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Frequently asked questions

Where can I find information about degree programs/majors offered by the Department of Biology?
Check sheets for all biology, environmental science, and science education degrees are located on the Department's website (Undergraduate Programs and Graduate Programs).  Descriptions of individual courses are available at http://www.uncp.edu/biology/courses/ .  This information is also available online through the UNCP Catalog (http://www.uncp.edu/catalog/).

Do I need to earn a "C" or better in each of my biology or environmental science courses?
No, but a "C" or better would certainly make you more desirable to future employers and graduate programs.  You must earn an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 in your major courses in order to graduate.  This means you could receive a "D" in a biology course and conceivably have sufficiently high grades in your other biology courses to bring your overall GPA up to 2.0 or higher.

When do I need to declare a major?
There is no set time for choosing (or switching) a major, but the earlier this is done, the better.  This is because you will need to choose and plan courses wisely during each semester in order to graduate in a timely fashion.  Seek counsel from faculty advisors and from internet resources when choosing a major.  The Career Center can also help you explore the many options available (http://www.uncp.edu/career/major/)

How can I find out who is assigned as my faculty advisor?
Log onto Braveweb (https://braveweb.uncp.edu/) and then click on “Student and Financial Aid”.  Next click on "Student Records” and then click on “View Student Information”; select the appropriate term, and scroll down to “Primary Advisor”. If you have not been assigned an advisor you will not see the “Primary Advisor” block; check with the Registrar’s Office."

Must I choose a track?
No, you are not required to choose a track.  Many students do so, however, because it requires specific electives that may be either more advantageous for certain career paths or that make you more eligible for certain jobs.

Can I switch majors?
Yes, you can.  You may lose valuable time, however, if the core requirements for the majors are quite different.

Where can I get a Drop/Add Form or a Declaration of Major form?
These forms can be obtained in person outside the Departmental office in the Oxendine Science Building.  You can also go online to the website for the Office of the Registrar (http://www.uncp.edu/registrar/forms/) to obtain these and other forms.

When can I pre-register for the upcoming semester?
Pre-registration is not open to all undergraduate students simultaneously.  Seniors and juniors are allowed to pre-register first.  The initial date of pre-registration for seniors can be found on the Office of the Registrar's website under “Academic Calendar” (http://www.uncp.edu/registrar/calendars/).  Click the current semester. 

Look for your own time ticket on Braveweb (https://braveweb.uncp.edu/).  Click on “Student and Financial Aid”, select the appropriate term, click on “Registration”, click on “Check your registration status and time ticket”. Your time ticket is valid from the time you can begin to register until registration closes.

How many undergraduate hours must I earn before becoming classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior?
Freshmen have less than 30 hours
Sophomores have 30-59 hours
Juniors have 60-89 hours
Seniors have 90 hours or more

How late in the semester can I drop a course with a "W"?
The deadline usually falls after midterm.  For the exact date for any one semester, check the Academic Calendar (http://www.uncp.edu/registrar/calendars/) on the Office of the Registrar's website.

How can I calculate my GPA?
The University sometimes uses the term "QPA" (quality point average) instead of GPA.  According to the 2010-2011 UNCP Catalog, "The total semester hours from all colleges attended at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be the basis for determining the required minimum cumulative Quality Point Average (QPA).  However only those grades earned at the University will be used to compute the student’s cumulative quality point average."

To see how to calculate your QPA, refer to pages 61-62 of the online edition (PDF) of the 2013-2014 UNCP catalog (http://www.uncp.edu/catalog/).  You can obtain your grades and QPA online by visiting Braveweb (https://braveweb.uncp.edu/) and clicking on “Student and Registration”.  There you will find information about degree audits, grades, etc.

Which biology or environmental courses should I include for calculation of my major GPA?
All courses with the BIO, BIOL, BIOS, BTEC, or ENV prefixes are included when calculating your major GPA. However, BIO 1030, BIO 1060, and ENV 1100, and will NOT count toward your major GPA.  The CHM and MAT courses required for your degree are not part of the major GPA calculation.

How many hours can I retake for a "grade replacement"?
"No student is eligible for more than 15 hours of replacement credit regardless of his/her entry date."  Be sure to consult with your advisor before submitting any grade replacement paperwork.  Visit pages 63-64 of the 2013-2014 UNCP Catalog (PDF) (http://www.uncp.edu/catalog/pdf/acad_pol.pdf) to learn more about grade replacement. Please note that BOTH grades earned for a particular course will appear on your official transcript.

How can I get a research experience?
Several members of the Biology faculty mentor undergraduate research, and descriptions of “Faculty Research” are located on the Department’s website. Students may also apply to the RISE Program and seek to do paid research through the PURC Center. Other opportunities are available through the “Research, Internships” link on the Department’s website.

Who is the faculty sponsor for the Biology Club?
Dr. Maria Santisteban
is the faculty sponsor, and Dr. John Roe is the faculty co-sponsor. They can answer many of your questions about the Biology Club.

Who is the faculty sponsor for TriBeta?
Dr. Dennis McCracken is the faculty sponsor, and Dr. Maria Pereira is the faculty co-sponsor for TriBeta.  They can give you information about eligibility requirements and application deadlines.  Information is also available online through the Biology Department's website at http://www.uncp.edu/biology/clubs/eligibility_tri-beta.htm .

When do I need to apply for graduation?
This should be done at the beginning of the semester prior to your final semester.  To do this, you must pick up an "Application for Graduation" form from the Registrar's Office. Obtain the required signatures, pay the graduation fee and return the form to the Registrar's Office."  More information about graduation is available on the Office of the Registrar's website under "Commencement Information" (http://www.uncp.edu/registrar/commencement/). 

Where can I obtain a copy of my undergraduate transcript?
Requests for official transcripts must be made through the Office of the Registrar.  You must complete a "Transcript Request Form", and this and additional information is available at http://www.uncp.edu/registrar/transcripts.htm .  Unofficial transcripts may be obtained also through the Registrar and through Braveweb.  After logging onto Braveweb (https://braveweb.uncp.edu/), click on “Student and Registration” to start, and find information regarding your unofficial transcript.

Where can I find job postings in biology?
Job postings on the internet abound. You might start by visiting the "Careers in Biology" link on the Biology Department's website (http://www.uncp.edu/biology/careers/).  Job information is available through the University's Career Center (http://www.uncp.edu/career/).

When should I take the GRE?
Most students take the GRE early in the fall semester of their Senior year.  The GRE is required for most graduate school applications.  Generally graduate school applications are due around December for admission the next fall.  Be sure to check with the schools that you are interested in attending to verify their deadlines for submission.

Where can I find information about graduate school?
Ask your advisor or other Biology faculty about graduate school.  Every one of them has been to graduate school.  Good information about graduate school is available on the web at About.com Graduate School, Thinking of Appling to Graduate School in Biology, and Graduate School Information for Biology Majors.

You can also get information from the University Career Center or from the Center's Graduate School website at http://www.uncp.edu/career/school/ .

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Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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