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FAQs

Q. Could you explain how BIOL 490, Independent Study and BIOL 498, Internship works?

Signing up for Independent Study (BIOL 490) and Internship (BIOL 498) works as follows:

  • You can sign up for one or more semesters to earn up to three semester units of Independent Study only or Internship only or a combo of the two and apply these units toward your major (they would count as upper division elective units; an option for most concentrations except Forensic Science and the B.A. in Biology Education. If you are a Micro option student, check in with Dr. Carol Lauzon to determine if you can earn independent study units. 

BIOL 490, Independent Study
  • Involves you signing up for BIOL 490 under a particular faculty member during a particular term and working on projects that may involve little to a moderate amount of supervision. This can include a variety of options such as:
    • working on research in the faculty member's lab
    • working on a project that takes place outside of the lab that you design with the faculty member 
    • working on assignments associated with the Collections room (relevant faculty include Drs. Jennkinson, Hazlehurst, Perry, Murray, and Wildy)
    • working on assignments associated with support of a faculty member's course 
  • When there aren't specified projects, the nature of the project would be for the student and instructor to work out. 
BIOL 498, Internship
  • To sign up for BIOL 498 Internship, the following steps must occur: 
  1. (STUDENT STEP) Student must find an internshipCan do this via:
  2. (STUDENT AND FACULTY STEP) Student identifies a faculty person under which he/she would like to sign up (for the university side of this relationship). Ideally, the faculty member should be one that is related to the student's biology concentration and can serve as a resource for the student. To identify a faculty member they might want to work with, the student should consider one that is associated with the same concentration they are in and/or that has similar research/course-related interests. Together, the faculty and student work out the number of units that this internship experience will be worth (up to 3 units - see more explanation below at the end of this directive), whether it will last more than one semester, what will be involved (i.e., will it involve more than what the internship already involves; will there be a significant biology department component like related readings, an additional writing assignment; etc.). The faculty member then initiates a Special Registration form on behalf of the student making sure to specify the number of units to be earned. Reminder: undergraduate students may take up to 3 units of InternshipIndependent Study or a combo of both and apply those units toward most options. If a student is interested in completing their Independent Study Project or Internship in the summer, but for financial reasons, does not want to sign up for those units until the following Fall (or Spring) term, they can ask the faculty member under which they sign up if that is a possibility. Receiving BIOL 490 or 498 units in a Fall or Spring term before a summer Independent Study roject or Internship occurs is not possible
  3. (STUDENT STEP) The Special Registration form should be turned into a Biology Department Office staff person. The staff person will then enroll the student into the course manually.
  4. (STUDENT STEP) Once Internship is added to the student's course roster (and the faculty's list of courses being taught), the student needs to register with the onlinCalStateS4 system.  This system will provide the following services: 
    • houses contracted partner info
    • tracks student placements
    • facilitates assessment
    • maintains time logs 
    • provides field trip waivers as needed
Point of Clarification: How many units a student should/can sign up for should match the # of hours both the internship site activity hours and faculty/CSUEB side support work will add up to over the semester. I provide some calculations below to illustrate this:
 
For every unit - which represents an hour in class - I add on 2-3 hrs outside of class (for reading, assignments, etc.). So, with that said, and with the idea that you can take up to 3 units of internship (or independent study or combo of both), the amount of hrs you would be expected to work are as follows:
  • 1 unit - 3-4 hrs/wk x 15 wks of instruction (doesn't count wk off for Thanksgiving/Spring Break or Finals wk) = 45-60 hrs/semester
  • 2 units - 6-8 hrs/wk x  15 wks of instruction (doesn't count wk off for Thanksgiving/Spring Break or Finals wk) = 90-120 hrs/semester
  • 3 units - 9-12 hrs/wk x  15 wks of instruction (doesn't count wk off for Thanksgiving/Spring Break or Finals wk) = 135-180 hrs/semester
 

Q. I am required to take a year of physics as part of my major. Prior to semesters, this was the PHYS 2701-2-3 series. I partially completed this series prior to semesters. Can I now just take one half (i.e., semester) of the new PHYS 125-126 course series to make up what I did not take before conversion to semesters?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is NO. While the PHYS 125-126 series is, on the whole, equivalent to the PHYS 2701-2-3 quarter series, the content of the latter was not just halved with the content of PHYS 2701 and half of 2702 put into PHYS 125 and the content of PHYS 2703 and half of 2702 placed into PHYS 126. Instead content throughout hte PHYS 2701-2-3 series are present in both PHYS 125 & 126 and vice versa. So, at this time, if you have partially completed the PHYS 2701-2-3 series, you have the following options:

  • retake the whole series - PHYS 125 & 126 - at CSUEB;
  • complete the courses equivalent to the part of PHYS 2701-2-3 series that you have not taken at at a community college and transfer them in

Another word of advice, until we have a better idea if/how the semester PHYS 125-126 articulates with current community college physics series, those students who have not yet started the physics series would do best to take the series all at CSUEB or all at a community college; but not half at CSUEB and half at a community college.

