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Spring 2021 Biology Advising Update

Dear Biology Student,

We hope that the information below will help you plan for and participate in enrollment advising for the Spring 2021 semester. First, we’d like to introduce our advising team:

Lindsey Deaver, Associate Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program
Lauren Spain, Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program
Kayla Garza, Academic Advisor in the Undergraduate Biology Program
Annie Bigby, Academic Advisor in the College Advising and Student Services (CASS) office
Erin Kelley-Garrison (EKG), Academic Advisor in the College Advising and Student Services (CASS) office
Stephen McNamara, Academic Advisor in the College Advising and Student Services (CASS) office
Nicole Wilburn, Academic Success Coach for the Edwards Campus


If interested in meeting with an advisor, Biology majors should schedule their advising appointments through Jayhawk GPS. To schedule an appointment:

  1. Click the Jayhawk GPS link above and log in on the right side
  2. Select Academic Advising → General Advising → Enrollment/Holds → College Academic Student Services.
  3. Select "Enrollment/Holds" for the appointment type, as we unfortunately cannot schedule 1-hour appointments to create graduation plans during main advising, to ensure that we can accommodate everyone who'd like to meet.

If you are assigned to a CASS Advisor (Annie, Erin or Stephen), you may call 785-864-3500 to schedule. If you are assigned to an advisor in the Undergraduate Biology Program (Kayla, Lauren, or Lindsey), you may call (785) 864-4301 to schedule. If you are an Edwards campus student, you may call 913-897-8539 to schedule.

Please note: Academic advisors are available for appointments either via the online video platform, Zoom, or by phone. Please continue to make appointments through Jayhawk GPS. When you schedule your appointment through Jayhawk GPS, you’ll receive your advisor’s Zoom link. Also, the morning of your appointment, your advisor will send you an email containing a link to their Zoom and their phone number. If you would like to learn more about Zoom, please view the informational PDF at https://technology.ku.edu/sites/technology.ku.edu/files/docs/training/Zoom/h_using-zoom-at-ku_students.pdf

To create/review a graduation plan, please use your DPR and the degree plans found at https://kuub.ku.edu/babs. As previously mentioned, advisors will not be able to review graduation plans before Spring 2021 enrollment.

Also note that if you don't see any availability during the week, please check the following week as advisors may be booked out 1-2 weeks. If possible, try to schedule your appointment at least 2 weeks before your enrollment date, if not earlier.

If you do not yet have an assigned biology advisor, contact Lauren Spain at lspain@ku.edu with your available times and days to schedule an appointment.

Biology Course Updates

Viewing Course Information. Check classes.ku.edu to view courses that will be offered in the Spring 2021 semester. While looking at the schedule of classes, be sure to check the course notes for additional information about permission, course descriptions, and more.

  • BIOL 400 Pre-Requisites. Fundamentals of Microbiology now requires a C- or higher in BIOL 150 and C- or higher in two semesters of college chemistry. Please note that CHEM 135 is offered in the Spring and Summer if you need to re-take the course to meet pre-requisites.
  • BIOL 518 Pre-Requisites. Microbial Genetics now requires a C- or higher in BIOL 400 Fundamentals of Microbiology. BIOL 400 is offered in the Spring semester, as well as Summer and Fall, if needed to meet the course pre-requisites.
  • BIOL 506 and BIOL 512 Pre-Requisites. Bacterial Infectious Diseases and Virology also have pre-requisites of a C- or higher in BIOL 400. Please be aware of this change if you plan on taking either of these courses in the Fall at the Edwards campus or in the Spring 2021 semester.
  • BIOL 424. Students with 3 credit hours of Biol 424 will fulfill Goal 6 and may request a waiver for Biol 599. Please contact your assigned advisor to discuss the possibility of this substitution.
  • BIOL 638 Biochemistry II has recently changed prerequisites. A C or higher in both Biol 636 and Chem 335 is needed to be eligible for this course. Additionally, BIOL 638 is now a 4-credit hour course and BIOL 639 (Biochemistry II Lab) is 3 credit hours.
  • BIOL 408 Physiology of Organisms is no longer being offered. Students with BIOL 408 as a major requirement should enroll in BIOL 544 Comparative Animal Physiology (fall only; renumbered from BIOL 644).

