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Resources > Current Students

Current Students

Current Biology students, we are glad you’re here! We hope your time at Union is going well. God has been faithful and it’s great to see the many evidences of this.

We want to use this page to keep you informed of a number of things going on around the department:

2013-2014 News

  • Biology curricula was modified from three majors to five majors-General Biology, Zoology, Botany, Conservation, and Cell and Molecular.
  • Construction began on the new greenhouse.
  • Dr. William (Bill) Thierfelder was hired as Visiting Associate Professor of Biology.
  • Study Abroad program is now available.
  • The Biology Department has student study carrels available for Biology majors in White Hall Room 126. These carrels are assigned each semester. If you are interested in applying for a study area, please contact Dr. Madison.
  • For more information on HPAC and applying to professional schools, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I know what courses to take for my particular area of study?
A. As a Biology major, you should have been assigned to a Faculty Advisor. If you do not think you have an Advisor, please contact Karen Hester ( or check WebAdvisor to see if you have been assigned an Advisor. Your Advisor can provide invaluable assistance in selecting your courses. There are also a number of curriculum guides and other information that can be obtained by going to Union’s homepage and looking at the menu options under the menu bar "Undergraduate Areas of Study."

Q. How am I assigned an academic advisor?
A. Advisors are assigned by the Secretary for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, typically based on either their intended career path (if pre-professional) or by their major. Advisors assist students in planning schedules and defining educational and career goals. Advisors inform advisees of the academic requirements and attempt to guide them through the program of study toward their chosen major.

Q. How do I go about registering for classes?
A. Each student will need to meet with his/her advisor. Once this meeting has taken place, students may register themselves after they have been cleared by their advisor. If a student is not able to register electronically, they will need to get their advisor’s signature before submitting the appropriate forms to Union Station.

Q. How should I choose my research?
A. It’s never too early to start considering what areas of research you may be interested in. Make sure you’re thinking purposefully about this during your sophomore year. As you think, you’ll want to visit faculty websites to find out what their areas of research are. From there, it’s a good idea to talk to the faculty members whose research interests you. You may also talk to the research director, Dr. Andy Madison, to discuss developing your own idea if you want to research a topic unrelated to faculty work.

Q. What equipment is available for me to use?
A. While we continue obtaining new equipment, you will find a list of some of the equipment that is currently available on the equipment webpage.

Q. What if I want to take a course that is not in the catalog?
A. If you’d like to take a course not offered in the catalog, you have some options. Look at the courses offered by Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies (see Dr. Michael Schiebout) or the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (see Dr. J.R. Kerfoot). Some of these courses are listed in the Biology Section of the UU Catalog. An additional option is to work with a faculty member to develop an individualized course that is suited to your interests.

Q. What is the process for applying for graduate or professional school?
A. For any questions regarding graduate or professional school, the best place to start is your adviser, although additional resources also exist.  For graduate school, tthese resources, and You’ll want to start the process at least a year if not two years before you intend to go to grad school. An excellent planning timeline can be found here. For professional school, you will need to follow the instructions provided by the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). First, download the Evaluation Request form found on the HPAC website. Complete the request, sign it, have your advisor sign, and turn the form in to the chair of HPAC, currently Dr. Randy Johnston, Chemistry Department Chair. From there, your information will be reviewed and evaluated, and a letter of recommendation will be submitted directly to the schools of your choice. HPAC members can also guide you in other aspects of the application process, such as helping you understand what questions may be asked in an interview.

Q. Some professional programs allow students to apply prior to completion of a bachelor’s degree. Is there any disadvantage in applying to these programs during my junior year?
A. While there is not a disadvantage in applying to a professional program to enter after your junior year, there is a disadvantage in organizing your curriculum with the assumption that you will get in at that time. Typically, schools that advertise that they accept students after their junior year actually accept a vast majority of applicants with bachelor’s degrees; therefore, plan to complete your four-year degree so that you are on track to graduate if you are not admitted into the professional school after your junior year.

Q. Where can I find current internship, employment, graduate, and professional school information?
A. The department has a bulletin board under the northeast stairwell on the first floor of White Hall (closest to the clock tower) with current graduate and professional school information. There is also a file cabinet in the student study area (room 126) that has an archive of information as well. A bulletin board in the northwest stairwell (the other "front" stairwell) contains current internship and employment information. Please check these regularly as new information is posted as it arrives.

If you can think of any other questions that would be useful to have on this page, please email them to the Department Chair, Dr. Mark Bolyard.

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