 

Q. Will there be Fall Graduation Ceremonies after we switch to semesters? I hear there are changes to eligibility for walking in Spring Graduation Ceremonies after we switch to semesters. Can you explain?

At this time, there is no plan for the university or the College of Science to hold Fall Graduation ceremonies. While the policies regarding walking in Spring graduation ceremonies (see section entitled "Commencement") will not change much under semesters, what may change is the enforcement of those polices. The general policy is that "participation in a Commencement Ceremony is different than graduating and earning a degree. Graduation applicants who are candidates for a degree during the Fall, Spring, or Summer term of the same academic year or school year as of March 1 are eligible to participate and their name will be printed in the official commencement program. There is one University Commencement each year, held in the Spring."

     

Q. I heard that the General Option will no longer be available under Semesters. If I am a current student who is a B.S. General Option major and I will still be taking courses when we switch to semesters, do I have to now choose a particular option before semesters begin in Fall 2018? Or can I remain with the General Option?

As a student who will be here for both quarters and semesters, you have the option to be held to the list of requirements as specified under the quarter catalog (click here for which quarter catalog options are available to you). Since the general option was available to you under quarters, you can stay as a general option Biology major. Most students in this situation will be defaulted to the quarter catalog for the major already. However, if you are not or unsure, please visit a major advisor to find out one way or another. It is imperative that you get this setteled for Fall Semester 2018 begins because it will be difficulty/impossible to claim the quarter catalog requirements once we officially switch over to semesters. 

 

Q. What is meant by the term "breadth" (as in breadth courses vs. GE or General Education courses?)

A. Think of the term "breadth" as an umbrella (= general/broad) term for courses that fit the category of either GENERAL EDUCATION (i.e., A1-A3, B1-B4, C1-C3, D1-D3, E, F, Upper Division B, C, D) and LOCAL REQUIREMENTS or UNIVERSITY REQUIREMENTS (i.e., Second composition, American Code/American Institutions, Overlays). As such, the term "breadth" is not exactly interchangeable with the term "general education". A rule of thumb - all general education courses are breadth courses but not all breadth courses are general education courses. Some Breadth Courses are Local Requirement (= University Requirement) courses. Keep this information in mind when considering double counting in Breadth Courses or GE courses

 

Q. What in the world is an "overlay"?

A. Think of an OVERLAY as a theme. So, courses that fit the Sustainability overlay meet certain learning outcomes that align with the theme of sustainability, and so on. 

 

Q. How do I do a search for Breadth/GE courses that fit certain categories?

A. Check out this Google Doc for the steps to address this issue.

 

Q. What happened to the terms B6, C4, and D4?

A. As a way to reduce confusion, the administration has updated these general education course names to Upper Division B (=the GE Area formerly known as B6), Upper Division C (the GE Area formerly known as C4), and Upper Division D (the GE Area formerly known as D4). Other than the names, nothing else has really changed.

Q. How do I apply for graduation?

A. The deadline for applying for graduation is "the beginning of the term before you are looking to complete your degree." Specific dates can be found on the Important Dates page of the university website. At this point, you will be scheduled for a Summer graduation. Now, this just means that you will receive your diploma at the end of summer term. However, both Spring and Summer graduates can participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony (Note: there is a mechanism by which students, who know far enough ahead of time that they are going to be graduating in fall term, can participate in the commencement ceremony in the spring term before. For more information, consult an Advisor)

Basically, there is a two-part procedure for applying for graduation - 

  1. applying for graduation on myCSUEB (there should be a link to do that); 

  2. getting a major check (this happens with Avel Perez, avel.perez@csueastbay.edu; just email him and let him know you are ready to apply for graduation).                                                                                         

The university needs both of these components before they will processs your application for graduation. After completing both of these steps, you can monitor the status of your application for graduation at the top of your Degree Audit Report (DAR) where it says Graduation Status. According to the Staying on Track to Graduate section of the Office of Registrar's Graduation pages, it indicates that the various levels of application-for-graduation status are:
  • Applied– Acknowledgement that your application for graduation was received;                            
  • Pending - major check was received by graduation evaluations. This is an acknowledgement that your evaluator has received your major check and will begin review of your file in the order received;
  • In Review – Indicates preliminary verification of degree requirements has occurred and your graduation evaluator has sent a summary of requirements necessary for graduation to your Horizon email account. A record will stay “in review” until a student graduates or their graduation candidacy expires;
  • Awarded –verification that your degree requirements were completed and your diploma was ordered. You can view your degree posting on your transcript immediately.

