Ori Department of Biology | Emory University
Department of Biology
Undergraduate Advising

To declare a major in Biology, PLEASE CONTACT BARBARA SHANNON at barbara.shannon@emory.edu TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.  At the declaration appointment, the student will be provided with the major requirements and will be assigned a Biology faculty member as their academic advisor.

All Biology majors (including students earning a double major in Biology with Biology as the second major AND Business School students who are earning a second major (Biology) in Emory College) are required to meet with their Biology advisor each semester during the advising period prior to registration to discuss their academic plan and progress prior to signing up for classes.  Biology majors have an enrollment hold placed on their respective OPUS account every Fall and Spring semester until he/she meeets with his/her advisor.  The faculty advisor will release the student's enrollment hold after the scheduled advising meeting.

Learn more about requirements for the Biology major.

Pre-Health Faculty Advisors:

Three Biology faculty members serve as advisors for students interested in pursuing health careers:  Kathy Campbell as the Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Physician's Assistant Advisor, Alex Escobar as the Pre-Med Advisor, and Amanda Starnes as the Pre-Vet Advisor.  In these roles, they meet with prospective students, parents, and current undergraduates regarding careers in physical therapy, as a physician's assistant, in medicine, and in veterinary medicine.  They also write supportive letters of recommendation for current undergraduates and oversee meetings and activities for these students.

Transfer Students:

Transfer students who wish to become biology majors should contact the Academic Undergraduate Degree Program Coordinator, Barbara Shannon, in the Biology Department (Rollins Research Center, Room 2006A; barbara.shannon@emory.edu) shortly after arrival on campus to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to declare the major.  First time registration may pose problems since regular students have preregistered and many courses may be closed.  Initial registration therefore is advised by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Rachelle Spell, with whom an appointment should then be made (rachelle.spell@emory.edu) to review transfer credits and to establish a schedule of courses.  Students transferring to Emory College must complete the General Education Requirements (GERs) as required by Emory College.  Some of these requirements can be satisfied by transfer credit and some may be waived on the basis of sufficient residence at previous schools.  Students should bring to this meeting a copy of their admissions audit of the General Education Requirements.  Subsequently, transfer students will then be assigned an advisor by Ms. Shannon once they officially declare a biology major.

Oxford Continuees:

Students continuing at Emory College from Oxford College will have an opportunity to fill out a Declaration of Major/Minor (DOM) form during a predesignated Oxford Continuee Day that will be scheduled by the Emory College Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) during the Fall and Spring semesters.  OUE will then provide copies of the DOMs to the appropriate departments for processing.  Once the DOMs for the prospective biology majors are received by the Biology Department, the Academic Undergraduate Degree Program Coordinator, Ms. Barbara Shannon, will assign a biology advisor to each student and will provide the student with the name and contact information for their respective advisor.  The continuing student will then be required to schedule an advising appointment with their assigned biology advisor, who will assist with course selection for the next semester. 

It is also expected that Oxford continuees will have completed coursework for the General Education Requirements (GERs), with the exception of WR courses.  However, continuees should bring to the advisor meeting a copy of their GER audit.  For additional information, Oxford continuees should contact the Emory College Office of Undergraduate Education in 300 White Hall (ph. 404-727-6069).

Information for Oxford Continuees: Fall 2017

AP and Advanced Credit:

Students matriculating during or after Fall 2014:  An AP score of 4 or 5 may be used to exempt out of the Biology 141 LECTURE only.  Three credits will be applied towards the 30 hours of Biology courses required for the major.  Students with AP credit for the Biology 141 Lecture will be required to take our BIOLOGY 141 LAB (Biol 141L), for one credit hour.  Students considering using their AP credit towards the Biology 141 Lecture should discuss the decision with a Biology faculty member.  In many cases, students with an AP score of 4 and some with an AP score of 5 are better off taking Biology 141 to lay the groundwork for the upper level courses.

Enrolling in Graduate Courses:

Undergraduates who wish to take graduate level courses (numbered 500 and above) may do so in consultation with their Biology advisor.  Permission from the advisor, as well as from the course instructor, is required for each graduate course.  Only those graduate courses completed at Emory can be used towards the Biology major.  A maximum of four graduate courses (16 semester hours) can be applied as elective credit towards the BS degree.  BA majors may not satisfy undergraduate degree requirements with graduate level courses.

Joint Majors:

Students majoring in biology (there is no minor) may elect to complete the requirements for a joint degree (major or minor) in another undergraduate department.  To do so requires careful time management as well as attention to scheduling.  It is recommended that such students obtain advisors in both departments so that requirements for both degrees, as well as satisfaction of the GER requirements, can be met comfortably within the four year time frame.  Graduation with Honors adds an additional level of complexity, particularly if students are focusing on multiple disciplines, or wish to spend a semester abroad.


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