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Current Student Frequently Asked Questions

How do I declare my major as microbiology?

    Microbiology is not a major, it's a concentration within the Biological Sciences (which is what our students receive their degree in). A student must first declare a major of Biological Sciences.  Selection of a concentration can be done in consultation with Dr. Caponetti (974-6219). If you haven't already, you may want to check with the Advising Office regarding the specific series of events.

How can I get involved in Undergraduate Research?

    Undergraduate Research is an excellent way to enhance a student's college experience. Students learn problem solving skills, time management, how to work in a group setting, and what scientists really "do." Plus, working in a laboratory helps students understand the concepts they learn in class at a much deeper level. If you are interested in research, examine the research descriptions of the faculty in the department. Read their research papers and see if their projects interest you. If you find an area of research that interests you, contact the faculty member directly and ask about opportunities in his or her lab.

    Another great place to start is through the Office of Undergraduate Research.

How do I add a closed microbiology course (except 401/402/495)?

    You should access Circle Park Online and attempt to add the class. The best time to do this is at the beginning of a semester when many students are making changes to their schedules. This is the only method of adding a course prior to the first day of the class. If you are unsuccessful, pick up a Drop/Add Slip at the advising center or any departmental office and bring it with you to the first class meeting. Speak with the instructor who may add you if space permits; have the instructor sign it and return the slip to the proper office (as indicated on the back).

How do I enroll in Microbiology 401 or 402?

    Upper-division microbiology courses such as these are research-oriented classes. To enroll in such a class requires the permission of a microbiology department faculty member.  Speak with the professor you wish to study with for the semester and obtain his or her permission to work in the lab (see above).  Have him or her sign the Drop/Add Slip or otherwise indicate permission in writing (email is acceptable) and bring the verification to the Microbiology Office at M409 Walters Life Sciences. 

I need to file a petition.  What do I do?

    You can either pick up the petition from Arts & Sciences Advising, our office, or download it online and complete it. Arrange for your advisor to review, approve, and sign the petition. Once it has been signed, bring it to the Microbiology Office (M409 WLS) for approval by the department head. Once approved, it will be sent to Arts & Sciences for review; contact that office in 7-10 days to check the status (974-4483).

How do I schedule an appointment with my departmental advisor?

    Students should meet with their advisor each semester, and they are required to do it once a year. Which semester a student is required to meet his/her advisor is dependent upon the final number of the student's ID numbers, even numbers need to be advised in the Fall, those with odd numbers are advised in the Spring. Once you have been assigned an advisor in our department, you should contact him or her to schedule an appointment. Faculty contact information is located within in the Faculty Pages of our site and/or you may call the office (974-3441) and ask to speak with the professor to which you are assigned.

I have questions about my special circumstances that my advisor couldn't answer.  How can I resolve the situation?

    Email the director for undergraduate studies, Dr. Alison Buchan to arrange a meeting for discussing your microbiology academic issues.

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