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.

Sharpen intellectual and practical skills First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year
  • Self-assessment skills
  • Test-taking strategies and preparation skills
  • Find, interpret and use appropriate literature for scientific writing and research
  • Research skills
  • Identifying and solidifying research interests
  • Academic performance assessment skills
  • Scientific analysis skills
  • Advanced research skills
  • Graduate examination preparation skills
  • Advanced scientific writing skills
  • Sharpen presentation and research skills through capstone project.
  • Generate logical interpretations and conclusions from graphs, models and a data of scientific research.
Engage with key resources on campus

Visit the Learning Center/Writing Center for tutoring assistance.

Attend the Center for SUCCESS programs and events.

Meet with faculty for assistance with courses.

Visit the library for study sessions and research.

Meet with your advisor.

Visit the Hub for technical assistance.

Attend Internship and Job Fair each semester to meet with employers.

Connect with faculty members to begin collaborating on research projects.

Apply for scholarships.

Start preparing for grad school, if applicable; request recommendations from professors.

Consult the library for help in building bibliographies for research papers.

Visit the Center for SUCCESS for internship/career advice.

Consult with the Center for SUCCESS, which assists with resume, mock interviews, internship and full-time positions.

Ask faculty members for letters of recommendation for graduate programs.

Participate in networking programs sponsored by the Center for SUCCESS and Alumni Relations.

Explore your global and social responsibility through leadership and service

Join Cougars LEAD and begin working toward a leadership certificate.

Joins RSOs and participate in University activities.

Attend department trivia contest and pizza party.

Apply for X-Factor leadership opportunities.

Develop your collaboration and leadership skills by holding an office in one of the department sponsored clubs.

Participate in and find other organizations of interest among the list of registered student organizations.

Volunteer at a local organization.

Consider a study abroad experience.

Participate in a spring break service trip.

Complete the Cougars LEAD Certificate by designing a capstone leadership or service project.

Mentor the next generation of student association members.

Explore opportunities for local volunteering.

Explore potential career opportunities and pre-professional experiences

Apply for on-campus employment or look for part-time jobs in the area to build your resume.

Attend Cougars Connect Networking Night in the Fall and meet alumni working in a variety of fields.

Explore various career paths for biology majors.

Research career options with the Center for SUCCESS and your advisor.

Work on your resume and develop a plan for your career path.

Actively compile 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 Argonne National Laboratory, Brookfield Zoo, Field Museum, The Morton Arboretum and Illinois EPA.

Get your resume in order and prepare to take graduate entrance exams such as GRE or MCAT.

Moving into the world of work? Get resume in shape and identify references.

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

Plan for productive and meaningful summers

Establish LinkedIn account.

Use CourseNetworking to begin building an online portfolio.

Build your profile in Handshake to look for jobs and internships.

Apply for summer internships that offer relevant experience in areas of interest.

Check out various summer research opportunities off campus.

Prepare your graduate program applications.

Visit the Center for SUCCESS for help with resume, interviewing and job search skills.