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First-Year Students

biology department

First-year biology majors will typically take courses in biology, chemistry, and math. The following are general guidelines for first-year students; however, there may be variability and students will have the opportunity to discuss their plan with an academic advisor during Orientation.

Biology majors in the regular BS and BA programs are advised to enroll in BI 200 Molecules & Cells and BI 201 Ecology & Evolution in their first year. These courses may be taken in either order.

Freshmen are also advised to enroll in CH 109 General Chemistry 1 and CH 110 General Chemistry 2 (with co-requisite labs).

First-year biology majors should also take Calculus 1 or Calculus 2, depending on their Advanced Placement Scores. For further information about Calculus placement see the guidelines below or consult a Math Advisor during First-Year Orientation.

Students considering advanced placement should enroll in BI 201 in the fall semester (there is no AP substitution for BI 201). In the spring these students could take BI 304 Cell Biology or continue with the regular program and take BI 200 Molecules and Cells. See further guidelines about advanced placement below.

Freshmen who have completed BI 200 and Advanced Placement students can take the 3-credit Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory (BI 204) during the spring semester of their first year, if space is available.


General Biology (BI 110)

Entering freshmen who are interested in Biology, but feel unprepared to go directly into BI 200 (Molecules & Cells) or simply want to "try out" the discipline, should consider enrolling in BI 110 General Biology. This one-semester Core course is designed for non-majors and will introduce students to the basics of cell structure and function. Students should see an advisor regarding concurrent enrollment in General Chemistry.

BI 110 satisfies the Natural Science Core but cannot be applied to the Biology or Biochemistry major.

Advanced Placement for Biology BS and BA Majors

Students who received a score of 5 on the AP Biology exam in their senior year of high school and wish to consider advanced placement may enroll in BI 304 (Cell Biology) in place of BI 200.

These students should enroll in BI 201 Ecology and Evolution in the fall (there is no AP substitution for BI 201) and take BI 304 Cell Biology in the spring.


Calculus Placement and Course Sequencing

Calculus 1 requirement is satisfied by completing MT 100 or an AP score of 4 or 5 on the AB exam, or a score of 3 on the BC exam.

Calculus 1 and 2 can be satisfied by completing MT 101 or with an AP score of 4 or 5 on the BC exam.

Calculus 2 (or the AP option) and Biostatistics can both be applied to the four-course requirement, but each course can only be applied once.

NOTE: Biology majors typically begin and/or complete calculus courses during the freshman year.