students chatting

Biology faculty are familiar with the coursework and requirements you need to complete in order to achieve your biology degree, and they will work with you to design coursework that best meets your goals. In addition, your advisor will help enhance your relationship with the university and help you meet the general graduation requirements for your degree path. Your advisor can help you select courses, walk you through the organization and policies of UVM, and help keep you on track towards fulfilling the requirements you need to graduate. 

As a first year student, you'll be responsible for attending manditory advisory meetings and optional drop-in hours, in which you can ask your advisor any questions you have about courses, registration, and more. All first-year students are assigned to one primary advisor with expert knowledge of your major (biology, zoology, biological science) and a secondary advisor that will help you with course selection your first year. Your secondary advisor will likely be your main contact during the first year. We know that meeting consistently with your advisor is a great way to help you stay on track academically, so you won't be able to sign up for spring semester courses until you have met with your secondary advisor to go over course selection. 

Who will be my advisor?

If your major is biology, zoology, or biological science in the College of Arts and Sciences, you will be assigned a biology faculty member as your advisor. If your major is Neuroscience or Environmental Science, your advisor will be either from Biology or from another participating department.

Biology and zoology minors or students considering a minor/major who would like advice are welcome to make an appointment with the Department Chair or the Director of Undergraduate Studies, or to reach out informally to professors they know in the department.

How do I prepare to meet with my advisor?

The main purpose of academic advising is to help you meet your educational requirements and career goals. Academic advising requires that both you and your advisor work together as a team; for every meeting, the you should come prepared with specific questions and ideas. It also doesn't hurt to submit a CATS Report before your meeting. 

Organizing a course of study

Life science is a very broad discipline, and students will need guidance in choosing a program of study including advanced electives and independent research or internships. Faculty advisors help you with this important and exciting task. For biology majors (the BA), students take four advanced electives, so choosing the right courses is critical. Therefore, several tracks are recommended: environmental biology, forensics, molecular biology, neurobiology, and preprofessional (for human or animal medicine). Students who wish to remain very generalized in their academics choose the general biology track. For Integrated Biological Science (BS) majors, students select a larger set of electives from an approved list. The zoology major (BA and BS) and environmental Science (BS) are distinct in structure from the biology and biological science, and each have an approved list of courses for students to choose from with careful advising by faculty.

Fall 2017 Office Hours

Professor Office Hours Location
Agnarsson, Ingi Mondays 10-11:30am 316 Marsh Life Science
Ballif, Bryan Wednesdays 9:30-11:30am 311 Marsh Life Science
Bishop, Kristin Wed. and Fri. 11-1pm 102 Marsh Life Science
Brody, Allison Mon. and Wed. 1:30-2:30pm 205A Marsh Life Science
Coseno, Molly Mon. and Wed. 2-3pm 107A Marsh Life Science
Ebert, Alicia Tue. and Wed. 10-11am 313 Marsh Life Science
Goodnight, Charles Mon. and Wed. 10:30-12pm 115 Marsh Life Science
Gotelli, Nicholas Mon., Wed. and Fri. 3:30-4pm 209 Marsh Life Science
Helms Cahan, Sara Tue. 12-1pm, Wed. 1:30-2:30pm 120B Marsh Life Science
Howe, Sarah Mon. and Tue. 1-3:30pm and Thurs. 1-4:30pm 118 Marsh Life Science
Jebbett, Nathan Mon. and Wed. 2:30-5pm 102 Marsh Life Science
Kilpatrick, C. William Tue. and Fri. 1-3pm Blundell
Lockwood, Brent Mondays 1-3pm 203 Marsh Life Science
Mead, Andrew Fridays 1-3pm

20 Hills

May Collado, Laura Mon.-Wed.-Fri. 9-12pm

102 Marsh Life Science

Mitchell, John Tue. and Thurs. 2:30-3:30pm 102 Marsh Life Science
Ogbunu, Brandon Wednesdays 11-2pm 217A Marsh Life Science
Pespeni, Melissa Wednesdays 2-4pm 326A Marsh Life Science
Van Houten, Judith By Appointment Only 120 Marsh Life Science
Vigoreaux, Jim By Appointment Only 120 Marsh Life Science
Wittman, Sarah Mon. 4:30-5:30pm and Fri. 1-2pm 102 Marsh Life Science


First-year advisor meeting times

Group advising meetings: Once a semester, typically the week before course registration time, you will be required to attend a group meeting to go over common questions and issues related to major requirements, course sequencing, general distribution requirements, and more. Attendance at this meeting is required to lift an advising hold from your account (applied to all first-year students) removed from your account; it also is the first step towards answering most advising questions. All students will be informed of the times and places of group advising sessions.

Drop-in advising hours: In the two weeks before course registration time, your secondary advisor will inform you of open drop-in hours; this is a great opportunity to get answers to specific, specialized questions before registration. Peer advising sessions will also be available.

Sarah Howe is the 1st Year Advisor in 118 Marsh Life Science.
Sarah's office hours:  Mondays and Tuesdays: 1 - 3:30pm and Thursdays: 1 - 4:30pm

Additional Resources: Careers, Research, Graduate School

The biology department is committed to helping you learn more about their chosen area of study and the opportunities associated with it. As nationally- and internationally-known scholars with successful careers in the sciences, our faculty members have a wealth of expertise to share about the nature of the field, graduate programs in the life sciences and related disciplines, and new research initiatives. In addition to consulting individual faculty members about these issues, we strongly encourage you to be attentive to opportunities devoted to the following topics:

Research opportunities. You will be subscribed to a department listserv that periodically will send information about research opportunities, including summer programs at UVM and at other institutions. The Biology Department Guide to Research Courses and the Office of Undergraduate Research are excellent sources of information, including fellowships and other funding opportunities.

Applying to graduate school. The Career Center hosts an annual graduate school fair to help you explore when and if to apply, what materials you need to prepare, how to choose a program, and what job prospects are like in various fields.  Usually offered in late September.

Pre-med and other pre-health advising. The Career Center, through its Pre-Health group offers information sessions that explain how to apply to medical school. Check their website for dates and additional details.

Career Ideas. Several organizations around campus organize career panels that bring together UVM alums and other professionals to talk about how their studies in the life sciences helped prepare them for jobs in health care, research, nonprofits, and more. One example is the VGN Career Day organized by the Vermont Genetics Network (VGN). Usually offered in April. Check website for dates and additional details.