Information for First Year Students Planning to Major in Biology

Freshmen considering a major in biology should first complete BOTH BIOL 121-132 (or its alternative, BIOL 125-126) and CHEM 111-112 during the first year.  These year-long sequences are prerequisites for  other required biology courses typically taken during the second year:  BIOL 340, Cellular Biology, BIOL 210, Intro to Ecology and Evolution, BIOL 260, The Research Process, and BIOL 341, General Genetics.

BIOL 121, BIOL 125, and CHEM 111 are offered in the fall semester; and BIOL 132, BIOL 126, and CHEM 112 are offered in the spring semester.  BIOL 121-132 and CHEM 111-112 are offered during the summer as well. A grade of C- or better must be earned in each of these courses.

Your first fall semester schedule should consist of a total of 14 – 17 credits. A typical 14 credit fall semester should look something like this:

Course (credits)
  1. Biol 121 – Biological Concepts (4 credits) or Biol 125 – Phage Hunters I (4 credits)
  2. Chem 111 – General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  3. FSEM 100 – FY Seminar (3 credits)
  4. A 3 credit general education course (3 credits)

The following spring semester schedule should look something like this:

Course (credits)
  1. Biol 132 – Organism Function and Diversity (4 credits) or Biol 126 – Phage Hunters II (4 credits)
  2. Chem 112 – General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  3. A 3 credit general education course (3 credits)
  4. Another 3 credit general education course (3 credits)

Other advice for first year students:

1) Get to know your classmates and faculty. They will be your support network.

2) Take advantage of your professors’ office hours. They are ready to help with your coursework!

3) Join the Biology Student Organization. The current President is Fernando Cabezas.

4) Attend career workshops, picnics, and other events. Become part of the community!

If  you have questions about anything, please contact the Department Chair, Dr. Lynn Lewis.