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Biology Cougar Map

The Cougar Map is intended to guide you with suggestions for potential activities and career paths that can help you along your educational journey. Although everyone has different abilities, experiences and challenges, this Cougar Map can be used with the help of your advisors to prepare for the future you want with a clear vision of your college-to-career pathway. Please refer to the SXU Academic Catalog and academic planning resources for detailed degree requirements.

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please review the Biology Cougar Map (PDF).


(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year
Explore scholarship opportunities.

Bring writing assignments to the Learning Center/Writing Studio for help in fine-tuning papers. Don't get discouraged in your first year!

For stress relief ideas, visit the Counseling Center.
Become familiar with the HUB for all your technical needs.

Consider pursuing a minor.

Consider summer courses to catch up or get ahead with your studies.
Begin thinking about your senior seminar project.

Be mindful of important dates, i.e. semester ends and begins, deadline to withdraw from a course, petition for graduation.
Visit the library for access to resources for your research papers.

Begin work on your topic for your Senior Seminar independent research project.


(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs/RSOs, volunteering)

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Explore opportunities to work on campus or get involved with service opportunities through Campus Ministry.

Volunteer at a local organization. If medical or professional schools are in your future, consider looking at local hospitals

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Consider participating in a spring break service trip or study abroad.
Complete the Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate program.

Mentor the next generation of student association members.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of Center for SUCCESS.

Meet with Center for SUCCESS to research occupations of interest related to biology.

Attend SXU's career-related events throughout your time at SXU and network with professionals.

Create a LinkedIn profile and establish meaningful connections within your academic and personal circles.

Begin compiling your online portfolio. Journal your volunteer and shadow experiences if applying to postgraduate programs.

Apply for an on-campus position in the Biology Department as a lab assistant

Explore internships at places like the Argonne National Laboratory, Brookfield Zoo, Field Museum, The Morton Arboretum and Illinois EPA.

Research graduate schools and prepare for post-graduate academic/professional exam(s), if applicable.
Ensure that your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts reflect all your recent experiences.

Apply for positions with employers, such as Chicago Botanic Garden, Lincoln Park Zoo, Clarke Mosquito Control, Nature Conservancy of Illinois and Shedd Aquarium.

Apply to graduate schools, if applicable.