend to sign up during phase 1. For example, I took a Native American class to satisfy my R1A requirement and the class size was about 20. I also took an anthropology (titled "society and the media") for R5B and the cap was only 15 students. (By the way, I would recommend both of these classes if you're looking into satisfying R&C without taking a standard literature class).

These would be my top four picks for phase 1 classes, but of course there are other important classes such as Bio1A/1AL and Bio1B as well as other prerequisites that are geared to your major. To avoid stressing out about getting into classes, start planning early and have backups!


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