Q. I am a Cell & Molecular option student and I need to take an upper division elective that requires Microbiology (BIOL 3405/330) as a prerequisite. I happened to take a lower division Microbiology course (BIOL 2025/230) prior to this point. Can I just that course as the prerequisite?

You will need to request permission of the course instructor about this. You can also contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Microbiology & Biomedical Sciences option, to ask about this if she is not the course instructor. 

 

Q. I am a Cell & Molecular option student who is also pre-med/pre-vet/pre-pharmacy/pre-optometry/pre-dental/pre-PA and I am interested in taking BIOL 370, Animal Physiology as an upper division elective. Would that be okay?

Yes, the Lead Faculty Advisors for the C&M option have been consulted and have agreed to allow this. 

Q. I am on the Quarter catalog for the Ecology and Conservation Biology option and I noticed in the (2016-7 or 2017-18) catalog that Biological Conservation is not mentioned as a required course. But the option flyer says it is. Could you clarify this issue?

A. Biological Conservation (BIOL 4351; semester equivalent = BIOL 469) is a required concentration course and is to be considered separately from the 24 elective (quarter) units that you are also required to take. Unfortunately, this course was inadvertently left off of the list of required courses in the 2016-7 and 2017-8 catalogs which has lead to some confusion. The course is listed as a required course in the green option flyer which you can find in the alcove of the Biology Departmental Office in North Sci 429.

 

Q. I am an Ecology and Conservation Biology/Evolutionary Biology option student and I need to take an upper division elective that requires Microbiology (BIOL 3405/330) as a prerequisite. I happened to take a lower division Microbiology course (BIOL 2025/230) prior to this point. Can I just that course as the prerequisite?

You will need to request permission of the course instructor about this. You can also contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Microbiology & Biomedical Sciences option, to ask about this if she is not the course instructor. Dr. Pakpour's email address is nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu.

  

Q. I am a Forensic Science option student and I need to take an upper division elective that requires Microbiology (BIOL 3405/330) as a prerequisite. I happened to take a lower division Microbiology course (BIOL 2025/230) prior to this point. Can I just that course as the prerequisite?

You will need to request permission of the course instructor about this. You can also contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Microbiology & Biomedical Sciences option, to ask about this if she is not the course instructor. Dr. Pakpour's email address is nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu.

Q. I am a Microbiology option student. and I happened to take a lower division Microbiology course (BIOL 2025/230) prior to this point. Can that satisfy my Microbiology (BIOL 3405/330) requirement?

You will need to contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Microbiology & Biomedical Sciences option, to ask about this. Her email address is nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu.

 

Q. I am a Microbiology option student aligned with the Quarter Catalog requirements. If I only took CHEM 4411 but not CHEM 4412 for my biochemistry requirement. What should I do to complete that requirement? What if I haven't taken either CHEM 4411 or CHEM 4412 before we switched to semesters?

Under the quarter catalog, Micro option students were required to take both CHEM 4411 and 4412 for your biochemistry requirement. If you have only taken CHEM 4411 than you will be allowed to substitute any other biology course for CHEM 4412. If you have not take either CHEM 4411 or 4412, then you should take CHEM 340 (Survey of Biochemistry) and this will meet your biochem requirement. If you have any additional questions about this, please contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour at: nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu.

Q. I am quarter catalog Physiology option student. According to the 2017-18 Physiology option flyer, the passage preceding in the "Upper Division Electives" section states that students need to to select "TWO additional courses (7-8 units) from the previous list (i.e., the "Concentration Courses" list) or any other upper division Biology course applicable to the B.S. degree, for a minimum of 99 units". Similarly, according to the 2017-18 Physiology option catalog description, the "Electives" section suggests that students would need to take "two additional courses (7-8 units) from the previous list (i.e., the "Concentration Course list" which is actually missing from the catalog description) or any other upper division biology course applicable to the B.S. degree to complete the minimum number of total overall units". Do these descriptions mean that some physiology option students on the quarter catalog do not have to take the additional 7-8 quarter units of upper division electives?

The wording in the catalog and on the flyers have led to some confusion. Actually, all quarter catalog physiology option students need to take the 7 or 8 units of upper division electives. Students taking the 3301-2-3 series will ultimately find themselves at 106 or 107 quarter units for the major (depending on whether or not they end up taking 7 vs. 8 quarter units of upper division electives) once they complete it while students electing to take the CHEM 2301-2 series will be at 99 or 100 units upon completion of the major (depending on whether or not they end up taking 7 vs. 8 quarter units of upper division electives). 

