Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are answers to frequently asked questions biology students have about academics, majors, minors, and courses. If you still have questions after reviewing this page, please contact your biology advisor or email 

General advising questions

Academic Advising

Why do I have an academic advisor?

Your academic advisor is an expert in the requirements of your major as well as your general education requirements, course offerings, and policies and procedures of the University. Your advisor does not tell you what to take or when but can provide useful insights into how best to approach your plan of study.

How do I schedule an appointment with my Academic Advisor?

To make an appointment with your advisor, please use the Nexus scheduling platform. Appointments are only offered during our regular hours of operation.

Where is the Biology Advising Center?

We are located in the Biology/Physics Building (BPB), room 101.

Does the Biology Advising Center have drop-in hours?

Yes! We are offering in-person drop-in hours Monday through Friday in BPB 101 during the semester. Drop-ins are for quick and general questions that can be answered in 5-10 minutes. If your concern can’t be fully addressed, you’ll be asked to schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor.

You can find the current schedule of hours in the About section on our website and in the Biology Undergraduate Updates email you receive every other Wednesday.

Majors and Minors

How do I change my major?

Students can change their majors within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) using the Online Program Change form. You do not need permission to request a major change, although we recommend that you discuss the change with both your assigned advisor and an advisor in the new major.  View the CLAS advisor directory.

If you are changing your major to one in a different school or college at UConn, you will need to apply to that program. For some programs there is a window of time during which these applications are accepted.  See that school’s website for more information.

How can I add a minor?

You can declare a minor in most UConn colleges online.  (The School of Business has a separate process.) You do not need permission to declare a minor, although we recommend that you discuss the change with both your assigned advisor and an advisor for the minor.

Most minors require 15-18 upper-level credits in that subject. There may also be specific courses that are required. View a list of all minors and their requirements on the Undergraduate Catalog website.

Can I pursue two majors?

Yes. A double major allows students to complete majors in two different departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You must complete all requirements for both majors to earn your degree.  To declare a double major, you must:

  • Fill out a Double Major Declaration Form
  • Obtain approvals from the major advisors of both programs of study
  • Return completed form to CLAS Academic Services Center for a signature from the dean's designee

An additional degree allows students to complete majors in two different schools or colleges. Both degrees may be from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but typically one is from another school or college at UConn. To declare an additional degree, you must:

  • Acquire an Additional Degree Petition Form from the Registrar's Office
  • Complete parts I and II on the form
  • Bring form to the major department of the major that is being added to obtain an advisor’s signature

When students want to combine aspects of more than two majors, they may consider pursuing an individualized major.

What if I am unsure about or don’t like my current major?

UConn offers many great resources for undecided students including:

Forms and Signatures

What types of forms will I need?

The most common forms are available from the Office of the Registrar’s website:

  • Student enrollment request
  • Additional degree petition
  • Additional degree, double major, and minor cancellation

Others are located on the  CLAS Academic Services Center’s website:

  • Double major

How do I get forms signed?

Some academic forms are completely electronic. On these digital forms, you will list the individuals whose approval you need, and the form will be automatically sent to them.

Students can bring paper forms to be signed by your assigned advisor during their weekly drop-in hour or you can drop your form off at the Biology Advising Center. You will receive an email when your signed form is ready for pick up.

Registering for Classes

When can I register for next semester’s classes?

Every student is assigned a specific date and time (their enrollment appointment) that is based on their current earned credits. This “pick time” will come earlier for you with every semester. Learn more about your enrollment appointment time.

Why do I have a hold?

University holds can prevent you for adding or dropping classes. Examples include:

  • Bursar Holds for students who need to resolve a finance issue with the Bursar’s Office.
  • Advisor Holds for students who need to schedule an advising appointment.
  • Scholastic Standing Holds for students who are on probation and need counseling.
  • Holds for trainings on subjects like sexual assault and diversity.

How do I get a hold lifted?

Click on details in the holds box to see who placed the hold and what to do next. Learn more about how to view your holds.

When do I need a Permission number?

Permission numbers are only needed for the following:

  • The class is full; you are asking to overenroll.
  • You are on the waitlist and a seat has become available.
  • Class is listed as “instructor consent required.”
  • All remaining seats are reserved.
  • You have not met the prerequisites.

To get a permission number, you should email the listed instructor of the course unless instructed otherwise.

When should I get on a waitlist for a course, and how do I do it?

When a class is full, Student Admin may give you the option of adding yourself to a waitlist. As seats open, a permission number for each seat will be sent to the next person on the waitlist. There is a box you can check when you are adding the course to your shopping cart. Learn more about adding yourself to a course’s waitlist.

Note: Not all courses use a waitlist in Student Admin.

Why are some seats reserved and how can I get one?

Seats may be reserved for students in a particular major, the honors program, first-year students, seniors, or any other group the instructor chooses.

Fall semester classes often have seats reserved for summer orientation. When registering for a class, you may get an error message saying that you do not meet the reserve capacity. If so, you may email the instructor to ask for a permission number.

Adding/Dropping Classes

When can I add and drop classes in Student Admin?

The add/drop period begins during preregistration the semester prior and ends on the tenth day of classes. This is the period during which classes can be added or dropped through the Student Administration System without additional approvals.

Can I still drop a class after add/drop ends?

After the tenth day of classes you must submit a form signed by you advisor. If you are dropping more than one class, this form will also need to be signed by a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) dean’s designee in the CLAS Academic Services Center.

The tenth day of classes marks the end of the add/drop period and your part-time/full-time status is recorded. Your full-time status does not change if you drop below 12 credits after this date.

What will happen if I drop a course after the add/drop period?

For classes dropped after the tenth day, a W (withdrawal) is recorded on your transcript.

