How to Declare

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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 needs.

Steps: 

1. Identify 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 their 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. Contact the possible advisors

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

Complete the Major Declaration Form (fillable) prior to meeting with your potential advisor, and be sure to bring that form with you! Please note that this form is just a starting off point to help jumpstart your conversation with your potential advisor. You will not be bound to any of the elective courses you list. It's also OK if you're not sure what your academic or career goals are yet!

4. Meet with your potential advisor

This meeting is a way for you to get to know your potential faculty advisor and learn if they will be a good fit for you. The major declaration form you completed will be a great starting off point for your conversation, and you might focus on a potential field of study, academic goals, and interests. 

Tip: We recommend asking your potential advisor how often they like to meet with their advisees, as well as what those meetings entail. Some students prefer faculty advisors who offer a very hands-on approach and desire face to face contact on a quarterly basis. Other students prefer to check in less frequently. It is a good idea to find out the professor's advising style, potential travel commitments off campus, and general availability to ensure a good long term fit.

Should you have additional questions about setting up or preparing for a meeting with a faculty advisor, the staff and BioBridge peer advisors are available to help, either via email or in Gilbert 118.  

5. Declare in Axess

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

Please note that although you may plan to complete the honors program, we ask that you wait to declare honors in Axess until your honors proposal is approved later in your undergraduate career.

6. Submit to SSO in Gilbert 118

Once you have met with your Faculty Advisor and they have 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!

Optionally, you may submit your forms electronically by emailing them as one PDF to Teri Hankes at thankes@.

Major Declaration Form

Complete the fillable Major Declaration Form prior to your meeting with your potential faculty advisor.