Department of Biology

Academic Advising

Advising PIN (required for registration each semester)

Each academic unit issues the Advising PIN that is required for registration in the first semester of student enrollment at Illinois Tech. During an advising session, advisers will provide the Advising PIN number to each new student. Note: Continuing students, in good academic standing, can find their Advising PIN number in their MyIIT account—under the “Welcome” tab—in a window titled IIT Personal ID Numbers.

Advising A Number

Figure 1. IIT Personal ID Numbers Portal Widget Example

Graduate Academic Advising

Graduate students are required to complete a mandatory advising session with the graduate academic (or Accelerated Master's Program) adviser. The GP Graduate Advising Hold becomes active before the next semester of registration opens for:

  • Accelerated master’s students in the first semester of graduate enrollment
  • Traditional masters students at nine earned or enrolled credits
  • Doctoral students at 18 earned or enrolled credits

The hold prevents registration before the following semester, until lifted by the adviser, and a mandatory advising session is required for the student to clear the registration hold.

Graduate Academic Advising Plan  

All graduate biology students, upon joining the program, will have an academic advisor assigned to them. The academic advisor will provide the students with academic and career advising throughout their tenure at Illinois Tech.

Students can change advisers at any time and for any reason. They can initiate a change of advisor request by going to the eForms tab in Graduate Degree Works and selecting Change of Advisor form.  When a student joins a faculty member’s research lab, the research faculty member will become the primary adviser for that student. 

All new and continuing graduate students must meet with their adviser at least once a semester. Ideally, each student should make an appointment to meet with their adviser at least two weeks prior to the date when registration for the next term begins. To schedule a one-on-one advising session, the student should send an email to their academic advisor. Online students who cannot attend a face-to-face advising session should try to schedule a phone conversation with their academic adviser.

During the advising session, advisers will:

  • Provide a PIN number to each new student. Note: Continuing students, in good academic standing, can find their Advising PIN number in their MyIIT account under the “Welcome” tab in a section titled IIT Personal ID Numbers
  • Explain the program requirements and the course curriculum in detail
  • Go over required courses and discuss possible elective courses based on the student's interest
  • Make sure the student is taking the appropriate courses based on their concentration/specialization
  • Identify possible work overload concerns and discuss alternative options with the student
  • Watch for student struggles or areas of concern, and guide them to additional resources
  • Discuss career pathways and provide additional career advising

Advisers and students will record any agreement that was made during the advising session, and will remove the advising hold from the student account. If a student fails to meet with their adviser prior to the start of the semester, a hold will be placed on the student's account and they will not be allowed to register for the coming semester. The only way the hold can be removed is for the student to schedule an advising session with their assigned adviser. If a student is experiencing difficulties reaching their academic advisor, the student can schedule an advising session with the associate chair of the Department of Biology: Senior Lecturer Tanya Bekyarova at

Advising Topics

Student Resources