Tamatha Barbeau, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Coordinator: Pre-Veterinary Program
Coordinator: Program for Undergraduate Research (PURE)

Welcome to Senior Seminar
Francis Marion University


Schedule: Fridays 12:30 - 1:20 pm, LSF 207
Additional info for seniors:
The FMU Registrar's office is no longer sending students the 90 hr evaluation. It is now YOUR responsibility to make an appointment with the Registrar's office once you have reached 87 credit hours and qualify as a senior. This information is stated on your Degree Audit page just before the "courses required for the Biology major" is located. You must have a coursework review completed by the registrar's office to confirm that you are, in fact, taking the required courses and required number of credit hours in order to graduate on time.

When you hit a critical number of hours (87), your Degree Audit page will post the invitation to make an appointment with the Registrar's office appears AND you will also receive an email from the Registrar with the same request.
Instructor: Dr. Tamatha Barbeau; MSB 301 i,
Ph: 661-4651
Web: people.fmarion.edu/tbarbeau (follow link to Senior Seminar)
Office Hours: by appointment  

Course Description: In order to take this class you must be a senior (at least 90 hours earned credit hours) and have taken 24 hours of Biology courses. You must fulfill course requirements to pass, and passing translates to a C or higher. You should treat this course as preparation for the real world that awaits you once you leave the university. Thus, I will expect professional conduct in yourself and your work in this class, just as a prospective employer or graduate program would expect of you. Be to class on-time, participate, complete your assignments, and you will succeed.

Course requirements:

1. Attendance and participation - you cannot miss more than two classes (with verified excuse)! Attendance is recorded. If you know ahead of time that you need to miss a class please contact me. If you miss a class unexpectedly on the day an assignment was due you must provide me with the excuse and you must get that assignment in to me no later than 1 week from the date of your absence or else you will receive a zero. For all writing assignments, spelling and grammar DO COUNT! (C'mon, you're seniors now!)

2. Write a short one-page essay describing your plans after graduation.

3. Write and submit a copy of your resumé to me.

4. Complete a coverletter (the type that accompanies an application to a professional program or job).

5. Complete the Biology Exit Exam.

*NOTE* Failure to complete and turn in all of the above assignments can result in failure of the course.


Assignments Points
Post-Grad. Essay 50
Submit resumé 50
Coverletter 50
Complete Biology Exit Exam 50
Total 200

Grading Scale 90 - 100% A 75 - 79.4% C+ 60 - 64.4% D
85 - 89.4% B+ 70 - 74.4% C < 60% F
80 - 84.4% B 65 - 69.4% D+

Tentative Schedule:
Date & Topic Resources / Links:
Jan 12
Introduction to Senior Seminar: What Do I Do Now?

Post-graduation essay assigned! Due in 2 weeks.

[Complete Senior Surveys]
Here is what I want to see in your essay:
1. What are your post-graduation plans? Are you planning on applying for a job? If so, what kind of work are you trying to find? Are you applying to Medical, Veterinary, Pharmacy, Graduate, or Physician Assistant prgram?

2. Are you aware of what you need to apply? For example, if you are going to apply for a job, and even have a job in mind, are you aware of the requirements to be considered for the job(s)? In your coverletter, please explain how your education and experience make you an ideal candidate for that position. If you are applying to a professional program (Medical, Veterinary, PA, etc...), do you know what entrance exam is required? Have you looked into, or already made plans for, taking that exam? If research or volunteer (shadowing) experience is recommended for applying to that program have you thought about that or actually taken steps into getting that experience? If you have that experience, how will you explain it in your coverletter?

3. When are the deadlines for you to apply? Have you looked into the schools/programs/job advertisements to find out?

4. What is your back-up plan if "Plan A" doesn't work out this year? Will you re-apply next year? Will you try and fix any weaknesses in your resume? Will you try something completely different, or just keep pushing forward with your original plan?

There is no right or wrong to this essay. I'm just trying to get you to think (really think) about your next step. However, spelling and grammar WILL COUNT!

Jan 19
Jobs with a Biology Degree.

The hyperlinks in this PDF file WILL be active (you can click and go to them). Happy searching!

If you haven't already, "like" FMU's
Career Development page on Facebook.

or the Dept of Biology's Facebook page
(where job opportunities are frequently posted).

****The US Dept. of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook is a GREAT place to start looking for a large listing of biology and healthcare related jobs, and the site tells you average expected pay, educational requirement, and the expected job growth for a large listing of career choices!

For Healthcare jobs: US Dept. of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook for Healthcare jobs, 2015.

