Declaration and Advising

Welcome to the Botany department

To be accepted as a major in botany, a student must have a grade point average of 2.5 for all science courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years.

We are excited that you are interested in joining our department by becoming a Botany Major!

Students interested in the Botany major should contact Ken Sytsma ( for a Botany advising/declaration session. The meeting will cover:

  • details about the major
  • curriculum requirement
  • your interests in Botany
  • plant research resources
  • the Botany department
  • and an introduction to our community

If you choose to declare the Botany major at this meeting you will also be assigned a faculty advisor.

After you declare your major in Botany, the Student Services Coordinator will submit your major declaration to the College of Letters & Science*.  It takes approximately two weeks before your major will show up on your DARS report.

*If you are planning on a double major and your first major is within CALS, you must first attend a CALS workshop before receiving forms to become a double major.

You should discuss your academic and/or your research plans with your faculty advisor.

To make the most out of your meeting with your advisor, it is recommended that you bring a current copy of your DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) with you to your advising appointment. This is for your benefit, so you learn how to read and run the report. Review instructions on how to print a DARS report. Please bring the following to your appointment:

  • Current DARS report
  • Any questions you have about requirements, extracurricular opportunities, study abroad, etc.
  • A pen and paper for note taking
  • Any form you may need signed. Make sure you have filled out all pertinent information and have read the form/document thoroughly.

It is recommended that you see your advisor once a semester to plan for courses and check your progress toward your degree. There are a lot of possibilities that you might not be aware of and sometimes degree requirements can be difficult to understand.

Individual Career Advising Appointments

Individual appointments are available with Carmela Diosana, the student services coordinator, scheduled via WiscCal scheduling assistant.

Please email a current copy of your resume to Carmela Diosana before your appointment.

To ensure a productive meeting bring the following to your appointment:

  • A paper copy of your current resume
  • Any questions you have about extracurricular opportunities, study abroad, graduate school, post graduate opportunities, etc.
  • Pen and paper for note taking
  • If this is a follow up visit, bring any information you have gathered since your previous visit

What to expect from a career advising appointment:

The career advisor is available to answer questions about how to do job or career searches and to help direct you as you discover your area of interest for a career related to botany. It is recommended you meet with the career advisor at least once a semester to help you plan your long-term goals for graduate school and/or your career.

I have general questions about the Botany program, who should I talk to?

You can either stop by the main Botany office in 132 Birge Hall during office hours and  folks can help guide you to correct person, or you can visit Carmela Diosana, the student services coordinator (139 Birge Hall) if you have a quick question. Otherwise, if it might be a lengthy question, you should make an appointment with Carmela via the Wiscal scheduling assistant.

I spoke with my advisor and I believe one of my classes should be substituted for one of the requirements.  Who should I talk to?

If you are looking for exceptions for your degree, you must speak with the chair of the academic committee, Ken Sytsma. If you are sending an email, you should outline the reasons for the substitution and provide documentation (i.e. a course syllabus, copy of a paper, etc.).

There is a hold on my record, how do I get it removed?

In your student center, if you click through to see who has placed a hold on your record, there is contact information listed.