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Where are the General Biology offices located?

Strong Hall houses the General Biology labs (101, 102, and 159) and is also the office responsible for adding, dropping or changing lab sections for ALL General Biology classes. For questions regarding General Biology class schedules, contact Dr. Randy Brewton (974-6225,

Where are the advising offices located?

404 Hesler is the office of Mr. Derek Werner (, Biological Sciences Advisor. If you are not yet eligible to declare your concentration, Derek can assist you with advising questions.

410 Hesler is the office of the Dr. James Caponetti (974-0365,, Biological Sciences Advisor. Anyone wanting to declare a concentration in biological sciences (BCMB, EEB, or Microbiology) should contact Dr. Caponetti regarding scheduling an appointment. Also, Dr. Caponetti can answer questions regarding transfer credits and substitutions for major prerequisite courses.

In addition to the advising offices, 402 Hesler is the Biological Sciences office (974-6841, The Director of Biology Teaching and Learning, Dr. Elisabeth Schussler, is located in this office and is responsible for the General Biology program.

When can I declare Biology as my major?

Students who enrolled prior to Fall 2013 and all transfer students

To declare biological sciences as a major, CHEM 120CHEM 130 and BIOL 111BIOL 112 or BIOL 130 must be completed with a minimum grade of C. When these requirements have been fulfilled, contact Dr. Caponetti (974-0365, to declare your major. He will also assign you a departmental advisor at that time. To see if you are eligible to declare biology as a minor, check the catalog for the requirements for minors. Contact Dr. Caponetti if you have completed the requirements.

First time Freshman beginning Fall 2013 or later

You will officially declare your concentration (BCMB, EEB, or Microbiology) during your third term after your advising appointment with Shanna Pendergrast. Please contact Shanna ( if you have any questions.

I’m not eligible to declare my major yet, but I would still like to speak to a biology advisor. Who should I call?

Undergraduates who are not eligible to declare their concentration can contact Derek Werner ( for advising assistance.

Who can help me with pre-med (pre-health) advising?

Pre-health advising is done through A&S Advising.

Which concentration should I choose – Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), or Microbiology?

If you are unsure of which concentration you should choose, please  refer to the following majors’ guides found on the A&S Advising web page:

If you’re still unsure after reading the majors’ guides or if you have more questions, contact Dr. Caponetti (974-0365,

Where can I find course descriptions?

All course descriptions are located in the undergraduate catalog.

How do I find out what classes are being offered each semester?

Biology 101 is offered every fall and summer and Biology 102 is offered every spring and summer. Biology 111 is offered every fall and Biology 112 is offered every spring. Biology 130, 140, 240 and 250 are offered every semester (fall, spring, and summer). Biology 138 and 148 are offered only in fall and spring, respectively. For past course offerings, go to Timetable of Classes

Where can I find a copy of my syllabus?

Syllabi for General Biology courses can be found HERE.

Who do I need to contact for information regarding adding, dropping or changing to a different section of a General Biology course?

Contact Dr. Randy Brewton (974-6225, for information regarding adding or changing a section. Because enrollment is limited to the number of lab spaces available in each section, do not drop a section if the section you want is closed. If a section is closed, it means all lab spaces for that section are filled.

For drops, contact your instructor to sign your drop form.

I’m having problems contacting my instructor/TA. What should I do?

If their contact information is not listed on the course syllabus or you have made multiple attempts to contact the instructor/TA without success, contact Jamie Neill at 974-6841.

If I pass my lab but fail the lecture, do I have to take the whole class over?

If the lecture and lab are one course, yes.

Is there a quiet place to study on the Hill?

The Biological Sciences Majors Study Room is located in 417 Hesler. There are computers and a printer in this room (you must provide your own paper). The hours for the room are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday – Friday. This room is a place for quiet study. You can reserve the room after 5:00 pm for study groups. Contact Jamie Neill for reservations (

My study group needs a place to study. Where can we go?

The Biological Sciences Majors Study Room is located in 417 Hesler. There are computers and a printer in this room (you must provide your own paper). The hours for the room are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday – Friday. This room is a place for quiet study. You can reserve the room after 5:00 pm for study groups. Contact Jamie Neill for reservations (

Are there any computers available for biology majors?

Yes, in the study room (417 Hesler).

Who do I contact if I need a tutor?

General Biology does not have its own tutorial center. The Student Success Center on campus is a good resource for extra help. (

Do we have labs the first week of classes?

Not usually, but be sure to check the course comments in the timetable for the course in question.

Do you have to take Bio 101 and Bio 102 in sequence? Bio 150 and Bio 160? Bio 240 and Bio 260?

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that 101 and 102 be taken in sequence and the same for Bio 113 and Bio 114. Bio 150 and Bio 160 may be taken out of sequence, although they are typically taken in sequence. Bio 240 and Bio 260 may be taken out of sequence. Always check pre-requisites for any course you’d  like to take in the future to plan your coursework appropriately.

I am transferring from a community college. What courses can I transfer for a biology major, and what courses should I take at UTK?

For information regarding transfer and articulation, please refer  to the following links on the Registrar’s web page:

For courses required for a BS degree in biological sciences, please refer to the Majors Guide links listed in question 5 (scroll to the bottom to see the sample curriculum for that concentration).

Click here for A&S undergraduate BA and BS requirements.

If I’m unable to take core biology courses in the recommended sequence, will I still be able to graduate in four years?

Because the capacity for general biology sections is set by the number of lab spaces available, once a section is closed, no more students can be added. Students can be wait-listed in case space becomes available. You can still graduate on time if you take other graduation / degree requirements, such as chemistry, calculus, foreign language, or other general education courses required for a degree in Arts and Sciences. For help in selecting alternatives, please contact Derek Werner.

Freshmen – you will be able to participate in advance registration during fall semester for the following spring semester, and during the spring semester, you will be able to register for classes for the following fall semester. You will be registering ahead of incoming freshmen so there is a better chance you will be able to register for your preferred classes. If you have tried for two sequential semesters to register for a course and haven’t been able to get in, please see Derek Werner to determine the next course of action.


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