To someone reviewing your transcript, one or two Ws over four years is not terrible, but multiple Ws may suggest an inability to handle a full course load.

IMPORTANT: while the W grade maintains your full-time status, it could put you in violation of financial aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) rule. The SAP rule states that aid recipients must successfully complete 67% of the credits they attempt (enroll in but fail or withdraw from).  This is out of the total credits, not just that semester. Learn more about the SAP requirements.

Is there a deadline for dropping a class?

Course withdrawals are not allowed after the eleventh week of the semester.

Enrollment Restrictions

Can I put a class on pass/fail?

Any course graded pass/fail will count toward your total credits (if you pass) but not toward your cumulative GPA. However, it cannot be used to satisfy any of your general education, major, or minor requirements. Current pass/fail rules and restrictions can be found on the Office of the Registrar's FAQ page.

How many credits can I take in a semester?

All students, including first-year students, are permitted to take up to 17 credits per semester (fall and spring). Students who received a semester GPA of 2.6 or higher in their most recent semester (fall or spring) are eligible to enroll in up to 18 credits.

Can I request to increase my credit limit?

Yes, permission to increase your credit limit (or an excess credit request) may be granted by the CLAS Academic Services Center.  You will not receive authorization until after your current semester GPA is posted and considered high enough to handle the excess credits.

Retaking Courses

What is “repeat forgiveness”?

Repeat forgiveness is recorded on your transcript for the first attempt of a course that you take for a second time, presumably to get a better grade.

Note: The second grade is the one you keep whether it is better or worse.

How many times can I retake a course?

Students can retake a class once for a better grade. To take a class for a third time requires permission. This is part of the add class form you find on the Registrar’s website.

How does retaking a course affect my cumulative GPA?

The original grade will remain on your transcript with the notation “repeat forgiveness,” but it is replaced in your cumulative GPA by the new grade.

Transferring Courses

How can I use my credits from high school?

Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams must send their scores directly from the College Board to the University of Connecticut. To receive credit for your course(s), you must earn the appropriate qualifying score. The required scores differ with the class and can be found on the Undergraduate Catalog website.

ECE (Early College Experience) courses are courses you took in high school to earn UConn credit. Unlike AP credit, the grades earned in these courses impact your cumulative GPA. For this reason, you can choose to accept or reject these credits at the end of your first semester.

We generally recommend that you keep a grade of B or higher, but if you are planning for medical school, you may only want to accept an A or A-.  You will receive emails (on your UConn email account only) during your first semester to remind you to make this decision with instructions on how to do it.

Learn more about transferring credits to UConn on the Admissions website.


How do I transfer a course from another school or college?

A course completed with a grade of C or higher at another institution can be transferred to UConn by having that institution send a copy of your official transcript to this address:

University of Connecticut
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
2131 Hillside Road, Unit 3088
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3088

Transcripts can also be sent electronically to

Learn more about transferring credits to UConn on the Admissions website.

How does this show up on my UConn transcript?

While a grade of C or higher is required for a class to transfer, only a T (for transfer) will post on your UConn transcript.  This has no impact on your UConn GPA, unless it is being used for repeat forgiveness (which will remove an earlier grade from the cumulative GPA).

How do I know if a course will transfer?

You can check transfer equivalent courses from any Connecticut institution on the UConn Admissions website. For courses taken at institutions outside of Connecticut, you will need to request prior course approval via the Student Administration System.

How do I know if my transfer course will satisfy a requirement?

If a transfer course is listed in the same format and number as the UConn course for which you are trying to get credit, then it can be used to satisfy the same requirement (e.g., CHEM 2443).

Non-equivalent courses (you get the credit, but it won’t satisfy a requirement) will begin with a 9. The second number indicates the level of the course. Therefore, CHEM 92500 is a 2000-level chemistry course that is not equivalent to any course at UConn.

Are there any limits on how many course credits can I transfer?

No more than eight (8) transfer credits of 2000-level or higher coursework can be applied to the biological sciences major. All transfer credits in the major must be approved by your assigned advisor. For all other majors, contact your advisor.

Academic and Scholastic Standing

Visit the Scholastic Standing website to view all policies related to academic probation and dismissal.

Why would I be placed on academic probation?

Students must earn a GPA of 2.0 or higher in every term at UConn. Falling below this minimum will result in probationary status that carries with it credit limits and additional responsibilities such as filing an AREP (Academic Recovery and Engagement Plan) and meeting with an advisor in the CLAS Academic Services Center.

Under what circumstances could I be dismissed from UConn?

A student placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be facing the possibility of being dismissed from UConn. Students may appeal this decision if they feel they have extenuating circumstances that led to their poor academic performance. This appeal will be reviewed by a committee.

Of course, any student may be dismissed for breaking the Student Code of Conduct.

How can I get help if I am in academic distress?

Your advisor is a great starting place when you are struggling in your classes. The Academic Achievement Center (AAC) provides targeted assistance for test-taking, note-taking, study skills, and time-management. They also offer a mentoring program, UConn Connects, for students who could use some personal assistance with motivation, self-discipline, and direction.

How can I get extra help in my classes?

For individual classes, the best way to ask for help is to contact your instructor and/or visit them during their office hours (usually posted on your syllabus).

Many classes with labs or discussions will also have a teaching assistant (TA) who can also meet with you one-on-one.

Some classes may offer supplemental instruction (SI), additional meeting times for review of course material.

The Q-Center is a resource to elevate the proficiency of students taking quantitative intensive (Q) courses across the undergraduate curriculum. The Q-Center provides peer tutoring, review sessions, and innovative learning tools.

The W Center provides free tutoring and writing workshops designed to help students become stronger writers, and can help you with assignments for writing intensive (W) courses.

View more student resources on the CLAS Academic Services Center’s website.