Things to know, learn, & do

University is both an anxious and exhilarating time. I hope that the information on this page makes your transition an enjoyable experience and helps you navigate any bumps along the way.

I advise all Surrey Science students plus undeclared Science students from all campuses over 60 units, Management & Systems Science (MSSC) majors, General Science Double Minor program students, and internal faculty transfers.

Academic Advisor

The Academic Advisor can assist you in a variety of areas related to your academic career at SFU, from first year course planning to identifying your interests and choosing your major. 

Contact Details

Nadia Williams

Phone:  778.782.7486 
Office:  Room 2910 (Podium 2) inside the main Science area

When:  Monday-Friday. Normally available 9:30am - 4:30pm. Call/email for a specific time appointment or drop-in anytime.

Note: I will be at Burnaby Campus in TASC 2 9900 select dates. Feel free to see me at either campus.

Please note my last work day on any campus prior to Maternity/Parental Leaves will be Tuesday, February 28, 2017.  A new advisor will take my place for my leaves, and I will return on Friday, April 6, 2018.
The email contact address will remain the same for the new advisor.

Click above!

Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals.  It is a decision-making process by which students realize their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is ongoing, multifaceted, and the responsibility of both the student and advisor.  The advisor serves as the facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through coure and career planning and academic progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus agencies as necessary." 

Quote from David S. Crockett, Ed. (1987) Advising Skills, Techniques and ResourcesA Compilation of Materials Related to the Organization and Delivery of Advising Services. Iowa City, Iowa. ACT Corporation
  • Course selection and anything to do with registration
  • What can I do with XXX degree?
  • How do I choose my major?  Help!
  • What courses do I need for XXX professional program?
  • Where do I find XXX on campus/on the SFU website?
  • I want to change programs
  • Academic goal-setting
  • Coaching
  • Exploring other programs
  • Identifying interests, skills, and abilities
  • I'm having academic/personal/financial difficulty and I need to know where to go/who to talk to
  1. Email OR Phone 778-782-7486
  2. Leave your name, SFU student number, a phone number or email address where you can be reached, and your question/concern
  3. Await a response, usually within 24 - 48 hours (exempting weekends)

That's OK! Over 50% of university students change their course of studies once, and 25% more than once. Whatever courses you have successfully completed in the Sciences will also not be wasted - you'll use them towards meeting the university's WQB requirements that are necessary in order for you to graduate with your degree. If you realize Science is not your thing, talk to your advisor as soon as possible to explore other course options. We don't want you to feel stuck completing a degree you are not passionate about!

Many students enter the Sciences with the goal of eventually becoming a health care professional. In your first year at SFU, you can enroll in the first year foundational science courses required as prerequisites for most professional programs. We keep a list of those professional schools whose courses have exact SFU equivalents and can advise you on which these are so that you take the right courses. We also advise you on having a back-up plan - professional schools are extremely competitive, and every student should always have at least one other career idea in mind as they go through their studies.  Click here for our tips on succeeding in the Sciences.

Self-Assessment - Is Professional School Realistic for Me and My Circumstances?

  1. How do my grades and admission test scores compare to the historical entrance averages for the professional schools I wish to attend?
  2. If my grades are below the above, how much time and effort am I willing to spend to strengthen my candidacy to professional school?
  3. How have I demonstrated commitment to this profession?  How willing am I to take steps to show further commitment?
  4. How have I demonstrated a foundational knowledge of this profession?  Am I willing to build upon this knowledge? 

Thanks to Lyman Briggs College for these self-reflective questions.

What if I don't get into the professional program I want?

This is where your back-up plan comes into play!  Your co-operative education job placements would have helped you explore different paid Science positions and helped you "get your foot in the door" for future employment at these organizations. There are also many alternate health related careers that could be entered via different eduation programs such as certificates or technical diplomas. A university science background helps with success in these areas. 

Glad you asked! SFU Career Services has put together pamphlets with careers for various majors. These are beyond those that you would think of offhand (teacher, doctor, dentist...).

Some questions to ask yourself when deciding what to study:

  • What attracted you to the Faculty of Science?
  • What excites you about it?
  • What do you like to do when you're not in school?
  • What clubs/extra-curricular activties have you belonged to?
  • What courses have been your most and least favourites and why?
  • What types of classes do you prefer (active, passive, labs, etc.)?
  • Can you see yourself doing this as a job?

Search "SFU Science at Surrey".

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Feed Your Brain Break

Our last FYBB for was April 11, 2016. Beginning with Fall 2016, FYBB will no longer take place. We will instead host a Surrey Science Student Social once per term. 

Feed Your Brain Break was for current Surrey Science students and the cohort meeting for Science Year One & Life Sciences Year Two.

  • healthy breakfast snacks
  • informal chats with instructors & staff
  • study space 
  • & more