Infrequently taught courses offered in Spring 2021

  • New! BIOL 400 will be offered on the Lawrence campus in the Spring 2021 semester.
  • BIOL 520 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 527 Primate Evolution & Fossil Record
  • BIOL 533 Biology of Fungi
  • BIOL 583 Herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles)
  • BIOL 640 Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants
  • BIOL 668 Evolutionary Ecology

Lab Information for Spring 2020

  • BIOL 426 and 639 will be hybrid. You will receive more information closer to the beginning of the semester from the instructors.
  • BIOL 507 is fully in person.
  • All other labs will be fully online in the Spring semester

BIOL 420 Course Descriptions

  • African Biodiversity: This seminar course sets out to paint a picture of both African biodiversity and the Africans who study that biodiversity. This course is designed as a natural science complement to the more human-focused courses that make up most of the curriculum in African and African American Studies. Students will work with each other, with me, and with African scientists via online conferencing platforms, to build a basic understanding of the biological diversity of the continent.
  • For Comparative Animal Behavior, see description for BIOL 652 Comparative Animal Behavior.

Human Biology Majors

  • ANTH 345 requirement for Human Biology. Students who need ANTH 345 for the Human Biology major may substitute ANTH 304, 309, 340, or BIOL 412 (spring only). Your DPR will not recognize this substitution, so please email your biology advisor to request this substitution to be updated on the DPR. Note: If you wish to take ANTH 304, you may need to add yourself to the waitlist. ANTH 304 is an online course and there are typically seats reserved in this class for students completing degree entirely online.
  • Human Biology Major Course Offerings.  Some course options under certain categories are no longer being offered in other departments, such as Applied Behavioral Science, Psychology, and Anthropology.  If you have any difficulty finding courses to satisfy a certain category, please schedule an appointment with your biology advisor to discuss possible substitutions.

Microbiology Majors

  • Biochemistry Requirement. BS Microbiology Students have the option to take either BIOL 600 OR both BIOL 636 and 638 to satisfy the Biochemistry requirement for their degree. Please note that BIOL 636 alone will not fulfill the biochemistry requirement.
    • Please contact your advisor if you plan on taking BIOL 600 instead of BIOL 636 and BIOL 638.
  • CHEM 336 no longer required for BS Microbiology Students. The Undergraduate Biology program will waive CHEM 336 for all current BS Microbiology students. CHEM 336 does still show up as a requirement on your Degree Progress Report; however, please let your advisor know if you do not plan on taking this course and we will notify your graduation advisor.
    • CHEM 335, Organic Chemistry II lecture, is still a requirement for the BS Microbiology degree.

BS Biochemistry Majors

  • MATH 115 and 116. Biochemistry majors can now take MATH 115 and 116 and substitute this for the MATH 125 Calculus I and MATH 126 Calculus II requirement. If you choose to make this substitution, please let your advisor know and we will notify your graduation advisor.

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 Graduation Candidates

Fall 2020: Apply for Fall 2020 graduation now by going to Enroll & Pay à Degree Progress and Graduation. Every student must apply through Enroll & Pay to graduate. The final deadline to apply for Fall 2020 graduation is November 2nd. 

Spring 2021: Apply for Spring 2021 graduation now by going to Enroll & Pay à Degree Progress and Graduation. Every student must apply through Enroll & Pay to graduate. The final deadline to apply is March 1st but we strongly encourage you to apply by November 20th to have your spring enrollment and graduation requirements reviewed before the spring semester begins in case any changes need to be made.

Departmental Honors in Biology

Seniors intending to graduate Spring or Summer 2021 with departmental honors should enroll in BIOL 699 and submit a departmental honors intent form to Carrie Venezia at cvenezia@ku.edu.

