Prospective Student FAQ

 

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I am thinking about attending NMSU to pursue a degree in biology, microbiology, pre-med, etc.  Do you have these programs?

Our department offers degrees in Biology, Conservation Ecology, Genetics, and Microbiology.  These degrees suit the needs of students wishing to pursue careers in the fields of research, medical science, industry, teaching, you name it!  Pre-med degrees do not exist, per se, however the Biology and Microbiology majors prepare students well for careers in dentistry, PT, PA, MD, Pharmacy, Podiatry, OT, chiropractic, etc.

I have taken AP exams,  dual credit and/or am transferring.  How will I know if my previous work will count?

The registrar will evaluate all transcripts and AP credits and give you credit accordingly.  Once the Biology advisors can see this information in the system, we can help you determine what classes you should take next.  In most cases your previous work be assigned as earning credit for an equivalent course here at NMSU.  If the equivalent course does not match one required for the Biology degree plan, it will simply count toward your total credits needed to graduate.

Attention Pre-health students:  Please be aware that currently, many medical schools ARE NOT ACCEPTING AP Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Math as replacements for taking the courses at the college level.  While NMSU allows high AP scores to substitute for many introductory classes, it is imperative that students understand how Medical Schools will treat their AP credit, and policies may vary from school to school.  It may be to your financial benefit NOT to have your AP scores transferred to NMSU so that you may take the courses required for your medical school of interest (advice:  go to the websites of the schools you are interested in and become familiar with their policies).

How many students are the biology lecture classes at NMSU?

Class size varies, but introductory classes typically accommodate about 150 students.  As you move toward more specialized topics, the class size often drops and ranges between 30 and 80.

How many Faculty does the department have?  Why does this matter to me?

We are home to 25 research and/or teaching faculty.  They hail from fields such as Cell Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Ecology & Evolution, Bioinformatics, Systematics, Virology, etc.  As a student, this is of importance because you will be taking classes from individuals who are experts in their fields.  It is also important because many of our research faculty also welcome undergraduates into their lab to become involved in undergraduate research experiences.

How will I know what classes to take?

The Biology Success Center within the department is a dedicated place where undergraduates can speak with advisors regarding their degree plans and classes.  We are here to serve you, are happy to offer advice, and are glad to speak with you whenever you have questions.  We will require advising throughout your undergraduate career so that you are clear about where you are in your degree, when those courses are offered, etc.  We look forward to seeing you!

How long will it take me to graduate?

NMSU requires 128 credits (48 of those consisting of upper division course work) in order to graduate.  That means if you take 4 classes a semester (~12 credits) it will take you no less than 5 years (10+ semesters) to graduate.  You may wish to take more than 4 classes a semester and/or take summer courses which will accelerate your degree completion.  Please do note that taking 18 credits a semester is not for everyone and if you are taking many core science classes, it may even be impractical.  Student course load each semester will vary and it is up to the individual student to find the load that works for them.  It is more important to your future career goals to gain a skill set and to successfully complete your courses than it is to graduate in four years!

I have some more questions or would really like to speak with an advisor.  Who do I contact?

The Biology Success Center is located in Foster Hall 204.  We are happy to meet with prospective students!  Please visit our website for hours and information.