School of Biological Sciences FAQ
- Where is the school situated?
The school of Biological Sciences is located in between the lecture halls’ complex STUVW and the School of Chemical Sciences. If you are coming from the grand hall Dewan Tuanku Syed Putra (We call it DTSP), you can reach the school from the second library along the pathway by your left, before you reach the Dewan Kuliah foyer. Key item to remind you to turn to the pathway, the vendor machines and atm machines! It is generally situated in the center of the university’s compound, we can easily reach to other facilities and places!
- Can our buses reach the school?
There is no bus stand outside the school, but there is a bus stand at our Chemical Store and another bus will stop at lecture halls’ complex STUVW. Our school situated just walking distance from the two spots. Laboratory? No worries, there is another bus stand nearby it and the school of Housing, Building and Planning.
- Breakfast? Lunch hour? Where to go to have meal nearby the school? Any nice food nearby?
Live a healthy lifestyle, we advise you to take meals on time. There are a few cafeteria nearby, for instance the Bakti Permai hostel’s cafeteria, Pi’qapen nearby Lecture Hall U, Fajar Harapan hostel’s cafeteria, Kafe Siswa (or we called it the Bird Nest), wide variety of food…. And DESSERTS! *ps: different cafe have different ‘famous’ cousine, so do go explore and leave your comment!
- Job prospect? What can i do with my degree?
Besides lecturer, actually there are a lot more job opportunities related to our studies, could be in the laboratories as researcher, in the field such as agricultural pest supervisor, consultant, or in medical field as medical assistant, or work with the government as project consultant, forestry officer, department of Environment officer, or in tourism field as tourism officer or tour guide. There are a few USM graduates now working in World Wildlife Fund too! There are a lot more job opportunities for us to be exposed, be open and do some research!
- Can I use my biology degree to reenter University after I graduate for another course?
That’s for sure. The degree is recognised in local public and private institutions, as well as institutions overseas.
- What is the difference between pure bio students and applied bio students?
The difference between the pure and applied bio courses is that pure courses is more towards theory while applied science is more to application of the theory. For instance, Botany and Agrobiology. Both courses study plants, but Agrobiology is study on crops, while Botany course focuses physiology, morphology, anatomy and taxonomy in theoretical view. Pure sciences requires in-depth study, thus students tend to further studies, while applied sciences more on practical part, hence more job opportunities for the graduates. Pure bio during third year of study will have their major in either Botany, Zoology or Microbiology, while applied bio students will choose among Biotechnology, Agrobiology, Aquatic Biology, Environmental Biology, and Vector and Parasites.
- Can I do credit transfer to another university to study later on ?
Yes. However, we need to check with our school’s officers and academic advisor as different terms are used in the course naming. Hence, some credit transfer can be made if the scope and topic is the same and agreed by the dean.
- Is there a Twinning programme ?
Yes there is. You have to go to the International Office to ask for the proper procedures, then get the permission from the dean. Do some research, as some foreign universities require some basics in foreign language and check is that possible to do credit transfer. If credit transfer is allowed then you can proceed, or extend for another semester to graduate, and please do check with the scholarship contract if there’s any to avoid contract being breached.
- What is the minimum point to get 1st class? What if I get 1st class honoured?
In order to get honoured as first class degree holder, you have to maintain your cumulative grade point average, or CGPA at or above 3.67 over 4.00 by graduation. Well, being honoured first class you can fully waive your ptptn loan and might get higher chances to be employed and better salary (of course, your extra-curricular activities’ involvement and your performance play important role too!) .
- When can we start to take our minor papers?
For certain minor courses such as Management, we can take starting first semester. Some papers only taught in either semester one or two of the academic year, so please be cautious!
- What are T,E,M, and U papers?
They stands for the basic or core courses “Teras”, “Elective” courses, “Minor” courses, and “University” courses. It can be found in the programme guidebook, so no worries as you will be briefed on the distinct courses during the orientation week or the Program Siswa Lestari USM.
- What is unit? What to do with it?
Units, is just another term as credit hours in other institutions. You need to accumulate certain amount of units in order to graduate.
- By taking biology course, can I be a doctor?
Absolutely no. You should take Medical or Health Sciences instead of Biological Sciences. However, by majoring in Microbiology you can still be vaccine researcher or medical assistants that works in the hospital.
- Where to get the reference books? Campbell? Pearson Longman?
During first few lectures, your lecturer will show you the reference books to be used for the semester. By that time, you can go to the bookshop in the school, which we call “ko-op”. Most of the books are available there as lecturers will order for you. There is another bookstore at Sungai Dua shoplots, Pustaka Union. Campbell and Pearson can be your reference, wide range reading enhances understanding and helps in memorising the concepts!
- What minor courses we can take?
In the programme guidebook that will be given during the orientation week, there is a list of papers you can take and minor courses that fits well with our school’s timetable for our core courses. Hence, you can take any minor programme as long as the lectures’ time does not clash. You can get the timetable for the minor course papers and the packages from the office of the school that offers the course.
- Do we need to bring original certificates? Need to be certified?
If you’re applying ptptn, you don’t need to bring the original copy of certificates. Photostated copies will do, and can be certified by USM officers. If you plan to apply for scholarships, you will have to bring along your original copies.
- What is BIOSOC?
BioSociety. A school’s society that have activities and bio-related events. Aimed to bring exposure and experience to bio school students.
- Do we need to take co-curricular activities? What are the options we have?
We have to accumulate at least 6 units for Co-curricular activities to graduate, however we can replace it with language as option course, or skills courses.
- Is that easy for us to buy stuffs? Or we need to buy them beforehand?
There are market and shops nearby and at a few hostels’ cafeteria. Just bring the essential stuffs you think you’ll need.
- Is there any scholarship offered to us?
Yes there is. You have to check out and do some researches online to look for scholarships that you’re eligible. Sometimes posters might be pasted on school’s notice boards
- What is a fieldtrip?
A paper compulsory for bio students. We will go to our school’s Center for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) to have our fieldtrip to study on 4 different habitat and the ecosystems. It is really fun! And it provides you an opportunity to really know which field you’re really into and interested.
- Academic advisor? Who are they and what are they for?
Academic advisor is lecturer that will be your mentor throughout your study life in USM. If you having doubt in course and major choosing, you can always seek advice from them! They are nice, to the ground and very willing to share their experiences.
- Lectures will be conducted in which language?
In English for most of the courses, except in few university courses such as Bahasa Melaysia, Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia (TITAS), Hubungan Etnik and so on.
- Biology papers easy to score?
It depends. Investment of time and effort is crucial in order to get good result and deepen understanding.
For more information, you may further visit:
-School of Biological Sciences’ Official Webpage: http://bio.usm.my/
-School of Biological Sciences’ Official Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bio.USM