All biology majors must meet with their academic adviser prior to registration. Your adviser will help you select appropriate courses based on your degree requirements, your academic performance, and your career goals. Your adviser will also make you aware of special opportunities in the department such as internships, independent research, the honors program, study abroad, etc. 

Freshman Advisement


We provide you with the advising resources you need to succeed in college. Your success is our success.

Your adviser will assist you with many things:

  • choosing courses
  • meeting your degree requirements
  • thinking about concentration options
  • taking advantage of special academic opportunities (such as research or study abroad)
  • directing you to student services and organizations
  • planning for the summer, and managing your time. 

You will meet with your adviser at least twice throughout the semester, and are encouraged to reach out to them anytime.

Contact Your First-Year Adviser

Patricia Jones
Coord, Advisement Student Svcsr
Academic Success
Butler Library 149L
(716) 878-4048

Schedule an Appointment

Advisement appointments are to be made using the Bengal Success Portal. Instructions to make an appointment are:

  1. Login to Blackboard and click on the Bengal Success Portal.
  2. Click on the “Home” tab.
  3. Click “My Success Network.”
  4. Click the “Schedule Appointment” link below my contact information.
  5. Click “Sign Up” to choose the available date and time for your appointment.
  6. Select a reason for the appointment.
  7. If applicable, select the course that you wish to speak with me about.
  8. Choose the appointment duration.
  9. Enter appointment details to explain what you are looking to accomplish in the appointment.
  10. Click submit.

Advisement Checklist


Identify your adviser from your Degree Works account. See the upper right corner.


Print and review a copy of your Degree Works audit report.


Review program requirements offered next semester. Prepare a schedule that you think fits.


Make an Appointment

Make an appointment on the calendar posted on your adviser's office door, or if you are a freshman biology major, schedule an appointment on the Bengal Success Portal.


Be prepared to discuss your current academic standing.


Arrive on time for your appointment.


Consider whether undergraduate research, an internship, and/or a minor makes sense.

Who is my adviser (or how do I find my adviser)? 

If you are a first-year student (i.e., < 30 credit hours), your adviser is:

Patricia Jones
Senior Academic Adviser
149L Advising Suite
Academic Commons | Butler Library
(716) 878-5223

If you are a student with more than 30 credits, log into Degree Works to see who your academic adviser is. 

When can I begin registering for classes each semester? 

The actual date you can begin to register is determined by how many credits you have earned (with some minor exceptions for student governance, honors, and athletics). In general, those with more credits will register before those with fewer credits. 

To find the actual date, follow these steps:

  1. Log onto your Banner account
  2. Select “Registration
  3. Select “Registration Status”
  4. Select the Term and click on “Submit”

Your Registration Status will display your assigned registration date, any holds you may have, your class designation (FR, SO, JR, SR), and your major for registration purposes. Class designations (FR, SO, JR, SR) and registration dates are based on EARNED credit hours. 

Which should I take first, BIO 211 or BIO 213? 

You may take these courses in any order after completing BIO111 with a “C” or better. 

Are there any prerequisites for BIO classes and how do I find them? 

Yes, all 300- and 400-level and courses have prerequisites. Prerequisites are listed in each course’s description in the undergraduate course catalog.  

How do I get an internship? 

Internships can be a great way to obtain career-related experience, but you need to be prepared. Internships are enrolled as BIO 488. Your cumulative and BIO GPA must be >2.5, and you must have completed BIO 111, BIO 211, BIO 213. If you meet these criteria, first make an appointment with your adviser to get ideas on sensible internships. Next, make an appointment with Dr. Beahm, the Biology Department Internship Coordinator. Upon securing an internship site, Dr. Beahm will get approval from the department chair and issue the overrides needed for you to register for BIO488. There is more great information on internship opportunities, as well as an internship FAQ on the Internship page of the Biology Department website.

When do I apply for graduation? 

First, if you are asking this question, congratulations! At about the time you have completed 100 credit hours, go to the Registrar homepage and find the link to Graduation Preparation.  

How do I sign-up for a minor?

Minors can be a great addition to your major and can be a way to distinguish yourself from other graduates. Most minors require 18-21 credit hours of courses, so planning is essential. Students interested in selecting a minor program should contact the coordinating department as soon as possible and complete a Change of Major/Minor form. More information about minors can be found in the undergraduate catalog

What should I do if I am placed on departmental probation?

Department probation means your GPA has dropped below a 2.0. You have two semesters to bring your GPA up to at least 2.0. If after two semesters your GPA is still less than a 2.0, you will be told to leave Biology and find a new major. The best strategy is to first go see your adviser! Your adviser will discuss your options. In general, it’s a good idea to retake the course that sent you under a 2.0 if you obtained a D or E. If your grade happens to be a C-, you and your advisor might consider whether, given your chosen career path, it makes sense to forge ahead, aiming for a grade high enough to offset the C-. In any event, discuss this with your adviser. 

Where is tutoring help available?

There are multiple tutoring locations on campus and discipline areas you can obtain tutoring assistance, either in–person or online. The Academic Commons has great links to different disciplinary tutoring options. Science and technology tutoring is available in room SAMC265. Stop by the tutor center and have a drop-in visit or make an appointment. 

How do I withdraw from a course? 

Once you have registered for a course it will be on your permanent transcript unless you officially withdraw from the course. Not attending the first day or week of class does not withdraw you from a course! If you withdraw during the add/drop period (usually the first week of classes), then the course is erased from your transcript. There is a date deadline at the end of the 10th week of classes each semester (the actual date can be found on the Registrar’s website). It is highly recommended that you speak with your advisor before officially withdrawing from a course. Before withdrawing, consider whether a change in the number of credits you are enrolled for will affect when you graduate, completion of prerequisites for later courses, or your financial aid eligibility. You can withdraw from a course using Banner.