Academic advising

What to do first

Contact: Dr. Robert Reinsvold, robert.reinsvold@unco.edu (email), 970-351-3076 (tel)

If you have not yet completed 45 credits, you will meet with one of the Freshmen/Sophomore Advisors each semester to discuss your academic progress and prepare for registration.  During this advising session, you will receive a PIN which will be required for registration for the next semester.  You should be contacted through an email on how to sign up for a session with one of the Freshmen/Sophomore Advisors.  This advising session will primarily focus on registration.  Should you need a longer advising session, that can be arranged with any of the advisors.  If you have any questions about these early registration advising sessions, please contact Dr. Rob Reinsvold.

Before coming to one of these registration sessions, please view the following document:  Academic Advising Information

If you are prehealth, you should set up an appointment with Frank Skufca to review the specific requirements for your desired professional school path. 

Contact: The biology office: biology@unco.edu (email), 970-351-2921 (tel).

Your adviser: If you don't know who your adviser is, go to ursa.unco.edu , click on the Student tab, and follow the Degree Works link under "Important Links".

Schedule an appointment to see your academic adviser each semester and as early as possible before it becomes an emergency.  Your adviser is available to discuss your academic schedule, your capstone experience, your career goals, or whatever else is on your mind.  If you don't know who your adviser is, and you are a declared biology major, please contact the biology office.  You will need a PIN from your adviser to register for the next semester.

If you are prehealth, you should set up an appointment with Dr. Fisher to review the specific requirements for your desired professional school path.

Contact: Dr. Judy Leatherman, judith.leatherman@unco.edu (email), 970-351-2453 (tel)

Schedule an appointment to see the biology minor adviser each semester to help you stay on track and tailor your biology courses to meet your educational goals.

What classes to take for the biology major

General

Along the path to graduation with a biology degree, you will complete courses in several different categories as follows:

  1. Liberal arts core courses
  2. Required biology core courses
  3. Elective biology courses
  4. Biology capstone experience
  5. Other supporting courses required by the major
  6. University-wide elective courses

In addition, you will need to complete the biology ETS exam during your last semester.  This exam is not graded and does not impact your graduation unless you fail to take it. 

Make a four-year plan

The required classes to take are listed in the University Catalog and in the four-year worksheets that can help you plan for the completion of your degree.  Once you have made a plan, it is important that you follow it as closely as possible so you can graduate on time. 

Liberal arts core (LAC) classes

Liberal arts core (LAC) classes cover the breadth of knowledge that a liberal arts education should provide. These classes are often referred to as General Education classes at other institutions. The courses in your major (biology) will provide the depth of knowledge that you will need for your chosen career path, while your LAC courses ensure that you get a well-rounded education. LAC classes are organized into areas (1-8) based on the areas of knowledge that they cover.  We strongly recommend spreading your LAC classes over your four years to help balance each semester's schedule.

LAC classes fulfilled by the biology degree

Some of the introductory classes required of the biology degree fit into these areas, and they fulfill the required credit hours for those LAC areas. In some cases, the biology degree will require more than the minimum number of LAC classes in a particular area because of the depth of knowledge needed. The required biology classes that fulfill LAC area requirements are:

  • LAC Area 1 (Communication -- 6 hours) is fulfilled by ENG 122 (College Composition -- 3 hours) and SCI 291 (Scientific Writing -- 3 hours).
  • LAC Area 2 (Mathematics -- 3 hours) is fulfilled by STAT 150 (Introduction to Statistical Analysis -- 3 hours).
  • LAC Area 6 (Physical and Life Sciences -- 7 hours) is fulfilled by BIO 110 (Principles of Biology -- 4 hours) and CHEM 111 (Principles of Chemistry I -- 5 hours).
  • LAC electives is a category that permits you to take any additional LAC courses that may be needed to fulfill the minimum of 40 LAC credit hours required by the University. As a biology major, MATH 171 (Calculus I for Life Science -- 4 hours) and PHYS 220 (Introductory Physics I -- 5 hours) count toward that 40 credit hour minimum.

LAC classes not fulfilled by the biology degree

For those LAC areas that are not fulfilled by required biology classes, you are free to take any of the courses listed in the UNC catalog for LAC areas 3, 4, 5, 7 & 8.  Some courses in areas 3, 4 and 5 also fulfill areas 7 and 8.  If you wish to graduate by taking the minimal 120 credit hour requirement for a biology degree, we suggest that you "double-dip" by selecting courses that fulfill multiple areas simultaneously. Look for the asterisk (*) next to the class in the LAC 7 and 8 sections of the UNC catalog. The area that you can "double-dip" is indicated in brackets [ ].  Your adviser can also provide advice about LAC courses.

Biology electives

Biology elective classes are typically offered on a rotating basis every year or every other year. Descriptions and prerequisites for these courses are provided in the UNC catalog. Check the biology course calendar offerings to ensure that you know when each course will run and plan accordingly.  The number of biology elective classes that are required to complete a biology degree will depend on your emphasis area.