 

 

Q. I am a Physiology option student and I need to take an upper division elective that requires Microbiology (BIOL 3405/330) as a prerequisite. I happened to take a lower division Microbiology course (BIOL 2025/230) prior to this point. Can I just that course as the prerequisite?

You will need to request permission of the course instructor about this. You can also contact Dr. Nazzy Pakpour, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Microbiology & Biomedical Sciences option, to ask about this if she is not the course instructor. Dr. Pakpour's email address is nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu.

Q. Will I be able to finish my degree in time?

Yes, in fact, there is a university Pledge to our Students regarding this. But, to be clear, you will need to help us help you with this. You can do your part by making an appointment with both your major and GE academic advisors to review the courses you have left to take and plot out your remaining terms here. And if you are interested, advisors can help you establish an Individualized Advisement Plan/Education Plan that will map out the remaining courses you need to take.                                                                                                                                               

Q. If I am here through semesters and requirements for my degree/option change under semesters, am I held to the quarter requirements that I started under or the new semester requirements?

Student catalog rights are governed by the catalog in effect at the time they declare their undergraduate major/minor or are admitted to a graduate degree program. Your catalog year determines the requirements that you must satisfy to earn your degree. Your catalog year will not change, but the courses you must take may change because the courses in your catalog will may no long.

To some extent, all of the courses that the biology courses will carry over from quarters to semesters will change after semester conversion begins in Fall 2018 in that they will all be 15 weeks long, may have slightly different formats (i.e., lecture length may change; there may be a new discussion section added; etc.) and the course number will be three numbers instead of four (i.e., BIOL 3130 will become BIOL 310). In the case of other courses, they may be totally discontinued and, if you have not taken one or more of those courses by that point, you will need to work with an advisor to determine which course(s) you will need to take as a substitute.

Now, it turns out that you actually have a choice in whether to be held to the requirements of the your quarter catalog year or the new semester system catalog year for your major AND your GE. Furthermore, it is possible to choose quarter requirements for one and semester requirements for the other - they don't need to be the same (e.g., you can keep to your quarter catalog year for your major and the new semester catalog requirements for GE and vice versa. Your major advisor can assist you with determining which might work best for you for your major requirements and your AACE/GE advisor can assist you with determining this for your GE requirements.  Advisors will primarily base their decisions on what is more efficient for you (which will vary by major/option and graduation date). Once you have determined which set of University and major requirements you will be following, you will know what classes you need to put into your IAP/Education Plan.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Q. How many units would I have to enroll in to be considered full time under semesters?

An undergraduate student must enroll in 12 or more semester units to be considered full-time. A post-baccalaureate student seeking an additional undergraduate degree or an unclassified post-baccalaureate student must enroll in 12 or more semester units to be considered full-time.

Full-time classified post-baccalaureate students admitted to a teaching credential program must enroll in at least 8 semester units to be considered full-time. Full-time graduate students who are admitted to a master or doctoral degree program must carry at least 8 semester units.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Q. I have been seeing signs and banners about an IAP. What is this?

To prepare students for the change to semester, the Individualized Advisement Plan (IAP) in MyCSUEB will help you determine your academic paths through the conversion process and beyond to graduation. The IAP was made available to you and your advisors in Fall 2016. Your major and GE advisors can help you complete an IAP ifor you. And once it is approved by an academic advisor, it serves as a roadmap to facilitate graduation requirements under your major, and if applicable, minor program(s). It also provides the opportunity to inform the university of courses you plan to enroll in and when. This information will allow the university to improve course offerings based upon demand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Q. Can I get my courses planned out for me and, if so, where can I go?

If you have questions about the semester conversion and the biology major or minor you are always welcome to see a major advisor in the College of Science Student Service Center or you can speak with an Advisor in the Department of Biology.                                                                                                                                    

Q. What will happen to my units once we move from quarters to semesters? Will they be in quarter units or semester units?

The University will make every effort to ensure that the units you have already earned will count toward your degree. The College of Science and the Biology Department has been working individually on plans for transitioning our courses from quarters to semesters to make the move go smoothly for you. You can check out the university's Pledge to Our Students in which the University promises that students will graduate on time and will not lose earned credits provided they meet with advisors, develop an Individualized Advisement Plan, and follow the plan.       

As for what form the units will be in,  the current plan is to have on myCSUEB any courses you have taken on quarters viewable in quarter units, any courses you take during semesters in semester units and then your total number of units converted into semesters. We will know more as we get closer to the transition. 

 

Q. I have other questions about converting to semesters. Is there anywhere else I can find answers to my question? 

Yes, there is a whole site on the CSUEB website devoted to Semester Conversion. You can click on the links to visit those pages. And of course, you are always welcome to see a major advisor in the College of Science Student Service Center or you can speak with an Advisor in the Department of Biology.

 

 

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