Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for graduating with a baccalaureate degree? Click here to see a list of the degree requirements.

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. This information is also available online through the UNCP 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. Note, you cannot round up to attain the minimum GPA. For example, a GPA (or "QPA") of 1.99 is not sufficient for the minimum requirement.

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.

How can I find out who is assigned as my faculty advisor?

Log onto Braveweb 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 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 Calendars and Exam Schedules." Click the current semester.

Look for your own time ticket on Braveweb. 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 Calendars and Exam Schedules link on the Office of the Registrar's website.

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 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 can I calculate my GPA?  

Student GPAs are based on the hours of credit for each course and the quality points for final grades in those courses.  In a nutshell, for each course, you will need to multiply the hours credit times its quality points.  Sum all the products and then divide by the total hours credit for all courses combined.  Your GPA will be weighted more heavily by courses having more hours credit.  To see how to calculate your GPA, visit the online academic catalog at -- .  You can also look for GPA calculators on the internet.   Check out the GPA calculator (embedded in an Excel spreadsheet) in the downloads box below.

Where can I see my GPA and a list of courses I have taken?

Go to BraveWeb and click on the link for submitting a DARS (degree) audit. 

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. View the UNCP Catalog 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. Amber Rock is the faculty sponsor, and Dr. Lisa Kelly is the faculty co-sponsor for TriBeta. They can give you information about eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

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."

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." Unofficial transcripts may be obtained also through the Registrar and through Braveweb. After logging onto Braveweb, 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. Job information is available through the University's Career Center.

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 1) Graduate School, 2) A guide for applying to graduate school in Biology, and 3) A Primer On How To Apply To And Get Admitted To Graduate School In Ecology And Evolutionary Biology. How can you locate graduate schools in your field of interest? One way is simply doing subject searches on the internet. You can also do searches by way of the Graduate Schools website.

You can also get information from the UNCP Graduate School. If you're interested in teaching at the community college level, consider the graduate program here in the Department of Biology.