Advising How To:

Are you looking for information about an advising topic?  If you can't find the information that you need here, please reach out to one of our advisors.  Is there an advising topic that you think should be included on this list?  Let us know!


Schedule an Advising Appointment

Enroll in Research and UTA Credits

Choose the Correct Research Form (1901, 1903, 1904)

Find a Co-Sponsor for External Research

Get a Permission Number

Download Your AAR (Academic Advisement Report)

Fill out a Progress Tracker

Make an Academic Plan

Search for Gen Ed Requirements 

Set up a Swap for a Waitlisted Class

Get Permission for an Off-Campus (Transfer) Biology Course



Scheduling Advising Appointments:

Please Note: Not all appointment types are available at all times.  Appointment types vary throughout the semester, based on anticipated student needs.

Biology Drop-In Advising (via Zoom!)

(Check your email for times/links in the weekly newsletter or email for info.)
Biology Advising Drop-In hours are great for quick questions that can be answered in under 5 minutes. To discuss long-term plans, complex problems, or have an advising hold lifted, you should sign up for an advising appointment via the Navigate Student app.

10 minute Appointments

Perfect for quick questions or check-ins.  Students may sign up for these 10 minute appointments via the Navigate Student app or website.  Non-majors and prospective students are welcome to make these appointments except during peak enrollment periods (October and March).

General  Advising Appointments 

Designed for in-depth discussions of academic planning, career goals, extracurriculars, and more complex issues.  Students may sign up for these 30 minute appointments via the Navigate Student app or website.  Non-majors and prospective students are welcome to make these appointments except during peak enrollment periods (October and March). 

Pre-Enrollment Appointments

This is a 30-minute appointment designed for planning and discussion of class scheduling and for lifting advising holds. These appointments are reserved for majors only.  

The steps for scheduling appointments have changed slightly.  Download a mobile app called Navigate-Student or access Navigate-Student through myPitt. 

To download the app:

  • Search for “Navigate Student” in the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Once you download the app, you will be prompted to select your school (University of Pittsburgh)
  • You will be asked to sign in with your Pitt username and password
  • You will be asked to authenticate your login using two-factor authentication 
  • You will be prompted to fill out a short survey about your academic experiences and interests
  • Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be able to access it through Pitt Mobile in the “Academic Success” section

To use the web version:

To schedule an appointment:

  • Click on the purple “Appointments” icon at the bottom of the home screen
  • Click the blue “Schedule (or Drop in for) an Appointment” button
  • Choose “Advising” as the type of appointment
  • Start typing “BioSci” as the Service
  • Pick a date for the appointment or leave it as the default
  • Click the blue “Find Availability Time” button
  • Choose how you would like to meet (In-Person or Virtual)
  • Choose the date/time that works for you
  • Be sure to click the “Schedule” button to confirm your appointment

To cancel or re-schedule an appointment:

  • On the Navigate student app, simply go to My Appointments > Upcoming > Click on your Appointment > Cancel Appointment. 
  • Then you can use the link sent to you by your advisor or the app or web version to schedule another appointment


Enroll in Research and UTA Credits:

Enrolling in UTA, research or independent study credits? 

Follow these simple instructions…

  1. Download a fillable form from the Advising Documents and Forms webpage.
  2. Complete the personal info and project portions, making sure to initial it.
  3. Complete the bottom of the form with your research mentor (and BIOSC co-sponsor for external research labs) – making sure you get all necessary signatures/initials.
  4. Take a picture or screen shot of the completed and initialed form and save it with your name (example: Lastname_BIOSC1690 form).
  5. Here is the survey link to register for Fall 2024 research or UTA credits.  (Send forms for summer term enrollment to 

Please note: this is a manual process and will be completed once weekly.  You will receive an email once you have been enrolled. If you have any questions or concerns, please email

The deadline for enrolling in research or UTA credits for fall semester is the last day of add/drop - Friday, Sept. 6.

  • If you are doing multiple experiences (for example, UTA and research), you must submit separate surveys for each.
  • You must have all signatures or initials on the submitted form to be enrolled.

