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Academic Advising System

Advising for first-year students
First-year students are advised at the Academic Advising Center. The Center’s team of advisors specializes in first-year transition to academic and student life at Iowa, pre-professional advising, and open major advising. Working with an assigned caseload, the advisors help each student plan for a successful academic start at Iowa. Current students who wish to make an appointment with someone at the Academic Advising Center, please click here.

Transfer student advising
Transfer students who have earned less than 30 semester hours will be advised in the Academic Advising Center. Those with 30 or more semester hours will be advised by Anna Gaw. To learn more about transferring to the Department of Biology, click here.

Biology major advising in the department
Anna Gaw (319-353-2484, 144 BB) serves as the academic advisor for all Department of Biology students who have earned at least 30 semester hours. Biology majors who reach 60 semester hours and are in good academic standing, will then be assigned to a faculty advisor in the department. Current advisees can click here to schedule an appointment with Anna. Other students who would like information about the biology major should email Anna ( to schedule a meeting. Faculty advisor contact information can be found here. Students pursuing the 4+1 Biology/Education program will continue to be advised by Anna until graduation.

All students advised in the Department of Biology must meet with their academic advisor to be authorized to register for classes. Prior to registration, you are encouraged to review your degree audit and plan of study. You can view your degree audit here.

Anna is available to assist students with the following:

  • Academic 4-year planning
  • Registration and registration change authorization
  • Degree audit questions and exceptions
  • Academic probation, academic study strategies, and resources
  • Review study abroad courses for major credit
  • Information regarding research, career exploration, and internships
  • Discussions regarding additional majors, minors, and certificates
  • International student forms

After students move to a faculty advisor, they may continue to see Anna for assistance with planning, academic questions and concerns. Faculty advisors are available to help with:

  • Registration authorization
  • Serve as a mentor for honors theses and projects
  • Discuss your graduate and professional school aspirations

We encourage you to allow your advisor the opportunity to get to know you well enough that they can provide expert advice tailored to your individual interests. This enables advisors to help students improve their efforts. If you are unsure who your advisor is or want a new one, please contact Anna Gaw (, 319-353-2484.

In addition to the formal advisor-advisee relationship, you will find that every member of the Department of Biology faculty is more than happy to discuss aspects of individual courses with you during office hours or at any other time if he or she is not busy. We encourage students to take advantage of the department's advising resources.

Advising in the Biomedical Sciences Major
Students who are admitted to the Biomedical Sciences major as incoming freshmen will be advised during their first semester in the Academic Advising Center. At the end of the first semester, regardless of hours earned, Biomedical Sciences students move to the Department of Biology for advising. Anna Gaw ( serves as the primary advisor, and Dr. Bryant McAllister ( serves as the faculty advisor for the major. More information about the Biomedical Sciences major can be found here.

Advising in the Neuroscience Major
Students in the Neuroscience major are advised the same way as Biology majors, starting off in the Academic Advising Center and then moving to departmental advising in either the Department of Biology with Anna Gaw ( or the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Students in the Neuroscience major will continue to be advised by a professional advisor in the department until graduation. More information about the Neuroscience major can be found here.