Success Maps

Biology Success Map

 

All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete your 1st year required courses, including BIOL 201 and BIOL1202.


Enroll in the online WHMIS safety course. You cannot start your BIOL or CHEM labs without it!


Review your degree requirements in the Academic Calendar. Check your BIOL Major list of requirements.


Choose the right MATH courses through MATH MAP. Most students take MATH 1250 and 1251.


Biology students normally take CHEM 1210 and 1212.


Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.


Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!


Visit your Academic Advisor or Program Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.


Gather information on Co-operative Education opportunities.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Brush-up on the basics. Drop-in for a free refresher workshop on sig. fig.’s, logarithms, exponents, trig, graphing—and more at the SNAP Centre.


Develop your graphing skills at the Center for Academic Technology (CAT).


Improve your writing and thinking skills at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.


Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Patrick Power Library. Take a virtual tour.


Build a résumé at a Résumé Seminar, to prepare for internships, scholarships, and summer jobs.


Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on- and off-campus activities and volunteer work.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week. Make friends. Meet classmates, faculty, and advisors at academic orientation. Attend a session about a culture of safety and respect at Saint Mary’s.


Introduce yourself to your professors after class or during office hours.


Read the SMU Science Newsletter for deadlines, contests, and opportunities in the Faculty of Science. Follow SMU Science on Twitter and Facebook. Use the hashtag #SMUScience.


Attend the annual Biology and Chemistry Student Research Days in the fall.


Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies, including those that are culturally-based, before deciding which to join. Sign up for the BIOL Student Society.


Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English with Canadian students.


Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities—no extra fees!


Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!


Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.


Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.


Check in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.


When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.


Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.


Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.


Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.


Travel while studying after 1st year. Investigate travel options beyond Canada at International Activities.


Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.


Not from Canada? Browse Services for International Students for available support.


Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete the five BIOL required courses: 2307, 2321, 2324, 2303, and 2304. Check your BIOL major list of requirements.


Update your WHMIS safety training. Your last certification expires after 12 months.


Choose the right CHEM courses for your program. Biology students normally take CHEM 2346, but “pre-professional” students are encouraged to take CHEM 2344 and 2345.


Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.


Visit your Academic Advisor or Program Advisor to be sure you have the right courses and to declare your major in this year.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Improve your BIOL lab reporting skills. Consult the Department’s recommended writing guide for formatting, citations, and structure.


Develop your critical thinking skills as you become more fluent with scientific literature.


Develop technical BIOL expertise in working with microscopes, slides, cells, animals, and plants.


Sharpen your problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills. Become a 1st year tutor in BIOL, MATH, CHEM, or PHYS at the SNAP Centre.


Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.


Learn advanced researching techniques at the Library.


Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Become a LEAP Peer Mentor. Build leadership and mentoring skills, while getting paid.


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies. Take on a leadership role in the BIOL Society.


Participate as a research subject in a Psychology study.


Apply for a Summer Research Award. Gain skills as part of a Biology research team.


Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.


Browse the Scholarship List and modify your cover letter to match the criteria. Apply between February and May.


Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.


Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.


Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Employers like well-rounded candidates.


Attend BIOL Department Seminars to expand your knowledge of the Biological Sciences.


Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and a LinkedIn Seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!


Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.


Consider applying for the Co-op Program at the beginning of 2nd year (30+ credits). Gain work experience over three terms.


Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in 2nd - 4th years.


Explore options for international internships in your area of study.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete the BIOL required courses at the 3000- and 4000-level, as you focus on your areas of interest.


Complete any MATH, PHYS, or other outstanding requirements for the BIOL major.


Prepare for success in your Biology courses and your future career. Take BIOL 3308.


If your goals are pre-professional, consider taking CHEM 3451.


Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you’re on the right track to meet graduation requirements.


Meet your Department Chair or Program Advisor for help with course selection, career advice, certifications, or selecting a thesis supervisor for the Honours Program.


Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Strengthen your interdisciplinary knowledge and prepare yourself to make an impact in our increasingly scientific world. Choose Science electives that compliment BIOL.


Develop your computing skills. Take computer programming for Science students.


Develop your collaborative skills by pursuing a summer research project.


Improve your research skills and grades by visiting the Library and using the Research-by-Appointment service for one-on-one help.


Visit the Writing Centre for workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.


Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans for 4th year and beyond.


Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and critical analysis of peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.


Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals.


Interested in teaching? Consider applying to lead LEAP Workshops as a Peer Facilitator.


Apply for over 200 scholarship and bursary awards.


Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.


Let your networks know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.


Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
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BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

 Is it too late to do an Honours degree? Speak to the Program Advisor about your idea.


Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.


Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.


Contact your Academic Advisor to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.


Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit it to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.


Consider graduate schools or professional programs. Start early, and ask your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.


Apply for funding (NSERC) if intending to start graduate school in Science.


Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Exercise responsibility and communication. Apply for a Teaching Assistant position in a 1000-level BIOL course.


Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.


Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.


Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.


Join the Nova Scotia Institute of Science (NSIS) and submit your best written work for a writing award.


Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.


Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.


Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student loan repayment.


Your degree can open the door to many types of careers. Use Career Counselling to discover where you want to go and how best to get there.


Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers before graduation.


In addition to the Halifax Career Fair, attend some career fairs specific to your program. Bring your résumé. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.


Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in a field of your interest.


If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.


Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.


Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.


Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.