Frequently Asked Questions by MCB Students
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- Am I assigned an Advisor?
Biology and MCB students are not assigned a specific advisor. You may choose to meet with any one or more of the advisors on staff.
We do encourage you, however, to find an advisor that you are comfortable speaking with, and try to meet with that person throughout your time at Illinois.
- How do I make an appointment?
Please call (217) 333-6774 during normal business hours, stop by room 200 Burrill, or use our Online Scheduler to schedule an appointment with the advisor of your choice. We're sorry but we do not make appointments via email. If you get the answering machine when you call, please speak slowly and clearly, leaving your name and a phone number where we can reach you. We will return your call as soon as we are able.
We typically do not accept same day appointments, so please stop in to room 200 Burrill Hall, or call us to set up a time to meet with your advisor in advance. During busy times, like the beginning of a semester and early registration, it is best to schedule your appointment at least 1 week in advance. If you are unable to keep your appointment for any reason, please call to cancel or re-schedule. Appointment times vary between 30 minutes and 60 minutes depending on the nature of your question.
- When and how often do I need to meet with an advisor?
- How do I decide between pursuing a degree in MCB or IB?
COURSE RELATED QUESTIONS
- How do I add a course?
You can add a full semester course using the Enterprise Self-Service system through the 10th day of classes each semester (5th day during summer sessions), subject to eligibility, space availability, and the policy governing maximum course load.
Under rare circumstances, you may be able to add a course after the deadline. To do this you will need to obtain instructor approval and fill out the Late Course Add form. This form must be filled out by you, signed by the instructor; and signed by the department offering the course before processing in the LAS Student Affairs Office in room 2002 Lincoln Hall.
- How do I drop a course?
You can drop a semester course without penalty using the Enterprise Self-Service through the end of the 8th week of the semester (or the mid-point of the summer terms).
To drop a course after the deadline, you will need petition for a "Late Drop" using the form found here. This form must be submitted to the College of LAS Student Affairs office in room 2002 Lincoln Hall. Permssion to drop a course after the deadline is typically only granted under extenuating cirumstances (beyond student's control) and will result in a "W" on your transcript. Ordinarily the extenuating circumstatnces associated with the "Late Drop" request must be documented and verifiable in order for the withdraw to be approved.
- How do I take more than 18 credit hours? OR How do I take fewer than 12 credit hours?
MORE THAN 18 cr. hrs: Students may carry as many as 18 hours without special permission. Approval for programs of more than 18 hours (overload) can be obtained from the College of LAS. When approval is granted it becomes effective immediately. You can obtain a Course Overload form online from the College of LAS site.
FEWER THAN 12 cr. hrs: LAS approves course loads of less than 12 hours in special circumstances, such as seniors in their final semester who need fewer than 12 hours to graduate and students with a documented illness who are unable to carry a full load (medical documentation is required). Students may request an "underload" for other reasons, but the college generally does not approve more than one such request. Forms for an "underload" are obtained from the LAS office 2002 Lincoln Hall.
- Can you take a course at Parkland Community College while still taking classes at UIUC?
- Can I take MCB 246 if I have not taken MCB 244?
If you take MCB 246 without having first taken MCB 244, there will be contextual information that you might not be familiar with. We take foundational material (covered in MCB 244) and apply it to certain topics addressed in MCB 246. The easiest fix for this issue requires that you do some additional outside review of some relevant, key, background material since they won't be covered in class. The amount of additional background review wouldn't be extensive and is manageable for most students.
- What kind of computer requirements (operating system and RAM) would be optimal for MCB majors?
- Can I take MCB 354 (Biochem) or any MCB core class such as 252/253 along with an advanced MCB course? Or do I have to wait to complete 354?
- Be sure to check the Class Schedule for detailed information on each course you are considering. It may also be helpful to discuss the course prerequisites with your advisor and/or the course instructor.
- Some courses will indicate credit in MCB 354 as a prereq, so you shouldn't take those courses until you have completely finished with the core (MCB 250, 251, 252, 253 and 354).
- Another issue to consider is workload. Even if you've met the prerequisites for a course, it may not be a good idea to take it if you already have a heavy workload. You should consult an advisor before making a final decision on your course load each semester.
- Should you have any further questions or clarifications on these guidelines feel free to contact the MCB Advising office to set up an appointment.
- What is the physics requirement for MCB?
- How do I get involved in undergraduate research?
- How do I sign up for MCB 290 credit?
- What do I need to know to write a senior thesis?
DEGREE AUDITS (GEN. EDS, GPA INFO, ETC.)
- What is a DARS audit and how can I access it?
- What is considered a passing grade? and How does this affect my GPA?
A passing grade is a D-. However, your overall GPA and major GPA (found in DARS) must be above 2.0 in order for you to graduate or continue without being put on academic probation. There is currently an option to retake a class for grade replacement; however this policy should be used prudently. Please talk with an advisor about this option if you earned a C- or lower in a course that you plan to retake.
When a course is retaken and approved for grade replacement only the 2nd grade will be used to calculate the student's GPA. However it is important to note that both grades will continue to show on your transcript and graduate or professional schools may require that you use both grades when calculating and reporting your GPA on an application.
- How do I get credits taken at a community college or other university transferred to Illinois?
Once permission has been granted to take off-campus coursework and the coursework is complete, an official transcript must be requested and sent from the institution where the course was taken to the University of Illinois Registrar's Office. Official transcripts can be sent through US mail or electronically (PDF) to:
Office of the Registrar
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
901 West Illinois Street, Suite 140
Urbana, IL 61801
- How do I apply for graduation?
Please note this does NOT register you for any ceremonies you wish to attend. See below for information on registrtation for ceremonies.
- I have applied for graduation. Who do I see next?
- Do I have to register for graduation ceremonies?
- Is there a minimum GPA requirement I need to meet in order to graduate?
- MCB majors are required to have a major GPA of at least a 2.0 or better.