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Academics

Undergraduate Advising and Resources

Brick building (Long Hall) on college campus, with historical marker sign.

The Department of Biological Sciences Advising Center serves undergraduate biological sciences and microbiology students and aims to create an environment in which all students are presented with opportunities that enable them to thrive in their educational endeavors. The team includes academic advisers and a registration coordinator. Advisers provide general academic advising services and assist with general advising questions, academic form completion, and course and registration information. The registration coordinator coordinates scheduling of courses and provides registration information and assistance.

The center helps undergraduate students navigate their academic careers by providing a range of student-oriented advising services. With these services, our advising center enables students to:

  • Create and execute academic plans that align with personal values, educational interests and career goals.
  • Partner with their adviser while ultimately accepting student responsibility for academic success.
  • Identify and use available campus resources to support academic, personal and social needs.
  • Seek opportunities that provide enriching experiences beyond the classroom. 

Key Advising Information

The Department of Biological Sciences Advising Center is located on the first floor of Long Hall. Contact an adviser in the advising center by email. Please view the Undergraduate Advisers webpage.

  • Who Is My Adviser?

    You can look up your advisor’s name in your iROAR Student Profile. Log in to iROAR. Click Student Self-Service —» Advising Student Profile —» Advisers.

  • How Do I Sign Up for Advising?

    You may schedule an appointment with your academic adviser at any time through CU Navigate. When it is time to meet for preregistration advising prior to the start of registration, your adviser will send out an invitation to schedule an appointment which will come to you via your Clemson email. Preregistration advising can begin approximately two months prior to the start of registration. For the best selection of advising appointments, please schedule your advising appointment early.

  • How Do I Change My Adviser?

    You may request a new adviser by emailing Londan Charley, the director of academic advising, your request.

  • How Do I Request a Course Substitution?

    To request a course substitution, please make an appointment with your academic adviser through CU Navigate to discuss your request. Course substitutions should be requested as soon as the course is graded unless the course is being taken during your graduating term. If the course is being taken during your graduating term, please schedule your appointment after registering for the course.

  • How Do I Take a Course at Another School?

    Students should discuss courses they plan to take at another school with their adviser and ensure CU course equivalency using the TCEL, then review and complete the Approval of Credits to be Earned at Another School form (PDF) prior to taking the course(s). Your adviser’s signature is required on the form; once it is completed, the adviser will submit it to Clemson’s Office of Enrolled Student Services on your behalf.

  • How Do I Request Academic Forgiveness?

    Schedule an appointment with your adviser. You cannot receive academic forgiveness for a course until a final grade has posted. After grades have posted, you may request academic forgiveness through iROAR. Although academic forgiveness removes the effect of a D or F from your GPA, the original grade will remain on your academic transcript. Academic forgiveness can have an impact on financial aid, and it is recommended that you consult with the financial aid office in Sikes Hall G01; email finaid@clemson.edu.

  • How Do I Change My Academic Program?

    Into Biological Sciences or Microbiology

    Students desiring to change academic programs into biological sciences or microbiology from another major should complete this survey. Once you have submitted your survey, a member of our advising team will review your information and follow up with you to provide detailed change of academic program information and suggested coursework for the upcoming semester.

    From Biological Sciences

    Students desiring to change majors from biological sciences or microbiology into another academic program will need to schedule an appointment with an adviser in the intended major. To locate an adviser in the intended major, select an “Explore” appointment for the major of interest in CU Navigate. Once the change of academic program request is approved, you and your primary adviser will be notified via email.

Quick Links

These quick links will be helpful as you navigate your undergraduate experience at Clemson University.  

Curriculum Checklists

Overview

Biology encompasses the broad spectrum of the modern life sciences: from cells, tissues, entire organisms, communities of organisms and ecosystems through the integrated existence of life on the entire planet. Descriptive, structural, functional and evolutionary questions are explored through the hierarchy of the organization of life. Majors in biological sciences receive classroom, laboratory and field training in biology with an emphasis on chemistry, mathematics and physics as necessary tools. With a major in microbiology you’ll describe and characterize organisms in structure, function and processes of reproduction, growth and death at cellular and molecular levels. Microbiologists seek to describe and characterize organisms in structure, function and processes of reproduction, growth and death at cellular and molecular levels.

  • B.S. in Biological Sciences

    The Bachelor of Science in biological sciences curriculum prepares students for graduate study in any of the life science areas, such as agricultural sciences, biochemistry, botany, cell and molecular biology, conservation, ecology and environmental science, entomology, forestry, genetics, industrial and regulatory biology, microbiology, morphology, physiology, wildlife biology, and zoology; for the health professions including veterinary medicine; and for science teaching.

    Within the Bachelor of Science in biological sciences degree, focus areas allow students to complete coursework relevant to their careers of interest. Focus areas do not represent a degree-granting program and simply represent the variety of coursework that can be completed toward the Bachelor of Science in biological sciences degree. Focus area worksheets list commonly required and recommended courses for each focus area. Note that entrance requirements for graduate and professional schools vary by institution and should be verified individually. Focus areas include:

    • Conservation biology.
    • Environmental toxicology.
    • Marine biology.
    • Medical and pharmaceutical sales.
    • Neurobiology.
    • Pre-dental.
    • Pre-medicine.
    • Pre-pharmacy.
    • Pre-rehabilitation sciences.
    • Pre-veterinary.

    Contact the advising department for worksheets.

