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Biology Student Advisor Responsibilities, Free Tutoring and Application Process

The Biology Student Advisors (SAs) are junior and senior biological sciences majors who serve as academic peer advisors to new students (freshmen and transfers) interested in the biology major. SAs write to their advisees during the summer before the students' arrival on campus, and meet with them throughout the academic year to share their knowledge about the major, their college, graduation requirements, campus activities, and student support services.

Each student advisor is responsible for holding one office hour per week in the Office of Undergraduate Biology (OUB), 216 Stimson Hall. Student Advisors provide 60 hours of advising per week in addition to the hours held by professional staff advisors.

In addition to their advising responsibilities, Student Advisors serve in various capacities such as: serving on student panels for campus visitation programs; sponsoring the annual BioFest; volunteering as tutors for science and math courses; serving on various OUB committees and meeting with prospective students and families.

In January of each year, the Student Advisor application is available on line. New SAs are chosen by current Student Advisors through an extensive interview process coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Biology. It's a challenging and rewarding position that provides upperclass students with an opportunity to hone their leadership, counseling and communication skills.

Questions about the SA program can be directed to bioadvising@cornell.edu.

Free Tutoring

Many Student Advisors provide free tutoring during their office hours.   If you are interested in free tutoring, please follow the steps below:

  1. Identify the Student Advisors who tutor the course that interests you by looking at the bottom of each of their profiles.
  2. Email the Student Advisor and ask when s/he has office hours; if your free time matches his/her office hours, schedule a tutoring appointment.
  3. Notify the Student Advisor of the course professor’s name, textbook name and topic areas you would like reviewed.
  4. Understand that Student Advisors need at least 48 hours to prep for a scheduled tutoring session.
  5. Express your appreciation to the Student Advisor by showing up for the appointment on time and sharing your thanks.

Student Feedback

The following statements come from graduating seniors who comment on the value of having a Student Advisor as a first-year student.

"My student advisor was a major help when it came to deciding what courses to take. Some of the most important advice of my college career came from my student advisor: simply, don't rush the experience. I took classes I wanted to take in addition to the classes I had to take. This was, in many ways, more than advice about Cornell; it was really a life lesson, and one by which I hope to

"My student advisor was always there when I needed her."

"Helped ease transition from high school."

"I can't say it enough that having the perspective of someone who has experienced what you are about to undergo is invaluable. I am an advisor myself, and I feel great joy returning the aid and insight that my advisor gave me to my own advisees."

Apply now!