South Carolina State Government e-recruit system (http://jobs.sc.gov)
See for state and/or government jobs in South Carolina

USDA - ARS website, and Careers at the USDA - ARS

Careers in the Biological Sciences (American Institute of Biological Sciences) - www.aibs.org/careers/

For Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Jobs: US Dept. of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook for Farming, Fishing, Forestry for 2015.

For information on "Green Jobs"

For additional job searches and career information:
>NIU Career Services is another good web resource with links to possible jobs with a BSc degree and links to biology-related job sites.

>Salary Survey for Bachelor of Science (BS) degree for 2017

>Jobs with the US Department of Health and Human Services

>Jobs with the US Department of Energy

>Jobs with the US Geological Survey (USGS)

>Jobs with the US Fish and Wildlife Service

>Jobs with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

>Jobs with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

>What can I expect to get paid with a Biology degree?
Salary Survey for Bachelor of Science (BS) Biology degree

Salary Survey for Masters of Science Biology degree
Salary Survey for PhD of Science Biology degree

>Jobs in Science (from New Scientist Jobs)

>Jobs in Biomedical Sciences

To register for "FMU's College Central Network's online resumé program - to make your resumé visible to a large number of potential employers, click HERE.
This is not required for Senior Seminar, rather just a free resource at your disposal for helping with the job search.

Additional "Job Search Sites"
Jan 26
Post-graduation essay DUE at start of class!

Entrance Exams: What are they, when do I take them, and how do I prepare?

Practice Entrance Exams (Coastal Carolina University)
> KAPLAN Testing - free online resources at KapTest.com
> MCAT - Medical School

The MCAT test has CHANGED! (since April 2015)
Click HERE for more info. about this change, and click HERE for examples of what new scoring will look like.

Also, if you need financial assistance with the MCAT you can learn more from the American Association of Medical Colleges Fee Assistance Program.

> GRE - Graduate School or Vet School
> DAT - Dental School
> PCAT - Pharmacy School

> General Information on the GRE

> AAMC's Preparing for the MCAT
> AACP's Preparing for the PCAT

> American Dental Student Association's Preparing for the DAT

For additional help with entrance exams, access to practice exams, and information on entrance exam workshops offered at FMU see:
FMU Counseling and Testing office, 121 S. Evander Drive. We are located in the Francis Marion University Education Foundation Building directly on Hwy 76 next to the FMU campus, 661- 1840.
Feb 2
Writing a cover letter for applications.

Cover letter assigned

FMU Career Development - Writing a coverletter

CNN report: How to Personalize Your Cover Letter.

Sample Cover Letters

Example Cover Letter (T.R. Barbeau)

Feb 9
Writing / revising a professional resumé.

Resumé assigned

For help with writing a resumé see:

>FMU Career Development - writing a resume, Smith University Center, Suite 210, (843) 661-1676.

>FMU Writing Center

>Resume writing tips (from the SC Budget and Control Board)

>View a sample resume

Additonally, if you want to you can post your
resumé on the FMU Career Development website where potential employers can view it. It is free but they might require a specific format for your resumé - so be prepared to revise it to fit their requirements. It is a valuable resource and networking opportunity. See link below.

Feb 16

Professional School, Health Careers


Feb 23
Cover letter DUE at start of class!

State and Government Jobs.

Mar 2
How to Handle an Interview.

>General Interview Questions
>Med School Interview Questions
>Grad School Interview Questions

>FMU Career Development - the interview

>View some interviewing video demonstrations

MUSC has changed their interview format!
Their interview process USED to be 2, one-on-one 30 minute interviews with our faculty or preceptors. This year they have changed to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) method. This process is designed to better measure non-cognitive attributes like empathy, critical thinking, etc. Students will move through a series of mini interview, approximately 6-8 minutes each, and will be scored individually on each.

Mar 9

Mock Interviews (please dress appropriately!)
During this class I will break you up into small groups of 4-5 people. One person in group will be interviewd by the rest for 10 min. Interviewers will fill out a evaluation sheet on how the candidate performed. After another in the group will be interviewed for 10 min, and evaluated. This repeats until each person in the group was interviewed.

Please treat this mock interview as the real thing! It's your chance to find out your strengths, and maybe weaknesses, before you go on a interview. I expect you to act professionally.
Mar 16 Resumé DUE at the start of class!

Going over the Mock Interview: What did you learn?
Mar 23


Mar 30
Thinking about graduate school?

Apr 6
So you want to be a professor?
Apr 13
Biology Exit Exam.
Apr 20 - Last Class!
Guest speaker

Written by Tamatha Barbeau, 2004. This web site is for educational purposes; if you own an image on this site and would like it removed or used with permission, or if you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact me.