  • B.A. in Biological Sciences

    The Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences degree provides a strong foundation in biology and is ideal for students desiring a liberal education emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to a thorough understanding of the life sciences.

     

  • B.S. in Microbiology

    Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, yeasts, filamentous fungi, protozoa and unicellular algae. Microbiologists seek to describe these organisms in terms of their structures, functions, and processes of reproduction, growth and death at both the cellular and molecular levels. They are also concerned with their ecology, particularly in regard to their pathological effects on man, and with their economic importance. The microbiology major provides a thorough training in the basic microbiological skills. Further, students receive instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biochemistry, all essential to the training of a modern microbiologist.

    Students can prepare for a variety of careers through a wide choice of electives. The microbiology curriculum with biomedicine concentration is recommended for students planning postgraduate programs. Microbiology graduates may enter graduate school in microbiology, biochemistry, bioengineering or related disciplines; they may enter a medical or dental school or pursue a career in one of the many industries or public service departments dependent upon microbiology. Some of these are the fermentation and drug industries, medical and public health microbiology industries, various food industries, and agriculture.

  • Bioengineering Combined Masters Program

    Biological Sciences undergraduates at Clemson University may begin a Master of Science  degree in bioengineering while completing their Bachelor of Science degree by using a limited number of courses to satisfy requirements within both degrees. Students in a combined degree program are conditionally accepted to the graduate program until completion of the Bachelor of Science degree requirements.

Creative Inquiry

Creative Inquiry includes all-intensive, discovery-oriented approaches to learning. Emphasis is placed on providing experiences that will be meaningful to undergraduate students, and will promote reasoning and critical thinking skills, ethical judgement and communication skills, as well as a deep understanding of the methods of scientific and/or humanities research. Using the button below, explore which Creative Inquiry research projects (BIOL 3940, 4940/MICR 4940) are currently available.

Students examining specimens by a lake.

Internships

Internship instructor: Saara DeWalt, Ph.D.

Internships are a good way to learn about a career, make contacts and gain experience in biology. Some internships may provide opportunities to do an original research project — a very rewarding experience that will show you how science works and get you thinking about graduate school. Internships may be either paid or unpaid. The student should have work duties that extend beyond observing or shadowing.

Departmental Internship Courses

  • BIOL 4920 Internship for Biological Sciences 0-4(3-12).
  • MICR 4920 Internship for Microbiology 0-4(3-12).

This is a preplanned internship at an adviser-approved facility to give students learning opportunities beyond their classroom experiences. Students submit a student Internship Contract and a two-page study plan before the internship and a comprehensive report within one week of the end of the internship. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. To be taken pass/no pass only. Preq: Consent of instructor.

Student instructions for fall or spring terms:

  • Student contacts the internship mentor directly to apply for internship opportunities at an institution.
  • Student then completes the Internship Contract, signs it and secures the signature of the supervisor from internship institute.
  • The instructor of record of BIOL/MICR 4920 needs to approve internship for credit prior to internship starting. Email instructor of record a brief outline of internship (needs to be more than shadowing a doctor) to ask for approval to take BIOL/MICR 4920 for credit.
  • Upon approval, the registration coordinator will grant the override for the student to register.
  • No credit will be given for internships that were not agreed upon in advance by instructor of record for BIOL/MICR 4920. This contract is not accepted retroactively, or after the last day to add a class.
  • Student submits internship contract and study plan with the number of credits desired to registration coordinator before the beginning of the semester in which the internship will take place. One credit is given for every 45 hours of work, up to four credits in a semester. Submit to cjdunca@clemson.edu or Long Hall 127.
  • The final report and supervisor evaluation will be submitted the last week of classes before final exams start to the registration coordinator.
  • Internship instructor of record will grade internship and submit a grade of pass/fail at grade collection time.

Student instructions for summer term:

The same rules apply for summer as the fall and spring terms with the following difference: In order to get credit for a summer internship, students must register and pay for the desired number of summer school credits. Credit options in summer registration are as follows:

  • Register for zero credits: Do not pay tuition, and the internship is on transcript with no academic credit.
  • Register for one–four credits: Pay tuition, and internship is on transcript with academic credit.

Undergraduate Research 4910

Undergraduate Research 4910 allows students to work more directly and independently with a faculty mentor and the other lab members, as compared to Creative Inquiry, where students work as part of a team of other undergraduates, the faculty member and lab staff. The Undergraduate Research 4910 mentored research problems introduce undergraduates to the planning and execution of research and the presentation of research findings. 

The research areas are not listed in iROAR, but can be found in the appropriate undergraduate handbook (PDF) under Faculty Research Interests. Students interested in undergraduate research will choose a section based on either the faculty member they would like to work under or by the research area of interest. The number of credits awarded for this class varies depending on how many hours students will meet each week. This is determined by agreement between the student and faculty member. Consider checking with faculty to see which research areas or projects other students have worked on recently.

Instructions for Registration

  • Contact the instructor of record to gain permission to take undergrad research with that instructor.
  • Upon approval, information required in order to grant override by registration coordinator is as follows:
    • Undergrad research section and instructor.
    • Student name.
    • Student CID.
    • Stipulate honor versus nonhonors section.
  • Email the information to the registration coordinator.
  • The default credit is the minimum credit allowed, which is one credit in this course. The student will need to change the default credit of one after registering for the section if the agreed upon credit is two, three or four.
Department of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences | 132 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29634