Biology capstone experience

The capstone experience is intended to give you specific hands-on experience that is directly related to your career goals. As a biology major, one credit of capstone experience is required. Please discuss this unscheduled course with your academic adviser.  Your options for this course are:

  • Directed Studies (BIO 422) -- for research activities
  • Internship in Biological Sciences (BIO 492)
  • Clinical Internship in Biological Sciences (BIO 493)
  • Undergraduate teaching experience (BIO 494)

Transfer students

Contact: The biology transfer adviser is Frank Skufca, frank.skufca@unco.edu (email), 970-351-2469 (tel)

Helpful link: UNC transfer admissions website

Helpful link: Transferology

Transferring from another institution

If you transfer from any other institution of higher education to UNC and you declare biology as your major program of study, you should do the following things:

  1. Be familiar with the courses that transfer to UNC. After being accepted to UNC, the university will review your academic transcripts from other institutions and determine which courses may be accepted for credit at UNC. The list of accepted transfer courses will be sent to you. Be sure to bring this list with you when you meet with your academic adviser or with the biology transfer advisor. The list will indicate courses that have been accepted into various categories such as:
      1. Liberal Arts Core courses (general education credits). The university admissions office determines which transfer courses fulfill Liberal Arts Core requirements.
      2. University elective courses. These courses can apply to your degree, but not necessarily to your major.
      3. Biology major required courses. These courses will count toward those that are required to fulfill the biology major. Transfer courses may be sufficiently similar to an existing required biology course that they will be accepted as such, or they may be accepted as a biology elective course. In other cases, a transfer course may not meet the biology requirements at all and will count only toward a university elective. The biology transfer adviser makes this determination.
  2. Meet with your academic advisor. When you decide to declare biology as your major program of study, you should visit the main office of the School of Biological Sciences (Ross Hall, room 2480). Our office staff will be able to help you declare your major, and they will assign you an academic advisor. You should meet with this person as soon as possible for help with selecting the courses that you will need to take.
  3. Meet with the biology transfer advisor. The biology transfer adviser will make the final determination of what courses can apply to the biology major. If you have course syllabi or catalogs from the institutions that you attended prior to UNC, these can be very helpful.

Transferring from another major program at UNC

If you change your major to biology from any other major at UNC, there are special rules that apply to you. For example, some 200-level biology courses may be substituted for upper-division biology courses depending on the grade that you received. You should talk to your academic adviser to see what is possible.

Biology academic advisers

Who is your academic adviser?

If you don't know who your academic adviser is and you have declared biology as your major, you can look it up on Degree Works (available through Ursa), or you can contact the biology office for help at biology@unco.edu or 970-351-2921.

List of academic advisers

Biology academic advisers specialize based on emphasis area.

Adviser

Office

Telephone

E-mail

Rick Adams
Ross Hall 1540
970-351-2057
Lauryn Benedict
Ross Hall 2546
970-351-3364
Patric Burns
Ross Hall 1516
970-351-2695
Gregory DeKrey
Ross Hall 2516
 970-351-2493
Ginger Fisher
Ross Hall 1526
 970-351-2210
Scott Franklin
Ross Hall 1510
 970-351-2650
Karen Gomez
Ross Hall02555
 970-351-2555
James Haughian
Ross Hall 2716
 970-351-2716
Ann Hawkinson
Ross Hall 1530
 970-351-1176
Teresa Higgins
Ross Hall 2526
 970-351-2617
Emily Holt
Ross Hall 2520
970-351-4870
Andrea James
Ross Hall 2536
970-351-3521
Judy Leatherman
Ross Hall 2410
 970-351-2453
Steve Mackessy
Ross Hall 2540
 970-351-2429
Mit McGlaughlin
Ross Hall 1560
 970-351-2139
Melanie Peffer
Ross Hall 1556
970-351-2923
Nicholas Pullen
Ross Hall 2550
970-351-1843
Robert Reinsvold
Ross Hall 1536
 970-351-3076
Frank Skufca
Ross Hall 1520
970-351-2469
Mark Thomas
Ross Hall 2530
 970-351-2329

Adviser

Office

Telephone

E-mail

Gregory DeKrey

Ross Hall 2516

970-351-2493

Karen Gomez

Ross Hall 1550
970-351-2555

Andrea James

Ross Hall 2536
970-351-3521

Judy Leatherman

Ross Hall 2510
970-351-2453

Melanie Peffer

Ross Hall 1556
970-351-2923

Nicholas Pullen

Ross Hall 2550
970-351-1843

Adviser

Office

Telephone

E-mail

Rick Adams

Ross Hall 1540

970-351-2057

Lauryn Benedict

Ross Hall 2550
970-351-3364

Scott Franklin

Ross Hall 1510
970-351-2650

Emily Holt

Ross Hall 2520
970-351-4870

Steve Mackessy

Ross Hall 2540
970-351-2429

Mit McGlaughlin

Ross Hall 1560
970-351-2139

Robert Reinsvold

Ross Hall 1536
970-351-3076

Adviser

Office

Telephone

E-mail

Rick Adams

Ross Hall 1540

970-351-2057

Teresa Higgins

Ross Hall 2526
970-351-2617

Emily Holt

Ross Hall 2520
970-351-4870

Melanie Peffer

Ross Hall 1556
970-351-2923

Robert Reinsvold

Ross Hall 1536
970-351-3076