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How to Declare

There is more to the Biology major declaration process than just declaring it on Axess! Perhaps the most important aspect of declaring is finding a suitable Biology Faculty Advisor. It is the Department's policy NOT to assign faculty advisors because we believe students should have the freedom to choose their own advisor according to their interests and/or needs.


  1. Select 2-3 potential Faculty Advisors. Only faculty members with appointments in Biology are eligible (this does not include courtesy appointments). These faculty are eligible to serve as advisors. You can consider many things when choosing your advisor:

    • Think of Biology faculty members that have taught classes you have taken and enjoyed

    • If you want to choose an advisor based on his/her research, feel free to read through their profiles or search for faculty by research area

    • Talk to your fellow Bio major friends!

    • If you still need help with choosing an advisor, we encourage you to go to the Student Services Office in Gilbert 118 to talk to staff and/or BioBridge peer advisors. Additionally, there is an extremely useful binder of faculty advisor surveys available in the office. These surveys contain a lot more informal information about advisors, such as interests, hobbies, advising philosophies, etc.

  2. Once you have chosen a few possible advisors, contact them one at a time to set up an appointment.

  3. Fill out the Major Declaration Form (fillable) prior to meeting with your potential advisor, and be sure to bring that form with you! This meeting normally consists of reviewing what you have written on your declaration form (including declaration of a field of study, if applicable), as well as a discussion of your academic and career goals. If submitting your forms electronically, please send them as one PDF.

    NOTE: Due to shelter in place orders, please submit your signed delcaration form and supporting documents as one PDF to Teri Hankes at

  4. Declare the Biology major (and field of study, if applicable) on Axess.

  5. Once you have met with your Faculty Advisor and s/he has signed your declaration form, submit it to the Student Services Office in Gilbert 118. You will receive useful information about the major, as well as a fun Biology T-shirt!