School of
Integrative Biology

Advising & Support

IB Undergraduate Advising FAQ


What can my advisor do?

Your advisor can help you in many ways during your time at the university. The IB Academic Advisors strive to provide undergraduate students with timely and informative advice regarding appropriate course selection, academic strategies, career planning, and professional/graduate school planning. We also endeavor to help guide students’ decision-making processes and foster in our students a sense of ownership of their undergraduate educations.

How do I know who my academic advisor is and how can I make an appointment?

Get to know the IB Advisors. You may visit any of them to talk about your academic progress, your future career, or other matters. You may schedule an appointment using our online scheduler.

How often should I see my advisor?

You should meet with your advisor at least once a semester to plan your classes and check on your academic progress. However, we encourage you to meet with them more often to plan for your career, and to learn about internships and other non-academic opportunities.

How do I know what classes I still need to graduate?

Check out your degree audit. This valuable tool permits you to view your progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including campus, general education, non-primary language and major requirements. See your advisor for help in accessing and interpreting your degree audit for the first time.

What are IB certificates?

Certificate programs typically involve fewer courses than a minor, while enabling students to develop additional knowledge in a field or subfield. The School of Integrative Biology offers several certificates.

If I get a "D" in a class in my major, do I need to retake it?

No, you will receive credit for that class. However, in order to graduate, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the classes in your major (called your "major GPA"). This includes the IB classes needed for your major and all of the supporting math and science courses needed for the major as well (not your gen-eds, NPL, etc.). Keep in mind that some health professional schools require a "C" or better in prerequisite courses.

If I retake a class, how will my GPA be affected?

It depends on whether you are eligible to take the class for grade replacement. Please see the LAS College policy page for more information. Please note that many professional schools (for example: medical, dental, law) will not accept the replaced grade and will average the two grades.

Is there an easy way to calculate my GPA?

Use the GPA Calculator, which will compute your GPA for the current semester. It will also recalculate your cumulative GPA if you enter your current GPA and total class hours.

What does "credit/no credit (cr/nc)" mean and how does that work?

Credit/no credit means that you take a course not for a letter grade. Learn more about credit/no credit, restrictions and the process for declaring credit/no-credit for courses. Keep in mind that this option cannot be used for courses that you need for your major, for gen-eds, or for other University courses needed for graduation.

I'm thinking about taking a class at my community college this summer. Will it transfer to U of I?

Transferology is a great website containing course articulations for many classes that have already been evaluated by U of I; so, check there first. Please note that the transfer course equivalencies contained there, and the reports generated from the system do not constitute a contract between the student and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Students still need to contact their assigned College of LAS Admissions/Records Officer (ARO) to verify how the transfer coursework will be accepted and used towards graduation requirements. If the course is not in this database, you must submit the syllabus for the course for evaluation.

I took a class at my community college this summer, what do I need to do to transfer credit?

You must send the official transcript from the school at which you took the course to the University of Illinois Office of the Registrar.

How can I get research experience?

If you are interested in conducting research, we urge you to familiarize yourself with instructors and areas of interest beginning as early as your freshman year, then contact a faculty member. Check out our page that describes undergraduate research for more information. You can earn academic credit for these experiences through IB 390 and IB 490.

Is this a good major if I want to pursue a health career?

Yes! IB majors are highly competitive in gaining admission to professional schools, including medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacy. While you can gain admission to a professional school via a wide variety of majors, many students choose to major in Integrative Biology because our courses prepare students well for the necessary admissions test (for example: MCAT, DAT, GRE) and also provide a solid foundation for the demands of future schooling. Also check out The Career Center's FAQ for more information on this topic.

How can I earn a minor in chemistry?

Since so much of biology is related to chemistry, IB students are required to take General Chemistry I and II and Organic Chemistry I along with the labs for each, totaling 13-16 hours. A minor in chemistry requires a minimum of 20 hours. Therefore, in addition to the IB major requirements, most IB students need to take 2 more (advanced) courses in chemistry to earn a minor.

Can I take more than 18 hours?

Students may carry as many as 18 hours without special permission. Approval for more than 18 hours, "course overload", must be obtained from the College of LAS.