Sophomores and juniors who are interested in research and intend to complete the departmental honors requirements should enroll in BIOL 499. Honors requirements include an independent research project, an honors thesis, an oral presentation, a 3.25 overall GPA, and a 3.5 major GPA. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Timmons and Justin Blumenstiel.

Benefits of Pursuing Departmental Honors:

  • Build a relationship with a faculty member in Biology—great for asking for letters of recommendation when applying to graduate programs
  • Can use your departmental honors thesis when applying to graduate schools (master’s programs or PhD programs)
  • Put departmental honors on your resume when applying for full-time positions after graduation or when applying to graduate school!
  • Gain valuable lab experience which is applicable to applying for employment!

General Enrollment Information for all Majors

  • Permission numbers.   Please contact the instructor if you see “Inst Req” listed for a course and would like to request permission to enroll; normally this contact would be through email. 
    • Permission for BIOL 426 Lab in Cell Biology and BIOL 639 Biochemistry II Lab: contact Lauren Spain (lspain@ku.edu) and indicate your major, when you’re planning to graduate, and top two preferred times.
    • Permission for BIOL 507 Bacterial Infectious Diseases and 513 Virology Lab: contact Lindsey Deaver (ldeaver@ku.edu) and indicate your major and when you’re planning to graduate.
    • Permission for BIOL 599 with Dr. Macdonald, Dr. Azuma, and Dr. Hancock: Contact Lindsey Deaver (ldeaver@ku.edu) and indicate your major.
  • Enroll & Pay. If you are having trouble using Enroll & Pay, please view the “How-To Guides” for various enrollment tasks.
  • Grade-based prerequisites.  We have grade-based prerequisites for the following courses:
    • BIOL 152 Principles of Organismal Biology and BIOL 350 Principles of Genetics; a grade of C- or higher is required in these courses’ pre-requisites.
    • BIOL 638 Biochemistry II (offered Spring only) requires a grade of C or higher in both BIOL 636 and CHEM 335.
      • The chemistry department also uses grade-based prerequisites for some of their courses.
    • BIOL 400 requires a C- or higher in BIOL 150 and a C- or higher in two semesters of college chemistry.
    • BIOL 506 Bacterial Infectious Diseases, 512 Virology, and 518 Microbial Genetics now require a C- or higher in BIOL 400.
    • Search for these courses at https://classes.ku.edu for details.
  • Prerequisites.  Read course descriptions to learn what the prerequisites are for courses at classes.ku.edu.  Also see http://www.kuub.ku.edu/courses to find out in which semester certain biology courses are offered.  
  • Current (and past) degree requirements and sample 4-yr plans.  Go to http://www.kuub.ku.edu/degrees.  We recommend using these in addition to your DPR.
  • Courses in high demand.  Some BIOL courses are in high demand and fill quickly. Be sure to enroll as soon as you’re able. If you have any holds that you don’t foresee being lifted in time for enrollment (for example, financial aid holds), contact the course instructor to see if you could request that a seat be saved for you. Some Spring 2021 courses in high demand are:
  • BIOL 241 Human Anatomy Lab
  • BIOL 247 Human Physiology Lab
  • BIOL 426 Cell Biology Lab
  • BIOL 506 Bacterial Infectious Diseases
  • BIOL 513 Virology lab
  • BIOL 547 Mammalian Physiology lab
  • BIOL 560 Histology
  • BIOL 599 Senior Seminar
  • BIOL 639 Advanced Biochemistry lab
  • BIOL 650 Advanced Neurobiology
  • Enrollment dates. In MyKU → Academics → My Progress, you can find your enrollment date. Click on the Progress tab to generate a current Degree Progress Report (DPR). Spring 2021 courses are now visible on the Schedule of Classes and through Enroll & Pay (in Enroll & Pay, be sure not to have the box checked that searches only for open, non-full classes). 
  • Certificate Programs. Check out all of the unique certificate programs that we offer! There are certificate programs for Experiential Learning—including the Research Experience Program, Certificate in Service Learning, and many more!


The KU Undergraduate Biology Program



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