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Advising Assistance

Connecting with an advisor can be one of the most important things you do to ensure your success as an undergraduate. However, no single advisor will be able to answer all questions about all of the majors, options, and opportunities available on this campus. If one advisor cannot answer all of your questions, or if you find that you are not comfortable with a particular advisor, seek another. This page has information about

For information to help you think about options after you graduate, visit the Careers and Graduate School sections of this site. If you're interested in the health professions, visit the Center for Pre-Health Advising.

For links to advising resources across campus, try the online Undergraduate Advising Toolkit.

If You Are Exploring Major Options

Once you declare a major, you will have a specific advisor or advisors assigned to you, and you should seek assistance from your assigned advisor(s) first. If you're still exploring broadly and need help narrowing down your options, there are specific resources to help you.

  • The Biological Sciences Advisor at the Office of Undergraduate Advising helps current, transfer, and prospective students find out about the biological sciences majors on campus and explore which majors best fit their interests and abilities. One-on-one advising sessions are available throughout the school year. The Biological Sciences Advisor can provide information on available courses and career options as well as information on how to find internships and research opportunities. During the summer, the Biological Sciences Advisor serves incoming first-year and transfer students at SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration). Current UW–Madison students can make an appointment via WiscCal.
  • Another option for exploring the range of biological sciences options at UW–Madison is the Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS), which focuses on helping students who have not yet declared a major or who are interested in changing majors. To schedule an appointment with a CCAS advisor, please call 608-264-CCAS (2227) or 608-265-5460.
  • The Transitional Advising Service within the College of Agriculture and Life Science offers individual advising appointments for students exploring the multitude of majors offered CALS. Current UW-Madison students can schedule an appointment from their website
  • The Center for Pre-Health Advising offers appointments and drop-in sessions for students interested in health careers. To make an appointment, call 608-263-6614. For other resources to help you think about options after you graduate, visit the Careers and Graduate School sections of this site.

If You Know Your Major or Have Narrowed Your Choices and Need More Information

If you know which major you are considering, it is best to meet with an advisor in that major.

The Biological Sciences Majors

Below is a list of bioscience majors. For descriptions of each major, visit the Office of Bioscience Exploration. Additional information can also be found in the Undergraduate Catalog and on the website for the major. 

College of Agricultural 
& Life Sciences

Animal Sciences
Biological Systems Engineering
Dairy Science
Environmental Sciences*
Food Science
Forest Science
Landscape Architecture
Nutritional Sciences
Plant Pathology
Poultry Science
Soil Science
Wildlife Ecology

College of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

College of Letters & Science

Biological Aspects of Conservation
Communicative Disorders#
Environmental Sciences*
Environmental Studies^
Molecular Biology

School of Education

Communicative Disorders#

School of Nursing


School of Pharmacy

Pharmacology and Toxicology



* offered in both CALS and L&S
# offered in both L&S and the School of Education

 requires students to complete a second major

Have Other Interests?

  • Evolutionary Biology: The Biology major has an option in this area.
  • Neurobiology: The Biology major has an option in this area.
  • Pre-Health: There are many appropriate majors but no official pre-health major. If you are interested in dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, or other health careers, visit the Center for Pre-Health Advising at prehealth.wisc.edu and talk with an advisor about which majors are most appropriate for your career goals.
Several majors offer options in sub-specialties, and there are also certificates in biology-related topics that you can add to your studies to tailor your program to your unique interests.