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Academic Advising

Biology Majors

All incoming freshman or transfer students who have an interest in a Biology major should seek to declare the major as early as they are able to meet the following declaration requirements.

To declare the B.S. major in Biology (or the B.A. in Biology, or the B.S. in Biotechnology) students must:

1)  earn a C+ or better in a General Biology course (BIO 121 or BIO 123 or accepted AP);

- AND -

2)  either earn a C+ in one of the four 300-level core courses (BIO 305, BIO 326, BIO 327, BIO 345) or have a 3.0 cumulative GPA any time after the first semester.

If you meet the above requirements, you may bring a completed Declaration of Major form along with a current unofficial copy of your transcript (available on MySlice) to the Biology Department Undergraduate Secretary, Deb Herholtz (LSC 114, 315.443.9139,, who will then assign you a Biology or Biotechnology advisor.

If you have an advisor in another department but you wish advice about a Biology major, contact the Biology Department Principal Advisor, Dr. Melissa Pepling (LSC 110, 315.443.4541,

Pre-Health Professions Students

You do not need to major in Biology to prepare for admission to health professional schools. These schools generally require specific courses in math, chemistry, physics and biology to be part of their applicants' undergraduate curricula. Some of these requirements are similar to requirements for the B.S. Degree in Biology. If you are interested in any of the health professions, you should seek advice through Health Professions Advising, located in 323 Hall of Languages (315.443.3150) as early as possible in your undergraduate studies, preferably in your freshman year.

Lifting Your Advising Hold for Registration

With online registration, Biology Department undergraduate advisors can provide academic advising and also lift your registration hold via e-mail. If you e-mail your advisor with your degree program (B.A. or B.S.) and the classes you have taken so far and those you plan to take next semester, your advisor can give you advice by return e-mail. This will save you time and effort trying to schedule appointments, although your advisor will still be able to meet with you in person if you wish.

If you do not know your Biology advisor's e-mail address, e-mail your request to the Undergraduate Program Secretary, Deb Herholtz. If you do not have a Biology faculty advisor and you need advice, e-mail the Biology Department Principal Advisor, Dr. Melissa Pepling.


The following are some programs in career areas of interest to many Biology Majors:

Health Professions Advising

If you are interested in a career in any of the health professions, you should make an appointment with Health Professions Advising (323 Hall of Languages, 315.443.3150) as early as possible in your undergraduate studies, preferably in your freshman year.

Graduate Programs in Biology (M.S., Ph.D.)

Students interested in a graduate degree in Biology should obtain advice on selecting and applying to graduate schools no later than the end of their junior year. A Biology academic advisor, or any Biology faculty in your area(s) of interest for advanced study, can give you advice on different schools, letters of recommendation, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and the graduate school application process.


Students interested in science teaching may wish to consider a dual major with the Biology Department and the Science Teaching Department (101 Heroy Hall, 315.443.2586) no later than the end of their sophomore year.

Biology and Biology-Related Careers

Be sure to look at our jobs and internships page for a curated list of Biology-related jobs and internships from Orange Link. 

Here are a couple of helpful links for students considering a career in Biology or a related area:

A booklet entitled Preparing for Biology-Related Careers is available in LSC 114 for students who are interested in a career outside of Biology, but who wish to have some background in Biology.