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We in Biological Sciences believe that regular advising within a major is an important aspect of a student's undergraduate experience.

This all starts with declaring the major (including a declaration of one of the several concentrations within it). This can be done by filling out the declaration of major form and emailing it to

Instructions for Biological Sciences Majors

  1. Download the declaration form and fill out the student and major/minor information sections. 
  2. Save the pdf named as: “<Your Last Name>_<Your Student ID>”.
  3. Submit the form to for department approval. You are welcome to request an advising appointment in advance of declaring. 
  4. The department approver will submit the completed and signed petition to:

The major will have been formally declared when: a currently valid concentration has been noted on the declaration form, we have signed that form, and the form has then been submitted to the WCAS Offices of Studies.

If you have questions before filling out the declaration form, you are welcome to contact our Associate Director, Professor Galbreath, for advising. After declaring the major, you will be assigned an additional advisor who will help you navigate our requirements during your years at Northwestern. Our Program Assistant is also available to answer questions.

You will shortly thereafter be assigned a particular adviser within Biological Sciences for the future. We encourage you to meet with your adviser at least annually, and indeed whenever you have questions or uncertainties.

Petitioning To Graduate

Graduation from the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences requires a petitioning process. To petition to graduate as a Biological Sciences Major, students should download and fill out the petition to graduate. Please fill in the first page only, and even there, only those portions you are certain about; the second page is for adviser use. Give consideration to which Catalog you wish to use in determining your graduation requirements (any Catalog in existence while you were a student in WCAS may be used). Note that aspects of various graduation requirements changed for our major, between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 Catalogs.

Please email the Petition to your departmental advisor for review, possible emendation, and signature. It may in fact be desirable to meet with your departmental advisor at that time to review degree progress. Students should contact the advisor directly to schedule an appointment, but our office is available to help, as needed. It is the adviser, not the student, who sends the signed Petition to the College.


* If you need access to Adobe Acrobat during remote learning, you may obtain a student license here:

** For advising information during remote learning, please refer to the WCAS website here:

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