Getting Started in One of Our Majors
To ensure timely graduation, all first year students intending a major in our department should take both BIO 105 and CHEM 105 during their first semester.
Academic Advising Occurs in Phases
Your officially assigned adviser’s name appears on the first page of your STAR. You will likely go through at least two advisers during your college career at UW Oshkosh. One will be a UARC staffer and the other will be a department faculty member.
Your First Adviser
New freshmen and transfer students are assigned a general adviser in the UW Oshkosh Undergraduate Advising Resource Center (UARC). Your UARC adviser will help you plan your first semester(s) at UW Oshkosh based on your stated interests (including your major, if you declare one right away). This person likely has a load of several hundred students to advise. He or she is not an expert on the biology or microbiology curriculum.
Your Department Faculty Adviser
To qualify for faculty adviser assignment, you must declare a major in our department (fill out a form in the UARC to declare or change a major) AND complete the following courses:
- BIO 105 Intro Bio: Unity
- CHEM 105 Gen Chem I
Bring your STAR report showing completion of these courses to the main biology office (Halsey 142) and ask to be assigned a faculty adviser. You may request a certain faculty member but, because we try to keep adviser loads evenly spread at no more than 20 to 30 students per adviser, your request may not be able to be honored. If you plan to graduate in four years, be sure to visit your departmental adviser about once per semester!
Our faculty members specialize in certain advising areas, as follows. Please attend their office hours or email them for an advising appointment.
- Pre-Vet: McDermott (has DVM as well as Ph.D.)
- Pre-Health: Merriman
- General Biology: Adler, Cooper, Dilkes, Kostman, Kurtz, Matson, Michalski, Mitchell
- Cellular, Molecular, & Professional: Dorn
- Environmental Health: Mueller-Spitz
- Ecology/Organismal: Bentivenga, Mitchell, Pillsbury, Stelzer
- Microbiology: Matson, Mueller-Spitz, Shors
- Radiologic Science: Jeter, Merriman
Once assigned to a faculty adviser, the student remains with that adviser unless either the student or the adviser requests a change. Exceptions occur when there is a new faculty hire, a resignation, or a sabbatical. Reassignment in such cases may be made by the program assistant without consultation of the faculty or student(s) affected.
PALs are student advisers who work out of the UARC. In addition, two biology or microbiology based student organizations on campus can put you in touch with a network of peers and mentors that provide priceless opportunities to get “been there, done that” advising. These organizations are:
- Biology and Microbiology Club. For students with any interest in these fields.
- Pre-Health-Professionals Organization (PHPO). For students interested in ANY aspect of health.
Dr. Merriman will meet with any student at any stage of his or her degree. Visit her website (http://www.uwosh.edu/facstaff/merriman/VaughanHome) for more information.
Your departmental adviser may be able to give you career advice, but don’t neglect the many resources offered elsewhere on campus. UW Oshkosh has a very active Career Services Center, including exercises to prepare you for the all-important interview process. You will retain career services office access even after you graduate! Finally, the Counseling Center also offers advice to enrolled students. Click here for a pdf of potential careers in biological sciences.
What to do if the class is full
You want a BIO class, but it’s showing up “full” on Titan Web. Now what?
Don’t waste time asking the instructor to sign you in, because instructors in this department aren’t allowed to do that.
The Biology Department uses the electronic wait-list feature in Titan Web. Classes with an active wait-list will display a yellow triangle next to the section(s). Click here for step-by-step instructions for how to wait-list a class that is full.
Things to be aware of:
- All sections of a class must be full before the wait-list is activated.
- All prerequisite requirements must be met in order to wait-list a given class.
- Students must have an active enrollment appointment to wait-list a class.
- Only one lab section can be wait-listed per lecture.
- The total maximum credits allowed for wait-listing is 11.
The department will notify wait-listed students IN TURN if/when a seat opens up in a wait-listed course. Notifications will be sent to the student’s UWO email with instructions for enrollment. The student will have 24 hours from receipt of the email to complete the process before being dropped from the list.