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Advising

Academic Advising Information for Biology Majors

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Why should I see an advisor?

  • Our department advisor can help you to choose appropriate courses to take. Many biology courses have prerequisites, and it is important to get started on those courses early. Certain courses may be most appropriate for a person interested in a particular field.
  • Our department advisor can help a transfer student determine which courses from the previous institution count towards a degree at Boise State.
  • Our department advisor can help you with academic adjustments/appeals, checking graduation requirements, academic probation/dismissal, understanding university policies, locating a faculty advisor, and finding university resources.
  • Faculty advisors can help you find internships. Internships are an important way to learn new skills. Internships are also important in helping you to know whether or not you really want to  pursue a particular career path. Although an advisor can provide suggestions as to possible internship opportunities, it is important to realize that it is the student’s responsibility to actually go out, make the contact, and arrange the internship experience. Your advisor can then help you to sign up so that you can receive college credit for your internship experience.
  • Faculty advisors can help with preparation of applications for professional school and graduate school. Such applications are much more complex than applications to attend as an undergraduate, and an advisor can help you to navigate that complexity.
  • Faculty advisors often help by writing letters of reference for jobs, for applications, for academic appeals, etc. However, don’t expect an advisor to write a letter of any substance unless you’ve invested the time to let your advisor get to know you: your ambitions, your qualifications, your history, etc.

Who should I see for advising?

If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior you will not be assigned a faculty advisor. Instead, you should book an appointment with the department advisor; Clay Cox. Make your appointment at ccox.youcanbook.me.  Advising questions can be directed to ccox@boisestate.edu. Please include your student ID# with your email.  You may call 426-3262 to make an appointment.

If you are a senior and you have just selected the biology major, you will be assigned to the department advisor, Clay Cox.   All seniors should eventually select a faculty advisor.  Begin by going to the faculty web page to see the interests of our faculty members or see the list at the bottom of this page. It is often helpful to choose someone with interests similar to yours.  Alternatively, you may think that one of your teachers would make a good advisor. If you have a particular career path in mind or if you don’t really know what areas of biology interest you, click here to see a list of appropriate advisors. You are welcome to contact Clay Cox to help you locate a faculty advisor.  If you meet with an advisor and don’t really get along, then try someone else!

If you are undecided as to your area of interest, meet with one of the advisors listed in the “undecided” section or talk to your biology instructor or to other students. Our department advisor can help you with many issues, including locating the appropriate faculty advisor.
If you are looking at a pre-professional degree, such as pre-med, pre-vet, pre-dent, in addition to meeting with a biology advisor, you will also want to meet with one of Boise State’s pre-professional advisors, Glenda Hill (ghill@boisestate.edu) or Erin Colburn (erincolburn@boisestate.edu).

Why do I have an advising hold on my account?

If you are a new student (freshman or transfer), you will have an advising hold on your BroncoWeb account.  This hold will prevent you from signing up for classes until you meet with an advisor. If you are a freshman or sophomore, you should attend a group advising session offered by the biology department advisor, Clay Cox.  After the spring semester starts, you will be able to reserve you seat in a group advising session. Watch your BroncoWeb account, as soon as the advising hold appears you should make your group advising reservation . More information about group advising can be found on the Biological Sciences Blackboard Site.

Transfer students with 14 credits or less are welcome to join one of the group advising sessions offered by the biology department advisor.  Transfer students with more that 14 credits can book an individual advising appointment with the department advisor, Clay Cox.  If you have already located a faculty advisor you may set up an appointment with them.  Be sure to mention that you have a required advising hold that needs to be removed.

When should I see my advisor?

It is very important to see an advisor as early in your college career as possible. Students who wait often don’t take key courses, and therefore end up delaying their progress towards a biology degree. It is a good idea to meet with your advisor every semester to get help with selecting courses for the next semester. Don’t wait until the last minute before your registration appointment to seek out your advisor; he/she may not be able to see you promptly and then either you’d need to register without the advice of your advisor or you’d need to delay your registration until later, potentially missing out on open courses.

How do I contact the Departmental Advisor?

The best way to set up an appointment with Clay Cox is online at ccox.youcanbook.me. Advising questions or concerns can be directed to ccox@boisestate.edu. Please include your student ID# with your email. You may call 426-3262 to schedule an appointment. Walk-in advising (without an appointment) is available, please check with the front desk for specific days and times.

How do I contact a faculty advisor to set up an appointment?

There are several ways. During the period just before registration begins each semester, many faculty members hang schedules outside their office doors on which students can sign up for a time slot. Alternatively, you may email or phone your advisor and set up an appointment. As you get to know your advisor, you’ll probably end up feeling comfortable just dropping by for a quick bit of advice now and again. It is very important that if you make an appointment, you keep it. Your advisor will not be impressed by a person who doesn’t take appointments seriously.

Where do I meet with my advisor?

If you are meeting with the department advisor, Clay Cox, his office is located in the Science Building (SCNC) Room 107A – Right next to the Department of Biological Sciences main office.

If you are meeting with a faculty advisor you would typically meet in your advisor’s office. You can get office numbers from the faculty website.  If you have your advisor as an instructor for a semester, after a lab period is often a good time to seek a bit of advice.

If you are attending a group advising session, the location will be listed when you make your reservation.  Typically these sessions are held in the Science Building (SCNC) Room 147, which is accessed through the hallway labeled 146D.

What should I bring to my advising appointment?

If you are a transfer student, make sure you bring transcripts from your previous institutions and the external credit report that Boise State University has sent you. Whether you’re a transfer student or not, bring any checklists that you have and bring a tentative list of courses that you think you should take. It may also be helpful to write down the questions you have, so that you cover all of the topics you need to.