If you have questions, email


Choose the Correct Research Form:

There are three different BIOSC research ‘courses’.  Read a little more about the options here to make sure you choose the correct one! Still have questions?  Email to get answers.

1.   BIOSC 1901: Independent Study.  For students choosing to do a biology-related internship at a company (Zoo, Aviary) or just beginning research in a lab where they will be learning the techniques and the project.  This form can be used for working on projects inside or outside the Department of Biological Sciences

2.   BIOSC 1903: Undergraduate Research: For students continuing in research and participating in an independent project.  Students complete different forms for doing research in a lab within the Dept of Biological Sciences (INTERNAL) or in a lab outside of the Dept of Biological Sciences (EXTERNAL)

3.   BIOSC 1904: Undergraduate Honors Research.  Only for students who have been accepted into the BIOSC Dept honors program. Students complete different forms for doing research in a lab within the Dept of Biological Sciences (INTERNAL) or in a lab outside of the Dept of Biological Sciences (EXTERNAL)


Find a Co-Sponsor for External Research:

If you already know someone in the Bio Dept., such as someone you might ask for a letter of recommendation at some point, or want to UTA for, then this is a great way to have a secondary relationship with them. Think if there’s anyone like that. 

Or, you can ask a professor you know slightly but would like to interact with more.

Otherwise, we have a “default” faculty who can co-sponsor any student who needs someone. If you are not familiar with our faculty, this could be a good option. You can change to someone else in a later term if it seems to make sense.  Email for details on our default co-sponsor.


Get a Permission Number:

To streamline permission #s (and get them to you quickly!) we have created a Qualtrics form.  Please use this if you need a permission # for a BIOSC course.  For all other courses (CHEM, PHYS, STAT, etc, etc) contact the department offering the course.


Download Your AAR:

To view or download a copy of your Academic Advisement Report, please refer to the following training document.

Advisement Report - Navigation


Fill Out a Progress Tracker:

You can find all of our Progress Trackers here. Click on your major, then "Major Requirements" to access the forms. Be sure to choose the form with the correct General Education Requirements. Once you choose the correct tracker for your intended major, follow these steps to successfully complete it.  You'll need your AAR or Degree Planner


Make an Academic Plan:

Take ownership of your path to graduation!  See how all of your requirements fit into your remaining semesters.  You'll need a semester planner which is located on this page. You may also find the Master Course List and sample syllabi on this page helpful. Be sure to pay attention to pre-reqs! 


Search for Gen Ed Requirements

Watch this video to learn how to find a class that satisfies a specific gen ed requirement.


Set up a Swap for a Waitlisted Class:

You can use the Swap feature to waitlist a preferred course in your enrollment shopping cart.  This feature will automatically drop a course in which you are enrolled (your second-choice course), allowing you to move off the waitlist and into your preferred course without being stopped by a time conflict. You must set up the swap at the same time that you enroll in your second-choice course.  Follow these instructions.


Get Permission for an Off-Campus (Transfer) Biology Course:

If you’d like to take an off-campus biology course and use it towards your Bio degree requirements, you must first have the course approved by the Department. 


  • You will also need to request permission from the DSAS Dean’s Office to take an off-campus course.
  • You must take at least half (typically about 16 credits) of your BIOSC credits for your major at Pitt’s Pittsburgh campus.
  • You must have less than 90 credits total to take an off-campus course.

1. Check the pre-requisites to determine if the course might be comparable to Pitt’s BIOSC courses.

  • To be considered an Upper Division course, it must have a minimum of one year college-level Introductory Biology (like BIOSC 0150 & BIOSC 0160).
  • To be considered a Higher-Level course, it must have the same pre-reqs as the comparable Pitt BIOSC course (e.g., pre-req for Immunology is BIOSC 0350)

2. Provide BIOSC Advising the following info:

  • Syllabus – including topics, textbook info, exam style, etc. (you may have to reach out to the school or instructor to obtain a syllabus).
  • Course Description – course name and number, summary of course, website link.

3. A Bio Advisor will notify you of the decision once the review is completed. The review process takes time, please plan ahead.


NOTE:  Approval for Chemistry, Physics, etc. courses is done through those departments.